Feb 27, 2023 - Sports

Colorado Avalanche's Evan Rodrigues' sweet ritual to start each game

Evan Rodrigues' sons reach for a puck on a stick being pushed through the photo hole at Ball Arena on Jan. 16. Photo: Ashley Potts/NHLI via Getty Images

A ritual connecting a father and his sons is the best show at Ball Arena right now.

What's happening: Colorado Avalanche forward Evan Rodrigues, the new guy on the team, is capturing the hearts of fans this season with his pre-game tradition, the Denver Post reports.

  • During home-game warmups, Rodrigues tries three times to shoot a puck through a small hole in the glass that photographers use.
  • If he misses, he picks up a puck with his stick and passes it through the glass to his 4-year-old son, Grayson, and then does the same for his 2-year-old son, Noah.
  • Sometimes, dad will high-five them against the glass or blow them a kiss.

Of note: The entire scene is shown each game on the arena's giant TV screens.

The backstory: Rodrigues' father played in the NHL, but he didn't want to force the sport on his sons, not even "gently guide" them, he told his wife, Christie.

  • But Grayson became enthralled with hockey after receiving a puck from his father. "Pretty much all day, every day," Evan says, "that's all he really wants to do."
  • The boys use the pucks to play with their father in the family basement where a rug is fashioned as a rink and boards surround the playing space.

The bottom line: "It has nothing to do with the fact that he's playing in the NHL," Christie says. "I think they're still too young to understand the significance of that. They're so happy to see their dad."


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