Oilers winger Ryan Jones became a first-time father on January 6, early in the morning, following the team’s win against Tampa Bay, the previous night.
“I was telling (my wife) that she did not have to wait until the game was over, but I’d appreciate it if it did,” Jones said back on January 7. “She was super strong and as soon as the game ended the other night, the trainers came in and they’re like, ‘You’ve got to get going.’ I fired out of here, got to the hospital and I guess five hours later, he came out.”
Jones and his wife Jaimie welcomed Lincoln Thomas into the world, weighing 7 pounds and 4 ounces. Since then, life has changed for the Oiler.
“I think just the responsibility,” Jones said of the challenges of fatherhood. “You don’t want your wife obviously doing all of the work. It’s important that you try to do as much as you can but, at the same time, whenever he cries he’s not looking for me. It’s been fun. To be honest with you, there’s no downsides to being a father. That’s for sure.”
Being a hockey player and a new father can be tough. In that line of work, you’re either on the road or going to practice or prepping for a game. Spending a lot of time at home can be difficult. For example, Jones went on a long road trip from January 12-18, just six days after the birth of Lincoln.
Jones says he’s lucky that his wife has been so supportive.
“I think more often than not, I feel bad because (Jaimie) is doing so much of the work and I’m either at the rink or I’m on the road or something and she’s been awesome about it. She’s a great mother and I knew she was going to be. It’d be nice to be around, that’s for sure, if for no other reason than to just get to hold him and look at him.”
The Oilers says that his first, ‘I’m a father’ moment came with his first diaper duty.
“Probably his first diaper,” Jones laughed. “She changed about five and then my turn came up and I was like, ‘Oh boy. I’m going to have to get used to this I guess.’ But, it’s fun. Everybody said that when it’s your kid, you never notice the cries or the diapers or anything. It’s true. When it’s other people’s kids crying, it kind of rings in your brain but when it’s your own kid it just means he wants something.”
After becoming a father, Jones has received accolades from Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins for his continued improvement from training camp and the start of the season and has also been commended for his recent willingness to fight when the moment calls for it.
It has been an interesting month for the new dad.