If you want a guy with slick moves and fast feet, just look to the NHL. We are delighted to welcome the one and only Brent Sopel to our ballroom - it may be a little hard to recognize him since he spent a lot of time hoisting the Stanley Cup over his head.
Brent is a Canadian former professional ice hockey defenseman who played the majority of his career in the National Hockey League (NHL). He was originally selected 144th overall at the 1995 NHL Entry Draft by the Vancouver Canucks, where he began his NHL career with. He has also played for the New York Islanders, Los Angeles Kings, Chicago Blackhawks, Atlanta Thrashers and Montreal Canadiens.
Our fair city knows that Brent made his biggest mark was in Chicago. Playing for the 2010 team that brought the Blackhawks their first championship since 1961, Brent was an important part of the team’s blue line group and became known for his shot blocking ability and penalty killing prowess.
In addition to his NHL career, Brent has also played in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) with Metallurg Novokuznetsk and Salavat Yulaev Ufa, also briefly playing for the American Hockey League (AHL)'s Chicago Wolves before retiring from professional hockey in 2015.
Since leaving from the rink Brent has continued to serve as a hockey analyst for NBC 5 Chicago, and provided color commentary on the airwaves for 120 Sports. He continues working on the ice as well, coaching defensive skills at his Sopel Academy of Defense camps. He also serves as vice president of business development for Coco5.
We asked Brent to share with us how he feels about taking part in our ballroom blitz and here's what he said:
"Dancing is never been my passion of mine since I have two left feet. But anytime I can get involved to raise money for such a great cause I jump for opportunities. This was a no-brainer for me! Looking forward to learning how to dance along the way."
We're in for a treat as Brent takes to the ballroom instead of the rink for one magical night in March. And that whole two left feet thing? Hmm.