One of the most overlooked benefits of being
involved in the great game of hockey is the development of lifelong
From mini mites to the National Hockey League,
every player can tell you how important it is to be well liked in the room. The relationships that are built in that space,
and on the ice, are often carried on for the rest of our lives.
Players can be traded, released, or simply
age out; it doesn't matter, the memories are carried on forever.
Personally, the friendships that I have in
the game had been cultivated over the last 40 years. That has not always been good news for those
friends. Despite the controversies,
the bond has carried us through it all.
My father Tommy Heisler, and his best friend
Jim Vose, built a childhood friendship that has continued on decades after my
father's death. Uncle Jim has stood in
my dad's place through the good times and bad. It hasn't always been easy, and he's brought
down the hammer when needed, but the man has been instrumental in molding me
into the person I am today.
Do I have friends that I can count on to that
extreme? Yes. When battling kidney cancer, a number
of friends from the game help support my family, both emotionally and
financially, when it was needed the most. For that I'm eternally grateful.
It's always hard to say goodbye at the end of
the hockey season. Players go through a
time of hockey withdrawal while reuniting with family and friends back
home. Social media outlets make it
easier to stay connected to teammates but inevitably players are often scattered
between one season and the next.
For Junior hockey players, these are likely
the best time of life, the memories will last forever. Take the time to do what it takes to be a
great friend, the investment can often pay out over a lifetime.
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