From Yuma, we drove over to Phoenix and stayed with friends Todd and Holly Reynolds. Todd was one of Dan’s agents and he and his father Don continue to support our family in so many ways. We got to meet almost two year old Samuel who really liked to go out and see our big bus. Graham went to the team practice the day before the actual game and talked to a number of players in the dressing room. He especially enjoyed talking to Curtis Joseph who said he fondly remembers playing in our Woolwich Weekend tournament in Elmira and St. Jacobs. He also said he owns an Olympia ice machine for his private arena and purchased it in Elmira. My friend Rick Schlupp and his family own the Olympia company and make the ice machines at their factory right in Elmira. It was nice to hear about another connection to Elmira. After a talk with Wayne Gretzky, we were sent to his merchandising company out in Scottsdale, Arizona. We met with Darren Blake, Mike Brown, and Drew (sorry I didn’t catch his last name) at the warehouse housing all kinds of Wayne Gretzky signed merchandise. They graciously donated an autographed Oiler’s 99 jersey and a framed autographed picture of Wayne and Gordie Howe sitting together on the bench from the game they played together in 1979 in the WHA. A very generous donation for our end of the tour on line auction. The Coyotes also donated a signed team jersey. It was a good game for the Coyotes and they dominated all night against the New Jersey Devils. They outshot the Devils by a 2-1 margin and even though Curtis Joseph only faced about 12 shots, he was very strong in net.
Graham spoke to a group of adult hockey players on Tuesday evening at the arena in the Coyotes dressing room. They were there for a tour of the team’s facilities and then were going on ice with some Coyote alumni for a work out and a mini tournament. On Wednesday afternoon Graham also spoke to a group of the marketing and ticket sales staff for the team about goals and teamwork. He also talked about how our family has coped the past three years and about the power of forgiveness. He was well received by each group and they were very kind and generous in their thanks afterwards. A special thanks to Sarah for arranging both talks and for all her assistance to make our stop in Phoenix so enjoyable. She made everything easy for us. Thanks Sarah. It is hard to believe, but we have now been to nine NHL cities. Nine cities down and only twenty one to go. Our record for the home team while we are in attendance now stands at 6 and 3. Those Flyers were tough in California for the home team. On to Denver.
Phoenix Coyotes vs. New Jersey Devils
Off to the Rockies to see Joe Sakic and the Avs on Saturday.