I only met him once. It was a very brief meeting, hours before puck drop.
We walked into the rink together on that beautiful day.
He had a MacEwen Wildcats jersey on so it was quite apparent that I was walking into the Coliseum with Zack’s mom and dad.
I usually arrived to the rink back then two hours before the game to prep and record interviews for the broadcast. Back then I never had the opportunity to meet the hockey mom’s or dad’s.
Two hours early, and 30 to 40 minutes after the game. That was the routine. We did that 19 times throughout the regular season and every home playoff game and let me tell you there were some memorable playoff moments during those days.
I never ventured past the players entrance or exit after games and if I did I walked with my head down as fast as I could.
I was new to the entire media side of the game and to be honest felt awkward around the parents and players for that matter, it just wasn’t my place.
As the years went by that has certainly changed. Talking to the parents of QMJHL players has become quite common, getting to know them on a personal level has been incredibly rewarding.
Walking up the long slope to the Coliseum box office that day, I remember passing the MacEwen’s.
As I got to the door the MacEwen’s were a few steps behind. I remember holding the door for them. The Wildcats office was a hub of action during those days, it was the media and NHL scout check in and of course will call.
The MacEwen’s had to pick up a few things that day before the game.
It was a chance encounter, but one I will cherish. I don’t remember the entire exchange, but I’ll never forget Craig MacEwen’s smile.
You could just tell how special it was for him and Julianna to be experiencing Zack’s foray into the QMJHL. They knew the sacrifices and hard work it took to get there. They knew how hard their son had worked to get there and to earn that opportunity. He was beaming with pride. His smile told the story that day and it still does.
For the second year in a row the Craig MacEwen Classic in support of the My Biggest Fan Foundation was a tremendous success. Craig’s memory and legacy lives on, through his family and friends.
I only met him once, it was hours before puck drop, some six years ago, but I will never forget his smile and his sense of pride.
The Craig MacEwen Classic and the My Biggest Fan Foundation ensure young aspiring players have access to the game so they can create their own unique and memorable moments in the game of hockey and life.
Let the legacy grow.