Just found this on John Buccigross' column. Kind of made me smile for some reason.
I had a really cool experience this summer.
I got invited to a private pick-up game. Great group of guys. Among them was Steve Heinze (Bruins, Blue Jackets, Sabres, Kings). It was really cool for me because he was one of my favorite players while he was on the Kings and I'd actually been in the audience at the Staples Center when he scored a goal against the Sharks.
You probably know he retired due to concussions. He's still relatively young and he's kept in shape, so it was cool to get to play against a player of that caliber and see just how good one must be to make it in the NHL. The guy is nuts good.
He casually skated around the most of the time with huge speedskater strides and a big ol' grin on his face. The guy loves the game. He was laughing, joking around the whole time. He wore his jersey inside-out, but I could tell it was one of his old Kings practice jerseys. It was classy of him not to flaunt.
Of course, he played with only half effort most of the time, but he turned it on a few times and made my eyes cross. Several times, he deked through all five guys, skated to the goalie and dished it off to somebody else. Humbling stuff. I know you've skated with Pat LaFontaine and others, but, for a California boy who has to drive two hours to the nearest ice, this was an unreal experience. Just had to share.
PatrickSan Luis Obispo, Calif.