Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Welcome Back to New Brunswick, Lord Stanley

This is a pleasant coincidence.
Just a few days ago I was mentioning my hero (and the best player to ever to put on a pair of skates) Bobby Orr and the moment he clinched the Stanley Cup victory for the Bruins in 1970.

A few weeks ago we received a message that the Cup was coming back to visit Fredericton.
This is really amazing for me. Here's why.

I lived for almost 40 years in Ontario and never even saw the Stanley Cup in person. Not once.
And it's usually kept at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto!

Within just a few months of moving to New Brunswick about seven years ago the Cup visited the boys' school in New Maryland. I zipped away from work to see it and had my picture taken while touching it!
I have the photos somewhere which also include the little guys standing beside it.

Then again only a couple of years ago hockey great Willie O'Ree visited his hometown of Fredericton and brought the cup along with him.
Thanks to Mr. O'Ree and my friend David Sansom the Cup spent a few hours in New Maryland at the school again.
I wasn't there but this picture was taken of the boys with the Cup (and the RCMP watching over to make sure they behaved) :)

Okay, back to this.
So the Stanley Cup will be in Fredericton on April 23rd, 2010 and they put a call out for kids between 8 and 13 to write a one page essay about hockey and the Stanley Cup and why they would like to play for it in the upcoming charity game.

Here are the essays that the boys submitted.

This is B's

Mon. April 12th 2010
Why I like hockey so much,
Ever since I quit karate, hockey’s been my game, and playing for the Stanley cup!! Wow!!! I’d be thrilled to play for the Stanley cup. In my opinion, hockey is the greatest sport ever. The reason why I like hockey so much is becauseyou get to go on the ice and score goals. Scoring goals and winning is how I like it. But I keep my head up if we loseonce in a while. Another reason is because I get to be with my friends and have fun and if we go away for example Moncton, we get to go swimming in the pool.
A third reason why I like hockey is that you get to get up early on weekends. That’s my favourite part really is getting up early and playing hockey. One day, I’d like to go in the N.H.L and play for the Stanley Cup. But playing for the Stanley cup at the age of 11 is quite thrilling too! My favourite part about hockey is shooting. My favourite shot is the slap shot which is the most accelerating shot in hockey.
The last thing that I really like about the game, is that there are fans cheering for you in the stands.
To play for the Stanley Cup will be awesome. That’s if I get the opportunity.

And here is T's

The Stanley Cup
I would love the chance to play for the Stanley Cup because my idol Bobby Orr played for and won it several times and held it.
Many of hockey’s greatest players for more than 100 yearshave held the Stanley Cup after winning it.
From a beginning of the National Hockey League season tothe very end every player is focused on one thing. They are focused on winning and holding the Stanley Cup.
Very few people will get to see the cup in person but we will be seeing it right here in Fredericton!
Most of us will not become professional hockey players and playing for the Stanley Cup is a dream come true! I would love to be able to play for the cup with my classmates and friends.
I have played hockey for a few years now and enjoy any opportunity to play the game. Our entire family has become huge hockey fans and I know that my parents will be cheering very loudly for me if I get a chance to play in this game.
I would be honoured to play for the Stanley Cup!

I'm very pleased to report that we received this attached letter in an email last Friday afternoon.
Actually, I didn't get it personally but it was forwarded by a friend whose son will also be involved.

I've taken out the names of the kids from this. Just because.

CONGRATULATIONS are extended to the following players who have been chosen to play in the upcoming hockey game scheduled for April 23, 2010 at the Willie O’Ree Centre:

Players will be assigned to a team by our panel of coaches. Every effort will be made to place children in their chosen positions. Players will be contacted early next week with additional information including game rules and game time. Although players must bring their own equipment, jerseys will be provided at game time.
In addition, both teams will be our special guests at a VIP function where additional prizes, keepsakes and photos with the Stanley Cup* can be taken. And of course, Darryl Sittler (who holds the NHL record for most points (10) in a game) will be in attendance to sign autographs. This is sure to be a fantastic evening. Each of you have displayed, through your written efforts the character and determination it takes to be a champion! Congratulations!

Yours truly,
Shane Sutherland (S/S Tire & Service)
Aaron Savage (Cox & Palmer)

*NHL, the NHL Shield and the image of the Stanley Cup are registered trademarks and the word mark Stanley Cup is a trademark of the National Hockey League. © NHL 2010. All Rights Reserved.

We just received this today providing us with details of the event.

 Please see additional information and game rules with respect to Friday’s game. Because this is a charity game and because of the differences in player ages we have drafted rules with respect to the game (see attached). These rules will we strictly enforced by the referees and the coaches alike.
 Players must arrive at the O’Ree rink at 5:00pm sharp.
 Skills Competition begins at 5:30pm.
 Puck drops at 6:45pm
 Please feel free to invite family members to the game. There will be no admission fees and the game will be open to the public.
 Bring your cameras and video cameras if you like.
 After the game, players and their families will be escorted to the VIP room to have team photo’s with the Stanley Cup.
 Jersey’s will be provided at no cost – Please note that socks will not be provided. Jersey’s will be leafs jerseys so if you would like to pick up leafs style/blue socks for your child that would be great. Please note that the Away team jersey is white and the home team jersey is Blue.

Finally, I want to thank the following people for their help throughout this process – this event could not happen without a team of individuals:
 the coaches – Brad Woodside (Mayor of Fredericton), Tony Oreto (Brendon Oreto Foundation), Matthew Savage (Savage’s Bicycle Centre), Dan Stevenson (Cox & Palmer), Shawn Quinlin (SkillSoft) and Mark MacFadzen (FYHA) for participating in this game.
 The FYHA for their commitment and assistance throughout;
 City of Fredericton for donating ice time and offering additional help;
 Last but certainly not least I want to thank Shane Sutherland (owner of S/S Tire (Bridgestone/Firestone) located on Brunswick Street) without whom this event would not be happening.

Hehe, my good pals Brad Woodside and Tony Oreto will be coaching. This will be a blast.
Tony Oreto and I have known each other for several years. He was involved in the Friends of the Railway when I first joined in. He's a very nice man with a heart of gold.
I was saddened when I first learned that he had lost his son Brendan Oreto for whom the FYHA "Needy Kids Program", now known as the "Brendan Oreto Foundation" is named for.
This is such an appropriate and worthy charity to have this event for.

I don't think I need to tell you what great friends Fredericton Mayor Brad Woodside and I have become.
I can't recall too many people that I think of more highly than I do of Big Brad.

And Darryl Sittler is going to be here too! Darryl was a Toronto hero in the hockey days when hockey heroes really had to hustle to earn their keep.
This is going to be more awesome and fantastic than words can describe. You bet your buns I'll be taking a gazillion photos and videos and will be slapping them everywhere on here, Facebook, Twitter and anywhere else that will accept them.

I'll finish this blog with a note to mull over.

My family has been in New Brunswick for about 7 years now.
In this time I have become an elected representative.
Among my closest friends is the Mayor of Fredericton which is the provincial capital city.
Among people that I am on a first name basis with is the Premier of the Province of New Brunswick.
I have been photographed with the Premiere AND the Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
I have had my photo taken with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and hockey legend Willie O'Ree.
Since being in New Brunswick my sons have touched the holy grail of professional hockey, the Stanley Cup twice now. It will be three times on this Friday.
My sons have just turned 12 years old and will be playing in a game for the Stanley Cup in 2 days.

Not bad, is it? :)

Stay well,


Train Geek said...

And people say that nothing ever happens in Fredericton!

It happens in New Maryland instead.

Rhonda Maccarone said...

Did I ever tell you that my nephew's hockey coach is Bobby Orr? Next time I see him I'll ask if he can get me an....sorry two autographs.
I used to have that picture of him sitting on the ice in a directors you know the one? But Pat took it when he moved out. I would have given it to you...probably worth quite a bit of money and I would have only charged a big hug for it!

Tim Scammell, PTech said...

You have told me that before Rhonda. That is very cool.
When you come up with something I have a hug ready for you.
Don't worry, you can have one for free too. :)