January 3rd, 2007

I watched part of the ceremony retiring Steve Yzerman’s jersey last night. Yzerman embodies everything that is cool about hockey, in my opinion. He’s that rarity in professional sports, a sportsmanlike athlete. I’m thrilled that he’s been honored in this way.

Still, the most moving thing about last night, for me, was that moment when Konstantinov appeared. I was waiting for it. They’d called all his fellow retired teammates from that 1997 championship team. Several of his teammates hovered around the entryway instead of proceeding to their seats. Oh, of course, I thought, someone’s gotta push Konstantinov’s wheelchair. Then they call his name and by God, the man appears, walking with a walker! He’s on his feet, none too steady mind you, but he’s walking!

Sometimes the ability of the human spirit to overcome adversity just kicks you in the solar plexus. As with me, last night, seeing that man walk to his chair. Only once did Probert, walking next to Konstantinov, reach out and steady him.

Oh, and let me undercut my own gravity here. Larionov? Still a hottie. I think it’s the glasses.

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