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Calgary, AB • Canada • 55 Years Old • Male

The other day my son and I went out with hockey sticks and a ball to play a game of hockey. We got into a penalty shot game like Shoot out in the NHL. Of course, he went on to skunk me; his shot is harder than mine. So why am I writing about my son kicking my butt in hockey?

It is really because it got me being nostalgic, remembering a show called “Show Down” during the intermission. Now, for you young folk that don’t know what I am talking about, it was like a shoot-out mini game that occurred during the intermission. I used to love watching the intermission, instead of dreading it. It would involve a high scoring forward i.e. Reggie Leach against a Premier goaltender i.e. Ken Dryden. I think it was the best of 5 with the winner getting 3, whether it was three saves or three goals. I might be wrong on those details; so maybe someone can refresh my memory on that part.

Another hockey program they used to show was on Saturday afternoons. It was like “Legends of the Game”, where the original 6 teams would play regular tournament, playoffs, and a championship. The games would be three periods of 10 minutes non-stop time. I really enjoyed watching the legends and how they played. The only bad thing was that the game was only an hour long.

I loved hearing the legends talk about their experiences and the practical jokes they played on each other. I really admire the legends for how they played and the injuries they played through. The goalies playing without a mask all those times, suffering injuries and getting stitches and then coming right back to finish the game. Old time hockey in its purest form had some real characters.

I remember sitting down with my dad when he was alive and him letting me know some of the legends he used to watch; players like Johnny Bower, Terry Sawchuck, Eddie Shack, and of course the big M. (He was a huge Leafs fan, which is why I am such a huge Leafs fan.) My dad had two favorite teams: the Leafs and anyone who played against the Habs. I remember watching Hockey Night in Canada listening to Foster Hewit with my dad at night; that just made me happy that I had a dad. Memories of the nights that my dad would console me in time of losses and the nights of celebration in times of winning. I can never think of a happier time spent then watching hockey with my dad.
I remember playing road hockey with my friends and pretending that I was Dave Keon. I grew up in the days of Sittler, Macdonald, Earl Thomson, Ian Turnbal, and Mike Palmateer. I use to hate the names like Guy Lafleur, Robison, Ken Dryden ,Guy Lapoint, Jacques Lemaire, and Steve Shut. Now I respect and honor their names. I watched the game where Sittler scored his 10 point night; six goals and four assists, and I remember Ian Turnball scoring 5 goals in a night as a defensemen. I watched Bobby Orr's knees give out, forcing him to retire at an early age. I watched Phil’s 76 goal season with the Bruins. I remember Nystrom's overtime goal in the finals against Philly, and Lanny's overtime goal against the Islanders.

I have many more memories of great players and great goals. Of course, Bobby Orr‘s overtime goal against the Blues, which gave the Bruins the cup. I remember the years of watching Brad Park, who would have been the best dman in the NHL in any other era, if it wasn’t for Bobby Orr. I remember thinking of how good JD was the year that he carried the Rangers to face the Habs in the finals. In fact, I remember John Davidson playing junior hockey here in Calgary, The years of the Broad Street Bullies: the Flyers, in the days of Regie Leach, Rick Macleash, and of course Bad Boy Davie Shultz, and the toughest dmen in the game: guys like Moose Dupont and Ed Van Emp.

The NHL somehow has to bring back the memories. Kids have to know these players and how they paved the way for the players of today. We should honor the players of yesteryear more often, so kids can remember what hockey was like in our day. We should be proud of the players in our days, and tell our children of our hockey heritage, so they can really understand why we love this game; to steal a slogan from the NBA.

Which brings me back to my shootout game with my son. I hope my days with him bring back good memories and motivate him to play hockey with his son. May it help him to remember his hockey heroes with fondness? May I give him the bonding time watching hockey as my dad has given me? But most of all, may he enjoy his time with me as I did with my dad. Nostalgia is a magical thing.

Filed Under:   habs Leafs nhl  
September 4, 2007 9:14 AM ET | Delete
Hey Flame, great blog reminds me of the good old days which I am too young to remember, but I remember watching
September 4, 2007 9:37 AM ET | Delete
Thanks for posting this Flamestr, still a fantastic blog.
September 4, 2007 10:09 AM ET | Delete
creating those memories with the kids is hugely important, I still remember my Mother taking me to a sunday pre-season game in the coral when I was a kid and watching the Flames just destroy the Nordiques, or playing table hockey with my dad... great blog!!
September 4, 2007 1:10 PM ET | Delete
A truly great blog Flamestr. I'm glad you decided to post it and share it with the world. I know everyone appreciates it. Keep up the great work my friend!
September 4, 2007 1:36 PM ET | Delete
Flames - I am glad you decided to post this. It is still as touching to read as it was when you first thought about submitting it. Great blog!SYF
September 4, 2007 6:26 PM ET | Delete
Nicely done, memories are even better then a picture. I wouldn't love hockey if it was not for my dad either. I heard on XM recently that the first 1/2 of Sittlers 10 goal game was erased by mistake, so only memories are left of that.
September 4, 2007 7:15 PM ET | Delete
Poignant and exceptional story on how hockey is a piece of growing up, and also to remind us of those no longer there. Its where sports transcends just being a sport and is something absolute, pure and magical simply because of the connections and spirit and even soul we subscribe to it. Kudos. Wonderful blog.
September 4, 2007 10:34 PM ET | Delete
I'm glad you chose to share this with everyone Flamestr. Really, really amazing work..
September 4, 2007 10:42 PM ET | Delete
Flames..Im really happy you ended up sharing this with everyone..many of us can relate. Excellent work!!
September 5, 2007 1:09 AM ET | Delete
Flames, this is easily your best blog yet. Very touching and really gets me thinking. I, like everyone, have a lot of great sports memories. With my mom or dad or uncle or grandma or brothers or daughters and on and on. It's the part of sports that is often overlooked by players, coaches and parents.This is one reason why I love coaching youth sports. I know that I can make a difference in these kids regardless of how far they go in any sport.
September 5, 2007 1:33 AM ET | Delete
WOW!! I need to pull out my Vintage VHS tapes for my son... Great Blog...Your my hero!
September 5, 2007 12:55 PM ET | Delete
Flamestr -- great blog. Really glad to see you posted it for all to see. You should be proud of this good work. AND be proud of your good work as Dougstr's Dad!!!
September 5, 2007 3:07 PM ET | Delete
Nicely done Flames. Can't wait to lace'em up with my boy(s) ;)
September 6, 2007 2:03 AM ET | Delete
A glorious and heartfelt blog, Flames. Bravo.
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