Blackhawks' goaltender wins WWE gold
Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Antti Niemi had a big surprise waiting in the locker room after Tuesday night's 2-0 shutout of the Phoenix Coyotes in Glendale, Ariz.
His teammates had awarded him their inaugural honor as the night's "hardest working player," signified by a WWE World Heavyweight Championship replica title. Niemi's nickname "Nemo" was written on athletic tape in place of the nameplate.
According to ESPN.com's Jesse Rogers, the title was the brainchild of Hawks' defenseman Brent Seabrook.
"It's something fun, something unique, and something cool ... [Hawks coach Joel Quenneville] and [team president John McDonough] were cool with it and we just went with it," Seabrook explained.
Other sports teams have used WWE replica titles as motivating trophies for their top performers - most notably the 2009 World Series Champion New York Yankees, who bestowed the title nightly to their player of the game.
For more on Niemi's honor, read the story on ESPN.com here.