As told to: Stephen SmithDominik Hasek was the goalie in the ’98 Olympics when the Czechs won. He got a shutout in the final and gave up nothing in the semi-final. It had been almost a week and 200-and-some minutes since he’d given up a goal. He’d flown from the Olympics to Buffalo and to Toronto. I think (our game) was a 2-2 tie, and I had the first goal. It was the first goal I’d scored on Dominik Hasek. I remember Mats Sundin passed it from behind the net while I was getting cross-checked and I just kind of bunted it and it went in. It went up in the net — I don’t know how I got it up — as I was falling. And that was the first goal he’d given up in three-and-a-half games or something.
He said: I remember you got two against L.A. — he remembered everything. It was incredible.
A few years later, I got traded from Phoenix to Vancouver in 2000. Brian Burke sent me to the minors — he said, I want you to go down and play in Winnipeg. So I’m in Winnipeg, we play in Chicago, then we go into Hamilton – we’re going to play Hamilton – and I’m walking from the hotel to Copps Coliseum. Underground, there’s a little mall. I stop to get a haircut. I sit down in the chair, there’s this young Italian guy, he says, “You’re Todd Warriner.” I say, “Yeah, thanks,” because that doesn’t happen everywhere. And he’s like, “I remember you got the first goal in the Air Canada Centre.” And then he starts to go, he’s got a photographic memory. He’s talking about that first game: “I remember Stumpy (Steve Thomas) had a chance, just before you won in overtime.” I was like, “Who’s this guy?” Some hockey savant. He reminded me of 20 goals I’d forgotten about. It was exactly the thing I needed the morning of a game, to rehash all these great moments. He kept going through them: “I remember you got two against L.A. …” He remembered everything. It was incredible.
STEPHEN SMITH is the tall author of the popular hockey blog PUCKSTRUCK, which also happens to be the name of his first book (Greystone), longlisted for the 2015 Charles Taylor Prize in non-fiction.
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