Monday, April 2, 2012

Peter the Great!

When you first meet our family you learn very quickly that we are HUGE Colorado Avalanche fans!  The truth is though that I AM a huge fan and my poor family have been brainwashed to ride the train.  The other thing you quickly learn is that Mommy adores Peter Forsberg, former member of the Avalanche.  On the day we found out Kaiden would be a boy, I would not take no for an answer he would have the same middle name as Peter the Great.  Years later, with honestly no prompting from mom he chose to wear the #21 as his hockey number.  Just a few months later Kaiden announced to us that someday he wanted to be the Captain of the Colorado Avalanche when he grew up.

One evening during the last summer I got up for work and Thomas tells me that we won't be going to Salem in October(our already planned vacation).  He pulls up for me the information for the newly announced retirement ceremony for Peter which just happens to be in October.  He says to me not to argue that we don't have to go, because he doesn't want for me to miss the retirement of my all-time favorite player. 

Just a couple months later I am standing in the entry way of a hockey rink in Minnesota(we had traveled to watch our hockey boys play) trying desperately to buy tickets. When I finally get an attendant they inform me that the event is already sold out.  This was only three minutes after tickets went on sale.  Then she told ME that this was a popular event!  A couple hours later I bit the bullet and bought tickets on StubHub for a more expensive price, but it was worth every penny!

Our trip was quickly upon us and was filled with all sorts of hockey related events.  On Friday we attended the Avalanche practice.  Here's a hint to all hockey fans...its FREE!  Cloudy couldn't believe how fast they all skated for "old" men.  Kaiden enjoyed watching Matt Duchene and Ryan O'Reilly spend the last part of the practice playing baseball with pucks.  Once practice was over we were able to hit the ice ourselves and the kids loved getting to skate in the same place that their team does!

The morning of the retirement ceremony we drove around Denver purchasing pretty much very Avalanche piece of merchandise I could find!  Before hitting the game we strolled around downtown Denver and ate dinner at the Hard Rock. 

The time came though to get to watch them raise Peter's banner to the rafters.  I knew that it would be special to be there with my family but when he walked out on the ice to be honored the feeling was so much more than what I thought it would be.  During the highlight video of his career Kaiden kept saying"Wow that is so cool."  Sometime in the actual ceremony I looked over at Cloudy and she had tears in her eyes.  Whatever their honest reason for coming they knew those moments were important to their mommy and they wanted to share it with me.

The score of the game was unimportant as we left that night.  The kids had an amazing time at their first NHL game.  As we were walking to the car Kaiden asked me if Peter had ever been the Captain of the Avalanche to which I had to tell him that he had been only an alternate captain.  He looked at me and said, "I don't need to be Captain mom.  I'll just be an Ace Captain like Peter."