However it all came about, the rest of the practice was a nightmare. My thought that I could just skate around and bang in the odd rebound to make an impression was delusional. And the idea that Wayne was on board with my "situation" turned out to be false. The Great One had no intention of playing pitch and catch with Graves all day so I could have my walk in the park.The whole story is hilarious, and hopefully isn't the only good one in his new book on his career as a benchwarmer.
Every single pass Gretz made was to yours truly. And I'm not talking about those beautiful saucer passes you see in his video Hockey My Way. I'm talking about wobbly hand grenades that would blow up as soon as they hit my stick. And by the way, I was playing the off wing. That's right, I had to try to catch those bouncing Betties on my backhand.
The practice that started as a chance of a lifetime turned quickly into a series of drills that I furiously tried to execute so I wouldn't be cut.
I remember a three-on-two drill that started with sweat pouring off my face. I was busting down the right side fully aware a puck was heading my way. Sure enough, Gretz lobbed another wounded duck my way and the puck landed somewhere near my blade. Then the whistle blew and Muckler was starting the drill over again.
"Where did the puck go?" Graves asked.
"In the stands!" someone replied.
Apparently, when Wayne passed the puck over I did such a
good job of receiving it that it hit my stick, blew up, and flew over the glass. It was like someone had a joystick and hit the jackass button every time the puck came to me.
Sunday, January 13, 2013
A Bad Day To Come To Work Hungover
Sean Pronger (Chris's brother) tells the story of the day he got to practice on the same line as his childhood idol, Wayne Gretzky, albiet hungover (or still drunk):