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Grandfather Gets Thrill Of A Lifetime Surprise – Why #10?

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In a small southern Manitoba town called Zhoda, a Canadian family hockey tradition started many years ago with Mr. Bill Mateychuk, a devout Montreal Canadiens fan, who’s hockey idol is Guy Lafleur. Bill wore the number 10 jersey when playing hockey in the small Manitoba community in honor of his favorite all time hockey hero, Guy Lafleur.

Bill ran a Beef cattle farm in Zhoda, MB, and when he retired from farming and went to selling farm equipment, his boys, Brad and Ryan Mateychuk took over the farm. As the young boys were growing up in small town Manitoba, Bill sacrificed and did everything possible for his boys to enjoy, experience and grow up playing Canada’s favorite game, hockey. And keeping with tradition, the boys also wore #10 on their hockey jerseys in honour of Guy Lafleur.

Brad’s son Eric, a 10 year old minor hockey player in Zhoda, MB also wears #10 and Ryan’s 2 year old boy Will is guaranteed to also carry on the family tradition of wearing the famous #10 as soon as he joins the local minor hockey system in a few years from now.

On a warm winter morning in Zhoda, Brad was listening to Power97 and what he was about to hear would set into motion a series of events that would result in the “Ultimate Hockey Experience” for his father. Radio personality, Phil Aubrey, AKA Philly (!/power97philly) was talking about being the emcee and official game announcer in Ile Des Chenes, MB on Saturday, Feb. 11th for the Montreal Canadiens Alumni game, and that the assistant coach to Guy Lafleur position was posted on eBay for the highest bidder to win a chance of a lifetime to spend the afternoon with Guy Lafleur and be his assistant coach during the fundraising hockey game in Ile Des Chenes.

“I wasn’t sure if I heard that right, so I checked it out and sure enough, the assistant coach to Guy Lafleur position auction was on eBay”, said Brad Mateychuk. “Everytime I hear Guy Lafleur, it always reminds me of my dad and growing up playing hockey throughout the years. My father was always there for us, he sacrificed and was dedicated to make sure we were always able to play hockey as we grew up.”

Brad called his brother Ryan and sister Mel and told them about the auction. They all decided to bid whatever the bid price needed to be to ensure that their father was honoured with this once in a lifetime opportunity. It was their way of saying thank you Dad for everything you’ve done for us all these years.

The bidding war was on, and on closing day of the auction, the Mateychuk siblings had won the auction for their father at $840.

When the time came to let the father/grandfather know about his gift, Brad and his 10 year old son Eric, Ryan and his 2 year old son Will and Mel all went to visit Bill. Eric asked his grandfather why everyone in the family always wears #10. “Because Guy Lafleur is the all time best player in history”, replied grandfather. “Well grandpa, you will be coaching a game with Guy Lafleur and the Montreal Canadiens” said 10 year old Eric. Bill had a confused look and didn’t understand what young Eric was trying to say. “Yes Grandpa, we all got together to give you this gift in honour of everything you’ve done for the family over the years, you will spend the afternoon with Guy Lafleur before the game and you will be his assistant coach next Saturday in Ile Des Chenes.”

Needless to say, Bill will have this priceless, once in a lifetime opportunity to spend some time with his all time favorite player, #10, Guy Lafleur.

(At the time of this writing, there are 2 other “Thrill of a Lifetime” positions available. For a donation of $1,500, two lucky HABS fans will get to play shoulder to shoulder with the Canadiens and not only experience this once in a lifetime opportunity, but also walk away with a souvenir HABS jersey with a very unique story to go with it for years to come.

Event details can be found at


Written by marcpalud

February 5, 2012 at 10:17 am

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