I don’t know a goddamn thing about hockey or the N.H.L., except that it would be better if one player on each team were required to use two smaller sticks instead of one long one. I do, however, have a favorite player.
I met Nate Gerbe — the cousin of a friend’s fiance — last Spring when he was then the star player on the Boston College Eagles and a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award. Because my friend and his fiance were in town from Chicago, we all got brunch together at Moogy’s near the B.C. campus.
It was just a few days before B.C. took off for Denver and the Frozen Four (NCAA championship), so you would forgive Gerbe for being aloof and cocky. Except that would have been unnecessary. He was sincere, down-to-earth, and relaxed. The best part was when the inquisitive and enthusiastic Mrs. Pax Arcana asked, “So you play for B.C. — that means you’re, like, good, right?” Nate just kind of shrugged and said, “Yeah, we’re pretty good.”
The next weekend, he completely dominated the national tournament, leading B.C. to the title. He scored a hat trick in the semifinals against favored North Dakota, and notched two goals and two assists in the title game against Notre Dame.
Anyway, I mention all this because the Buffalo Sabres — who originally drafted Gerbe in 2005 — called him up last weekend to try to give the team a lift. He did not score on four shots in his N.H.L. debut, but it’s clear the team thinks pretty highly of him. As do a lot of us.
Good luck, Nate!