Sunday, March 22, 2009

Who Says Boys are Better-Oct. 1-2,2008(Sidney Crosby)

October 1, 2008

M: Wow…it’s so pretty.

We had just landed in Stockholm, Sweden. We were here to open the 08-09’ season against Ottawa. We were supposed to enjoy a few days rest and sightseeing before playing. Well everyone but Sidney and I. Our schedules were packed full of interviews with every nation imaginable. Apparently it’s a big deal when the face of hockey travels overseas. In fact Sid and I were headed to do a few interviews now. We had our first interviews with the Canadian/American media. Most only wanted to speak with Sid except for the few American journalists that asked to speak with me.

October 2, 2008

After eating and getting a good night’s rest we had to deal with the foreign media. They had translators available for each of these. Sid was able to pull out his French for a few but needed help with the rest. After about 6 hours the Spanish media asked to talk with both Sid and I. The translator was sick but was planning on coming in any way when I told them to send him home. Sid obviously missed that part of the conversation. After sitting in the media room for about 5 minutes he started to worry.

S: Where’s our translator?
M: Don’t worry about it. I shrugged.

After a few more minutes the reporter arrived.

Press: Melissa ¿Cómo esta? (How are you?)
M: Muy bien y Ud. (Good, and you?)
Press: ¿Cómo le gusta Europe? (How do you like Europe?)
M: Europe es muy bonito, y me encanta. (Europe is very pretty and I love it.)
After asking me a few more questions she moved on to Sid.

Press: Sidney ¿Cree Ud. Su equipo pode ganar el Stanley Cup este año?

He looked confused as to what was being asked.

M: She said- Sidney, do you believe your team can win the Stanley Cup this year?
S: Oh…well yes I do believe we can win it this year, we have an amazing team.

Turing to the reporter I translated back Sid’s answer.

M: Sidney se dice- Sí, yo creo nosotros podemos lo ganar este año, nosotros tenemos un equipo muy bien.

She nodded and continued the interview. I continued translating his questions and Sid’s answers. Finally we were done and we were heading back to the hotel.

S: Ok what was that?
M: What?
S: You know what, just make me look like an idiot.
M: And I didn’t… I don’t know French. Thank gosh they were all directed towards you.
S: So what…I still looked stupid.
M: The Spanish translator was sick and since I have a decent comprehension of Spanish I told them to let him rest we’d manage.
S: Oh, sorry.
M: You’re forgiven.

We arrived at the hotel had dinner with the team and then went to bed.

Teacher's Pet(Jordan Staal)1

As I slid the key into the lock, I felt a wave of butterflies come over me. This was my classroom; the place where I could share what I’ve learned in my 20 years on earth. I was back in my hometown teaching what I love, English. But it wasn’t hat boring kind written by people 3 centuries ago. I was teaching modern English …a course for those like me who just flat out like to read. They get to pick the books and they get to do most of the ‘teaching’. Oh and we didn’t have to think while reading. This course was purely to enjoy without the bother of tests and quizzes.
I had already prepared everything for tomorrow classes. Today I was to meet with a few of my students. Then later I had a meeting with the local hockey coach about helping with the team. My first meeting was with one of the hockey players though I couldn’t remember his name. I reread the email his mother had sent me.

Dear Ms. James

I am a little concerned about Jared. Your class was given to him at the last minute and he really isn’t a reader. If you wouldn’t mind meeting with us to further discuss what your class requires that would be great.

Sincerely, Linda Staal.

Why oh why did that last name seem so familiar. Yeah Jared Staal…I think I’ve heard of him from someone or somewhere. Well no time to think of it now.

As that thought ran through my head I heard a knock on the doorframe. I motioned for them to come in as I stood. We shook hands and made our way to my desk.

“Hi Mrs. Staal, I’m Heather James.”

“Nice to meet you, this is my youngest son Jared. We all sat down and I asked about her concerns.

“Well let’s just say English has never been his strongest class and I’m worried that the pace will be too much.”

“Actually the pace is what the students want it to be.” I plan my lessons around what they want. There will be book talks but no written assignments. As long as a reading log is filled out each week and the student has made some progress in their novel there won’t any issues. We’ll have discussion groups and a board of book suggestions for each class. I plan on this being a very laid back class. “

I paused to breathe and let both Linda and Jared absorb the information. They both smiled and stood up to leave.

“Thank you so much…please let me know if you have any problems.” I shook both their hands before they left.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Hockey and Blessings(Tyler Kennedy) Chapter 3

If you’re wondering I ended up back in my hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The penguins had seemed excited with the prospect of having an intern that knew what she was doing, and the University of Pittsburgh gave me a full ride. When I missed my period I figured it was due to the stress of moving, and starting a new school. Once I got into a rhythm I figured I’d be okay. My first week of training camp after the first cut was the most fun I had ever had. I met lots of the guys like Brooks Orpik, Colby Armstrong, Marc-Andre Fleury, the number one draft pick Sidney Crosby, and Mario Lemieux. Everyone was so nice that I was upset when everyone but Brooks, Sid and Mario were sent down to Wilkes-Barre. Mario treated me like a daughter and was concerned when I was constantly throwing up. He sent me to the doctor’s and threatened that if I didn’t go he would make Brooks and Sid take me. When I got the results of all the tests the doctor ran I was sitting on the bench watching practice. I answered my phone and nearly fell over in shock. I stuttered out the results and the boys left practice early to comfort me. Brooks went to get me ice-cream, Sid for a good movie and tissues and Mario took me back to his place and set me up in Sid’s room. I just couldn’t believe that I was pregnant.

Hockey and Blessings(Tyler Kennedy) Chapter 2

At home and on road trips we were inseparable. He was the only guy coach had we room with and when we did we had a ton of fun. Occasionally he helped me with me with my homework since he had graduated the year before. The whole team thought we were dating but we were just best friends. We did everything best friends do. We bought each other actual Christmas gifts instead of gag gifts like the rest of the team. While the team still tried to hit on me, no one dared try to talk me in the locker room. Ty had marked that territory as untouchable. We spent weekends and days off at the movies or the mall, hanging out like normal teenagers. As the playoffs approached Ty became more focused because of the NHL scouts at every game. With this distraction we hung out less and less. I can’t say I really noticed considering I was worried sick waiting for my college letters to return. I had applied to schools all over the country hoping to catch the interest of an NHL team and possibly a better internship. We talked briefly on road trips but it wasn’t the same and everyone noticed.

With the end of the season and the knowledge that we’d never see each other again we went back to my place to pack my stuff and say our goodbyes. That day it seemed like things were normal again. I was putting my clothes in boxes when he hit me from behind with a pillow. As I ducked his throws I tried to sneak closer in order to tickle him. When I succeeded I laughed. He grabbed me and we fell on the bed tickling each other. When we were both exhausted we realized the position we were in. He had me pinned under him and my arms at my head. He leaned down and kissed me. I pulled him closer and things progressed further than I should have ever let them. When I woke up the next morning he was gone, no note, no nothing. It was both the best and worst goodbye I had ever gotten.

Hockey and Blessings(Tyler Kennedy) Chapter 1

The next day I grabbed my purse and a water bottle and left for the rink. I had a brief meeting with the coaches before heading to the benches with the notepad of stats and my laptop. I sat and finished the stat work before checking my email for my assignments. I began the math work, and then the history before faxing them in from the rink’s main office. When I arrived back at the benches the team was warming up and goofing off. Coach Craig called me over for the official introductions and right before I got there I slipped. I braced myself for the fall, but it never came. Instead I was wrapped in the arms of a short but strong guy. He helped my back to my feet and smiled. I finally made my way to Coach’s side and he introduced me to all the boys. I had met most of them at the airport but I quickly discovered my hero wasn’t one of them. His name…Tyler Kennedy. I was escorted back to the away bench where I sat and watched the rest of practice. Kennedy was not the most talented but you could tell just by looking at him that he had heart.

As I learned over the next few weeks he was a sweetheart. I didn’t spend much time with the team, as I was bogged down with work for coach and school. When I was with them I was constantly hit on. Another reason I kind’ve stayed away from the team. One day however the boys took it too far apparently. It was after a home game and I was in the office updating stats when I heard a commotion outside the door. I went out to find Tyler and Jeff Carter, one of the other boys engaged in an argument.

“Woah, what’s going on,” I said. I tried to step in between them but an approaching Coach held me back.

“Let them fight this one out.” I nodded then turned back trying to figure out the source of the argument. I was only catching a few words and became very confused when I saw Tyler shove Jeff. He didn’t seem like the type to fight…especially not one of his own teammates. Whatever happened had him really fired up. When Tyler threw a punch I became slightly frightened. After another minute coach finally intervened pulling Jeff away from Tyler. “You know you deserved that.” He stated walking Jeff to the trainer.

I looked to Tyler, one to try and figure out why the fight had occurred and, two to see how bad the damage was. He had a split lip, and was certainly going to have a black eye tomorrow. I reached behind me and grabbed the bottle of water that had been in the freezer all day. I walked towards him placing the bottle on his now swelling lip. He nodded thanking me and I whispered welcome.

“So…what was that all about?” I asked. He looked at me in disbelief, eyebrows raised.

“You know how they hit on you?” He wondered.

‘Yeah…” I contemplated where he was going with this.

‘Well it’s 10x worse when you’re not around. No one should ever be talked about like that,” he muttered. “And Jeff, he’s the worst. I just couldn’t listen to it anymore.”

I hugged him whispering thank you’s in his ear.

“I mean it,” I said as I pulled away. Sine Jeff was his ride and I knew that wasn’t going to happen I smiled and said “Come on, let’s get something better than a water bottle on that.” We drove back to my apartment where I got him a bag of ice and we spent the night talking. I had become best friends with the only guy to not only to save me from falling on my butt, but to defend my honor too.

Hockey and Blessings(Tyler Kennedy)Prologue

Some say high school is the time that you can’t wait to be over. Others say that it’s an adventure. Now normally I’d agree with the first statement but this year…this year will be better than I could ever dream of. You see I wasn’t attending my senior year like normal. No, I was headed to another country. I was headed from a small town in southwestern Ohio of the United States to the even smaller town of Sault Ste. Marie in Ontario, Canada. Wonder why? I had gotten an internship as a medical assistant with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.

As I arrived at the airport I was actually surprised to see a group of teenage boys waiting for me. I had been expecting one of the assistant coaches or even another member of the staff not half the team. Well I guess it’s not every day that you get a female intern form the states. Overall the group looked to be nice but I could tell there were a few that would get on my nerves. Readjusting my bag on my shoulder I smiled and walked toward the group. After introductions were made we left the airport and headed toward the apartment the team provided for me.

From the brink of Disaster to Paradise(Eric Staal) Day 40-A Second Meeting

We had a special delivery today. One of the hockey wives had given birth to her first child. I was the only one working in the nursery at the moment and when her husband arrived to see the baby I was shocked to see him there too. They scrubbed up and I handed cam Ward his daughter. I walked to the fridge to get her bottle and handed it to Cam as well. While he fed her I went over to wash the dishes left by the previous shift. While I wash the coffee mugs I noticed that he was beside me drying them. I looked at him and he smiled.

“Nice shirt,” he said. I looked down at the Hurricane t-shirt I wore under my smock.

“It was the only shirt I had clean,” I teased. His booming laughter filled the room and my heart fluttered.

“Are you doing anything tonight?” he asked.

“Not that I know of,” I answered.

“Good, you’ll have a ticket waiting for you at Gate 3.” He dried the last mug and then went to talk with Cam. I stood frozen at the sink for at least 2 minutes before going to put the little girl in Cam’s arms back to bed. The rest of the day I couldn’t stop smiling. Had Eric Staal asked me out? No he just saw that I was a fan and invited me to see his team play. When Maria came to relieve me from my shift she just smirked as I rushed to sign out.

Stopping quickly at my apartment to change, I made my way to the arena headed for Gate 3. I thought I blended into the crowd pretty well. I wore jeans, a canes sweatshirt, and a hat with the number 12 on it. I got my ticket from the call office and made my way to my seat. When I got there I was pleasantly surprised at the location. It was lower bowl, center ice, across from the benches. I was even more surprised at who they were next to. Now I may not have followed the NHL very closely but I could guarantee that my seat was next to Henry and Linda Staal, Eric’s parents. I slid into my seat hoping they would ignore me. My wish was granted, at least during the game it was. Along with my ticket was a locker room pass and a note that said ‘show up or else :)’. I dilly-dattled to the locker room so that the guys had plenty of time to shower and dress. When I got there I was let in immediately. Eric’s parents were talking to Cam congratulating him on the shutout and new baby. Eric was tightening his tie and when he saw me he gave me a big hug.

This is what it means to be held (Held-Nathalie Grant)

“You came,” he said. I nodded, blushing when I noticed his mom’s gaze on our encounter. I felt awkward the rest of the night and escaped as soon as I could saying I was tired and had to work early.

From the Brink of disaster to paradise(Eric Staal)-Day 35 A peek of the future

The wise hand opens slowly
To lilies of the valley and tomorrow(Held-Nathalie Grant)

I walk through the gardens everyday. It gives me a piece of mind. No matter how stressed or emotional I feel, it always relaxes me. Normally they are empty and I am left with my thoughts. Today, however, it was full of children from the cancer ward laughing and having fun. I couldn’t help but smile slightly hearing them. As I turned the corner I discovered the cause of the laughter. Today was one of the visits from the Carolina Hurricanes who came 2 or 3 times a year. I was sitting on my normal bench when one of the kids whose mom had just had a baby ran over. She pulled me to my feet and dragged me over to meet the man she had been talking to. She was jumping up and down as she introduced us. He was Eric Staal one of the star centers. We talked about crazy things while playing with the kids. It’s too bad I’ll never see him again.

Dream...or reality(Jared Staal) Chapter 4

‘Throughout the next few weeks my dreams were plagued by thoughts of Brent. As much as he hurt me I couldn’t help but miss him. I missed his jokes, his manner, and the way his skin felt when it brushed against mine. It may sound crazy but I believe that he never meant to hurt me.’

Around a month following her practice with Jared, she was skating freely on the ice on the wolves’ off-day. She did lazy laps, and easy wrist shots. Her mind was wandering and she was on the verge of tears. He was leaning against the door to the ice just watching her. He knew something was wrong, heck the whole team knew something was wrong but no one wanted to be the person who asked about it. Seeing her crying Jared knew it was time. She was keeping something inside and it was slowly killing her. He carefully walked toward her and pulled her to him, her tears staining his t-shirt. He could care less; he was just worried about her. When she looked up at him, he wiped her tears away and smiled. They cleaned the equipment up and left through the locker room.

“Hey, come watch a movie with me?”

She nodded and followed him to his car. It was a silent ride and when they arrived at his apartment he was at her side opening the door before she had even unbuckled her seat belt. They walked into the living room taking off shoes and coats at the door. He went to the kitchen for snacks and drinks and told her to pick out a movie.
As she looked though his collection certain titles popped out at her as she remembered all the night’s spent at Brent’s. She remembered the fun and she remembered the bruises. She finally remembered the night she had blocked from her mind…the night of the breakup.

She had gone to Brent’s because though she loved him she was tired of having to explain the bruises. Ever since he had decided to move cross-country for college he had become more controlling and violent. She truly believed that it was her fault. If she wasn’t such a bad girlfriend he wouldn’t hurt her. A fight ensued and she began throwing things trying to defend herself. When she accidently picked women’s clothes that were not her’s, she finally snapped. She ended the relationship because he was cheating on her. He became very angry and threw her against his bedroom wall. He kicked and hit her for at least ten minutes. Then his persona changed.

“Well if you actually put out, I wouldn’t have to look for other girls.”

He pulled her off the floor where she had fallen during his attack and began to tear the clothes off of her. When she realized what he was doing she screamed and began to fight back. He covered her mouth and put so much pressure on her neck that she became unconscious. When she woke up he was gone, but she knew in her heart what had taken place.

She was sobbing uncontrollably when Jared returned from the kitchen. When he approached her she began to hit him. He absorbed the blows until she calmed down and then picked her up and carried her to the couch. She was crying and he just held her letting her know that everything would be ok. Eventually she fell asleep in his arms. He carried her to his room and called her uncle before grabbing a pillow and blanket and lying on the couch.

Dream...or Reality(Jared Staal) Chapter 3

He came back and they started running a few drills, trying to outdo each other. They did some puck maneuvering, target drills, and skating drills.

‘I must say he’s pretty good, not many guys can keep up with me.’

After about 20 minutes they started to just goof off. They had races, came up with some crazy drills and some even crazier games. They held a breakaway challenge like at the all-star game. It was the first time in a while that she couldn’t stop smiling.

Exhausted they collapsed on the ice breathing heavily.

“Okay so I know I said wow before, but really, the way you play is amazing.”

She blushed slightly, embarrassed.

“See, I was a little concerned when coach said his niece was coming to help him, but I gotta admit I’m impressed.”

“So am I, I’ve never met a guy that can keep up with me for that long, most pass nearly pass out after half an hour.”

His face turned bright red, but the smirk was still clearly planted on his face.

“Well then, we’ll have to do this again sometime.”

With that he got up and skated off to the locker room.

Monday, March 2, 2009

(Colin Wilson)Fate-Part One


Many say that it doesn’t exist I tend to disagree. I am one of those few people who believe in ‘love at first sight’. Well maybe not love but there was something there the first time I saw him. What it was I wasn’t quite sure. The first time I saw him play was during the 2009 World Juniors and I must admit I couldn’t take my off of him. I didn’t even know what he looked like at the time but WOW. He was everywhere the puck was and more. I didn’t even care about the score I could only think about this boy. The only thing I knew about him was his last name. Wilson.

I planned on watching the semi-finals just so that I could see him play again. Unfortunately I was dumb and got the game time wrong. After that his name slipped to the back of my mind what with exams coming up. That was until I happened to remember wanting to look him up. Via Wikipedia I found out his full name and that he was born in Connecticut but had been raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He was the son of former NHLer Carey Wilson and had been drafted 7th overall by the Nashville Predators in the 2008 NHL Draft. With the need for information about this majorly talented guy sated he once left my daily thoughts.

About a week later I realized I had no clue what he looked like and I went in search of a picture. All the ones I found though were action shots from the WJ’s and contained no different of a view than what I had while watching the game. After that I gave up and decided to check my Facebook. Under my news feed was an album featuring Nikita Filatov and pictures from the World Juniors. I scanned through the pictures and when I saw it I froze. It was HIM. Tagged and everything. This was even more of a wow moment. He was GORGEOUS! Through the tag I found his profile and decided to add him as a friend. When I awoke the next morning I had an alert. When I clicked on it I was pleasantly surprised to see an acceptance of friendship. I spent that morning just looking through his photos. If that boy isn’t photogenic I don’t know who is.