As told to: Joe PackI ’m just admiring my suit in this picture, it must be one of my dad’s. That’s embarrassing.
I actually like the black, it must be the Blues’ third jersey. In Anaheim we had an awful green one with a duck on the front but I actually like this one. I have more of a problem with that suit than I do with the jersey.
Chris has always had his suits custom made (when you make millions…). I think I got mine from the big and tall store, maybe there was a sale on or I forgot. That is awesome. I think it’s a double-breasted suit that’s open. Oh my god. I must have been in the mob then.
With that haircut, I do remember getting my balls busted by everybody. For some reason the Caesar cut was in. My girlfriend at the time, now my wife, thought it would be a good idea for me to get one. I just didn’t have the forehead nor the hair for it.
I showed up at the rink and Warren Rychel asked me, ‘Hey Prongs, who cut your hair?’ I said I got it cut by this woman. He said, ‘Don’t worry, we’ll get her.’
I think this was in my first full season. If I had to guess it might be 1997. We had just finished playing each other and I think we might have won this game. And I think I scored a pretty sweet goal. It was maybe the best goal I scored, everything else was a rebound.
If Sean is correct on the date, the two did play each other on Jan. 27, 1997 and Sean did in fact score a goal on Grant Fuhr in a 4-1 Ducks win over the Blues. According to the Ducks’ website, it was the first time the two had played each other in the NHL.
There was one instance where I put myself in harm’s way and he stepped up. He could have cranked me but he just kind of cross-checked me in the arms, just to let me know what could’ve happened.
The game seems so slow when he has the puck because he makes all the right plays all the time. A guy like me gets the puck and it feels like there’s a hundred guys going a hundred miles per hour.
He knew where everybody was on the ice and where they should be. He was able to see the game so well from everybody’s perspective. He played against the fastest players in the world and he’s 6’6” and has to figure out ways to play against those people. He adjusted, he adjusted after the 2004-05 lockout and still excelled.
I can vividly remember our games in the basement. The TV would be on Hockey Night in Canada. My favourite player was Gretzky and his was Mike Bossy. I would come down, make a move, go around him and score. He’d get mad, I’d come down again, make a move around him and score. Most people, when they get beat, they back up. He moved up so I had nowhere to go and I said, ‘I’ll fix this kid,’ So I dumped the ball behind him and when he went to go get it, I ran him into the wall. He would get pissed and tomahawk me across the leg and then I would beat the shit out of him. That would happen three times a day probably.
I’m sure he learned his patented slash and cross check by hitting me in that basement. He kept that child-like anger, intensity and stubborn will all the way through. As you get older, you tend to lose that willingness to dig in.
He never learned that. He never gave an inch.
JOE PACK is a freelance writer based in Toronto and a rec-league rent-a-goalie.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *