This is a more personal post than I normally write but a very important...
Former Coyote Boyd Gordon: A Boy and His Hero
This is a more personal post than I normally write but a very important one for fans of the wonderful sport of hockey. So sit back and let me tell you a great story about a boy and his hero.
I have two sons, my oldest, Clint, is almost 17 the same age as the Coyotes and has been a Coyotes fan and a Shane Doan fan since the beginning. My other son, Carter, is 4 and not a go with the flow type of kid. Carter does his own thing whenever possible and is a wonderful rough and tumble sort of boy. Last season, when Carter was 3 and old enough to understand hockey and communicate about it we went out to Glendale for a game. We were standing in line to get in to Jobing.com Arena and there was a banner with a players’ picture on it hanging on a post near us. Carter asked me, “Mommy, who is that?” pointing up to the banner and I told him that it was #15 Boyd Gordon. He immediately informed us that Gordon was his favorite player. At the time I just said okay and didn’t give it much thought. When we got inside and the game started Carter wanted to know when Gordon was on the ice and where he was at all times. And, so we went along through the season. Carter wanted to know Boyd’s stats, if he scored any goals, if he was injured, and then Boyd’s poster went up on Carter’s wall right above his bed where he sleeps. I have never seen Carter like this with any other sport or any other player. This kid was serious.
What’s not to love about Boyd anyway? Last season he posted a 57.3% for faceoff wins, and that number ranked him in the top 20 for the entire NHL. Gordon is also known for his gritty defense and his penalty kill capabilities. Check out this video of him blocking two shots in one penalty kill! We attended the last game for the 2012-13 season, when the team hands out their team awards for MVP, etc. and I’m so glad that we did! Carter was able to see Boyd receive the Arizona Lottery Jukka Nieminen Memorial Trophy! This award is given to the player voted by the fans as the team’s hardest working player. Carter was amazed and shortly thereafter started playing hockey himself. Carter began to reference things that he did on the ice as, “just like Boyd Gordon.” I also need to tell you that Carter’s Wii character became Boyd Gordon, his new teddy bear was named Boyd Gordon, and when we played hockey on the back patio he was always, you guessed it…Boyd Gordon.
This last off-season saw a lot of changes for the Coyotes roster. On July 5th, the first day of free agency, Boyd Gordon received an offer he could not refuse and became an Edmonton Oiler. Oh boy, panic attack…deep breathes. I knew this would not be an easy conversation with Carter so I just didn’t tell him until hockey started back up again. Then two important things happened in a matter of a week. First, Carter, out of nowhere one day, asked me, “Mommy, on a day when we don’t have anything else to do, can we go see Boyd Gordon?” So I asked him why and he said, “Because I want to tell him that I scored a goal and I didn’t give up at my hockey.” When I cleared the lump in my throat, I said that we would just have to see. I remained calm and nonchalant on the outside but on the inside I was determined to make this happen for my little boy. Later that week, on a walk to the park I broke the news to Carter that Boyd was no longer a Coyote. Carter stopped his bike, looked at me and said, “Wait! Boyd Gordon isn’t a Coyote anymore?” I nodded. “What team does he play for now?” he asked. I told him it was the Edmonton Oilers and then held my breath. Carter simply said, “Well, then the Oilers are my favorite team now,” and he continued to the park without another word.
Okay so how was I going to do this? Give my 4-year-old the chance to meet and talk to his hero who was now playing for a different team, in a different country. Well, this is hockey and it is different from other sports. I knew that the Edmonton Oilers were going to be here on Saturday October 26th to play the Coyotes and I thought there might be a chance. So I took to email and social media and started knocking on people’s doors. With the help of some hockey angels we will call them, Carter and I ended up down below at Jobing.com Arena after that game in October. Armed with a sharpie, Carter’s autograph jersey, and a few butterflies in my stomach we waited. After about half an hour, there he was Boyd Gordon himself. I nervously told him hello and introduced Boyd to Carter, his biggest fan. I then handed Boyd a picture of Carter next to Boyd’s poster over his bed that I had printed and framed for him. Next, I set Carter down and Boyd dropped to one knee and the two of them had a wonderful little conversation. Carter didn’t get shy at all, which had been one of my fears, and he was able to tell Boyd exactly what he had wanted to. I think they were both a little taken with each other and it was a truly magical moment. So magical, I almost forgot to ask Boyd to sign Carter’s jersey until I realized I was holding the sharpie ha-ha. Carter didn’t care about the autograph but he will want it someday. All that mattered to Carter was that he got to meet his hero and tell him that he doesn’t give up either! The picture you see above is now framed and hanging in Carter’s room, and he still asks me about Boyd’s team all the time. The same three questions every time: Who did they play? Did they win? How did Boyd do?
Thank you Boyd for being someone who I encourage my son to look up to and thank you to all the hockey angels that made this happen for my little hockey fan!!