As told to: Rick ShanleyI was with Lindy Ruff, Rich Kromm and John Vanbiesbrouck for training camp. We played nine holes of golf at Doral, the Blue Monster, then stopped to get a bite to eat. Because training camp ended by 2 p.m, there was plenty of time to play golf. The course was a maze of paths: yellow, gold, and silver. We’d stop for a burger and, on the back nine, get turned around and end up on the wrong nine.
“This is the greatest hockey player! This is my wife, we’re from Saginaw, and we used to watch
him play and he is the greatest hockey player!”
We’d see a guy and a female assistant dressed in a chef’s hat and cooking on an outdoor grill for an outing on another course. So we’d pull up and say,“Excuse me, can you tell us how to get to the back nine of the Blue Monster?”
The guy looks up and asks me: “Aren’t you Dennis Desrosiers?” I was startled. I said, “Yes.” This guy starts telling everyone, “This is the greatest hockey player! This is my wife, we’re from Saginaw, and we used to watch him play and he is the greatest hockey player!” I can’t think of a time when I was more embarrassed: having a chef say in front of a bunch of NHLers that I was the best player he’d ever seen when I never even played in an NHL game. If only I’d been with a bunch of real estate agents. Fuck.
RICK SHANLEY is a former hockey writer for the Kalamazoo (Mich.) Gazette who covered the NHL, NCAA and an alphabet soup of minor leagues for more than a decade. He now lives in Charlotte, N.C., where he's one of the better rec league players simply by geographic default.
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