I have wonderful memories of all of the Cup wins in my lifetime, but there was something about '02...whether it was watching Nick score from center ice and telling my hubby, "This changes everything. We're gonna take it all."...or sitting up til 1AM watching the three overtime game...being in Sault Ste Marie for the 7-0 laugher and loving every minute of it...telling a Carolina fan, "Wings in five - you watch." - and being dead on correct.
Or maybe it was watching a shy, soft spoken young man begin to show just what magic he had up his sleeve...hearing people say, "Who is this guy?", and then hearing them say, "Who is this guy?" He had people turning heads from the very start...what a joy it's been to watch him.
'97 brought tears to my eyes, because it was the first time in my whole life that we had the Cup...'98 was tearful for different reasons...'02 was pride...'08 was even more so. I sure would love to see it happen again.
My hubby Terry and I were at camp from Saturday to Thursday. Saturday morning, we were sitting by the ice, in the Handicapped section, saying hi to the guys that walked through, the coaches and the staff as well. That's our natural routine. As we were siting there, Pasha came up, and we said good morning. He came over, put his hand on Terry's shoulder and said, "How are you doing?" Then he turned and gave me a hug! I almost had a heart attack!
I also got a chance to talk to Drew Miller for a couple minutes Saturday morning, and I asked him to put a red carnation on Brad's casket for me. Both the Free Press and Dave Guralnick of the News shot a pic of me talking to Drew and put it in their online galleries. I didn't see it til later in the day. The lady from the Free Press asked me who I was, asked about Loki (our service dog), and then asked me how old I was. I said, "Let's put it this way - I slide under the door for the senior menu at IHOP." She laughed and said, "I never heard it put that way, but that's damned good."
I got a chance to talk to Aaron Downey Sunday, and he was incredibly nice and sweet. I also have to give kudos to Patrick Eaves, Pasha and Ty Conklin for going out in the rain to sign autographs. I would have given my raincoat to Pasha to wear, but they brought out an umbrella for him. Bless your hearts, guys...you really were troopers.
I got to see Mark Howe, and gave him a hug, told him congrats for making the Hall of Fame - it was about damned time. He's looking more and more like his dad every day. Saw Darren McCarty at the Red and White game and got a hug from him too.
Wednesday morning, Henrik came out and signed a picture for my friends Jeanie (aka Winged Horse) and Dale of their Yellow Lab puppy Hank (no guesses who he's named for). Thank you, Aaron, for setting that up for me.
The last two days, there was hardly no one at the rink watching the guys. We had the section to ourselves, and the guys were nice to us when they walked by - we'd say hi, and sometimes they would stop to talk. Jim Nill stopped and talked to us for a good 5-10 minutes on Thursday morning, Mike Babcock thanked us for showing up every year and supporting the team. Ozzie was a blast to talk to ("Are you used to being called Coach yet?" "NO!" Will you ever get used to it? "I doubt it."), and Kris Draper was incredibly kind and generous with his time.
All in all, it was great. I got to meet Miss Wing Queen (Marianne) and OzzieFan30 (Michelle and her hubby Bryan). I hope we go back again next year for #8.
I liked his hustle at camp...he worked hard. The last day (Thursday) after they were done scrimmaging, he was out on the ice with Brendan Smith and Pasha, and the three of them were down at the other end of the ice doing keep away drills. Pasha was teaching them, and Fabian was watching every move he made and soaking up every bit of advice he was given. And he's a very quiet, nice kid. I like his chances for being in GR - I think he's earned a place.
Well, Aaron came through. Henrik came and signed Jeanie's pic of Hank for her. He thinks Hank is "cute" and he was very flattered that she did that. Then I told him about her calling him a hockey dog (and his barking approval), and he liked that - he laughed. When I told him about my Loki growling at he who will not be named, Henrik said, "Oh, I like that." Needless to say, I owe Aaron a huge hug the next time I see him.
More pictures have been loaded up on Facebook...Kristi, there was another Cheli sighting today, and some good pics!
I am going to hate tomorrow morning...seeing Pasha one last time (and yes, I did see him this morning) will put me in tears, I fear. It's never easy on the last day.
Interesting visitor to camp today - Darren McCarty! I even got a hug from him. And yes, it is true he is working for the pawn shop...and he likes it apparently. He seems happy, and was giving Malts a hard time, and Ozzie bear hugs. I also heard a story that Mike Babcock said, "Well, Mac, Hell has indeed frozen over - Ozzie is a coach."
Aaron Downey has been an absolute angel...every time I see him he has a big smile and a hug for me. God love that man, 'cause I sure do...and he asked if I talked to "the sisters". I said yes, and passed on his message...and then I told him what you all said. He was very flattered and touched, and said we were all amazing.
I am hating to see the end of camp come. Makes me cry every year. Pasha will not be around tomorrow, but he will be Thursday. That's when I will be in tears, I'm sure.
I was looking all over the place for Pasha and then I saw him with #24, and I knew what he was doing. What a beautiful tribute to his friend. I even got a hug from him this morning! Man, Pav, you made my week!!!
IDK if it was just me, but at Hockeyfest today Kindl still looked pretty upset. He looked very rough and weary, wasn't very talkative, and had to have smiles coaxed out of him. I felt so bad for him. (((
I know with certainty that this hit him very hard, and it is going to take a while to heal. I have a feeling he and Pasha both are going to be hard pressed to keep their minds on the game, and will be rather subdued next weekend. For those of us who will be there, a kind word passed on can't hurt.
I agree with the parties above...this is not the time and place for a religious argument or anything remotely resembling one. This is a time for all of us to reminisce and to share our grief and condolences. By talking and sharing, we somehow lessen the burden we feel. But no religious arguments are needed here. Let us share our feelings and our grief in whatever manner we hope might lend some comfort.
I will always remember that sweet smile of Brad McCrimmon's. They will be missed terribly, and I know that fans in Colorado, St. Louis, Vancouver, New York, Dallas, Anaheim and all the other places that these people played and entertained the fans feel the same. We all lost some loved ones today.
The article is not that long, but it's Pasha...a very sad and subdued Pasha. My dear angel, know this - we love you, and we know the pain you're feeling.