Scott Stafford is trying out for the CHL's Denver Cutthroats this week in an attempt to make the team. Oh by the way, Stafford only has one hand.
Stafford was born without his left hand, lost when the umbilical cord was wrapped around it before birth. This disability, if you want to even consider it as such, hasn't stopped Stafford from playing hockey and playing it pretty well. So well that he is making a real impression on the Cutthroats' coach.
"This kid is fun to watch. It really is amazing," Cutthroats coach Derek Armstrong said (via Adrian Dater, Denver Post).
We have seen one-handed athletes before in pro sports as Jim Abbott did it in baseball for a long time, and did it well as a pitcher. But in baseball it was a little easier for him to get away with it as he became very accustomed to pitching the ball and quickly putting his glove on his hand in time to field.
In hockey it's a little tougher because you need both hands on the stick to get any kind of serious control of the puck. Stafford has found his own way to deal with this and as you can see in the video above,he can lead a rush up the ice pretty well and finish with a good wrister. It's really impressive and great to see that Stafford hasn't let it stop him from pursuing his hockey dreams.
The CHL is a step below the AHL as the Cutthroats serve as a farm team for the Lake Erie Monsters and Colorado Avalanche.