As told to: Dave BidiniBryan Trottier, Brent Sutter, Denis Potvin, Kenny Morrow, and Greg Gilbert treated everybody with the same respect. A lot of people talked about what a jerk Billy Smith was, but not to me. We had a cooler of beer in the TV room and I learned never to get one until Smitty had his turn.
“You’re a fucking kid from fucking Saskatoon and you just got called up to the fucking NHL and there’s a fresh fucking sheet of ice out there and you’re sitting here watching Sports Centre?”
He wore this long leather coat and he would stuff his pockets full of cans, and if you reached in before he was done, he let you know. All of the single guys used to go to Sutter’s on Christmas Eve; he and the others were so inclusive. They were very grounded people; very real. We flew commercial and parked in the same parking lot as the fans. You’d be on a flight with your face bruised and swollen sitting next to someone’s grandmother. It kept you humble and you learned about humility. It helped, I think, that I came from the West, and Terry Simpson always reminded me of this. My second year, I was pouting because I wasn’t playing much, and Terry came into the TV room saying, “Where’s that big shot Vukota?” He told me, “You’re a fucking kid from fucking Saskatoon and you just got called up to the fucking NHL and there’s a fresh fucking sheet of ice out there and you’re sitting here watching Sports Centre?” It was important for me to hear that; to never take anything for granted.
DAVE BIDINI is the co-creator of ‘Slapshot Diaries’ as well as a writer/musician/columnist from Toronto and the author of 12 books.
I dropped my wallet from the 500 level
Games people play
Azerbaijani refugees and my lost Summit Series postcards
The Cat was a metal head
Want to be a goal scorer?
THE FIRST GAME PT 3
THE FIRST GAME PT 2
THE MUSIC AND THE GAME
THE FIRST GAME
THE RAGE IN JOHN BROPHY
RAININ’ HARD IN ‘FRISCO
TAMBURICA AND THE GROUP OF SEVEN
POETRY WITH BOBBY HULL
BURNING DOWN THE HOUSE
THEY DON’T FIGHT LIKE THEY USED TO
ME AND GEDDY
GUNS, MONEY AND MOSCOW
LET’S FACE IT, AS A TEAM GUY HE WAS A PIECE OF S*&T
THE FIGHTER’S BOND
MY PHOTO ALBUM NO. 2
LOSING TIM HORTON
THE EAGLE AND THE END
HOW TIGER SAVED BRYAN, AND OTHER STORIES
THE SOUNDTRACK OF HOCKEY
THE MOURNFUL SAGA OF BRYAN FOGARTY
HARTFORD AND HOWARD
MY PHOTO ALBUM NO. 1
THE BEER COAT
I LIVED FOR MUSIC
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
2 thoughts on “THE BEER COAT”
Just came upon this site and think it’s great. I’m a southern California kid who didn’t discovery hockey until I was an adult–and was mesmerized at my first game. I try to learn hockey history as I can and these articles, with insights from the guys who played, are helpful and interesting. Just one request: could an editor read the articles with the perspective of the reader that might not be as knowledgeable as the author or player? For example, in this article, who is “Terry?” And was the point of Terry’s tirade to Vukota that Vukota should have been practicing or skating?
Thanks again for this project.
Terry refers to Terry Simpson who was the coach of the Islanders at the time Mick V got called up to the NHL.