ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – TV analyst Darren Pang described Jaden Schwartz humor as “dumb-funny” in a recently published ESPN profile on the St. Louis Blues forward.
The story talks about how important Schwartz’s 24 points (tied for third in the NHL) have been for St. Louis this year, taking into account the injuries to forwards Robby Fabbri, Patrik Berglund and Zach Sanford. And it explains his impeccable comedic timing.
Written by ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski, Alex Steen was on the bench next to Schwartz during a game against the New York Rangers, at Madison Square Garden. A banner hangs from the rafters honoring singer Billy Joel, commemorating his record for most performances by an artist at MSG.
So, Schwartz turns to Steen, points at the banner and says “Hey, did that guy play for the Rangers or something?”
Steen didn’t just laugh — he guffawed. It was one of those jokes that landed so well it became legendary, a character detail affixed to Schwartz in perpetuity:
How funny is Jaden Schwartz? Well, did you hear about the Billy Joel banner thing?
Schwartz, 25, has vacillated on the intentions of that joke, at one point having claimed to not know Billy Joel from Joel Ward to now saying that the aim of his punch line was true. “No, I was just bugging Steener. Wanted to get a giggle out of him. Gotta keep the guys loose,” he said.
Wyshynski also describes how much Schwartz cherishes each day he get to take the ice, because he thinks of his sister, Mandi.
Mandi fought acute myeloid leukemia for about three years, once being told she was in remission, only to have the disease return a year later. She died in 2011 at 23-years-old.
Schwartz now wears Mandi’s No. 17 from when she played for the Yale women’s hockey team.