Happy Gilmore had a generation of hockey fans wondering what it’d be like to actually “toughen up” for hockey season by stopping baseballs inside a batting cage, and Carter Hutton actually gave it a try.
To this day, one of the roles Adam Sandler is best known for is his beer-drinking, boisterously celebrating, unexpected golf sensation Happy Gilmore. The movie by the same title gave hockey fans plenty of one-liners to add to their repertoire, like boasting about being the only player to take off their skate to stab another player or questioning the size of the net when blowing a slap shot high and wide.
But one of the most memorable moments in the early part of the film comes when Sandler steps into a batting cage sans padding, helmet or a bat and takes fastballs to the chest to “toughen up” for hockey tryouts that are 364 days away. Obviously, Sandler wasn’t really in that cage blocking fastballs with his sternum, but if there was ever any question about what it would actually look like to see a player stand in and take fastballs in full gear, St. Louis Blues goaltender Carter Hutton has the answer.
With the Blues heading outdoors one final time to celebrate the Winter Classic with their skills competition built into the team-run One Nation Classic, Hutton took the chance to live out every Happy Gilmore diehards fantasy: standing in a batting cage and toughening up for hockey season. This wasn’t just any batting cage, though. It was the St. Louis Cardinals’ batting cage.
Hutton came well-equipped with an excuse for that heater he couldn’t hang on to, but we’ll give him a pass granted he’s had to catch some blasts from Colton Parayko in practice. If Hutton can snag those, he’d probably have a decent chance at catching a fastball in his mitt if he had the right equipment.
Great to hear Hutton joke afterwards that he’s ready for spring training, too. He wouldn’t be the first Canadian hockey goalie to take his shot at being a dual-sport athlete, though.
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