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Dave Scatchard: My Brother and "The Kid" - New York Islanders feature

Discussion in 'Sports Programming and Events' started by Unthinkable, Jan 10, 2003.

  1. Unthinkable

    Unthinkable Guest

    Sep 13, 2002

    My Brother and "The Kid"
    By Kyle Novellano

    The author tells how Dave Scatchard had a profound impact on the life of his brother Adam, who succumbed to cancer at 17

    "Hey Scatch, nice move. Now why don't you try doing that tomorrow night against the Devils!" said my brother, Adam, during an intense game of PlayStation. I would scream out, "I got winner." "The Kid scores!" yelled out Scatch, who sometimes jokingly refers to himself as The Kid amongst friends. "You got lucky, Dave" said Adam.

    This was the scene at a typical visit from Dave Scatchard to my family's West Islip home to hang out with my 17-year old brother, Adam, my youngest brother Michael and I. Most of the time we would forget why he was here.

    In reality, Adam was battling cancer.

    After his illness was diagnosed as terminal, Adam left his room in a Manhattan hospital for his bedroom in our Long Island home. All my family wanted to do was make Adam's final days with us as enjoyable as possible for as long as they lasted.

    Growing up, my two brothers and I played sports from sunrise to sunset, but we really had a passion for hockey. We played it every day without fail, roller hockey in the summer, ice hockey in the winter. But when my brother became sick, we all took a step back from the game and became more fans than players. We got a satellite dish and watched every game starting with the Islanders and ending with the Kings or Anaheim out West.

    Being the big hockey fans we are, my mother tried to make some contact with the NHL to see if there was any way to have one of the players send my brother an autograph or a jersey. Unfortunately, our success for a while was limited. Then our luck changed.

    One day out of nowhere my mother called up to my brothers and me while we were in Adam's room and said, "You guys better clean up! Dave Scatchard is coming over." Turns out Dave did not only want to send an autograph, but he wanted to come over and hang out with us.

    A little over an hour later, Dave Scatchard was sitting across from my two brothers and I. After some nervous, ice-breaking chat, Scatch said, "C'mon, guys! What do you really want to ask me? Let's have it!" Soon we were badgering Dave about hockey and the NHL. "What's it like to play against Gretz?" "Who's the best goalie?" "Do you meet a lot of girls?"

    Then the serious battles of PlayStation began. It was a surreal experience watching Adam play against Dave Scatchard, while Scatch yelled out at the screen, "Look at The Kid go!" However, the best thing was the ear-to-ear grin that swept across Adam's face as he interacted with Dave. It was a beautiful sight to see an Adam smile, which over the previous months had become foreign to his face.

    The boundaries between Long Island kids and NHL player were slowly erased with each visit. The awkwardness that had filled the room during Scatch's first visit was replaced by challenges on PlayStation and personal stories that you only tell your friends. Unfortunately, as the friendship between Scatch and the Novellano boys grew, Adam's condition became worse. Adam passed away late one night in early March of 2001.

    But an incredible thing happened. Early the morning after Adam passed away, Dave called the house hoping to come over and hang out, unaware of our news. Overcome with emotion, Dave could easily have just sent his condolences and moved on with his life. But that's not him.

    He showed up at my house an hour later to support my brother Michael and I and the rest of our family in our time of need. Like a good friend, he showed how much he truly cared. Soon after, Scatch, Mike and I unanimously decided to pick up the sticks and head to the street for a little pick-up hockey game in Adam's memory. We gathered up some of the neighborhood kids, and after a few introductions the game began.

    Center Dave Scatchard of the New York Islanders of the National Hockey League was just another player out in the street talking trash and throwing elbows with a bunch of kids from West Islip. The game ended up going on for hours, and no one ever forgot whom we were playing for. Adam was no doubt in the stands.

    Dave's ability to seize an opportunity to make a difference in those around him offered my family a brief interlude during the nightmare we were living. He made us smile and laugh during a time when tears and sadness had become the norm. I am very thankful and forever indebted to Scatch for what he did for Adam and my family in the short time he knew us. We will never forget him and we will be rooting for him every step of the way.

    "The Kid" is truly top-notch, not only in the game of hockey, but also more importantly in the reality of life.

    (Kyle Novellano served an internship in the Islanders' customer relations department this summer and is now in his senior year at Boston College.)
  2. John Corn

    John Corn Hall Of Fame

    Mar 21, 2002
    Great story. Good job by Scatch. :righton:

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