Hammertime: The latest weapon in the Golden Hawks’ arsenal

The Wilfrid Laurier University’s men’s hockey team consider themselves a well-behaved bunch, but getting hammered now and then isn’t out of the question.

The team has found a new source of motivation this season, and it comes in the form of the “Golden Hammer.”

“The Golden Hammer was my brain child, I will take full responsibility,” said captain Kyle Van De Bospoort. “Although the mechanic [Ryan Daniels] was heavily involved in the fabrication. He was also the first recipient [of the award].”

“A lot of times teams have [motivational tools], like Boston for the playoffs had that old jacket that Andrew Ference found on eBay,” added Daniels.

“Sometimes teams have a hard hat or a tool belt like we’ve had in the past, but we figured no one could really say they had won a gold hammer before, so we thought this would be a good idea.”

The 24-Karat sledgehammer is awarded to one player after every Laurier win.

“The Hammer doesn’t just go to the guy with most saves; the most goals or points,” explained Daniels. “[It’s for] if guys make big blocks on the penalty kill or pretty much doing whatever it takes to win. That’s what the Hammer exemplifies.”

“It’s a good tool we brought in this year. It gives guys that extra incentive to work hard and give your body up for the team,” said Zack Shepley “It’s a reward that only one person gets but really at the end of the day when we get a win, it’s a team win.”

The hammer is given out in recognition immediately following a game, but the perks don’t stop there. The winner of the hammer gets ownership, and can do whatever they want with it, until someone else wins it.

“I didn’t do anything too special with it, just brought it home and celebrated with the boys,” said Shepley. “I was kind of out of commission after that game for awhile, after taking a shot in the foot, so I couldn’t carry around an extra hammer with me. I would love to win it again and bring it to class. It’s good to bring out and get recognized.”

So far this season, the Hammer has been awarded to Daniels (twice), Shepley and forward Tyler Stothers.

After beating Western this weekend the hammer is once again in Daniels’ possession. “Winning it feels pretty nice. The hammer is pretty greasy. It’s been seen around campus a couple times in class and it’s taking part in our Movember campaign. It’s pretty much there to just crush skulls and definitely goes out to one of the guys that’s the hardest working on the ice, and one of the hardest working guys in the bar too,” Daniels joked.

“The Hammer sets a precedent for what’s to be expected on and off the ice and in the locker room.”

Daniels then proceeded to show off the power of the hammer, smashing a garbage can around the dressing room. The hammer may be a fearful weapon, but he explained that it has much more personality then that.

“It’s like a dear friend. It has feelings and stuff … I know it looks pretty hard and it might not be something you want to approach in public but it’s pretty friendly… the hammer likes to be a Golden Hawk too. It bleeds purple and gold and it really believes in our program and our school.”

There are more plans for the hammer moving forward, however Daniels said giving it another name is not one of them. “It’s just the ‘Golden Hammer.’ That’s pretty much what it is. You can’t really give it a name because it literally ‘is what it is.’ It just does damage.”

After this past week, the Laurier squad defeated the No. 4 Western Mustangs 5-4 for Western’s first regulation loss of the season.

It was revenge for the Hawks who lost 9-3 in London previously.
The hope is that the hammer will become a Laurier hockey tradition for years to come.

There are also plans to engrave the name of past winners in the hammer, so that they will always be honoured.

Even though the hammer hasn’t been around for long, the team has rallied around the idea.

The “Golden Hammer” has become the heart of this year’s hockey team.

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