The Staal brothers, Marc, Eric, Jordan and Jared, grew up turning soil and tearing up the ice. Now they've begun work on a collection of Stanley Cups
When cold weather came, the Staals (from left: Marc, Eric, Jordan and Jared) got off their muddy turf and onto their backyard rink.
Like the sacred Montreal Forum and seismic Chicago Stadium and other storied hockey barns that exist only in the scrapbooks of memory, Staal Gardens is history. Henry Staal dismantled the rink nearly two years ago, and now only the detritus of dreams -- a dozen or so muck-caked pucks and fragments of wooden boards in the matted grass -- serve as testament to a playground that measured 50 by 100 feet but imposed no parameters on the imagination. When they gazed out of their kitchen window, Henry and Linda Staal could see their four sons on the rink, impervious to the lung-searing Ontario winter, but now the mystical spot is hidden by a row of spruces that has grown through the years.
... To get immediate access to this complete story you must be a SPORTS ILLUSTRATED magazine subscriber. If you are not currently a subscriber, see below for a special offer.