The 3rd Annual Blackhawks Convention just wrapped up. I attended for the second, and probably my last, time – but more on that later. The highlight of the entire event, for me, was getting to once again meet my childhood hockey hero, Denis Savard.
I had to first wait in line to get a wristband for the scheduled Savard autograph signing, and then later on, I had to wait in line again for the actual autograph. Kind of annoying but it was better than having to deal with people pushing and fighting to get ahead of me in line (again, more on that later). Others in line had photos or hockey cards of Savard that they wanted him to sign; I had my very first Blackhawks jersey, which is a good 20-25 years old. My parents bought it for me when I was about 10 years old because Savard was my idol. I wore that jersey constantly; I probably would have slept in it if my parents had let me. I’ve long outgrown the jersey but held on to it for sentimental reasons. When Lucia was born, I decided I’d save it for her – it could be HER first Blackhawks jersey, too.
After waiting for over two hours, it finally was my turn to go up on the little stage to the signing table. I unfurled the jersey and placed it on the table. Savard and his security buddy seated next to him had the same reaction when they saw it: “Wowwwwww!” I said to Savard, “This is my very first Blackhawks jersey. My parents got it for me when I was like 10. Now I want to pass it on to my daughter.” He asked me, “What’s your daughter’s name? I’ll sign it to her.” So I told him “Lucia”, and of course I had to spell it for him. He signed with a silver Sharpie on the 8 (of 18) on the back of the jersey, “To Lucia / Good luck / Denis Savard 18 / HOF 2000”. As he was signing he said, “Now when Lucia has kids, if I’m still alive, I’ll sign it for them over here [motioning to the 1 on the back of the jersey].” When he was all finished signing he said to me, “Good thinking to keep that jersey. Keep the tradition going. You’re a good mom.” I wanted to cry when he said that to me. That is the ultimate compliment for this new, hockey-crazed mom, even more so coming from my all-time favorite player and childhood idol! Savard stuck out his hand to shake mine and then I just about floated off that stage. Denis Savard still is my hockey hero.