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I'm All-In On Collin Delia For The Blackhawks

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Every time I learn something about Collin Delia I like him even more. The first thing I learned about him is that he’s pretty fucking good.

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Being really good is a great starting point for me to like you, as a fan of the Hawks. Collin Delia can flat out play some hockey. I feel like I’ve seen enough to make that judgement now. Good feet, relies on his technique and positioning more than raw athleticism, he’s smart and the kid just works. That’s my kind of player on the ice. Off the ice, he’s super interesting and that’s what makes me actually like him.

Delia is a California kid. There’s not much hockey in Southern California unless you’re RIGHT in like Orange or LA County. That wasn’t Delia so he started playing roller hockey at age 5 and he didn’t get on the ice until he was 12 years-old. Somehow after a couple years in the NA he goes across the country to Merrimack(not exactly a powerhouse in HockeyEast) and showed enough to scouts that the Blackhawks signed him after his Junior year.

I met Delia like last spring time. The epitome of California cool. He could just as easily be a surfer bro or a lefty pitcher who just pumps in strikes at 89mph without a care in the world. Blonde hair, blue eyes, easy-going, clear intellect, can talk to anyone, good sense of humor, and has that unique skill where whoever is talking to him he’s able to be genuinely or seemingly genuinely engaged. The best thing I can say about Delia is that after meeting him I thought “that kid must have really good parents”.

The latest thing I LOVE about Delia…apparently Delia makes shit. You need a belt? Call Delia. Headboard? Collin Delia is your guy.

California Rubber: You have some interesting hobbies, leatherworking for one?
Collin Delia: I’ve always had an affinity for leather goods, wallets, bags. I liked the tactile nature of it all. One day I thought, “I could do that.” I have the eye for that and I’m very detail-oriented so I bought some scrap leather and a starter tool kit and started messing around. Then I researched companies that make handmade leather goods. All of my stuff is hand-stitched. It’s pretty intensive. If you want something to last, you have to do it by hand. Machines can only do so much.

As I started learning more about it, I discovered there is a world-famous tannery in Chicago. I’ve gone there multiple teams and toured the facility and bought leather there. It’s taken off.

Through word of mouth, I’ve made bags, wallets and belts. It’s just a matter of having the time to make them.

CR: And it hasn’t stopped with smaller goods?
CD: I needed a couch, so I made a couch. I have a background in woodworking. My dad and I built a lot of the furniture in our house. It’s not as hard as you think. You just need to have the necessary tools and a lot of patience. I also made a TV stand and a coffee stand. It’s a reprieve from the rink. It’s something that doesn’t talk back to you. It’s all based on your effort and your patience. I love working with my hands. It’s therapeutic.

You know that scene in Miracle between Herb Brooks and Jimmy Craig about how Craig wouldn’t take a psychology test?

That’s kind of how I feel about Delia. I want the kid in the net who says “fuck it, I can build a couch” and then takes the time to learn how and gets it done. That’s a kid who believes in himself and isn’t afraid of a challenge or learning new things. That’s a kid who will figure out how to get better at his primary craft of stopping pucks. Meticulous, diligent, and someone will try to get better every time he’s on the ice. That’s a kid I would trust to be my #1 goalie on a team with Cup aspirations. The Real Delia