from John Matisz of The Score,
The post-win ritual always began with a quick exchange of text messages between pranksters. Matthew Ford, the veteran captain of the Grand Rapids Griffins, would smirk to himself in the visitors' dressing room as a question beamed from his iPhone.
"Who should we pick on?" video coach Bill LeRoy would text following victories on the road.
After tapping out a short response, Ford and the rest of the AHL squad - players, coaches, staffers - would board the team bus and settle in for the long ride. The next stop might be another minor-league outpost. It might be home. No matter the destination, LeRoy had the stage.
"We'd start pulling out," Griffins head coach Ben Simon recalled, "and Billy would scream at the top of his lungs, 'Whoa, whoa, whoa! Stop the bus! Stop the bus!'
"The bus driver would be in shock and be like, 'What's wrong?' And one of the players would be like, 'What's wrong, Billy?!'" Then, it was time for LeRoy to ask the player that Ford had chosen: "Hey, did we remember to pack the two points?"...
Over the past 11 days, reminiscing about that postgame bus ritual and other memories of the quirky LeRoy has helped members of the organization cope with the loss of someone largely unknown to the public but immensely valuable to the Griffins' inner circle.
LeRoy, video coach for the Detroit Red Wings' top affiliate since 2001, died on Nov. 1.
thanks to a KK member for the pointer