Saturday, September 27, 2008

A Rink for Stony Brook U? Let's hope so!

It was great to hit the ice at the Rinx again on Saturday. Not the team! ME!

IslanderQueen and I decided we had such a good time last week that we decided to go again this week.

I arrived just a few minutes before IQ, and after I paid my $10.50 and started heading toward the snack bar for coffee, I stopped in my tracks because I recognized Buzz Deschamps sitting at a table in the lobby.
I had met Buzz the beginning of last season, Sept. 9th to be exact, at an IBC meeting we attended. Since that date we had always exchanged pleasantries on the Coliseum concourse. He’s a real gentleman and, as his business card says, he’s an “old hockey pro.”

“Want to sign my petition?” He asked. “Sure, but what’s it for?”

“We’re trying to get an ice rink built at Stony Brook University on campus for a men’s and women’s hockey program. We have the youth to support a Division One team, Stony Brook has the best quality program on Long Island and we need the support.”

I remembered reading an article recently about Buzz, who is the head coach of the Stony Brook Seawolves, in Newsday. He has a great passion for youth hockey programs on Long Island as he was a professional player himself. He ran down the list of names of the current NHLers that hail from Long Island. We need to add a few more names to that list.

“We need to pressure the University for a rink.” That‘s what the petition is for, but there is also a website to check out the other ways to help the Seawolves. He gave me a copy of their ‘08-‘09 season schedule which begins Saturday October 4th. Since there is currently no rink on campus, all home games are played right there at the Rinx in Hauppauge. I‘m sure a little attendance support wouldn't hurt either! But check their website as well.

After we talked about the petition, he asked “So… you looking forward to this season?”

I paused for a moment thinking, this is a smart man. He‘s going somewhere with this.

“Yes, I am. I‘m pretty happy with Scott Gordon as head coach.”


“Well, Teddy was no slouch either. But if he couldn't get along….” Then he paused and looked away for a moment. “He‘s a lot like Herbie, and I knew Herbie for a lot of years.” He was referring to Herb Brooks. Yes, THE Herb Brooks. Told you Buzz was an old hockey pro! (He’s got some great stories about Trottier too, but that’s for another entry.)

“If Herbie was coach, he wanted to be GM, if he was GM, then he wanted to be something else.” I interjected.

“Ted had lost focus toward the end of last season. You could see it. I think Scott will be a real pleasant surprise.” (Dee Karl, the NY Islanders’ oldest living … cheerleader.)

“Yeah. Well we didn't have much luck with the other New England connections.” My facial expression was easy to read, “Huh?”

“You know, Milbury, Stirling. We didn't have much luck with them.”

“And Garth?” I asked with one raised eyebrow and poised to bark in defense of our GM from Mass. He chuckled, “I mean coaching.” I put my claws back.

“So, what are YOU doing here?” he asked me looking at the ridiculous pink and purple skate bag I carry my broken down hockey skates in. He was probably looking for me to be chasing after a daughter in a purple velvet skating outfit.


“I’m here to skate!”

“Good for you!” His eyes sparkle when he smiles. Okay, he was surprised.

“Hey, I don’t skate well, but so far… I haven’t fallen down. And as long as I stay off my butt, I’m happy.” I wished him well and headed to the snack bar for coffee and to wait for IslanderQueen.

She greeted me with the sad news of Paul Newman’s passing. An event we knew was coming, but sad non-the-less. However, we had a great morning at the rink, chatting, skating, laughing out loud and giggling in a corner even worse than the 10 year-olds attending birthday parties.

There was a larger crowd this week. Teenagers in tee shirts and sweat pants went whizzing by us. A very graceful older gentleman did figure 8’s in the circle while watching his niece. A very brave father held on tight to twin boys who couldn’t have been more than 4-years old as each of them hit the ice one after another. We watched about 5 minutes of a pee-wee hockey game on the adjacent rink just loving the sound of the skates on ice.

“I downloaded the sound to my iPod.” I thought IQ was kidding. She wasn’t. But time flies at the rink and it was 1:35 pm and we had to get the rest of our day going. The good thing for me is my phone doesn’t work inside the rink. The bad thing for IQ is… her phone doesn’t work inside the rink.

As soon as we hit the glass doors to the outside world…. The world found us.

4 comments:

4CUPZ said...

I'M SURE CHARLES HAS CONNECTIONS AT STONYBROOK IF HE CANT GET IT DONE WHO CAN??

islesblogger said...

I hope SBU gets a rink, it's about time their hockey program started to be taken more seriously! They have been good for a while now.

Glad to see you were out skating again, I still need new skates before I try to play some open hockey again.

However, there is always roller hockey to keep me occupied.

Anonymous said...

Cool person alert behind you in the picture at the rink (guy in a Steelers jersey). :)

Jimmy14

Katrina Doell - Blog administrator said...

Great story. I remember reading about the effort to get a rink at Stony Brook. It would be fantastic! Here is the link to a story from Newsday I read a long time ago about Buzz Deschamps.
http://www.newsday.com/community/guide/lihistory/ny-historysports-ducks,0,5800038.story?coll=ny-lihistory-navigation.

Enjoy!