Years ago I lived in Phoenix, AZ, and, during my time there I was employed at the Alltell Ice Den. At the time it was the official practice and training facilities of the Coyotes. It had a double rink where most every NHL team that came to town would run their practices. Needless to say, I saw quite a few teams come through. The best times however, were when the Wings came to town.
Hockeytown West was the name back then. On a typical West Coast trip the Wings would often be based in Phoenix for couple of weeks. Great weather, great golf courses, and a pretty nice place to practice. There was a restaurant called Stanley’s in the building with a high end smaller diner where I worked. With the team there, they would often come in and have a bite to eat, or, on a good day the broadcast crew would hang out for a few hours. Mickey, Ken, Mark Howe, and Paul Woods were there one morning during a practice and I was chatting with them. Small talk, hockey talk. It was awesome to really just hang out with the guys .
One morning I had mentioned how I would like to meet Scotty Bowman to Mick and Ken. They didn’t think it was possible, but, they did have quite a few players drop by. Drapes, D-Mac, Ozzie, Cheli to name a few. I had brought a book to get some autographs for my son, and they were all gracious and signed for him.
Later on that morning Ken Daniels poked his head around the corner and said,”Katie, we have a little surprise for you.” Well, the surprise was Scotty Bowman. I was thrilled, but, not at a loss for words. I introduced myself, shook his hand, and admired the Cup ring he was wearing. He asked for a coffee, so I obliged and told him the coffee was on me, and poured myself a cup as well. We chatted a bit, I asked what he thought about our chances that season, and he said, “First, we have to make the Playoffs.” Then, I reached under the counter and asked if he would sign the book I had brought for my son. It was called “Scotty Bowman: A Life In Hockey “ by Douglas Hunter. He took one look at the book and said, “This book is an unauthorized biography’, and preceded to tell me the author had the pants sued off him in Toronto by another player. I told him I had no idea it wasn’t authorized, and, it was fine if he didn’t want to sign it. As I looked up Scotty was grinning and looked at me saying, “Give it here.” He signed the book, and thanked me for the coffee and went on his way.
That, was a pretty good day. So, that’s my little story about meeting, and having coffee, with Scotty Bowman.