It’s been a really rough week for the Ked household. The Sheriff battled his ass off but passed away on Saturday.
My dad was the ultimate hockey dad. He started watching hockey in ‘94 when the Rangers went on their Stanley Cup run, great time to start eh? I remember times I’d be sleeping and wake up to him screaming “FUCKIN EH MESSIER!!!!” It wasn’t long after that he got me on skates and signed me up for Corinth Youth hockey. I wrote a blog about them last year and it’s just the best. They supply gear and ice for kids, which is a huge deal for parents having to deal with the costs of playing hockey. All of our games were outside in really cold conditions but it never stopped him from being there. As a kid you can’t tie your skates so your parents always did it. My old man was in a motor cycle accident before I was born so he only had one arm and one leg but that never stopped him. We’d be in the middle of a snow storm and he’d be out in the barn by the rink tying my skates because that’s what made me be able to play the game.
When I was my second year bantam I made the leap to play Saratoga Youth hockey and you better believe he had the big blue coat as all hockey parents around here had and he never took that thing off. We would travel way more, practice way more and he loved it. In my entire time playing hockey he literally never missed a game or practice. He’d go, stand there by himself and watch his boy play the best game on Earth. I’d know he was there because I’d always hear him yelling “SKATE JIMMY SKATE” or “KEEP YOUR STICK ON THE ICE!” He was my hero, my everything.
Over the last few years I can count on two hands how many Rangers games we didn’t watch together. We’d turn all the lights on in the house, he’d sit in his chair, me on the couch and we would watch the boys in blue every single night. I can remember when the Rangers made their cup run in ‘14 and how excited we were. We got to go to a playoff game one year, game one against the Pens.
We went to the Flying puck before hand where he ordered the cheese steak while I was ripping shots. That was probably the best day of my life, just me and the old man watching the Rangers win. I’ll never forget that. This year the Rangers got the second overall pick in the lottery and if you heard faint yelling and screaming that was probably him and I going crazy hundreds of miles away. We bleed Blue in this house.
He’ll be forever missed. I’ll never understand or accept what has happened but I wanted to take a minute and just say how much he meant to me and how much parents mean to a hockey player. They do everything for us. They do it and they don’t ask questions, they do it because they see how much we love it. We bonded over this sport and have a bond that I’ve never had with another human. Life can change in a blink of an eye so if you’re reading this, stop what you’re doing and give your parents a call. Tell them you love them, tell them how much they mean to you. They already know this but they love hearing it, they deserve it.
My dad was so proud of The Morning Skate. He was our number one fan. He’d always ask to come on the podcast and we let him. I remember getting home and him having notes prepared ready to talk Rangers. He was incredibly knowledgeable about the game, especially for someone who had never played.
I’ll miss him more than any of you will know. He’s in a better place now, out of pain, hanging out upstairs with my Grandfather. He’ll be watching over us and he’ll be with me whenever I have the Rangers on. Legends never die and my dad was the best to ever do it.
In his memory, we’ll be raising money for Corinth Youth Hockey. We want kids to know how great of a man he was and how they should attack life every day. With character, with pride, with hard work. Memorial contributions in memory of the Sheriff may be made to Corinth Youth Hockey, c/o Dave Barrass 149 County Route 10, Corinth, NY 12822.