Wednesday, October 25, 2017

#BoyleStrong

Life always works out the way it's supposed to, I'm told.  A few years ago, my love fest with all things Tampa Bay Lightning, Mr Vinik's amazing organization, I mean hockey club started.  Of course, that was swiftly pushed along with the addition of a certain Ranger, Boyle.

Boyle.  That guy. That guy who rattles up Abdeldaker's knickers, acts like jumping fish out of water while sitting in the penalty box vexing the Penguins Letang, giving Dotchin the "atta boy" when Dotch was sent to the penalty box and all over a great man, player, husband and dad.

In buying my first jersey - ever - it was Boyle that I wanted.  The shop downstairs in Amalie said they didn't get many requests for Boyle.  I found it odd... but then again, I never am the #1 fan of the #1 players on any club (hockey, football, hoops, or potato throwing).  I love the grinders, the diggers, the blue collar chuggers.

That embodies Boyle.

My longest post about him is here:

https://adoc2be.blogspot.com/2017/04/its-private-now-only-i-can-read-here.html

Last December, my tickets were on the blue line across from the bench, five rows off the ice.  With the team imploding without it's Captain Stamkos and many others, I kept tweeting to Boyle, "Step up. Your time. Your leadership."  Not that I had any part of it, but he did.  I also tweeted the Bolts, "Boyle should get the 'A'" for Alternate Captain.  Not that I had any part of that either, but he got it.

At the end of every game the 3 stars of the game are announced with players coming from just one club or both.

Boyle got the 2nd star of the night.  He got to give away a puck, signed by him.

I'd been asked by club management if I wanted to meet him at one point and while I can be outgoing at games, I'm rather shy in real life tending to stand in a corner and watch.  So, I always said no thank you.

But on that night with those 2 stars and a puck to hand out, Boyle skated across the blue line, across the rink like no one else ever does, looked right at me, and tossed up the puck.

My shyness kicked in along with my Minnesotan roots that told me to be polite and let the guy in front of me nab the puck.  (Guy then asked me who it was... insert big frowny face.)

That is maybe one of my only regrets from that hockey season, well, and that in all my #OldSignHag signs, I never did one for him.  Bishop, Stammer, Cally, Brown, Vasy all got signs but I wore Boyle's jerseys (white, blue, black depending on the night) so I figured that was good enough.

So, of all the signs I did (see below)

First game of the season when Callahan teased Stamkos that after signing, Cally knew who was buying the Arby's for the guys.  It became a running joke.


Bolts playing the Panthers begged for this sign!


Star Wars night


Hockey Fights Cancer Night


Stamkos went down for what became the entire season.


Marty St. Louis retirement






Vasy holding up after Bishop went down.  Team struggling, sagging, weary. 







This last one traveled with me for the rest of the season until... well, until Boyle was traded to the Leafs.  I stopped going to games, sold my tickets, watched from home.  This sign went to Minneapolis for the Wild v Bolts game and ended up in a video done by the club.  I wanted to ... 


Of all the signs I did, there was never one for Boyle.  Until now.  

Brian was diagnosed with CML sometime over the summer while going through camp with his new club (insert sad face):

 New Jersey Devils


Oh, and he's cleared to play!  Back on the ice, with his new club nonetheless, #BoyleStrong.

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