RAY FERRARO, NHL ON TSN
I am incredibly lucky in life - fabulous wife, four awesome sons and a great job.
Every once in awhile, it seems like life lets dreams become real - and that is a gift.
I had one of those moments in Detroit on Tuesday. My son, Landon, played his first NHL game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, his favourite boyhood team.
When he phoned me to say he had been called up, I had so many visions of him as a little boy, pretending to be Mats Sundin, the joy we shared in going to the rink and the disappointments along the way.
As all parents know, nothing deflates you like a tough day for your child, nothing makes you happier than their success.
I happened to be flying to Toronto anyways - for a TSN game the next day - so when I got off the plane, I looked for a text from Landon whether he was in the lineup or not. He knew he would be in warm-up and that was enough for me to hop on another flight. And when I got there for warm-up, I saw he was on a line and knew his dream (and mine) was about to become reality.
My last game in the NHL - in May of 2002 - was in Detroit. Now Landon's first game was going to be in the same arena. I can see the post where Landon and his brother, Matt were waiting for me post-game; we all knew my career was done. Full circle stuff.
When the Wings came out of the tunnel, I was looking for that familiar skating stride and there he was. An NHL player. I have to say, the tears came pretty quickly. He played well, just under 10 minutes. I will never forget this night.
What an incredible night for our family, and in particular, for Landon. I'm so proud.
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