"If my arm was 3,000 miles long, I would have hauled him through the phone," Steve Mitchell said in recalling the call he received from his son, Torrey, in late September, telling him he had made the San Jose Sharks roster.
"It was just a joyous moment," added Mitchell, who lives in Greenfield Park, a Montreal suburb, and is the athletic director at Selwyn House School in the city Westmount area. "It was emotional ... I was fighting back the tears. Torrey said: 'Are you there, Dad?' I finally said 'I'm here ... I'm all right.' "
Mitchell is your typical hockey dad, who for years spent countless hours working on the backyard rink where Torrey honed his skills as a youngster.
"At age 7 or 8, Torrey would get up early in the morning during the Christmas holidays when the world junior championship was on, put on his Team Canada sweater and go out there by himself," Mitchell recalled. "He'd put a chair on the ice and deke the chair, spin around the chair, put the puck through the chair's legs and score and lift his hands and run on his skates. He'd wake us up with the sound of the puck hitting the boards. We (Steve and his wife Sheila) used to sit in the bedroom window and watch him."