Wingels: A man beyond his years

March 31, 2012, 4:35 am
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In television, we're often working hard to find compelling stories, but occasionally a great one falls right into our laps.

That's what happened to me and this story on the "You Can Play" project. The story was assigned to me before I had even heard about the initiative. As I read the press release about the first "You Can Play" PSA that was to air starring several big name NHL players, the story took hold of me.

I had to do this piece justice because the work the group is doing is so important.

It was to be a piece about the Burke family and the objective of the project, difficult because Patrick and Brian Burke are miles away from the Bay Area, but a wonderful story nonetheless.

Then, I found out that Sharks rookie Tommy Wingels was a member of the "You Can Play" advisory board and scheduled a sit-down interview with him about his work with the program.

REWIND: Wingels supporting Burke family's 'You Can Play' project

While conducting the interview, I was completely in awe of his maturity. Here was this 23-year old rookie who was focusing so much time and energy on the well-being of his fellow man. How many people really get it at 23?

Tommy Wingels does.

He put everything so eloquently and thoughtfully. He told me the main goal of their organization is to no longer exist, because one day they hope there is not a need for their group and that athletes will be able to present their true selves to the world without making headlines.

That's the type of foresight Tommy Wingels has.

That's the type of foresight that Brendan Burke had.
You can follow Amanda on Twitter, @amandaB729