Bobby Gassoff did not attend the Frozen Four here last week. He had a business conflict out of town. Way out of town.
Bobby Gassoff is the son of St. Louis Blues legend Bob Gassoff, who was killed in a motorcycle accident shortly before Bobby was born. Bobby himself is a former Blues stick-boy and has played in 2 NCAA Frozen Four tournaments.
Lessons of putting teamwork above individual play that he learned on the ice are now carried over to another team -- in a situation where not playing as a team could cost lives.
This story brought tears to my eyes. Not just because this boy sacrificed what may well have been an NHL career to fight for his country, but because of the love and respect he clearly has for a father he never met.
Also the respect and admiration that NHL players who knew him when he was a stick boy show for him, including a
recent tribute from Chris Pronger, the ex-Blues captain now with Anaheim. Pronger invited Gassoff, then stationed in California, to a Ducks home game.
"Bob said Chris had them show him on the JumboTron," said Diana, his mom. "They interviewed Chris on the bench, and he said, 'This is a great friend of mine, and he's going to war.'"