Brent Severyn: The Man Behind the Fists
Many will immediately think this is a terrible picture of the former Dallas Star, Mighty Duck, and Florida Panther, but for me its the real side of Brent Severyn. I first learned about Brent when he was traded to Dallas and went on to win the Stanley Cup with them in 1999. After that brief stint with Dallas he disappeared off my radar until one day at work I saw him lacing up his skates over on the bench. I had to do a double take to ensure it was the man I'd once adored for his checking and face breaking ability.
Severyn probably realized the awkward manner of which the kid cleaning glass was staring at him. I'm not quite sure what I said to him but I some how explained I worked there and that he was one of my favorite Stars player of all time. I somehow was scared I would anger such an enforcer, but instead Brent smiled and urged me to go grab something to get his autograph. I did and it is more cherished than my Troy Aikman signed football...and its only on a piece of paper.
To show Severyn's joy in giving a fan an autograph is only a small piece of the man I have seen. He has recently moved his company S.S.I. or Severyn Sport Inc. to Addison Square Garden in Dallas (where I worked during summers in Dallas). During his time away from doing color commentary for the Ducks (which I must admit is hilarious; I hardly ever miss a Ducks game on the radio thanks to my love of the Ducks and of Brent's Jokes), he is a great one on one coach to hockey players of all ages in the Dallas area and always active in community service in both Dallas and Southern California.
At the rink, Severyn always understands when something is not going quite right and that I need to cut (resurface) the ice either early or later than I'd originally told him. Severyn is also always telling jokes around the rink. When Brent is around, everyone smiles a little more. That's just the kind of guy he is. It is truly a blessing, not only to have met, but also to work with a man such as Brent Severyn. He made a career of his fists but I have since learned about his huge giving heart. For many of his seasons in the NHL it seems on the ice he led the team in Penalty Minutes, but off the ice was given a community service award.
It is truly men like Brent Severyn who make hockey the greatest sport on earth. Thanks Brent for all you did as an NHL-er, all you do for the communities of Dallas and Anaheim, and for spreading the love of the game to new generations through your coaching and instruction.
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