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Hidden Gems – 7 – Matt Moulson

It's not uncommon for a bright light to arise from an unfortunate occurrence. This situation demonstrated itself when Kyle Calder broke his thumb on October 31, 2007. His being placed on IR brought us a light in the form of Matt Moulson. In 6 games so far, he has registered 2 goals and 1 assist for 3 points, and also has a +/- of 1 with only 2 PIM. His first goal came during his first NHL game. And just to add another note, he was called up from Manchester on his birthday. Good times.

It's awesome to hear about players like Sid the Kid and Oveckin being superstars as kids and breaking out once they hit the big time. But, once in a while, I find the story of an underdog to be more intriguing; the story of one who hits hardships and makes conscious decisions to fight (figuratively) in order to prove those nay-sayers wrong. Such is the story of Matt Moulson and I hope you read this article from the Kings website. Instead of reading about a shining star, you read about a kid who was not viewed as the next Great One and who, subsequently, took upon himself to lay his own path.

This article is a piece that he had written in high school when, in 2001, he found out that he was to receive a full scholarship to Cornell. After less-than-stellar early-teen years and being riddled with injuries at 15, the immediate future appeared bleak when he was cut at spring tryouts. He wrote, "I listened to people say I was too small, too slow and not talented enough to amount to anything." (Harsh )

At this point, he decided to begin a new chapter in his life. Please read the story since I would rather mention my thoughts than summarize what he said. I can see why the Kings organization would have wanted fans to read this. I was pleasantly surprised when I read it because not only was it well-written for someone in high school, it conveyed a story of hard work and self-imposed determination. It takes a lot of will and a lot of character to continue on your chosen path even when there are more struggles than you anticipate. I saw his story as less of an, "FU," and more of an, "I'll show you. Just watch me." I thought this was a great way to introduce the Kings fans to Mr. Moulson.

All of the other Hidden Gems I've found have been amusing ones for me, but this one is a genuine "feel good" Gem. I'll end with a quote from William Jennings Bryan that I feel is more than appropriate: "Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for; it is a thing to be achieved."