I was channel surfing on Saturday night and stumbled across the game between the Vancouver Canucks and the Calgary Flames on Channel 625--that night's free "teaser" game being offered by our cable provider to showcase its NHL and Major League Baseball pay-per-view services. I'm not sure where our feed originated (the commercials made me think somewhere in the Maritimes) but it was the live Hockey Night In Canada broadcast. A real treat, indeed!
Part way through the first period, Trevor Linden's parents were interviewed. In case you missed it, it's already on YouTube here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFcQKM-0ZM0. I found the interview very touching. Trevor Linden's dad did all the talking (at his mom's request) and seemed like a very, very nice man who is extraordinarily proud of his son's twenty-year career in the NHL.
The interview reminded me of a conversation that I had with my own father seventeen years ago. I was in my last year of law school getting ready to start my job as an articling student with one of the big, Bay Street-based, national law firms. I had recently seen some statistics on the number of kids playing major-junior hockey and eligible for the NHL draft and compared it to the number of students at Canadian law schools eligible for articling jobs with the major national law firms. It turned out that, on a purely statistical basis, it was tougher to get an articling job with a national firm than it was to get drafted by an NHL team.
I shared my analysis with my father and asked him what he thought. Dad was quiet for an uncharacteristically long time. "Well, don't get me wrong," he said pensively, "your mother and I are very happy for you and proud of what you've achieved." There was another pause before my father continued: "But to say that your son plays in the NHL? Now that's REALLY something!!!!!!!!"
Of course, I agreed with my father at the time and now, seventeen years later, I agree with his sentiments even more!