I've played full-on hockey with a hopefull future NHL'er. His name is Steve Zalewski. He was drafted in 04 or 05 by the Sharks. He's from my hometown here in Central New York. I played 2 years of high school hockey with him and countless sessions of jungle hockey (pickup no hitting) along with some Youth Hockey.
I've also played jungle with Erik Cole at Clarkson when he came back for alumni weekend. Insane hands.
last year I skated on a line between Jagr and Shanny, I was the centerman, I played about 80 games (got suspended twice for smackin Eric carins).. I put up decent #'s, had like 8 goals and 68 assists (sorta like Gomez but without the mega bucks contract)...we went deep into the playoffs but my friend Lukas who centered the Sedin twins defeated me in the cup final's on the nhl07... besides that... thats really all i've skated with..
When i worked in my younger days at Ice House in Hackensack - it had just opened and they had a number of different NHL teams practicing in any one of their 4 rinks.
Colorado was there and in closed practices (i'm pretty sure it was for the Devils - Avs final back in what, 2000?)
Anyway i was watching because employees were allowed and Sakic came in and blasted a WRIST SHOT that went through the glass, but not only the rink glass but also through a pane of lobby glass about 5 feet or so behind it. So essentially Sakic went through two panes of very tough glass with one wrist shot. Nuts. They just exploded.
The bad part?
I had to clean it up.
I love the ice house and have ties to the Rock n Rollers also. Small world. I once fought Ric Bennit at a Roller hockey game when i dressed for the Rock n Rollers and we lined up next to him and asked him how Steve Finns fist tasted and he got supper pissed off. lol . Also played with Rod Gilbert and Eddie Gicoman and Adam Graves a rink here in Englewood NJ.
You Rangers fan probably remember Reijo Ruotsalainen.. Well my dad played in juniors with him (they're same age) and now they play in same veteran team every weekend.. oh btw, Reijo is going to coach some Austrian team next season, just read it..
When I played men's hockey at Chelsea Piers ('95-'96), I did this "development" league which was basically skills practice and way to get on the ice more relatively cheap. One of our coaches was this former Devils goon who had a cup of coffee or two in the NHL. Compared to us he was a good skater, decent hands, and decent wrist shot. We'd all be awed when he put the puck in the net from the far goal line on one bounce, but then he'd laugh and would say compared to us, mite hockey players looked liked NHLers! He was a pretty cool guy, and tough as hell looking.
Skating with us were Kovalev & Richter's girlfriends, who were both learning the game.
Yea I was gonna mention she was a redhead but figured you already knew that lol.
I remember working there like it was yesterday man. I miss that place but now....its just not the same. Do you still play? I used to help Neal out every once in a while with Developmental/Instructional League feeding passes to the players, or performing the drill before the players did so they can see how its done.
I played for the Rye Mariners last year (a travel team) and Tommy Laidlaw coached my team for a little bit. Anyway, I remember doing a one on one drill and because I happened to be the last guy in line, I had the honor of going up against Laidlaw. I skated in and tried a spin-o-rama that always works against my teamates, but he read it through perfectly and laid me out.
Although I never actually got to meet him, I remember playing against Beukaboom's kids when I was playing Mite hockey. My mom told me when she saw him, she thought he was so cute because he was playing with his youngest kid and he was a very nice guy.