Dear Dad,

The rink in the backyard, the summer hockey camps, the road trips, the post-game treats, and the endless memories made at the rink, were all because of you.

I will never forget all of the countless hours we spent together, building this passion for the game we both love. The greatest thing you could have ever done for me is introduce me to the game of hockey. A love of yours passed down to me. On all those long road trips and one-on-one battles on the outdoor rink, we were forming a bond much greater than we knew. We became a team, dad. Quite possibly, the most important team we could be a part of.          

Now dad, coaches can tell me how well I played and sure it’s nice to hear. Teammates hugging me after a big goal and cheering about how cool it was sure does put a smile on my face. However, nothing compares to walking out of the dressing room to see the smile on your face knowing I have made you proud. Your input has always mattered the most. Even though your advice may be hard to hear sometimes, you always do say the right thing to make me a better player and person.

You would think my favourite memories would be the championships I won or the goals I scored. You’re mistaken, dad - the best memories were the times we spent together. In the car on our way home from games re-hashing it and discussing the highlights. Or you teaching me how to take a slapshot. Those are my favourite memories.

The crest on my chest may change, my teammates and coaches will come and go, even the curve of my blade may have altered. But there is one thing that has never changed – you.

So, this Father’s Day, I would like to say thank you for putting your sleep aside and waking up before the sun rises to take me to hockey practice. Thank you for working overtime so I could have the best equipment on the market. Thank you for sitting in freezing cold rinks for hours on end, cheering me on. And thank you dad for being my biggest fan.