National Hockey League vet and defending DEL champion Luke Adam wins on and off the ice as he and his family prepare to welcome a baby boy this summer
There are names synonymous with hockey in Newfoundland and Labrador. Druken, Ryan, Ryder, Cleary, Slaney and of course Adam.
Playing in the big show
National Hockey League veteran Luke Adam is a second generation professional hockey player, a globe-trotting athlete and son of former player and coach Russ Adam. Hitting 90 games in the big time as a member of the Buffalo Sabres, Adam’s pro career has spanned nearly 15 years, with stints in Portland, Rochester, Springfield, Columbus, Hartford, at the junior level with the St. John’s Fog Devils and most recently a three year stint with Adler Mannheim of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga in Germany, where the club captured a league title this past April.
But in a year that included international hockey gold, Luke Adam’s biggest achievement will come off the ice, as he and his longtime partner and wife Hannah are set to welcome a baby boy to the family this summer.
“We’re super excited,” Adam tells The Herald from Arizona, where the couple recently celebrated their baby shower. “You know we’re looking forward to it. It’s our first child. We knew all along we wanted to have kids, we just wanted to make sure we were ready.
“I mean me and Hannah have been together now for almost 10 years and we’ve been married for three. You know, the timing was great. Everything went well and she’s doing great and the baby’s getting big and now we’re super excited. It’s just around the corner.”
Like father like son…
A third generation hockey star? Adam laughs. One step at a time, of course. But the apples haven’t fallen too far from the tree as far as the Adams clan are concerned. Father Russ Adam played professionally from 1977-1986, playing eight games with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1982-83, later becoming an assistant coach for the St. John’s Maple Leafs here at home in the American Hockey League for four seasons.
“I remember growing up with the St. John’s Maple Leafs. I remember my pop would take me and I said I want to be out there one day,” Adam recalls.
He’s quick to insist that he was never pushed toward the sport that would become the bedrock for his family’s life. Rather, his father was a support system from day one, offering advice and tutelage if needed, while also cautioning the rigors of the always demanding sport and lifestyle.
“I think he knew how hard it was, he had been there and he knew how hard it was to make it,” he admits. “There’s all the glory you know, but there’s a lot of not so great stuff and a lot of stuff that goes on behind the scenes that’s hard. So I think he tried to caution me on that.
‘He was always there’
“Hockey wasn’t pushed on me. But obviously being around it, he was coaching,” he adds. “You know I always wanted to play hockey. I loved it, I had a passion to play and a passion for hockey. I knew I loved the game. But you know he was always there for help, but he wasn’t hard on me. He never pushed me to play. But still to this day he watches every game I play and if I want his opinion he’s there to give it. He’s always taking notes, it’s just the hockey coach in him. But he was always there, a huge support system.”
Adam recently signed with the Düsseldorfer EG of the DEL, yet another celebrated club of the league he won a championship in only weeks ago.
The conversation turns to home, of the thriving Growlers and the growing crop of could-be NHLers from our shores, with young players like Alex Newhook and Clark Bishop at the helm of the future of hockey in this province. But Luke Adam’s story is far from finished, as he continues to live the life of a champion, on and off the ice.