If someone told me I’d be writing a blog post the morning of NHL trade deadline day about a player that appeared in just 13 total games for the Worcester Sharks I’d probably have laughed at them and just went on my way. But this morning I woke up to find out former WorSharks forward Nikolay Goldobin had been traded from San Jose to Vancouver, and here I am writing one.
We’ll just add that the long list of stuff I’ve gotten wrong over the years.
Why I’m writing a post has nothing to do with what Goldobin did on the ice here. His three goals and five points in nine regular season games to end the 2014-15 season was a nice addition, but like his teammates his four playoff games that year couldn’t really be called “successful”. The reason is what happened after game two of that playoff series against Hershey.
As many folks left the DCU Center after that 3-1 game two loss put Worcester down 2-0 in the best of five series it was apparent that the WorSharks had probably played their last game in the city. As they left the building most fans were saying their good-byes to the front office staff and DCU employees, noting that they were hoping for a miracle comeback and more games, but it didn’t look good.
A large group of fans, myself included, went over to the restaurant next door to have one last gathering before the season–and WorSharks–were officially over. As one would expect, it was a mixture of sadness and celebration. Until someone noticed Goldobin had walked in.
Goldobin was staying at the hotel attached to the restaurant, and had called in a take out order to bring up to his room. He did notice all the fans in the place, and with his head down obviously not wanting to attract any attention walked up to the hostess to get his order.
Fans began cheering for him and they were not quiet about it. You could tell Goldobin, whose team had just lost and probably played their last game in the city, was momentarily confused by the fan reaction. After some encouragement from fans he walked over to the group.
He could have just waved and left, he could have ignored everyone, he could have done pretty much anything but go over to the now loudly cheering fans, but that 20 year old kid walked over and shook every hand that was thrust out to him, signed every autograph that was asked, and in broken English said the team knew they had to make it back for another series for the fans.
As we all know, they didn’t. Goldobin and the WorSharks moved out west to San Jose, and now that 22 year old budding star is headed north to Vancouver. He likely doesn’t recall the events of that late evening in April of 2015, but lots of Worcester fans do.
And that’s why he’ll always be one of us.