Just like a throwback to their sons’ minor hockey days, tips were being offered from all areas of the rink — from the crowd of dads loitering in the stands, drinking coffee solo along the glass, and from the bench. Ontario men Mark Jooris, dad of Josh, and John Monahan, dad of Sean, eventually found common ground watching Sunday’s skate.
Terry Raymond, father of Mason, happily took a tour of the Flames’ dressing room.
Some, like Russell’s dad, were right in the action (“I even offered him a whistle,” chuckled Flames head coach Bob Hartley afterwards).
Others, like Mel Glencross tucked in the corner by himself to analyze, not so much.
“My dad likes to sit away from everyone else,” Curtis Glencross said, grinning. “Russ’s dad, he’s in the hockey business too, so when he comes to the rink, he’s in the trainers’ room talking about skate sharpening and stuff … it’s fun.”
Not that they don’t have a reason to be excited. The trip is basically considered ‘Take your Dad to work’ Day.
“They all look forward it,” Glencross said. “They get a few days off from their jobs and see what our job is all about … they see how hectic it is on the road, too. We’ll get to go golfing and it’s going to be fun.”
Treated to first-class meals, five-star hotels and the cushy team charter, they’re off to enjoy sunny California where the Flames play the San Jose Sharks on Monday and the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday.
Joining the action for the first time from Ottawa is Randy Byron, who had missed last year’s gathering because Paul had just been recalled from the Abbotsford Heat and the timing didn’t work.
“It was kind of hard not having him on the trip,” said Paul Byron, who wound up sticking around the entire 2013-14 season after that. “But, at the time, I was just excited to get called up and didn’t know if I’d be there for one or two games. I would have loved to have my dad there and share the experience.”
After countless early mornings drinking bad arena coffee, trips to cold rinks, and tying skates, a view into the cushy NHL life-style and some quality time is the least their sons’ can do for them.
“There’s not a better way to say thank-you to those dads,” said Hartley. “I told the players this morning, ‘We understand our situation. You want to add motivation, if we can, just spend a few moments to think about your dads … they were there for every second for their sons’ careers. Now we have a chance to spend time in an NHL environment, I think it’s great.” See more…