The Devils and the rest of the NHL have the next two days off for Christmas. This holiday has a way of making us reflect back on our childhood, so I asked a few of the Devils what was the best gift Santa brought them as a child.
In an attempt to make it more interesting, I made them limit their answers to non-hockey-related gifts. Otherwise, the answers all would have been sticks, skates and jerseys.
That made it more difficult for the players than I anticipated.
"All of my gifts were hockey related," left wing Zach Parise said.
Anyway, here are the answers from those Devils I asked who were able to come up with one.
Scott Clemmensen: Nintendo. "Me and my brother would play Super Mario Brothers and Zelda for hours."
Mike Mottau: Nintendo. "It was unbelievable because I didn't think I was going to get it and Santa came through."
John Madden: Atari. "I was pretty good at Pac-Man and Donkey Kong. The graphics were unbelievable." (He was joking).
Travis Zajac: Playstation. (Note the generation gap between Madden and Zajac, who said he had "heard of" Atari).
Brian Gionta: An ATV. "It was a small one - a three-wheeler. My uncle gave it to me."
David Clarkson: A snowboard. "When I was younger, I loved it." (He doesn't snowboard anymore).
Jamie Langenbrunner: Playmobil guys. "I had them all set up under the tree."
Mike Rupp: Nintendo. "I was the best at Rad Racer."
Johnny Oduya: A Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. "I got one of them and I was pretty pumped for that. I was young -- five or six."
For me, it was this big GI Joe kite. I think it was called the Skyhawk. I had the GI Joe with the Kung Fu grip. (the old kind, not the one from the TV show). There was a place for him to sit in the Skyhawk and it would fly like a regular kite. Joe survived that, but he later met an unforunate end. I also had a parachute for Joe and once threw him up in the air in my backyard, imagining he would float gently back to the ground with his parachute. Alas, the chute did not open and Joe landed on his head, which snapped off.
Now, it's your turn. What was your favorite holiday gift as a kid? To make it fair to the Devils, limit it to non-hockey-related gifts.
Happy Holidays to all of you and your families.