Dirty Thirty #9: Thanks, Ted Lindsay
The Dirty Thirty women’s early season tournament was established in 2010 by Michele Monson, founder of the now 41- team Michigan Women’s Senior Hockey League. The idea was to have a low-key fun weekend tournament early in the season for the league’s veteran players who were slowing down a little but still enjoying the world’s fastest and most exciting team sport. Minimum age to play is 30.
Monson’s husband, Gil Ruicci, and their dear friend Ted Lindsay were key supporters.
From the start, the tournament was held to eight teams so as to fit in one arena and be easily managed. There had always been a waiting list and disappointed teams so this year Monson expanded to 12 teams, requiring a second arena and more volunteers. Again it was a great success for both local and out-of-state teams (Illinois, Ohio, Ontario).
Once again Lindsay – Detroit Red Wings Hall of Fame player, head coach, general manager, ambassador of hockey and great booster of women’s hockey – dropped the ceremonial puck for each of five championship games on Sunday, November 5, at the Kensington Valley Ice House. He also handed championship and runner-up awards to each player and joined the championship teams for pictures.
At age 92, Lindsay was easily the tournament MVP and was awarded a sandwich smooch by two thrilled Motor City Crush players. The grin on his face showed this was the perfect MVP award for Terrible Ted.
Before the tournament, Monson sent out a short summary of Lindsay’s amazing career and closed with:
“And Ted is coming to support his love of women’s hockey and our tournament. He will be there to meet you ladies on Sunday and drop some pucks and hand out some awards.”
Each time Ted stepped on the ice for a pre-game puck drop, the players banged the boards with their sticks and repeatedly shouted, “Thank you, Mr. Lindsay! Thank you, Ted!”
The officiating was excellent, and the refs were thrilled to be on the ice with Ted Lindsay.
Amy Finkbeiner offered her thoughts about the tournament: “Mr. Lindsay has long been an advocate and supporter in the establishment and growth of females in the hockey community. As a League Director and player for over 15 years, I have seen continuous growth in the number of girls and women pursuing their love for the sport and greatly expanded options and opportunities for us to play.
“Standing right next to Mr. Lindsay as he presented awards to each player in the championship games, I will tell you it was thoroughly enjoyable seeing the look on the face of each player as they approached him. It was understood that not only is Ted an Epic Hockey Icon, he is a longtime activist and supporter who in some way had contributed to every woman that was lined up on the blue lines that day.”
Lorie Springall of the Sault Saint Marie Ontario Hockey Bags, Advanced Rec One Division Champions, sent a warm thank you to Michele Monson that pretty well summarized the great time had by all participants:
“Our hats go off to you and your team of volunteers! An awesome, awesome tournament. Such a friendly atmosphere on and off the ice and everywhere our team went while we were in Brighton. Well organized. Excellent communication. Fun prizes. Loved the cold beer and hot pizza. Friendly teams to play against (Team Fiona, Illinois and O’Leary Hawks) and, yes, great refereeing. Loved our timekeeper, too (Nicholas Toth) – very helpful and polite. Meeting Mr. Ted Lindsay was the icing on the cake for us!
“So glad we made the effort to attend your tournament. We plan to be back next year. Thanks again for a great weekend.”
Michele Monson sent the following to all participants:
“Thank you so much for participating in the Dirty Thirty this year. It was so nice to see old friends and meet new ones. The Molson Beer Company donated all the scorekeeping signs and sends apologies for all the misspellings. Don’t worry, all names will be correct on the CUP. I hope everyone had a good time and are all home safely. The volunteers, staff and restaurant workers enjoyed your visit. See you next year”
Ted Lindsay commented that women’s hockey has grown tremendously and that Michele Monson and Gil Ruicci had been great contributors to that growth. He had enjoyed watching some great hockey at the Dirty Thirty and getting kissed by two pretty girls was icing on his cake.