BELIVEAU — INSPIRED MANY TO “MAKE IT ANYWHERE”!

Today’s weekly photo challenge is a thought-provoking one as it recalls the New York tune’s line that one can “make it anywhere”.

So many things happen in a week — some happy, some sad, some good, some bad! This post, written for weekly photo prompt at http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/make-it-anywhere/, will focus on a mix of the sad but good .

Most of us have moved from one place or job to another. Life events and situations bring many challenges. One such challenge, not mine, but the aspiration of many young athletes is to play in a professional sport.

NHL & MONTREAL CANADIANS BLANKET!

NHL & MONTREAL CANADIENS BLANKET!

In Canada, the National Hockey League (NHL) has been a drawing card for decades. Reasons vary for wanting to play at this level in a game that has an international roster of players: athleticism, team camaraderie, financial rewards, the chance to win the Stanley Cup!

Whatever the “goal”, many young players are inspired by stories and film footage of great players of the past — Bobby Orr, Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Hull, Gordie Howe. These record-making players showed skill and expertise in the game.

This week, one of those hockey stars — Jean Beliveau — died. Known in his home province of Quebec as Le Gros Bill, this player, legendary in his performance and leadership contributions, is being honoured by young and old for his actions, on and off the ice. As a team captain of the Montreal Canadiens for many years, including several Stanley Cup victories, he followed up his hockey career with the same team and with his support of the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation.

If you want to know more about this “great” hockey player, please check out this Toronto Star article by one of his former, younger, team mates, Ken Dryden: An appreciation of Jean Béliveau.

Clearly, Jean Beliveau, inspired many to think that they could “make it anywhere”, not just in hockey!

JEAN BELIVEAU 1961-62 (SHIRRIFF HOCKEY COIN)

JEAN BELIVEAU 1961-62 (SHIRRIFF HOCKEY COIN)

On a personal note, I would like to finish this post with the requisite photo challenge picture.  My photo shows a well-worn hockey coin from back in the day.

Shirriff hockey coins were a freebie that came with those little packets of pudding and jello mixes, economical dessert fare for a family of 8 children, I assume, as our household collection was enormous.

Although I grew up in a rural Ontario, snow-belt region of Toronto Maple Leaf fans, there were some NHL players who always were awarded the respect and admiration of the amateur pond hockey players. Jean Beliveau was one of them. The hockey coin, in my photo, is one that I treasure, almost as much as the Frank Mahovlich Leaf coin from earlier days when Numbers 4 and 27 were rivals.

Later, as the Star photo indicates, The Big M and Le Gros Bill shared the glory of winning a Stanley Cup. They could “make it anywhere”.  Best of all, they inspired many young children to aim for the hockey stars! :)