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Q&A WITH THE PARENTS

by Jourdon LaBarber / Buffalo Sabres

The annual Parents Trip gives those who have helped the players on their path to the NHL a unique glimpse of what they go through on a daily basis. So while the parents received some insight into what life is like for a professional athlete, Sabres.com asked the parents what their kids were like growing up.

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Vicky Bogosian, Zach Bogosian's Mom

What can you tell us about Zach Bogosian the child?
He was very wired. I never let him have chocolate or soda because he'd be off the wall. I had to be very careful. But he was very fun loving, fun to be around, just a great kid.

How about Zach the hockey player?
He was very competitive. He was good. I mean, I thought he was good, of course I'm his mother. He was a team player, always was a team player. He was just fun to watch.

Was there a moment you realized he might be able to play in the NHL?
Well you always hope. That was the dream.

What was it like watching him play in the NHL for the first time?
Oh my God. It was amazing. But I have to say, he got into a fight in his first game with Donald Brashear. I was so upset. I'm not kidding you, I cried the whole weekend. I'm thinking, "Oh my God, what is this?"

It was funny, we went to the game early for warmups and my husband pointed out Brashear, and he goes, "He's one of the toughest guys in the League." Sure enough, next thing you know, my son is fighting him. I put my head down to my legs. I was going to pass out.

He was in a big fight at the end of the game in Phoenix. Are you more used to it now?
Yeah, I am. I mean, I was a little worried. There was so many of them.


Robert Eichel, Jack Eichel's Dad

What can you tell us about Jack growing up?
He was a great kid. His whole life, all he ever wanted to do was be a hockey player. He had a hockey stick in his hand walking around the house, down the street. Real easy kid.

Was there a moment where you realized he could play in the NHL?
No, never. I was surprised when he got a full scholarship to play college hockey and people started saying, 'Well, he might have a chance to play pro hockey.' I didn’t believe it. Then finally, after his season at Boston University, I believed it.

But Jack always believed it?
At 4 years old he said he was going to play in the NHL. I know girls that he graduated high school with said that when was in the fifth grade he told them he was going to play in the NHL. He had it in him and it wound up pretty good.


Perry Kane, Evander Kane's Dad

What can you tell us about Evander growing up that we might not know already?
Let me see. He was a good baker when he was 6. I had a bakery and he'd help me make the pita bread. He was really good at it, he could run the machine and put the bread in even, nice and round. Yeah, he was very good at it.

When do you realize that he was not going to be baker, but an NHL player?
I guess when he got drafted by the Giants you could see it starting to come, starting to develop. Playing in the Memorial Cup as a 15 year old - not many kids get to do that and he held his own and he was only 15 so he had, you know, lots of years to develop. I could see the writing on the wall.

What do you recall about the first time watching him play in the NHL?
Oh man. That was exciting. It was really exciting. It was just a great, proud moment for our family. My mom was there, my wife, my brothers. It was just a great time. You can't dream this stuff, you can't plan it. You just hope that it happens, and we were lucky enough that it happened for us.


Calvin Franson, Cody Franson's Dad

What was Cody like growing up?
He was actually kind of a laid back kid. He's still kind of that way now but he always loved to play. I still play myself, but I used to take him with me all the time. To my games, to my practices, whatever it was.

He always wanted to go. Sometimes I brought him back a lot later than I should have, you know on school nights, but he always wanted to go. He always went to school, but sometimes not on too much sleep. It was great, he loved it at an early age.

I just eventually said to him, by the time he was getting to juniors, 'If this is what you want to do, you know, go for it.' He always had a positive attitude.

Was there a moment when you realized he could play in the NHL?
Not really. As parents we're not really thinking about that, right? You're just looking at something you think they might like and seeing if it takes off. I never started thinking anything until the Vancouver Giants listed him.

He played junior B the year before that in a small town called Beaver Valley and it was about six hours from home. He had a lot of success there as a 16 year old and it kind of took off. But immediately you're not thinking that, you just want to see your kids have fun at what they do.

What was it like watching him play in the NHL for the first time?
I try to think of a word that everyone else doesn’t use, you know, like indescribable or anything like that. For me it was just very meaningful, because you see as parents how much they sacrifice at such a young age. They're willing to do all this stuff. It's tough, you know, to watch them leave so early in the mornings.

But anyway, he was in Winnipeg at the time and we went up to watch him for a double header. He was playing with Milwaukee and he got the call then after one of the games. What a feeling. And then to watch him it was … you're riding more than a high. I was just so happy for him.

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