The All-American Prospects Game is supposed to let the top 40 American draft-eligible players show scouts what they can do. Of course, not all of them will get drafted in June.
Talking with Prospects Game coach (and former Penguin) Joe Mullen (right) Thursday afternoon, he said his message to those players would be that going undrafted isn’t the end of the road – after all, he went undrafted.
But wait: as anyone who’s burned their “Miracle” DVD into the ground knows, one of the famous exchanges in the movie is about Mullen’s signing bonus.
“Any reason Joey Mullen’s not here?” Jim Craig asks Jack O’Callahan at tryouts.
“Yeah, about 30,000 of ‘em sitting in his New York bank account,” O.C. responds.
“He got a $30,000 signing bonus?” Craig asks.
“Crazy, ain’t it?”
Yeah. Really crazy, since he was undrafted.
So I asked Mullen about it after his postgame interview session.
He was uneasy.
“I haven’t seen it [the movie],” Mullen said.
Hardly convincing, I shared that, according to the movie, he wasn’t at tryouts because he got a $30,000 signing bonus, telling him what I’m sure he already knew.
“Umm … I don’t know if it was 30,” he said.
“Uhh, could’ve been. I don’t remember.”
After that I thanked him for his time and let him go.
I’m willing to bet that scene wasn’t completely accurate. Searching on Google later, I found others who have made similar points. It's an interesting tidbit from the greatest movie of all-time.
Mullen signed with St. Louis after his 1978-79 season at Boston College. A part of him probably wishes he had the shot at Olympic gold, but it obviously worked out for him, as he went on to become the first American to score 500 goals in the NHL.
“I was more content with what I was doing [going pro],” Mullen told the Post-Gazette in a 2002, two years before “Miracle” debuted. “I think I made the right decision for myself.”
It seems that way: Mullen was inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2000.
Follow Post-Gazette sports reporter Nick Veronica on Twitter @NickVeronica.