|This was moments before the Edmonton Oilers "won" the first pick in the 2012 NHL Draft Lottery.|
There are several stories I could tell about John, but I will tell a hockey related personal story...
Despite Kempy's diminished overall hockey ability, he has some good speed, and as always, great heart. Kemp is an athletic fellow and has been since his youth. This story takes place a while ago, and I'm not sure Kemp had been playing ice hockey very long. I know it was a while ago because I was still pretty thin and in shape. Kemp had a habit of getting open for a break-a-way or two a game, but they usually ended with him crashing head first into the end boards after missing the net with a shot. He's come a long way since, but Kemp is still good for one or two of those a season these days.
I can be a little insensitive at times, but I always tried to nurture Kemp. He was and is altheltically gifted, and I respected that. One day away from the rink I tried to give him a little guidance. We were at lunch talking about breakaways and I said to Kemp, "You know, someone once said to me 'When you hit the blueline on a breakway, you've got to have your mind made up whether you're going to deke or be a shooter.'" I went on to explain, "I always try to use angles to beat a goalie with a good shot. I have my mind made up to be a shooter, unless the goalie shows me something else." John sat there for a second, thought about it for a while with an intent look on this face. After a moment or two He replied, "Usually when I hit the blue line with the puck (on a break-a-way) I'm thinking to myself, "Don't Fall Down, Don't Fall down, Don't Fall down."
We still chuckle about that to this day. His ying, my yang.