Jeremy Lese is a Puck Daddy reader and a lifelong Washington Capitals fan originally from Silver Spring, MD. He flew out to Phoenix last weekend with his brother to visit some friends, and decided to check out the Washington Capitals against the Arizona Coyotes.
Jeremy will take it from here:
“When I was packing my bag, I was deciding whether to bring my red alternate Braden Holtby jersey or my white alternate Nicklas Backstrom jersey, the two most recent jerseys I've purchased. (As a side note, the alternate jerseys are sooo much better than the regular jerseys and should be made their primary jerseys!)
“Backstrom was hurt that night and didn't play. After the Capitals lost, my brother, my friends and I promptly left and were in the parking garage getting our car. I was looking down at my phone not paying any attention whatsoever (I'm a dummy). Suddenly, my brother and friends say, ‘Hey Jeremy, we just passed Backstrom.’
"Well, that certainly got my attention. I looked up and turned around and immediately recognized that it was him. At that point, I wasn't really thinking at all - being so star-struck - and natural instincts took over. I sprinted after him and chased him down yelling, ‘Nick, Nick, Nick!!!’ He turned around nonchalantly and I shook his hand, told him who I was and why I was in Phoenix for the weekend, and asked if I could take a photo with him. He was incredibly nice, down-to-earth, and gracious and said, ‘Absolutely!’ My brother and friends caught up with me and took a few photos.
"That wasn't the end of it though. I have always dreamed of meeting Backstrom, having him sign my jersey, and then framing it. That'd be pretty cool. So, I asked him if he'd sign my jersey. I didn't have a marker though, but my friend did hidden in his golf bag in the back of his car, and he saved the day! And it was a red marker nonetheless. So, I took my jersey off and had him sign it. And here's where things became a bit comical.
“As it was, I was just wearing the jersey and nothing under it. So, I took off the jersey and Nick saw me half naked and was sort of like, "What the hell?!?’ My friends were laughing at me, taking photos to memorialize my striptease in the parking garage, and thinking that I was absolutely crazy. Nick was chuckling the whole time.
“I asked him how he was feeling, he asked me where I was from, and we talked about the game. I was sooo incredibly nervous and my voice quivered.
"Oh, and by the way, I'm 35 years old.
“It was such a randomly awesome and lucky occurrence. So many completely random variables organically came together to make this happen. Pure happenstance! And good thing I packed my Backstrom jersey instead of my Holtby. My friends say they've never seen such a big smile on my face. Nicklas Backstrom is awesome! And that's my story!”
Do you have any wacky meetings with NHL players, with the photographic evidence to prove it? Hit us at email@example.com!
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