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Mustachioed Brent Sopel doesn't bristle at bashing Blackhawks

Anya Belomoina 13, of Libertyville, poses with former Blackhawk Brent Sopel after getting his autograph.
Anya Belomoina 13, of Libertyville, poses with former Blackhawk Brent Sopel after getting his autograph. (Judy Fidkowski / Lake County News-Sun)

Brent Sopel doesn't have a playoff beard these days. However, the former Blackhawk is sporting an eye-catching, bushy mustache in his current role as a hockey analyst for WMAQ-Ch. 5.

"Everyone seems to be loving it," Sopel said.

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Sopel knows it is all about standing out in the media world, as he makes the transition to a new career following his retirement from the game in February. Ultimately, though, the 18-year veteran will be judged on the quality of his commentary.

That means Sopel can't go soft in his analysis of the Blackhawks, many of whom are former teammates from when he played on the 2010 Stanley Cup-winning team.

"I'm fairly honest about what I see,' Sopel said. "That's what draws people to watching you. They know I've been in that room. If someone makes a blunder, I'll point it out. I'll say the team has to play better. You've got to find that fine line. You've got to be real and honest with everyone."

Sopel sees himself as "a teacher" in his new role.

"I'm teaching the fans from the way I see the game," Sopel said. "I've always been a teacher. I enjoy that part of it."

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