Anyone who knows me knows that giving players nicknames is sort of my thing. Usually, I give nicknames to guys who have names I have trouble pronouncing (my nickname for Kristers Gudlevskis, Skittles, now spans two continents and has infiltrated more than a few different fan bases). Every now and then, though, I give them to guys with names I can say just fine. Guys with names like Adam Wilcox.
Adam, I wanted to give you a nickname. I really did. I liked your play, your attitude, and your personality. I really enjoyed watching you develop over the past season and a half. I especially loved seeing your confidence grow so much these past few months.
Others had nicknames for you, of course. “Wall”cox seemed to be the most popular, and as you started to come into your own this season, it certainly fit. By December, you were looking quite like a brick wall, actually. You recorded your first professional shutout on December 3rd, 2016, helping the Crunch to a 4-0 victory against the Rochester Americans.
Less than a week later, you backstopped the Crunch to a 4-2 victory against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, stopping 48 shots and truly looking like the professional you are. Overall, your 18-9 record is a big reason why the Crunch were able to stay at the top of the North Division as long as they have this season.
In January, your efforts in Syracuse were rewarded with your first NHL callup. It’s always bittersweet for AHL fans when the prospects they’ve watched night after night start getting noticed by the big club. You had every right to be excited, and I know you have more moments like that in your future.
Of course, you did a lot for the Crunch off the ice, too. Although we never really found out how you felt about the attention, you turned into quite the star when the now-infamous “Single Ladies” lip sync video you did with the team went viral. You know you’ve made it when Sean Leahy of Puck Daddy pays you compliments, right? Your willingness to have fun and put yourself out there made a very positive impression on us all.
Back to the nickname thing: in all honesty, “Wall”cox just never sat well with me. I don’t know why. I was still searching around for a nickname for you when I got the text this past Wednesday that you had been traded. I know you’ll continue to excel in your career, and I’m honestly sorry we won’t get to see it first-hand. Hopefully, your new fanbase will welcome you with all of the enthusiasm they should. They’ve gotten someone mighty special.