When Tyler Ennis was a kid, youth tournaments were a family affair. While he’d get ready to play, his mom and dad would mingle with the other parents and swap stories.
His mother gets to do it on a grander scale this week.
The Sabres are holding their annual parents and mentors trip for Tuesday’s game in Nashville and Thursday’s game in Dallas. Players get to bring someone along to see what life is like on the road for NHL players. Ennis is bringing his mother.
“She’s liked the camaraderie of meeting other parents,” Ennis said. “My parents were always social. They enjoyed tournaments when I was a kid. Hanging out with parents, they made a lot of friends that we still have today.
“It’s also cool for her to see other cities. Nashville and Dallas are two cities where she’s never been, so it’s nice the Pegulas let us do this kind of thing. She’s excited.”
Ennis’ mom and dad have alternated trips during his career. The parents usually go to lunch and dinner with their kids and sit in on team meetings.
“It’s nice,” Ennis said. “It’s your parents, right? It’s comfort. It’s nice to maybe get your mind off what you’re focused on every day, and that’s hockey. Sometimes it’s good for your mom to be there to talk about different things. It’s the person you can relate most to in the world pretty much. It’ll be good company.”
While the trip has become a yearly event, it hasn’t gotten old. That holds true even for parents who’ve long lived a hockey lifestyle. Sam Reinhart is bringing his mother, who married an NHL player and has two other sons playing professionally.
“She’s looking forward to it, just to be with me,” Reinhart said. “It’s good for me to spend some time with her. She’s familiar with the hockey lifestyle with my two brothers going through it, my dad going through it. She’s pretty aware, but for her to experience what a road trip is like for us is new. She enjoyed it last year, so hopefully it’s a good trip.”
— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) January 19, 2016