Well Peeps, this weekend I will be very melancholic. Yesterday morning, my boyhood idol died.
Guy Lafleur in his prime was everything you loved about hockey. Speed, Accuracy. A BOOMING shot. Playmaking from the wing. Greek Godlike good looks and legendary hair. Goals, lots of record setting goals. (Canadian) Humility. A great teammate. And, Excitement! EXCITEMENT, like, get you and everyone in the arena, out of their seat exciting almost every time he simply touched the puck.
Growing up, I always played D, but if and when, I came screaming down that right side...I was him. Flowing blonde hair, winding up for the shot, and all the while making a gazelle look junior varsity level graceful.
Honestly, growing up being a Habs fan was only equal to being a Steelers fan. The ‘76-77 Habs team is still to this day the greatest hockey team to even be assembled. Want proof? Simply type “76-77” into your favorite search engine and watch what populates... 8 regular season losses. A team + / - of over 200. 132 points. 9 HOF players. And Guy was their best player.
It seems like yesterday at times. Out on the street, playing road hockey with wooden shafts and mostly plastic blades that we bought down the street at the hardware store. Most of our earlier games were played without two proper nets. We used buckets, or bricks, or rocks whatever we could find to use as posts. I was a hero when I got one for my bday. We would come home from school, do our homework and we would play only to allow for dinner interruptions. We played in the rain, snow, and even in 90+ degree heat.
We all wanted to be our respective heroes and imagined growing up to become one. Guy made the personal dream of hoisting Lord Stanley’s Cup seem that much more possible, because he did it, repeatedly. In his own way, he provided what every child needs, something to dream for. He gave me a path, some form of substance and structure to my hopes and prayers.
Looking back at those days, I came to realize that sometimes we were seemingly just playing to kill time. But upon further reflection, I understand that we were playing not only for the love of the game but that we were playing for the love of our friendship.
Obviously, I did not go one to play ice hockey professionally. However, I did grow up loving sports. Sports taught me many valuable life lessons. Guy was a big spark in that love affair that clearly lasts to this day.
For that I am incredibly thankful.
- As we sit here now, the usual amount of speculation surrounding the draft is at it’s peak. Do we go QB? Take BPA? Trade up or trade down? Either way, it doesn’t stop all the ‘Experts’ from telling you what we should do with our pick. Experts here are defined as anyone in the national media, a confidential insider (yes, someone such as your sister’s mechanic’s second cousin counts in this case) but is not a local blogger. Who is your ‘trusted’ expert and why?
- Do you play any version of the mock simulator game? This covers off all types of different scenarios including but not limited to: all major sports, draft lottery positions, and those where you get to make the pick against the dreaded algorithm!
- With all the crazy trades and signings that have taken place this offseason, if we don’t get Dionte to sign an extension before the draft, does it happen? If so, when and to what terms do you think the parties will agree on?
- The MLB season has officially started. Do you even care? If so, who is your team and did you attend opening day? Please give us some details / expand your answer!
- Did you have a sports ‘hero’ growing up? Share something that made him or her special to you.