Death of father inspires his return to playoff run


By Guy Carbonneau
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram


It has been a tough three weeks, and I don't think I'll ever be happier to see the ice than tonight.

Life has a way of challenging you, and I've had plenty of that this month. My dad died last week. The funeral was Monday in Quebec. Now, I'm back in Dallas and it's time to play hockey again.

I've thought a lot about all of that, and the thing that keeps coming up in my mind is that playing hockey is what my dad would want me to do. It's funny. My mom got me started playing hockey, but my dad always took a special interest. He called me the day before he died, and we talked about a lot of things. He was really excited about the goals I scored in the Edmonton series and he was ready for me to get back skating after I hurt my knee (April 23).

It was nice to talk, nice to hear what he had to say. And that's what I keep thinking about.

Playing hockey, winning championships, they are my dreams. But they are his dreams, too. He spent a lot of time and a lot of money trying to help me make them come true. And he took as much pride in what I did on the ice as I did.

It has been a hard time for our team throughout the past two or three years. We've lost a lot of friends and family. But each time something has happened, we've had hockey to turn to. It's an escape, but it's also what we know, what we do. It's comfortable to be in a game, to be doing what we love to do, to be fighting for something we've been fighting for all our lives -- something all of our parents and family have helped us fight for.

I don't know how I'll feel tonight. I don't know how I'll react to being out of the game for three weeks, to wearing a knee brace for the first time in a long time. I've never done this before in the playoffs -- I had never missed a playoff game before -- so it's all new to me.

I know at some time I'll probably think about my dad, and that'll be good. I'll remember what he liked most about the game and about me playing. I don't expect to become Superman just because my dad died, but I also know it's time to move on. It's time to do the things he would want me to do.