The Stanley Cup, the Memorial Cup, the World Junior Championship, The Olympics…..and the Golden Boot. That is an impressive list of hockey trophies to be sure, and their order of listing does not imply anything with respect to relative importance. Some famous gents have had the good fortune of being a part of teams that have won several of these. Scott Niedermayer comes to mind.
Having said that, Neidermayer’s name isn’t on The Golden Boot which perhaps does suggest that while those teams he was apart of were pretty good, and their victories hard fought, winning the Golden Boot is just a little beyond the others. A little harder to win. A little more unique to drink out of than some old tin cup.
This year’s winning team in the battle for the Golden Boot was the Blue Team. And I, not Niedermayer, was on that team. A team I’ll always be proud to say I was a part of. It may not have been 16 wins over 2 months. (In fact, it was only 2 wins and 1 loss between 9:00 am Saturday morning and 2:00 pm Saturday afternoon a few weekends back). It may not have been a full-contact war of attrition among finely tuned athletes. (In fact, it was just a bunch of old pluggers eating Warmington’s good eats and drinks between games). It may not have made front-page news in National Newspapers. (In fact, the only mention in the media at all was….um…well, never mind). What is was instead, was just about the finest hockey ever played.
So when Niedermayer is ready to take stock of what’s he really accomplished, and comes to realize that he came up one trophy short, he’ll always be welcome to throw his name on to the spare list for the W and see if he can work his way into a regular roster spot. If he does, and if he is lucky enough some Saturday morning in March some day in the future to win it all, then and only then will he be able to truly revel in his accomplishments. Until then, he’s just another guy who won some of the great trophies in the game, without winning perhaps the most important one of them all…The Golden Boot.