For Mom

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My Hockey Mom —

With great sadness, I would like  to let the readers of Arizona Hockey Talk and Winnipeg Hockey Talk know my mom passed away on Sunday, December 29, 2013.  She died peacefully with her family at her side. 

Like all moms, she loved her children, her grandchildren and her extended family.  She loved their (mom and dad’s) cottage at Twin Beaches and she loved her one time visit to my wife Phyllis’ and my home in San Tan Valley, Arizona.  She often commented on how she used our place in AZ to be her motivation to get better and be able to travel.    

Fort_William_Gardens300

Fort William Gardens

BUT the best part about my mom was she was a big hockey fan and I have her to thank for passing on her love of hockey to me.

She grew up in Fort William, Ontario and back in the day was known to frequent the Fort William Gardens quite often and watch the local Junior team, the Fort William Canadiens.  She knew NHLers Alex Delvecchio of the Detroit Red Wings and Larry Cahan of the Los Angeles Kings.  I come by my love of hockey honestly.

She was always very knowledgeable about the game but no matter what, every time Toronto would play Chicago on Saturday night’s Hockey Night in Canada she would inexplicably name Jim Pappin as one of the 3 Stars.  Not Hull, not Makita, but Jimmy Pappin.  It didn’t matter what the score was, the 3 Stars always included two Toronto players whether it was Dave Keon, Bob Pulford, Eddie Shack or Johnnie Bower.

Her first love was her Toronto Maple Leafs but when Winnipeg had the WHA Jets, then Jets 1.0, she loved them too, especially Teemu.  She was equally smitten with Jets 2.0 and really liked Andrew Ladd.  Any and All teams representing Canada were at the top of her list too.

For me, one of her weirdest things was her love of Eric Lindros.  I don’t know how or where it started.  I think maybe when he was an under-aged kid playing for Team Canada.  I don’t think she liked all the bad press he received being just a kid.  I always joked that Eric was the son she never had.  

When I was scouting for the WHL’s Portland WinterHawks she would brag to people she knew or even people in the grocery store line-ups that I had “discovered” (her words) Jonathan Toews.  Well I scouted him  😀

She was so proud of Winnipeg Hockey Talk and Arizona Hockey Talk.  To get my spirits up she would write little insightful comments after reading my articles when I had no viewers.  The things that moms do for their children.

One of her wishes was to go to a Winnipeg Jets game but because of her health, she never got to see them live.  I remember her phoning me and she was so proud because she just finished ordering TSN Jets.

THANKS MOM for being awesome and teaching me about the greatest game in the world.   

Love Mitch

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