Since I don’t expect to be very active finding the remaining pucks on my list, I figure I will also take the opportunity to run through the ones I already have. Might as well start with an original Devil, and a true original period, Glenn “Chico” Resch.
Resch was traded by the Islanders to the Colorado Rockies in 1981. He was one of the players who made the move east to New Jersey the following season.
Chico would play 4 seasons with the Devils before being traded to the Flyers during the 1985-86 season. Never had a good season as a Devil, and played on some truly awful teams.
I only started watching the Devils during the 1986-87 season, so I never really knew him as a player. My main exposure to Chico was as a color commentator. And of course, part of that was his memorable series, “Chico Eats”.
I met Chico just once. Not at a meet and greet, not at a card show, but standing at a urinal in the Continental Airlines Arena. My usual bathroom technique at a game is to head up the stairs with less than a minute left (during a stoppage, of course, I’m not a heathen), watch the end of the period at the top of the stairs, then bolt for the restroom.
I did exactly that and immediately after I arrived at my urinal, coming in at full speed was a little guy in a brown suit with a combed over hairstyle and a mustache. Holy crap, I’m peeing next to Chico Resch.
I maintained proper urinal etiquette. Stare straight ahead, say nothing, look at nothing, do your thing. Chico did not. He pulls up at the urinal directly next to me, which any guy knows is a breach of protocol unless there is no option; you are supposed to leave an empty urinal as a buffer.
And he didn’t look straight ahead, he looks over at me and says “Oh boy, this is one heck of a game we’re seeing I’ll tell ya that!” It was, as I recall, a 1-0 game through two periods. I agreed, he said that if Marty kept playing the way he was playing, there was no way he was getting scored on. He wound up being correct.
Chico finished his business, zipped up, told me to enjoy the rest of the game, and off he went. He did wash his hands, with soap, so he got that part of the process right.
I remember feeling like it was weird that a “celebrity” working for the team (or the network, rather) would be using the same bathroom as the fans. But if you’ve ever listened to Chico, or had a conversation with him (hopefully not while holding your meat), you know that he’s just that kind of guy. There’s no question the guy likes talking to fans.
This puck was an eBay purchase. Signed in white ink, and a little smudged. But still a great piece. Chico may not be remembered as a great player for the Devils, at least not by most of us who missed his time, but there is no way I could have a collection like this without him being a part of it.