Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 06/19/12 at 11:16 PM ET
from Ken Dryden at the Globe and Mail,
Red spoke to the players, coaches and the rest, but most importantly he spoke to the fans. He made them smarter; they made us better. He was the keeper of the standard. He’d never let us forget the purpose of what we were doing. He’d never let us forget the best that was in us – as a player, as a team; in a game and a sport. Okay, we were lousy, but we won. So I blew that shot. It happens to everyone. That didn’t impress him. He judged you against the present, made you compete against the past and challenged you to redefine the future. He haunted you.
When I was playing poorly, pretending I wasn’t, and hoping no one would notice, Red noticed. Before a time when every game was televised, Red was also the colour commentator on radio. For road games, my wife, Lynda, listening at home always believed that as Red was speaking to the thousands of others, he was speaking directly to her. He was letting her know – the goal Ken let in that you couldn’t see really was bad. Be warned. That’s the mood that will be arriving home tonight. When finally I couldn’t find my own answers to my slump I’d wait for the morning paper and wonder what Red said. I’d argue with what he wrote; I resented what he wrote. I couldn’t escape what he wrote.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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