Sunday, October 21, 2007

Sunday morning homily IV

Our latest adventure, if you want to call it that, took its first step last night. Between the pleadings of our 6-year-old and the generosity of his heart-of-gold "uncle," we officially, so to speak, became a hockey family.

You must know, though, that we've been fans a long time, going back to the early dates at the Snively Arena in Durham, N.H., in a courtship between my wife, Lisa, and I that has spanned 15-plus years. Since then, we've been to hundreds of games, collected thousands of hockey cards and built a fairly respectable (if I do say so myself) assortment of autographed hockey items.

What event has intensified our commitment to hockey? Last night, Colin got his first "official" pair of hockey skates. Thanks to good timing and overtime, our son, the Goofy Dude, is now the proud owner of a pair of Bauer Vapor XXII skates.

After adding another 54 autographs to the collection, thanks to the mostly friendly Atlanta Thrashers, we drove over to the Tampa Bay Lightning's practice facility and visited the pro shop. Colin got fitted for his skates, and upon learning that they wouldn't break the bank, the deal was sealed.

Our next step will be Hockey 101 skating lessons and hockey school. Rather than rush him out to the ice, all sloppy-ankled and weak-kneed, we're going to do this right. Those classes start in November.

I must admit, too, that I've been waiting for this moment a long, long time. Like most fathers, I have great plans for my son. And while I wouldn't mind him earning a full ride to a Division I school, based on academics and hockey abilities, or, even better, hearing his name called very early in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, my hopes go far beyond that.

By having him learn to skate and play the game that his daddy so dearly loves (and, in moments of weakness, wonders whether learning to skate at an age much earlier than 15 might have changed our fortunes), it's my dream, more than anything else, that Colin's playing of hockey will only strengthen the bond he has with us.

Godspeed, kiddo

Though we haven't seen eye-to-eye very much lately, please join me in sending best wishes to Wicked Bruins Fan Jaci as she prepares for surgery on one of her hands. To some, it might be considered minor surgery, but it's surgery nonetheless. Add her to your prayers, please.

5 Big Sigs

With the Philadelphia Flyers and Buffalo Sabres coming to town over the next week, I'm having a hard time limiting my picks to five. But, after careful consideration, I'm hoping that I'll add these to the collection:

1.) Philly's Daniel Briere on Flyers and 2007 All Star Game pucks;
2.) Philly's Simon Gagne on Quebec Remparts and 2004 World Cup of Hockey - Canada pucks;
3.) Philly's Martin Biron and Antero Niittymaki on a Flyers mini goalie mask;
4.) Buffalo's Ryan Miller on a Sabres mini goalie mask; and
5.) Buffalo's Thomas Vanek on the Young Guns stick.

I'd would have added Buffalo's head equipment manager Rip Simonick, who's become my Holy Grail of hockey hounding, to the list. Unfortunately, there's a little thing called work that will limit my hounding efforts Saturday to only a game-time session.

I suppose I'll have to wait until Jan. 29, 2008, to continue my pursuit of his signing a Buffalo Sabres and Bisons pucks.


Drew said...

Getting far in hockey might be tough in Florida, though it's starting to happen, slowly but surely. We have two Florida natives playing here in Wichita Falls this year.

Besides, someone's got to be the first to take it far!

Puckhound said...

You're absolutely correct, Drew. Someone has to be the first. It might not be Colin, but it won't be because of a lack of effort on my part.