Autumn 2015 might go down in history as a revival of Blue Jay bliss year! Playoff hope is in the air & optimism reigns, even as the beleaguered Toronto Maple Leafs start a new season in the NHL with an opening match against their traditional Montreal Canadiens rivals! 🙂
Me, I’m happy for the Jays but also ecstatic that this middle of the work week day is one of those milder than usual October days when the colour of autumn is peaking!
Also, it happens to be a special day to celebrate poetry!
The moon will be aligned at night with a couple of planets and this community is ready to celebrate Oktoberfest!
How sweet that so many good things come together!
Wrote a small haiku to celebrate the day and one of my favourite parts of the universe — birch trees!
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.
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.
Clearly, Jean Beliveau, inspired many to think that they could “make it anywhere”, not just in hockey!
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! 🙂