When he steps behind the microphone tonight to deliver his acceptable speech into the Hockey Hall of Fame, Capitals coach Adam Oates likely will show the same composure he showed as a player, carefully measuring every word.
But when it comes to thanking his father, David, don’t be surprised to hear a quiver in his voice.
Whether it’s playing a round of golf, watching a game or sharing a meal, Oates and his father have had a special relationship over the years.
It was his father, an English immigrant, who shared stories about former soccer great Sir Stanley Matthews, known to English soccer fans as the Wizard of Dribble.
David Oates marveled at the unselfish play of Matthews and instilled in his son the values of being a good hockey teammate by becoming a good passer.
Oates went on to become one of the greatest passers in NHL history, on par with Wayne Gretzky, Ron Francis and Steve Yzerman.
So it should come as no surprise that when he was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame, one of Oates first phone calls went to his father.
For a closer look at Oates’ relationship with his father, and for an in-depth look at his career as a player and coach, check out the four-part series CSNWashington.com published in September. For Part One, click here. For Part Two, click here. For Part Three, click here. And for Part Four, click here.