In 2016, two parents dressed their baby as Tom Wilson in the penalty box for Halloween. The costume went viral and Wilson, then a league leader in PIMs and fighting majors, invited the family and the adorable baby to Kettler Capitals Iceplex for photos and autographs.
This year, with Wilson out suspended for 20 games, the Wilson-in-the-penalty-box costume is back in vogue for Halloween and 10-year-old Graham Kuehl – I’m just going to say it now – won Hockey Halloween.
I reached out to Graham’s mother, Karen, for more information about the costume and how it came together.
Graham plays peewee travel. His nickname is the “Badger” to reflect his personality on the ice.
During the past year, 10 families (including ours) rebuilt an old ice rink in Roanoke, Virginia. We just opened the rink a month ago, after spending many weekends putting up the boards and polishing the glass. Needless to say, we’re pretty familiar with putting boards together.
We love the Caps and Tom, so we came up with the idea for #43 in the penalty box. My husband used four foam boards, some plexiglass off Amazon, four pieces of wood that he spray-painted with metallic paint, and a lot of advertisements from our printer. He used hockey suspenders screwed into the boards that went over Graham’s shoulders. Honestly, it probably took less than 10 hours over the last few days but were up until 1:30am after peewee practice last night.
When Graham arrived at school this morning, one teacher said, “That is the most perfect costume for your son.” I’m not sure that she was giving us a compliment.
My husband, Damon, truly deserves “Dad of the Year” for this one.
Perhaps wearing a suit coat over a Tom Wilson jersey might have been more appropriate today to signify the first-line winger’s appeal to Shyam Das which is currently being heard.
But still: what a wonderful costume.
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