For Mom

My Hockey Mom –

It is with great sadness that I announce to the readers of Winnipeg Hockey Talk and Arizona Hockey Talk, my mom (Emily Kasprick) passed away on Sunday, December 29, 2013.  She died peacefully with her family at her side.

My mom loved her husband (Gordon, married 58 years), her children, her grandchildren, and her extended family.  She loved the family cottage at Twin Beaches on Lake Manitoba.  She loved and really enjoyed her one-time visit to our  (Phyllis and I) winter home in San Tan Valley, Arizona.  She often commented on how she used our place in AZ to be her motivation to get better and to be able to travel.


Fort William Gardens

With all that being said, the best part about my mom was she was a big hockey fan.  I have her to thank for passing on her love of hockey to me.  I come by my love of hockey honestly. 

She grew up in Fort William, Ontario, and back in the day was known to frequent the Fort William Gardens quite often and watch the local Junior team, the Fort William Canadiens.  She knew local Fort William NHLers Alex Delvecchio of the Detroit Red Wings and Larry Cahan of the Los Angeles Kings.  

She was always very knowledgeable about the game but no matter what, every time Toronto would play Chicago on Saturday night’s “Hockey Night in Canada” she would inexplicably name Jim Pappin as one of the “3 Stars”.  Not Bobby Hull, not Stan Makita but Jimmy Pappin.  It didn’t matter what the score was, the 3 Stars always included two Toronto players whether it was Dave Keon, Bob Pulford, Eddie Shack or Johnny Bower and Chicago’s Jim Pappin.

Her first love was her Toronto Maple Leafs but when the WHA Winnipeg Jets were born and later on became the NHL Winnipeg Jets 1.0, she loved them too.  One of her faves was Teemu.  She was equally smitten with Winnipeg Jets 2.0 and really liked Andrew Ladd.  Any and ALL teams representing Canada were at the top of her list as well.

For me, one of her weirdest things was her love of Eric Lindros.  I don’t know how or where it started.  I think maybe when he was an under-aged kid playing for Team Canada.  I don’t think she liked all the bad press he received with him just being a kid.  I always joked that Eric was the son she never had.

When I was scouting for the WHL’s Portland WinterHawks, she would brag to people she knew or even strangers in the grocery store line-ups that I had “discovered” (her words) Jonathan Toews.  Well, I did scout him and watched him play numerous times.  😀  I would tell her how good he was going to be and she loved watching him play for Canada in the WJC and later on as a Chicago Blackhawk because he was a Winnipegger.

She was so proud of Winnipeg Hockey Talk and Arizona Hockey Talk.  To get my spirits up she would write little insightful, anonymous comments, after reading my articles when I had no viewers.  I knew it was her.  The things that moms do for their children.

One of her wishes was to go to a Winnipeg Jets game but because of her health, she never got to see them live and in person.  I remember her phoning me and she was so proud because she just finished ordering TSN Jets from MTS TV.

THANKS MOM for being awesome and teaching me about the greatest game in the world.

Love Mitch

Editor’s note:  My mother never had a chance to listen to the Winnipeg Hockey Talk Podcast but she would have absolutely loved it.  She would have had every person in East Kildonan listening to it and single-handedly tripled our listening audience.



  1. Scott Campbell says

    Excellent tribute Mitch. I’m very sorry for your loss of such a great lady and mother.

  2. I know I don’t get on the site much to comment but I do read your insights on a regular basis. I know it is a very sad time for all your family Mitch but the written reflections insights to some of your mothers passions and love of the great Canadian game was heart warming to read. Thoughts and condolences on your loss my friend.

  3. Lovely tribute, Mitch. John and my thoughts are with you.

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