The Ticker – “Loose Change’ and More

By Lee Samuels

Not sure why but when we wrote the story a month ago about Cody Parker leaving the Nevada Storm 18u and signing with the Las Vegas Storm junior team we had one of those late-night flashbacks…

Like, when a top player leaves his team and moves on.

Years ago when the dynamic goal scorer Josh Jasek was the captain of the AA Las Vegas Mustangs in 2002-03 we were at the Vancouver International Tournament during the Christmas break. This was the season after coach Rob Pallin and the Mustangs were coming off a 60-win season and a first ever ride to the U.S. Nationals.

After we were done with the games in Vancouver where it was cold, icy and snowy – we were gearing up to go home when we realized we were short one player.

“Josh Jasek isn’t coming home with us,” coach Rob said. “He just got signed by the (BCHL) Victoria Salsa. You should write a story about it.”

We went into a small business area at the hotel which had one computer and a fax machine and we started writing.

About five seconds later we realized how short of time we all have when you travel with the teams and the players with all of the practices, road trips, team meals, big games and fun times.

That’s when it hit us….it wasn’t going to be the same anymore with the captain gone.

Coach Rob stopped by the computer area and said “…it’s part of the game…be happy for him…others would have gone too if they had the opportunity.”

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When our son Eddie Samuels played for the NAHL Billings Jr Bulls any goal scored from the crease area – where the goalie was in a big scramble – was called “Loose Change.”

Eddie scored from close range early in the season and his best friend and teammate Will Munson told him “that was real good loose change.”

They tapped gloves and both laughed on the bench.

Will’s nickname that season was “Money.”

The other day Eddie, now 29, sent a text over.

“I know hockey is the cause for most of my pain and ailments now but I wouldn’t take back one minute of it. I loved every second of my hockey career.”