Photo credit: Rob Carr.
On June 9, 2010, Troy Brouwer lifted the Stanley Cup, his Blackhawks defeating the Philadelphia Flyers to win hockey’s biggest prize. But in the months leading up to it, Brouwer was not fully focused on the Cup run. That spring, Don Brouwer, his father suffered a severe stroke, which left him unconscious for a week and required brain surgery. Since then, Don has only seen Brouwer play sporadically when the Caps travel to his hometown of Vancouver.
“You appreciate big things, like life, a little bit more,” Brouwer told Chuck Gormley of CSN Washington. “He’s lucky to be here. The doctors and physical therapists did an amazing job with him getting him back to where he is today. They say the later you are in life, the harder it is to rebound and get back to normal. He did an amazing job too. His will and his fight. You don’t get to say this a lot to your parents, but I’m very proud of him and how far he’s come. He’s really stubborn and he stayed on his therapy to get better.”
On Thursday, Don Brouwer was one of 42,832 people in the stands, seeing his son play on one of the biggest stages in hockey. And with 13 seconds to go in the 2015 Winter Classic, Brouwer collected a loose puck in the near circle and whacked it at the net. It went in, as fans threw their seat cushions and hats in the hair and the four other Capitals skaters on the ice leaped onto Brouwer.
“He texted me, but that’s it,” Brouwer said when asked if he spoke to his father after the game. “I haven’t responded to him. I figured I would wait until I got home to kind of share it with him. But knowing how my dad is right now he’s probably got a couple tears.”
“It’s pretty special, for sure,” Brouwer continued. “I’ve had some good moments in my hockey career, but this one, with all the intangibles, that played a part in it. My parents being able to come into town, playing against my former team, this being the first goal that I scored against my former team and the dramatic fashion at the end of the game of how everything played out is definitely going to, you know, it’s going to be a memorable day.”
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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