Every year in Las Vegas, Wayne Gretzky has his "Fantasy Camp." I've been talking about going to this for years. Last year, as a gift to myself for my 30th birthday, I decided that I was going to stop talking about it and finally go. I registered, but due to an untimely illness I had to postpone the event until this year.
Yesterday, after years of anticipation, the day finally arrived. My dad and I arrived in Las Vegas to attend the camp. The basic idea of the camp is to give regular people the chance to live the dream of playing in the NHL. They make 4 teams of players and form a tournament and you play for the Gretzky Cup. Wayne plays on your team for 1 game. It's not just Wayne though, he brings a bunch of his buddies too. This year he brought: Brett Hull, Jeremy Roenick, Denis Savard, Rick Tocchet, Curtis Joseph, Brian Leetch, Marty McSorley, Russ Courtnall, Geoff Courtnall, Grant Furh, Bobby Hull, Guy Carbonneau and Eddie Mio.
|Sticks (these are killer top notch pro sticks)|
|Sparky's 1984 Cup Ring. He told me he wears that one |
"Cause you'll never forget your first."
I've met many NHL players before in the past, but never in this kind of atmosphere. Yes, they are exceptional athletes who are very well paid, but at the end of the day they are just regular guys who like the same things everyone else does.
|This guy was hand rolling cigars for anyone who wanted one|
At the end of the night I felt like if the event ended right then and there, I could go home 110% satisfied, and I hadn't even stepped on the ice yet. I spent the last part of the night having a great chat with a new friend named Brad (who turns out I know his cousins very well). Brad has been to the camp many times and told me "You just wait, this is just the tip of the iceberg." I told him I'd take his word for it. I can't wait. Bring it on.
|Me and Curtis Joseph, super cool guy|
|Me with Sparky and Joey Moss. Wayne brings in the old Oilers training and medical staff and they look after our EVERY need. They really make us feel like NHL players.|
|Me with Walter. A really funny guy. Tons of one liners.|
|Me with Guy Carbonneau. Really nice guy.|
|Dad with Grant Fuhr.|
|Dad watching the water fountain show at the Bellagio|
|Dad, Wayne and Me. We are kind of laughing in the pic because of something Wayne said just before the pic was taken. You'll have to ask me in person if you want to know what it is.|