When I was a kid we all cheered for the New York Islanders. They were the best. Moose Jaw's own Clark Gillies was a large part of four straight Stanley Cup championships.
Two of my favourite players on those teams were Bob Nystrom and Butch Goring. Nystrom a scrappy, clutch performer. Butch was Butch. He wore a vintage helmet, his blonde hair flowing out the back and the sides. He was so cool.
So, just a few years ago, I'm on the phone with Gillies. I'm setting up an interview so we can promote the Assiniboia Sports Dinner. Clark's on the speaker phone in his car. We set up a time to talk and as we're about to say goodbye, I hear car doors opening and some commotion.
"Oh, hang on a minute Rob, say 'Hello' to Butch and Bobby. Say 'Hi' to Rob, boys!"
"Hello, Rob!", the greeting comes in stereo.
And I say, "Who's that?"
And Clark says, "Bobby and Butchy."
And I say, "Bobby Nystrom and Butch Goring?"
"Ya!", Clark says. "I'm just picking them up to go to lunch."
My childhood idols were on the phone saying "Hello" to me.
Butch Goring, by the way, is celebrating his 69th birthday today. I'll bet Clark takes him to lunch. Bobby will be there, too.