Well it’s great to be back from the road trip. A lot of fun, some good laughs and a lot of miles were travelled. The ‘ol bed feels good when you have been switching up every night in different hotels but why complain? As they say, no one really listens!
But you got to listen to this though. The Coach’s travels went far and wide this past week and whole lot of excitment to go along with it.
In this piece I’m going to talk about one of my favourite players in the NHL (no I’m not just sucking up here, ok!) but also about one of the greatest opportunities that anyone who is involved in hockey would love to have. That being the chance to hold and look real close at it and to have visions of past NHL greats go through your head that you watched as a young lad play our past-time game to greatness. To be almost like a kid again and truly believe that you had made it! What I’m talking about is the greatest trophy that there ever is and that being The Lord Stanley Cup!
Sure a lot of folks have had their picture taken with it at maybe the Hockey Hall of Fame or some other charity event but to actually be standing beside it and to be beside one of the All-Time greats, well my friends I thought I died and gone to the great ice rink up in the heavens.
One other thing too, If you every get to meet this fine gentleman someday you will instantly realize you are with one of the nicest guys ever around, a true sportsman and a even truer gentleman. That man being Mr. Bernie Nicholls.
Bernie, like all the players of the team who had just recently won the cup gets to share it with his friends and family, usually in their hometowns. Now Bernie doesn’t play anymore (he looks like he could let me tell you) but he is in the LA Kings front office now and doing a fine job along with another great King ‘Lucky’ Luc Robitaille. So a week ago was Bernie’s special day in his hometown of West Guilford, Ontario.
Wow what a beautiful little hamlet just on the out-skirts of Haliburton up in what we Canadians call ‘Gods Country.’
Before I go any further here, I’d like to know something from you all. Who actually remembers Bernie Nicholls? Which team did he play for and rack up 49 points in 49 games? Come on all you smart guys out there who think they know their NHL history, come on tell me! Ok, ok I’ll tell ya, it was Edmonton. Yes in deed it was them Oilers, same team that Gretzky won all the Cups with and the same Gretzky that Bernie was a team mate with in LA for a few years. Now tell me (its triva time!!) who did Edmonton trade Bernie for and from what team? You’ll never get it unless you look it up. Yup, Messier, that being Mark ‘Moose’ Messier for Bernie Nicholls from the NY Rangers, wow what history and what players! Chills going up my spine just thinking of those days watching these young guns do there thing, ya baby great memories, but I digress as usual.
But I have to go to one more thing about Bernie. Did you know he played for 6 NHL teams, ya look it up. We all forget his time with New Jersey and Chicago and near the end of his brillant career with San Jose Sharks. Plus guys, in 1984 he played for Team Canada in the World Cup and over his 18 year career he accumualted over 1200 points and was one of the most dangerous scorers and talented pivots in the NHL. Ah Bernie thanks for the memories bud!
Ok now I will get off the soap box here and tell you one more thing before I break out some of the great photos we took of everyone enjoying themselves along with the Stanley Cup.
Bernie didn’t know me from a hole in the ground before that day, we just had sent emails back and forth as we write for GetRealHockey.com . Well let me tell you when we first meant it was like we had known each other for years and friendly wow, so kind and considerate beyond belief, a very classy guy indeed.
It was a great time by all for sure. The younger kids got to meet Bernie and have their pictures taken with him and the Cup and the older folks sat and watched and told each other great stories of the past about Bernie and his hockey career from playing Jr. A with the North York Rangers (yes you read it right!) and then with the Kingston Canadians of the OMJHL (ya look it up guys) to the AHL in New Haven then onto one of the greatest NHL career’s that any hockey player would love to have and cherrish.
Well folks it was defently an honour and a previledge to be included in the Nicholls family great day!
P.S. Again Thank-you Bernie and your Family for sharing with the ‘ol Coach it was an honour for sure!
By Warren Nye, UltimateHockeySource.com
August 11th, 2012