Bellows back with Caps following son's birth
Posted: Thursday June 11, 1998 08:58 PM
Win or lose Bellows will always associate the 1998 Stanley Cup with the birth of his son (AP)|
DETROIT (AP) -- The smile on Brian Bellows' face
was wide and joyous, and said it all.
He had a newborn, a son, and the worries of waiting for the birth of his
second child the past few weeks were over.
On Thursday, the 33-year-old forward went back to work, trying to help
the Washington Capitals
win the Stanley Cup.
Bellows took a short break after Game 1 on Tuesday night. He flew home to
Minnesota on a charter flight paid for by team owner Abe Pollin, arriving
around 2 a.m. After three or four hours sleep, he accompanied his wife,
Tracy, to a hospital, where doctors induced labor.
Kiefer Sullivan Bellows was born at 2 p.m. Within hours, Bellows was back
in Detroit, ready to play in Game 2 of the best-of-7 series.
"It was a whirlwind kind of a day, but a beautiful, fantastic day," a
smiling Bellows said after participating in the pregame skate Thursday for
Game 2. "I really averted a situation where I don't think I would have been
In the old days of hockey, many players would not have gone home to be
with their wives during a birth.
"It's become a more civilized game, more family orientated, a game where
the management and the players work together," Bellows said. "Before, when
you first came in the league it was more: `OK, you're our property and you
are going to do basically what we say and when.' "
Bellows said there was no way he would have missed his son's birth but he
admitted he would have felt guilty leaving, feeling he was letting the team
That's why Bellows has struggled internally the past three weeks with the
pressures of trying to help the Capitals in the playoffs and being there
This wasn't an easy time for her, either. She had a miscarriage last
summer and then she had a difficult time early in this pregnancy in
Germany, where Brian was playing hockey early this season. He signed with
Washington in late March and he has been one of their better players in the
playoffs, with four goals and six assists in 18 games.
However, the past few weeks have been tough as the due date of July 3
approached. Three weeks ago, Tracy Bellows started having contractions, so
Brian Bellows went to general manager George McPhee and asked him to look
into charter flights so he could have a plane in a hurry.
Bellows said he would pay for it. Thirty-six hours later, McPhee said
Pollin offered his plane, free.
"It was a heartfelt gesture, not just because we are winning, but I feel
he would have done it anytime," Bellows said.
On Tuesday, it was decided Bellows would fly home after Game 1.
Bellows thought those plans changed hours before the game. Waiting on the
team bus that was to take them to Joe Louis Arena, a couple of players told
Bellows there was a telephone call for him in the hotel.
"I said, `No, not now.' "
It turned out it was the charter pilot informing Bellows of a change in
"I came back from that phone call just sweating, I was dripping wet,"
The birth on Wednesday made up for all the worries.
"It was an amazing thing," Bellows said. "Once things start happening ...
It's still my second time and to me it's one of the most amazing things
Within a few hours, Bellows said goodbye to his 7-pound son and was
skating with his teammates on Thursday.
"Even today in practice I felt a lot looser, a lot lighter on my skates,"
Bellows said. "I just felt like big load had been taken off my shoulder."
Bellows would not mind having that weight put back on his shoulders in a
couple of weeks, so long as it was the weight of the Stanley Cup.
"While I was in the hospital, Tracy's parents and everyone that came said
now all you need is the Stanley Cup. Take a picture of the baby sitting in
it," Bellows said. "That's the perfect world. We just have to work toward
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