Drew Doughty‘s grandfather, Edward, was the first family member to pull up to his driveway Thursday morning. The 74-year-old didn’t show up empty-handed, either. He carried with him a clear, homemade jug of white wine with a Guelph Storm logo painted on the side of it, “holy water” for hockey’s holy grail, he called it.
“He was lucky to win and lucky to be here,” Edward said, before playfully poking fun at his advanced age. “I feel pretty lucky to be here too.”
It was a special day for Doughty, the Los Angeles Kings‘ 22-year-old defenseman who had his day with the Stanley Cup two months after his team won hockey’s biggest prize for the first time in franchise history. But long before Doughty paraded the Cup through his hometown, long before his brilliant goal in Game 2 of the Final against the New Jersey Devils, and long before he was drafted by the Kings in 2008 after a stellar career at Guelph, he was relying on extended and adopted family to get his career started.
Doughty’s AAA midget team was the London Junior Knights. He clearly had the talent to play, but he lacked two things all children are missing and are required for playing hockey — the money for expensive equipment and a vehicle to get to and from the rink for early-morning practices.
Doughty’s parents, Connie and Paul, wanted their son to play the game he loved, but they both worked and couldn’t afford the necessary pads and skates and sticks needed to play.
That’s when Doughty’s grandparents, Connie’s mother and father, came to the rescue.
“My grandparents, without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” Doughty told NHL.com. “They would drive me to 6 a.m. practices. They were the reason I could even play AAA hockey. My parents couldn’t afford it. If it wasn’t for my grandparents, I couldn’t even play AAA hockey. It means so much to me and I’m really happy to be here to enjoy this day.”