I was on my way to drop some tickets at the will call window last Saturday evening at the Pepsi Center when I passed Greg Mauldin. I’d seen him at practices, and in the locker-room after games, but had never really said hello.
I stopped him and introduced myself and we shook hands and all that “stuff” that goes into first introductions. He nearly broke my hand when he shook it (I faked like it didn’t hurt) and he smiled his whole way through our 5-minute encounter. He told me how he was never going to let this opportunity pass him by without giving it a hundred percent, and I believed him.
You see, everyone always says “I’m gonna give it a 110%, play like there’s no tomorrow, not gonna hold anything back”…all the RA-RA stuff you hear in every locker-room. But this guy was for real.
As a 28-year-old minor league hockey player, chances like this don’t come around very often. Greg’s life in the AHL has had stops in Syracuse, Houston, Binghamton, and Bridgeport Sound. He has a little NHL experience with the Bluejackets and one game with the Islanders. So when I looked into his eyes, and his grin reached from one ear to the other, I knew he meant every word. I slapped him on the back and told him good luck, and he walked away.
That night Greg Mauldin had the game of his life. He scored 2 goals and had 2 assists.
There were 11 other games in the NHL on Saturday night, with all the big dogs in action. Crosby and Bobby Ryan both had hat-tricks. But no-one had more points than Greg Mauldin. He was the number 1 star of the evening. Prior to our on-ice interview after the game, Greg smiled at me and said, “I need to say hi to you more often”.
Way to go Greg I'll be sure to say hello Tuesday Night!