Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My Encounter With... Rick Nash


The Date: May 29, 2004.  

The Place: The Molson Amphitheatre in Toronto for a Blink 182 con
cert.

How It Happened: I remember standing on the lawn with five or six of my friends listening to the set, when I saw someone walking on the path in front of me. I wasn’t positive, but I could have sworn Rick Nash just walked by us. I told the only two people with us who could have known who he was, and we made our move for confirmation. Just as we were getting close to him, he and one of his buddies joined a mosh-pit taking place on the grassy hill. We looked at each other, and without hesitation, joined in. I was 16 then and probably weighed about a buck-60 and change while my friend to the left was a generous 120. Rick Nash was a 6’3, 190lbs beast of a 19-year-old. I remember that mosh pit being a war, but nobody was going to stop me from getting a bodycheck in on the NHL’s leading goal scorer that year.

Never taking my eyes off Rick who was being protected in a bearhug by one of his friends, I kept my head up to avoid and also to hit some punk teenagers with green hair - then I saw my opening. Rick’s friend (visibly intoxicated) needed a break from protection services, and Rick continued to bounce around in the circle. I made my run and went shoulder to shoulder with Rick Nash. It didn’t hurt, and I wonder if he even felt me, but I had just taken a healthy run at Rick Nash. Fearing death, I immediately booked it out of the pit to find my friends who shared similar stories of throwing a blindside hit on Rick Nash (now illegal).

We found a friend with a camera and went off to search for Rick Nash again, hoping for a memento in which I could bring up 6 years later in a hockey blog (foreshadowing). Nash had just
led the lead in scoring as a 19-year-old with 41 goals (sharing with Iginla and Kovalchuk), and I knew I couldn’t miss this photo op, knowing that his future would be very bright. I saw him nodding his head to the music and tapped him on his massive shoulders and asked if we could get a picture with him.

“Sure bud” he replied.

After the picture, I shook his baseball mitt sized hand and told him how I felt about his
exemption from the World Cup of Hockey roster being held that summer (seriously, Kris Draper? Kirk Maltby?).

“Gretzky’s nuts for leaving you off Team Canada.”

Rick chuckled and said, “Thanks man, would have loved to made the team.”

We both knew he would make Team Canada one day, and
he did.

We left Rick to enjoy the music, and went home high on excitement of meeting the NHL’s leading goal scorer at a Blink 182 concert.

I still
call him a friend to this day (where’s the picture of us hanging, Rick?), and love sharing the story of when I took a run at Rick Nash.

9 comments:

  1. I'm so jealous of that pic, Bouff on the left makes the pic with his thumb up.
    I met Tie Domi before and he put me in a headlock joking around. But his bicept was so hard it kinda hurt but i shook it off as if it was nothing and posed for a picture. I'll try to upload it and get it posted on here.

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  2. I also have a story from May 29th 2004.
    I was going out with friends to a bar, pretty sure the Phoenix nightclub. I was getting ready to go and had my favourite skater shoes on, a pair of old navy carpenter jeans that everybody had around the 2000's. All i needed was my black long sleeved Hurley shirt with a blue star on the front. I couldn't find it and it was like a seinfeld episode, instead of saying "Newman", I said "Toby", clenching my fist and shaking my head.

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  3. Met Kent Manderville at a hotel restaurant in Niagara Falls years ago. When I was trying to think of his name this morning I was calling him Dave (my cousin was no help he couldn't even remember who we met haha) but then a mini-hoss I know informed me his name was actually Kent, not Dave. Don't remember much except that he was nice and stopped to take pictures with some kids who were Leafs fans even though he was on his way to dinner.

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  4. Met Steve Thomas at Casino Niagra a few years ago. I just got his autograph, he was playing the dollar slots with his wife

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  5. I met Trevor Daley while playing in a summer ball hockey league in toronto. The ball was dumped in our end so I ran back to get it by the time i got there so did he. He gave me a little hit in the corner and took the ball off me. Raffi Torres was in that league too!

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  6. Mine doesn't really count cuz it wasn't all that random... although the first year it was. I was going downtown (Toronto) to the movie theater and my friend and I randomly got off at the Eaton Center stop on the Queen line. We noticed there was some red carpet ceremony happening, and it turned out it was the NHL awards...which we had completely forgotten were on that night. We got there 10 minutes before the stars started showing up but we met, got pictures with, and got autographs from a whole bunch of NHL'ers. There's way too many to name, but I got pictures with Sidney Crosby and Gary Bettman (haha). Met Lidstrom, Pronger, Cam Neely, Rod Brind'Amour and Shane Doan to name a few.

    Needless to say I went back the next year prepared. This time meeting Datsyuk, Backstrom (Caps), Chara and more.

    Now the awards are in Vegas....give me a break.

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  7. I met Mikhail Grabovski while working at a club in Toronto last winter. He was drunk off his ass and couldn't find his Blackberry which he had unfortunately misplace in the cushions of the couch in his booth. Needless to say, I was on my best behaviour while representing the establishment I was working for and made sure not to insult Mr. Grabovski for being the drunk idiot he is or for playing like a pylon. The same night I handed Dion Phaneuf a bottle of water and learned Garnet Exelby had picked up some hot russian babe and was courting her for the evening.

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  8. ur all fucking loser stalkers eh

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  9. Loser stalkers? A chance meeting isn't stalking...

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