Last year, toward the end of hockey season, Findley took his dad to a Toronto Marlies hockey game. The Marlies are the Toronto Maple Leafs farm team. The tickets are reasonably priced and the boys try to get out a few times a year. They go early to watch the warm up, give the players fist pumps and pull Duke the Dog, the team mascot’s tail. It’s quite a production and they’ve been going since Finn was big enough to hold a bag of popcorn.
This particular game, Finn brought his allowance to buy a souvenir. Once the warm up and fist pumps were done, the boys explored the gift shop. Findley carefully examined the offerings and settled on a plastic hockey stick. The stick cost $15 – five more than the $10 he had with him. Findley was disappointed and both he and the clerk looked to Dean, expecting him to cough up the difference. Dean, on the other hand, saw an opportunity to teach Finn about the value of money and the importance of saving up. I am sure tears were involved, but they put the stick back and left empty-handed to watch the game.
For three action-packed periods the Marlies’ goalie, Joey MacDonald, worked hard to defend his net. He has since been traded to the Detroit Red Wings and was their starting goalie this past Saturday. After the game, as they were walking toward the door, someone called to them. It was one of the Marlies’ trainers. He must have recognized Finn from previous games and offered him Joey’s goalie stick. It had taken some hard shots and had to be replaced, but it was perfect for fueling a little boy’s dreams – and for backyard goaltending.
I doubt Finn remembers the financial lesson his dad tried to teach him that Saturday afternoon, but his game has certainly improved!