A long, but great read from Russo about Tom Kurvers....
Diagnosed with lung cancer, Wild’s Tom Kurvers prepares for his toughest battle
Thanks for posting this, Frank....this one especially hits home for me.
Grew up (mostly) in Duluth and those early 80's UMD teams were just flat out awesome (should've won a couple nattys in '84 and '85, but that's a grievance for another time). My family had season tickets right behind the Bulldogs bench during that time period so we were up close and personal for all of it, and I've gotten to meet a bunch of guys from those teams over the years...but none in a more random or cooler way than how I met Tom Kurvers (and simultaneously, Norm MacIver):
Last April, the Frozen Four is in town. I had attended UMD's Thursday semifinal win over Ohio State, and afterwards had secured a few prime ducats (courtesy of a bitter Buckeye fan ) for the Saturday final vs. Notre Dame. A few of my Duluth peeps came down to attend the game with me, and I dragged them to my usual pre-game spot downtown (Pazzaluna) beforehand. We're hanging at the bar having a few beers, and I take my coat off to reveal an old 80's-style UMD jersey with MacIver's name/number 5 on the back.
A couple minutes go by and someone taps me on the shoulder. I turn around and one it's one of the servers, who motions to a table back behind her by the window and says, "those guys want to talk to you". We all look over and it's two guys, both wearing UMD jackets, who look "familiar" but I/we don't immediately recognize them. So I somewhat hesitantly walk over...
Me: "Hey guys, what's up?"
Guy (with a bit of a shit-eating grin): "All ready for the game?"
Me: "Absolutely! I take it you guys are going as well?"
G(WABOAS-EG): "Wouldn't miss it. Just curious where you got that jersey..."
Me: "Won it in a raffle when I was a kid. Wore it to the game in 2011 so had to wear it tonight too."
G(WABOAS-EG): "Nice." (Long pause) "Thought we should introduce ourselves...I'm Tom Kurvers, and this is Norm MacIver."
Had a nice chat with them both for about 10 minutes. Apparently they had group texted a bunch of the former teammates a picture of the back of the jersey while I was standing at the bar and had been having a good chuckle about the randomness of it...since it's not like there are/were a bunch of MacIver jerseys walking around in the world. Got a picture taken with them and put it on my Facebook page before the game started with the caption "good juju"...and needless to say, the jersey is now 2-0 at the Frozen Four.
It wasn't too long after that when Kurvers was named the Wild's new asst. GM to Fenton. Really hope he's able to pull through this...
NICE! Thanks for sharing.
"You guys are true athletes!"