Where are they now? Gordon Bombay: The Minnesota Miracle Man

From community service to legendary coach
From community service to legendary coach

In any relationship there is give and take. When it comes to Gordon Bombay and the game of hockey, it’s been a rocky but satisfying relationship. It’s had heartbreak; The death of his father, being pushed to far as a kid by a ruthless coach, and blowing out his knee missing out on his opportunity to play in the NHL. However, for all the blows that hockey has dealt, it’s the positives that Bombay is known for. Taking the worst team in Minnesota to the state championship, and having the U.S.A. junior team to pull off the major upset against the best team in the world, Iceland. After the Junior Good Will victory, Bombay shocked the hockey world when he accepted the American ambassador role for the Good Will games. “I felt that I could’ve helped more kids in need in that position. The Ducks had grown up and I knew that I needed to let them soar on their own. Was it hard? It was the most difficult decision in my life but in the end I knew I would always be there for the Ducks whenever they needed me”. After helping hundreds of kids, the games would come to a close in 1998 and Bombay would be out of a job. What to do? The Ducks were all grown up and had gone their separate ways. While in L.A. Bombay was one of the driving forces

As a coach Bombay helped establish 2 NHL franchises including the Mighty Ducks
As a coach Bombay helped establish 2 NHL franchises including the Mighty Ducks

behind Anaheim getting a pro hockey franchise. When they looked a namesake, they looked no further than Bombay’s team for inspiration and adopted the banner Bombay helped to create. Although, it’s no coincidence, after all Bombay was always great at persuasion from his lawyer days. After establishing a franchise in L.A., Bombay used his abundant free time to help bring back a franchise back to Minnesota. After the North Stars departed after the 1993 season, Minneapolis was without a pro franchise. Bombay would be one of the men who lobbied to get an NHL franchise back, and in 2000 the dream was realized. Since their inception Bombay has remained in the Wild front office and is in charge of the player development. When asked if he would ever return to behind the bench again, Bombay smiles and stays with a chuckle, “I’m retired”. However, I follow the Minnesota miracle man after he leaves the Wild facility. When he stop his black Lincoln on the edge of a sea of glass ice, he puts on a pair of skates and grabs his stick from the backseat. Then I look out through the frozen mist and see the Ducks, like apparitions gliding through the winter evening. The stop when they see their former protege and burst out in a joyous roar. Then I see the group that enthralled a nation, resume what they’ve been doing for years, flying across the truth. Then I remember those famous words that Bombay once said and know that it is really true. Ducks will always fly together!

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