I’m told that Laurie Boschman is a distant relative of mine. That, however, is not why I am writing about him here. In a sports league that is much more reserved than its peers, Laurie Boschman has played a significant role in blazing a trail for Christians in the National Hockey League.
Whether it’s that vocally reserved culture of most hockey players, a possible frowning upon of outspoken faith in the league or just a more secular media coverage in Canada than we are used to in the U.S., you don’t hear too much about an athlete’s personal faith in the NHL. The “PDF” ( Public Display of Faith) is a bit more rare in the good ol’ hockey game.
That’s not always a bad thing – it is, of course, far better to walk the walk than merely talk the talk. But as I have begun to research this topic of Christianity in the NHL (both now and in the past) I have discovered a real legacy of faith amongst some of its most popular players.
I’ve discovered that Bernie “Boom Boom” Geoffrion, inventor of the “slap shot” and winner of 6 Stanley cups with the Canadiens, wrote these words at the end of his autobiography: “Once upon a time I used to believe that hockey was everything. It isn't. God and family come first. Being happy with the Lord and my family is a lot better than winning 500 Stanley Cups! When you are flat on your back the only place to look is up-to God.”
|Bernie "Boom Boom" Geffrion Photo Credit: habseyesontheprize.com|