Guest blogger: Adam Z … Dads, Daughters and Dreams


Dads, Daughters, and Dreams

By Adam Z

First came the “thonk” of the paci falling to the floor. The “thud” of all the stuffed animals hitting the deck quickly followed. And then the sweet sound of the world’s best alarm clock:

“Daddy! Daddy!”

Ella’s wakeup routine that Thursday morning in May was warmly familiar. Walking into her room, it was no surprise to see her standing up in her crib, arms outstretched, waiting for me to pick her up and hold her in our chair for a few minutes of quiet to start the day.

But as I lifted her up, she locked eyes with me. And in a confident voice, she proclaimed:

“Rangers score a goal.”

Now THAT’S a nice way to start the day, I remember thinking.

Ella turned two in April, and had been getting more and more into hockey with me all season. By the time spring rolled around, she could watch a good chunk of the first period before bed—at least through the first TV timeout. Come playoff time, especially on days where she had a good nap, she could make it to the first intermission. We’d go over skates (“special shoes”) and sticks, point out where the puck was (“Ella, is the puck big or little?” “It’s teeny tiny!”) and laugh whenever someone lost an edge (“fall down!”).

Naturally, the best moments came whenever she was awake to see a goal. For the last 25 years, I’ve been cheering “score! yes!” whenever the Rangers put one in. She picked up on it quickly; so in addition to my shouting, we had her dancing and giving hugs. Quite a scene here when someone hit the back of the net.

So you can imagine how pleased I was that she, like me, woke up thinking about the Rangers. With an even bigger smile on my face than usual, I picked her up and we made our way over to the chair for some quiet time. But as it turned out, she wasn’t done. Once again brimming with clarity and even some intensity:

“Henrik’s a good goalie. Henrik stops pucks.”

2014 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game OneElla has inherited a lot from her mom—her smile, her laugh, her creativity, and now, Henrik Lundqivist as her favorite Ranger (Quick aside: my wife once asked who I would choose if I could be anyone for a day. Henrik Lundqvist, I said, and I asked her the same question. Her immediate reply: “Henrik Lundqvist’s wife.”). Maybe it’s all the equipment; Ella loves to dress up in anything from construction gear to police uniforms to princess dresses to her own Rangers pajamas (or, as she calls them, “jamanas”). Maybe it’s the cool mask. Maybe it’s the hair. Whatever the reason, he’s always the first person she looks for when the game starts.

Her love of The King is such that she gets impatient when the Rangers are in the offensive zone. “Where’s Henrik?” she asks repeatedly during a solid forecheck or a down-low cycle. “Where is he?” I find myself torn between wanting us to keep up the offensive pressure and wanting the puck to get cleared to our end so she can belt out “Hello Henrik!” with a laugh. Talk about cognitive dissonance.

In any event, there was a playoff game to be played that night, and Ella’s words rattled around my head all day at work.

“Rangers score a goal.”

“Henrik’s a good goalie. Henrik stops pucks.”

Fast forward to game night: Game 6 against Montreal.

You might remember it. The Rangers scored a goal. Henrik stopped pucks.Montreal Canadiens v New York Rangers - Game Six

That third period was maybe our best all year in the biggest game of the season …wave after wave of pressure, attacks, and glorious chances. And as much as the fan in me was rooting for an insurance tally and a two-goal cushion, the Dad in me was, implausibly, hoping against hope for something different:

“Please, please, please let this score hold up.”

And it did: 1-0 final. I couldn’t believe it. I still can’t, for that matter. Not only was my daughter turning into a true blue Rangers fan, but she had predicted the final score of the game that sent us to the Finals.

How cool is that?!

Ella was fast asleep when the final buzzer sounded. She didn’t see the fans going crazy or the sea of blue mobbing Henrik on the ice or the presentation of the Prince of Wales trophy.

But she’ll be right next to me watching the home opener in October when the Eastern Conference Championship banner gets raised to the rafters.

Funny thing about those conference championship banners. When they hang on their own, they always seem to signify something lost or incomplete, rather than something to be treasured.

But that banner, and Game 6, will always hold a special place for me. The conventional wisdom is that a conference championship means ‘you haven’t won anything yet.’ As a hockey player and fan, I agree wholeheartedly.

As a Dad, though, I couldn’t disagree more. The Rangers may not have won it all, but having Ella along for the ride with me is like winning the Cup every day.

Photos by Getty Images.


About Author


  1. Good morning, boneheads!

    Very nice, Adam. And close to my heart. My daughter just turned two last month. And I fully intend to introduce her to Rangers hockey this season. Including taking her to MSG.

    Hard not to remember that game. 4 minutes or so to go, second period. Hank drops his stick and makes an incredible helicopter save. Brian Boyle punches the puck away from danger. In a couple of minutes D. Moore scores the only goal. Sweet memories.

  2. Great story Adam! Brings back a lot of memories. The girl in my Stanley Cup picture had a clever sale at the end of each day. She would grab a book for me to read to her, snuggle in get nice and cozy, then flash her baby brown eyes and say, “Daddy do you want to watch hockey with me?”

    Clever way to extend her bed time, but I could never say No.

  3. Awesome Adam. It’s something you will remember for the rest of your life!! My daughter is 15 and has a Lundqvist jersey of her own. She loves hockey and all sports for that matter (and is almost a blackbelt in Tae Kwon Do, never liked her dance classes), how could she not with her dad a fanatical sports fan and two older brothers who are as well. My wife always wanted a girl and when we had ours unexpectedly, my wife was all ready to do all those “girly” things, shop for clothes, cooking and so forth. Little did she know that our daughter is more like her dad and brothers than her! Luckily my wife is a good sport and enjoys sports to a point as well.

    And then, one of my dogs barks uncontrollably whenever the Rangers score. I don’t know if he’s conditioned to hearing Sam Rosen scream out, or he just senses when I’m excited like that. But he LOVES the Rangers!! And I swear he did the second part of the “Lets Go Rangers” chant…you know the part where you clap. He definitely howled it once real good!!

  4. John Milewski on

    Hey Adam. Hope you and the family are doing well. Great memories. Thanks for sharing. My kids are true blue as well. That was a great ride to share with them… but I was really hoping it would end with all of us at a ticker tape parade. There’s always next year… and Ella has lots of those to look forward to with the next one just weeks away.

  5. Milkman – Michael.

    Need a valid email address to respond to your email. It wouldn’t let me respond to your work email.

  6. Thanks Adam, for putting your “family touch” on your experience of following the ups and downs of Rangers fortune.

    Usually, I don’t like the idea of raising an “also ran” banner. However, with this team, I have to say, I am o.k. with it, because of how hard and tirelessly this team worked to overcome, especially Montreal and Pittsburgh, when this team was expected to pack it in and hit the golf links for the summer, and not get close to the Finals.

    And losing the SCF, while a painful experience, can be a learning experience, starting with “size matters.” The signing of Kevin Hayes, to me, signifies that we learned something as regards the final step we need to take to win it all, in the near future.

    This dovetails with my own philosophy of life, that: “I either win or come away with a learning experience in every situation, so that, I never really lose.” The Rangers seem to have come away with the knowledge of what the final piece in their championship puzzle looks like, making our SCF experience more of a learning experience than a losing experience.

    Stay tuned, our time to climb that coveted mountain top is coming. Thanks again.

  7. Great story Adam. A big part of the joy we all get from sports is the way it connects fathers and sons and daughters. Win or lose we’ll always have that connection which is priceless.

  8. Great post, Adam. When I was a four year old, I sat and watched games with my grandfather every night as my parents were at work. It’s one of my best memories. This little girl got to watch the Rangers hoist the cup in 1994. Now I have a little one on the way and I can’t to share the tradition with my son.

  9. Adam I took one look at my first house and bought it because it was across the street from the grade school. It had a baseball field in the summer, and a paved rink for hockey/basket ball in the winter.

    I couldn’t get my son off the rink for supper beyond Thanksgiving weekend on. I pretty sure my daughter would have played hockey, if I could have been in two rinks at the same time. Her passion is dance, but she will tee it up for the high school team, for me, if it doesn’t interfere with dance.

    I asked he what she wanted for her birthday. Her response was “We should go to New York and see a Ranger game”. What happen to a girl that just wanted clothes?

  10. Thanks Carp for the opportunity, and thanks to all the boneheads for the nice comments and great personal stories. The joys are greater, and the sorrows a little easier to bear, when we experience both with our kids!

  11. Nice, AZ. I remember when my little daughter came home one afternoon from summer day camp, mid nineties, with a picture of her and Mike Richter. He either visited or had a kid there. She had no idea who he was, alas, but I framed the pic for myself and we still laugh about it today.

  12. Coach John Heisman, holding the pigskin over his head, to the assembled members of his new team, circa 1895:

    “Gentlemen, it is better to have died as a small boy than to fumble this football.”

  13. Awesome post, made my day. I have a 10 month old daughter and I can’t wait for these experiences! Let’s Go Rangers!

  14. Brandel Chamblee sounds like something I ordered for desert ten years ago at the Palm Court at the Plaza.

  15. Nice sentimental piece, Adam Z, in the bonehead mold…enjoyed every line of it. Even this never-nmarried, childless curmudgeon, and that’s a compliment…

  16. leetchhalloffame on

    Greatest ever lasting memory was being in attendance at MSG in 1994 with my then 12 year old son when Rangers won Cup. Hope you and Ella are there for the next one Adam.

  17. Doesn’t Jack Nicklaus still hold the record for Long Drive contest on the PGA at 341? Tiger should learn from that. Maybe stop contorting his body to hit the be-Jesus out of the ball with minimal backswing.

  18. Mannu, many, many pros have outdriven the old Nicklaus yardages by miles during play. Of course, new equipment, hot golf balls, etc. contribute heavily.

  19. And, too, constant long and wrong adds up to failure. As Nicklaus said, after a US Open at a tight, heavy roughed Winged Foot: “If we played here every week, we’d all learn how to play golf again.”

  20. I would rather see Hayes, Kristo, or Haggerty before Malone.

    Is this the same Ryan Malone that was found with Coke in his back pocket? Not interested in this type of player at all.

  21. Ryan Malone – was a solid hockey player 3+ years ago, scoring 20-20 every year. He played a lot like Callahan. His stock is really LOW right now, with his DUI and cocaine bust.

    Personally I would rather see Hayes, Kristo, or Haggerty play for the Rangers.

    What does a PTO cost – Nothing.
    What do you have to lose – Nothing.
    No Risk yet…..

  22. Welcome To The Sideshow
    I’ll Cut It To The Chase
    Yeah I Can Hear You Thinking
    It’s Going All To Waste
    I Don’t Mean To Offend You
    When I Look You In The Eyes
    What’s All This Commotion?
    It Leaves Me Mystified…

  23. Bulldog
    I just read that on the interweb…yes, on a PTO. Not like it hurts us if he’s terrible.

  24. If the stuff on the interweb is true and the rangers are looking at Malone, it tells me they are desperate for some size/grit on our currently small and soft roster.

  25. I agree about penner on the meter. I also am not sure about Malone. On a PTO I figure why not. Again I think that they are even considering him makes me think the roster is too small and soft and they are scrambling to rectify it.

    Or in a grand conspiracy theme, they need him to replace some of the players going the other way in the jumbo Thornton deal…(s)

  26. How many contracts do we have left?

    My point was that The Golden Bear did it in the contest. Where the point is to drive it long and straight. My dad claims he’s still the champ. I’m sure he’s wrong. But it’s a good point. Jack ruled

  27. Malone stock is so low it would be a two way contact and he would play in Hartford.

    Perhaps Hartford needs more Bangers & Mash.

  28. I think if anything it’s a PTO low risk move. I still think if it happens it says a lot about the lack of bulk on this team.

    Wouldn’t it be funny if he ended up being Pouliot 2.0

  29. I worry more about the character of the team! When did the Rangers turn into the Oakland Raiders of Hockey?

  30. Bring in Malone. Why not. More bodies better competition. Tell you one thing preseason games will decide jobs more this year then ever before

  31. Good morning, boneheads!

    Ryan Malone in NYC? What could go wrong?
    That said, Sather is a big believer in second chances, so not surprised.

  32. I wonder if preseason games this season will determine roster spots more than ever before?

  33. Rob in Beantown on

    It will be interesting to see what kind of camp guys like Hayes, McIlrath, and -Kristo- will have.

  34. Rob in Beantown on

    The blog IS broken then. I need to clear my cache to “log out” after commenting in order to see new comments.

  35. Carp. – something’s not right with post. I can read it on the iPhone. But not the computer.

    Jpg broke it! Nothing shows up after his 36 post.

    Or do we blame it on Ryan Malone? Just the thought of him blew up the blog!

  36. Carp, for the past few days the site will not refresh on my ipad. It’s stuck on Cynar’s guest blog.

    iphone and work PC are fine. Just the ipad won’t refresh.

  37. Rob in Beantown on

    It might be jpg’s post that broke it because I only see up to coos’s 4:38 pm. It looks like the blog is trying to load some images in jpg’s post, so maybe if you delete that post it will fix it?

  38. Also when you post, it doesnt finish reloading & when you reload the page, your comment isnt there. Thats why I made 50 comments about Jumbo Joe the other day.

  39. iPhone works!

    I blame 10′ pole Malone & jpg! His post at 5:07 broke the bank!


  40. Stranger Nation on

    this started happening the other day
    iPad would not update and could only see posts after you submitted one
    Now iPad works and PC is not updating

  41. did i break the blog?

    says 51 comments since last night
    37 comments when i click on the link

  42. coos will like this (assuming it gets posted and he can see it) Got it in an email today:

    “Lexophile” is a word used to describe those that love using words in rather unique ways, such as “you can tune a piano, but you can’t tuna fish”, or “to write with a broken pencil is pointless.” A competition to see who can come up with the best one is held every year. This year’s winning submission is posted at the very end.

    A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months.

    When the smog lifts in Los Angeles , U.C.L.A.

    The batteries were given out free of charge.

    A dentist and a manicurist married. They fought tooth and nail.

    A will is a dead giveaway.

    With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.

    A boiled egg is hard to beat.

    When you’ve seen one shopping Center you’ve seen a mall.

    Police were called to a day care Center where a three-year-old was resisting a rest.

    Did you hear about the fellow whose whole left side was cut off? He’s all right now.

    A bicycle can’t stand alone; it is two tired.

    When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.

    The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine is now fully recovered.

    When she saw her first strands of grey hair she thought she’d dye.

    Acupuncture is a jab well done. That’s the point of it.

    Those who get too big for their pants will be exposed in the end.

  43. Coos should enter that contest. He would clean up. I have no eye deer how he comes up with so many.

  44. Great piece Adam Z.

    She’ll be a fan as long as its fun.

    That means no ‘pucking nash’ comments, or biting your knuckles, or throwing a spoon at the tv set such as I did when patrick ewing missed that lay-up against the pacers. (i know its basketball, but to this day I can remember the look on my dads face when I did that)

    maybe you can work on teaching her to say “nash scores goals” :)

  45. Stranger Nation on

    iPad works now but Laptop is not synching

    Coos is punny

    Hope Ex3 didnt lose his vaporizer in the quake

    Ironic that Wilbur is gone now that the Hay-es in the barn

  46. Can they realistically re-sign Staal to type of contract he would get as a UFA?

    Their defense would not be as good but it would still be decent and a top flight power forward would be great for this team.

    Why don’t you appreciate my genius. Is it just because I am stupid?

    That’s just ridiculous.

  47. Because I said so, Carp.

    Don’t underestimate my genius just because I’m stupid.

  48. Rob in Beantown on

    Now that the blog is back, which Rangers are we going to lose in the epic upcoming four team expansion draft, and how can we make sure Kristo is one of them?

  49. Carp, lol at your 5:59! Yesterday, my broker was sentenced. He got six and three quarters to six and seven eighths.

  50. Be careful Rob – the islanders will pick him up and put him next to Nelson. He will turn into the next PA Parenteau, and go on to score 50-60 points. When he could have been scoring for the blueshirts.

  51. I can post on the laptop but have to read from the I phone.

    Live it when a plan comes together!

  52. What’s the story with Glass? He’s getting a million nine this season whether it’s in Hartford or the Garden.

  53. Glass will make the rangers roster barring injury. There is no way he was signed as anything else but one of the top 12 ranger forwards.

  54. Carp
    Your first ranger assignment for the new season is to give us an accurate ranger physical stature comparable for purple hayes so we all know his actual physical size.

  55. is everything somewhat back to normal (as normal as can be)? …

    speaking of which, saw a T-shirt in Provincetown (if you’ve been there you can appreciate this):

    “Provincetown: Where Normal is just a setting on your dryer.”

  56. trying again
    for some reason
    i’m unable to see past
    my last comment
    at 5:07 p.m. on Aug. 25

  57. dumb question, jpg … but you’ve refreshed and the last comment you see is 5:07 pm Aug. 25?

    anybody else having this issue?

  58. Rob in Beantown on

    It’s still broken for me, Carp. I need to either clear my browser cookies or view the page in “incognito mode” to get comments after jpg’s 8/25 to show.

  59. @rangersreport

    Jim Cerny reporting that J.T. Miller is one of the early arrivals skating at Rangers’ facility, unlike last year.

  60. Welcome to the 21st century bull dog!

    Earlier today my iPhone would not load the blog at all, but it works fine now fwiw!

  61. See dub
    I’m with ya re jt. With his size, if he played physically like Doug Gilmore…dropping the gloves occasionally, getting in peoples faces, constantly taking the body, I’d say put him in and leave him in, but he plays like one of the Gilmore girls so colour me not impressed to this point.

  62. looking at todays photos of the rangers first practice I noticed zucc looking like a midget standing near the new kid on the block Hayes, funny.

  63. Good on Miller. This is a yuuuuge year for him. Seems like he’s removed his head from his…

    Let’s hope it stays that way.

  64. Ryan Malone \ma-LOHN\

    Position: LW
    Shoots: Left
    Height: 6-4 (193 cm)
    Weight: 224 lbs. (102 kg)
    Hobbies: 8-balling.

  65. Provincetown

    Jt: if I haven’t impressed you yet, you just hate me

    Or is that bull dogs shirt? ;)

  66. LOL – NY Giants’ perpetually injure #1 pick, Odell Beckham Jr.’s major in college was “Human Movement.”

  67. SB Nation reports that NHL is considering 4 (four) additional franchises in ’17. Talk about diluted talent! Maybe Avery will be back yet.

  68. Sather has signed more low-priced veterans this year than you can shake a stick at…will be interesting to see how it all pans out.

  69. If all the veterans end up in Hartford, where will they train the up and coming youngsters?

  70. I am always surprised when Lamoriello has a down year…he has a knack of creating something from nothing. The alchemist of the hockey world.

  71. Don’t think all the boneheads know that the blog is again up and running once again, Coos…

  72. We’re also getting into prime vacation time before the start of the school year…and the start of training camp.

  73. Take a look at the think spate of tweets and articles in the news feeds…hey, when Avery is posting pictures of aliens from outer space in the walk of heroes, you know its a slow day.

  74. Stranger Nation on

    Still cannot get to comments – last one posted is the comment by coos

    And, too, constant long and wrong adds up to failure. As Nicklaus said, after a US Open at a tight, heavy roughed Winged Foot: “If we played here every week, we’d all learn how to play golf again.”

    August 25th, 2014 at 4:38 PM

  75. i don’t mind malone coming to camp… we need bodies with the bottom of our lineup being full of question marks

  76. also on jt miller… we’d be in a lot better position if he could figure things out, he’d be a big piece. although i do think at the first sign of screw ups AV will bury him since AV hates miller, just like torts hates kreider and renney hates pruchra :)

  77. Nope…it still doesn’t refresh.

    AV called Miller out, it’s no surprise he’s the first one at camp if he wants the starting center.

    Hayes looks like a beast!

  78. Carp you can post to the blog. Close it, and come back in through a link like FB. And you can read what you entered.

    Hayes and Miller take the two open spot.

    What? Hayes & Miller, no Kristo????? C’MON MAN!!!

  79. Miami:


    .@NHL star @ChrisKreider’s workout for explosive lower-body strength:

  80. Boneheads can comment, but if you want to read it.

    You have to close out of the window.

    Enter the link through facebook, and it will show what you posted.

    So it takes one extra step, to blog.

  81. Hayes and Miller first players to arrive early to “pre camp”.

    Miller is 1’st one to the rink and last one to leave, showing AV that he committed to being a PRO. He is doing everything that he can to EARN the 3rd line Center.

    Hayes doing the same to make a good 1’st impression, he will get the first look at Brassard’s Right Wing.

  82. The Kreider 6’3 226

    Hayes 6’5 225 – How dare he come in under The Kreider.

    Time to bulk up and eat some pasta.

  83. i don’t think so, Sioux. … not officially on tryout yet. There might be some issues that need to be completed first.

  84. Wichy just imagine if Hayes can hit someone with his size. He could be our new favorite Ranger in a nano second. Trade that Kristo kid for a box of cigars :)

  85. So HAYESMAKER is just as big as THE KREIDER?

    My goodness. Imagine those two on the same line or coming at you back-to-back.

    It’s ON.

  86. i don’t care if hayes can’t play at all, i’m just glad we finally got somebody a little bigger.

  87. Aahnold Schwarzenneger is 5’10, wears lifts, claims he’s 6’2. What’s wrong with these guys?

  88. Carcillo recently spotted editing a 10 minute highlight reel showing his two playoff goals from multiple angles.

  89. Hayes had 65 points in a 40 games season. Played on the same line with THE KREIDER and won an NCAA Championship.

    AV needs size on Zucc’s line, that can score. He fits the bill perfectly. If Hayes can play two way hockey, he will be a Ranger in short order.

  90. Gravy – all those people in New York City, you think they could find one guy to figure it out :(

  91. Just jump on the facebook link, that is the fastest and easiest way.

    The regular way for me stops at comment 37.

  92. Any big guy who doesn’t score goals or fight is going to shoot right to the top of the WBM (c) …. I guarantee.

  93. if hayes doesn’t score 30 then i think we should trade him for scott gomez and/or captain clutch himself

  94. Gravy – and that stands for??????

    Just imagine if Hayes likes to hit people.

    I can almost hear the “sound of heaven” ring down from MSG when he takes the ice.

    But if he “hits” like Nash, he will replace Boyle on the WBM.

  95. Rep on Hayes at BC is that he doesn’t use his size, but is learning, resulting in good past season. ?

  96. tf – only if he throws them, which he doesn’t.

    Willie Mays Hayes
    HAZOR the Horrible, or will he be the new HODOR?

  97. Lots of questions about the blog, going into the season. Can it stay healthy? Does it have what it takes to get back to the final. Few more weeks to work the kinks out.

    I think it will be ready to rock, just needs to get a few Go Times under its belt.

  98. Rob in Beantown on

    Lol SeeeDubbb

    Alternative viewpoint: If the blog is *fatigued* now, it should just fold and go home.

  99. The blog is like J.T. Miller last year or Brad Richards in 2012-13.

    It will get in shape when camp starts. And not until then.

  100. We could use Torts’ help. He’d be all…

    “Stop breaking, blog.”

    Then it would be fixed.

  101. ‘With a song in my heart,
    I behold your adorable face.
    Just a song at the start
    but it soon is a hymn to your grace.

    At the sound of your voice
    heaven opens it’s portals to me.

    But I always knew
    I would live life through
    with a song in my heart for you!’

  102. Nursing chauffeur to the Stars! Cannot stop you from being attacked by a mob, but can bandage you up

  103. eddie 3X, stoned, purple, and shriveled, spends entire summer immersed in Burgundy filled hot tub.

  104. “former star” is a complementary appellation if you are retired. When you’re still playing, not so much.

  105. adam z loved your blog. i am still daddy’s girl or jpg’s dad we still watch sports together he played a lot of sports too, so I met a couple of boyfriends who were on opposing team’s to jpg’s dad.

  106. Ria( the silent bonehead) on

    Dear Carp & fellow boneheads let it be known that I ♥ reading all comments & posts. I just wanted all of you to know that just in case we have another “blog outage” .

  107. Re: Carp, 4:52
    Gees! When my kids write or email me, “Hi, DAD,” little did I realize it stood for Dime A Dozen!

  108. hey Carp
    don’t know if you got my email
    and helped me out
    or just good timing
    i’m back on the board and
    i’m able to read


  109. ugh (exclamation point)

    am i not allowed to use an
    exclamation point EVER (question mark)

    my last comment is “Your comment is awaiting moderation.”

    back in board purgatory

  110. Blog was out for over three days for me…………

    I thought everyone was in an alternate dimension

Leave A Reply