We had a roomful of hockey fans Friday night. They were were there to have some fun and support a good cause. As the auctioneer for the “live auction” portion of the program I expected to be seated near the front so that I could access the podium and the microphone with some ease. You can image my suprise when I ended up at Scotty Morrison’s table with his guests for the weekend,
Boy oh boy, if I’d sold my seat I could have made some real cash. Seated at the table were some NHL greats: Ron Stackhouse and his wife Sheila, Ron Ellis, Mark Napier, Scotty Morrison and Ray Scampanato and his wife Maureen.
Scotty Joked that he’d been accused of hiring Ray Scampanto as an NHL linesman so that he’d have someone that he could talk to at eye level. Mark Napier noted that “Scampi” looked good for his age, and that was partly due to the fact that linesmen aren’t particularly good skaters or bright. In that short period I was treated to stories about hockey greats that were both hilarious and at times quite tender.
The chat and the stories around the table were an insight into their professional world as well as being a reminder that people like to have fun. As a sidenote, it’s interesting that after all the hard work and the cheers have died down it’s the fun and funny moments of your career that stay with you. I found these five hockey greats classy, kind people. Ron Ellis said that a number of the NHL oldtimers would be taking off to Kandahar in a few weeks to play some stick hockey with the troops. The Stanley Cup would be along for the ride. These gentlemen give a lot back to hockey and its fans in the space of a year.
Phil Pritchard, the keeper of the cup, shared stories and pictures of the travels of the Stanley Cup. Over the years, Stanley Cup team members have taken the cup to just about every corner of the world. Fans of hockey respond the same way no matter where they reside. Seeing and having your picture taken with the cup is a very special occasion and a reminder of the proud history of the sport.
Matt Duschene’s (Colorado Avalanche) parents were in the audiene and it was obvious that they are pretty proud of their young son. Scotty noted that the Calder Cup was in the room and that Matt could very well be this year’s winner the way he is playing. Matt’s signed jersey and signed hockey stick fetched some very impressive cash during the auction part of the evening.
Martin Steinkamp, owner of McKeck’s restaurant in Haliburton, was the luckey bidder who took home the Wickenheiser autographed gold-winning Team Canada Jersey. I’m sure we’ll see that in the “blue line” sections of the restaurant in the very near future.
All in all it was a great evening with a very entertaining group of “greats”.