Kirk Maltby,Tim Brent, remembering Paul Woods,Kenny Ellacott and Red Laurence, the Hockey heroes of Hespeler. When we are young we are all the future of the NHL or so we thought.
But at twelve years old we don’t know any better and on those Saturday winter mornings in 1969 I like every other lad in Hespeler had a date with destiny. Rolling out of bed at 6 am and planting my butt on the over sized heating grates in the floor I drank my hot chocolate and slowly got my equipment on, pulling the “Dolson Construction” sweater over my head and getting ready for my Dad to finish his coffee and drive me to the Arena for 7.
On to the ice we poured, Frank Mahovlich’s, all of us, oh those were the better times, our Fathers sitting in the stands drinking their coffee’s spiked with whatever somebody had left over from the night before. We played the game with no worry’s, there was no screaming at the coaches to “play my kid more”, no yelling at the referees by our parents( in all likelihood the refs were out drinking at the Queens Hotel with our Dad’s) We just played for fun and for each other. There was no fancy Tim Hortons commercial for us in the future, we played and then went home and played some more, just this time on the streets. Somehow memories of those Cold Winter Mornings just cheer me up, because while i wasn’t a great hockey player, to have just been a part of those moments is what is special. And no matter how hard they try, the new arena in town just doesn’t have the same feel and attitude to me, no ghosts of former Shamrocks or Hespeler MicMacs wandering the halls, no steel mesh around the rink, and no smell of french fry’s will ever beat the old Arena. Call it what you will, I call it Unforgettable.