Enough’s enough. Rick Ley still hasn’t returned my hockey gloves. Doesn’t he understand the impact here?
I’ve decided to write him a letter:
Dear Rick: I’m still waiting for my gloves. Remember? You borrowed them when you were going away to the Niagara Falls Flyers training camp. They fit you like a, uh, glove. If you would have borrowed big Gerry Gibson’s gloves from up around the corner, you might have done poorly, because they were too big and would have been hard to handle the puck with. But no, you borrowed mine, made the team, and the rest, as they say, is history.
You showed the coach you could play well, probably because my gloves were fitting well and feeling good. So he kept you, and within a couple of years, you were playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs. You even had a small part in a movie. You made way more money than me, and it all started with my gloves. Is that ironic or what?
If you had decided to go with big Gerry Gibson’s gloves, which of course would have been too loose, you might still be a rink rat back home and would have never jumped over to the New England Whalers, where you were great. And when they raised your jersey to the rafters in Hartford, next to Gordie Howe’s jersey, did you and your wife even think of me and silently thank me during the emotional ceremony?
In 1974, when the World Hockey Association all-stars played the Russians and you were on the team, did you ever think you’d be playing for your country, all because you borrowed my gloves, which helped you make the Niagara Falls Flyers and you eventually ended up with the Leafs and then the Whalers and then Team Canada?
And when you mugged Russian star Valeri Kharlamov on the ice, did you know that Russian President Leonid Brezhnev, a big hockey fan, was following the series, and when Kharlamov was never the same again after your mugging and it affected the team, it led to a tremendously dispirited Brezhnev, who, maybe because he felt bad, eventually passed away, which led to a succession of leaders, and eventually Mikhail Gorbachev came in, and to make a long story short, was the beginning of the fall of communism? So when you look at it closely, I guess you could say me and my hockey gloves were responsible for the end of the Cold War.
Then you became the long-serving assistant coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, did pretty good, and I feel it’s time you should return my gloves. You owe me, and it’s not even the end of it. You prepared the team, worked with them in practices and games, and made them better players. They wouldn’t have learned as much if you weren’t there, and you wouldn’t have been there if you hadn’t made the Niagara Falls Flyers shortly after you borrowed my gloves those many decades ago. So I guess that means that all those Leafs you coached should thank me. I hope they didn’t learn bad habits from you about not returning things, though.
I know you’re a busy man, and it was a long time ago, and have just forgotten completely about the borrowing. I’m just reminding you, that’s all, and I know that you will find the time to put the gloves in a box and send them to me.
Thanks a lot.
Your pal from the neighbourhood,