Glove-wise, Is It Too Late?


Lazy? You want lazy? I’ll show you lazy. I’ll just put this back up.

Or is it persistence? Steadfastness? Whatever, it’s back. Because my whining didn’t work before. And I’m the guy who ended the Cold War for gawd’s sakes.

So once again, more than three years later, I’m sending the letter back out to Rick Ley.

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 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 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, or worked at Otaco, and would have never jumped over to the New England Whalers where you were a star. And when they raised your jersey to the rafters in Hartford, next to Gordie Howe’s, 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, gloves that helped you make the Niagara Falls Flyers and eventually end up with the Leafs, Whalers and even 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.

You coached the Whalers and Canucks, and became the long-serving assistant coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, did a good job, 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 teams, 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 Canucks and 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,


10 thoughts on “Glove-wise, Is It Too Late?”

  1. correct me if i’m wrong but aren’t yer clever tooth tricks courtesy of rick…… u r becoming a blogesfear star and will soon be behind the bench as stick boy rick will be kissin’ yer ass and the only way he will get good seats at the bell centre is to……… return your gloves.

  2. Yes, Hobo, it’s true. Rick knocked out my front tooth with a baseball. I’ve had plastic in my mouth since I was 12 years old. Just for that it’s worth the gloves coming back, Tabernac.

  3. Hobo, you’ve got me thinking about the tooth trick. I can’t do it any more because it’s all permanent stuff now, but I think the tooth trick was an excellent trick. The girls weren’t all that excited about it but I liked it. I called it the cash register. I’d poke each ear, then my nose, then sort of slap my head, and then pop out my false tooth that was attached to a plate, using my tongue. Come to think of it, this would’ve been a good act on America’s Got Talent. The little kids thought it was amazing.

  4. it was a most excellent trick………. especially when we were experimenting with mind altering substances….. get the permanent stuff knocked out again and get back to basics. the girls love it more than you think.

  5. Hobo,come to think of it, with mind-altering substances it was one of the best tricks in the world. You’re right, I need to get this back. I could do it at SeaFair!

  6. I bet you didn’t get half as much action as you could have with that tooth trick. At least it wasn’t popping your eye out or something, but still. Bad seduction technique Dennis. When did you change to the ‘come see my stuff’ technique? 😉

    Sad to say these gloves are probably in a landfill somewhere. There’s a good chance the guy may not even remember you. He might say “oh yeah, what was the name of the guy who lent me those gloves?”

    You could also write him for the hell of it. See what happens. Maybe it’ll lead to you getting a job in the NHL. Wishful thinking, but we all like to dream. (If this plan works, I want a pair of season tickets to the Habs as a thank you for my ‘brilliant’ idea….well, it was worth a shot…sigh…how about a luxury box rental for a year instead?)

    This is an awesome story. You never know, maybe your actions DID lead to the end of the Cold War.

  7. Darth, yes, I, I ended the Cold War. Why is it that Gorbachev gets all the credit? That’s bullshit. Anyway, yes I’ll just keep trying to be stick boy/gloves back/flag guy/owner, but I’m running out of time. And yes, I’ll get you great seats. Just leave the players’ wives alone. I’ll be looking after them.

  8. Well, if you do that tooth trick Dennis I don’t think you’re get far I’m sad to say. 🙂

  9. Dennis, I think Rick Ley is upset with you. After all, it was your gloves that led him quickly to Toronto. Maybe with a bit more hardship along the way he could have ended up somewhere good. He’s jealous, soon you’ll be handing out sticks in the Canadiens bench which is where he really wanted to be.

  10. Chris, I never thought of that. Of course. It makes sense. The gloves helped him make the Leafs and he’s been mad at me ever since because of it. Thanks.

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