I can only imagine what a locker room with the personalities of both Ken Daneyko and Scott Gomez must have been like. Both unique personalities in their own way.
While they didn't sit next to each other in the locker room, although once Gomez did find Dano sitting next to him, they certainly ran into one another and have plenty of stories to share. And that's the beauty of these Stall Mates interviews, they take on a life of their own where all kinds of tales are shared from inside the locker room.
Daneyko was always impressed by Gomez from the start.
"I loved it because I've told it to young guys, you got to come in confident, but be respectful. And Gomer was always so respectful to the veterans."
Daneyko always remembers Gomez as being respectful, while not shying away from being himself as well, describing him as "as goofy as a $3 bill".
"But when he got on that ice as a young kid, boy all he did (was put up points)," Daneyko recalled. "His first year he won the Calder trophy and was a Stanley Cup champ, no big deal. No big deal, like 70 points, if I'm not mistaken his first season. So, he believed in himself, he was a confident guy."
In that way, both Daneyko and Gomez are cut from the same cloth.
And that's where we start this story, the goofiness, coupled with respect towards others, particularly the veterans and Gomez walking from inside the locker room to the bathroom area.
Dano was already in the shower.
Gomez was strolling by.
"He thought there was something wrong, I was grunting in the shower," Daneyko recalled of the rookie Gomez.
A rookie, strolling by a vet in the shower room. Was Gomez supposed to be there, should he give Dano his space? What were the rules?
"He thought he shouldn't have been around me or something and he was a little nervous that he wasn't supposed to be near the shower, or the bathroom for that matter when I was in there because I was grunting."
Now, let's stop the story here. Because this is a moment where the two personalities collide and anyone who knows Ken Daneyko knows that this story is about to take a great turn because any opportunity to have a little fun Dano is going to take it.
Here is how the conversation unfolds as Daneyko, who Gomez called 'King', remembers it.
"Is everything alright Mr. Daneyko," Gomez asked.
"Everything is fine."
Dano then turns to the mirror, pauses, and then flexes in the mirror.
"There's no way a 35-year-old man should look this good!"
The perfect Ken Daneyko response. He remembers seeing the sigh of relief in Gomez and remembers the significance of that moment.
"As an actual kid (in the locker room), that's how respectful he was. He thought maybe (he's) not supposed to be around here in the shower."
Daneyko says that pretty much is the sum of all of Gomez's parts. Dano uses 'crazy' and 'goofy' to describe Gomez but quickly adds 'respectful' into the mix. He also defined for Daneyko exactly what he loved to see from young players coming into a locker room.
"I loved young kids that came in confident. There's a big difference between arrogance and confidence and cockiness. You want a little confidence, and Gomer had a little bit of that, but he backed it up with his play on the ice. And we became dear friends."
Dear friends, indeed. And still looking great even beyond 35.