Steve Thomas scored 421 NHL goals in his career. But he may never have been more proud of a NHL goal scored than when his son potted the first of his career.
Anyone who ever watched Steve "Stumpy" Thomas hustle allover the NHL ice couldn't help but cheer for him. He worked so hard and it was impossible not to admire.
The new generation of hockey fan may understand what I'm talking about if his son Christian makes it to the NHL. Like his father he's faced a bumpy road so far, but last week he got called up by Montreal and scored his first NHL goal.
Dad, who is on the coaching staff with Tampa Bay, saw the goal during the intermission of the Lightning/Blues game. As he told Elliotte Friedman, he is very proud of his son.
“I’ve been hoping for this, because he’s worked so hard but hasn’t had the result. He shoots the puck really well, you think it’s a matter of time, and if he just continues like this, he’s capable of scoring a little more…get his mojo back.”
Friedman continued on with some great quotes.
“I coached him in minor bantam, bantam and minor midget. The one thing I told him — and all his teammates — is you all have aspirations to get to the NHL, but you don’t know how hard it is…everything has to be about preparing; from eating properly, to being a good person on and off the ice, to training every night. Not making the Under-18s, not making the World Juniors, I told him this is just adversity. You get stronger by dealing with it.”
“He’s the best guy to look to,” Christian said of his father. “Not drafted by the OHL, not drafted by the NHL, he’s a lot of help to me.”
And his best advice?
“Compete every shift, so if you make mistakes, they can’t fault how you worked.”