Guest Post: How Garret Sparks Helped Me Love Hockey

As absurd as it is to say, Garret Sparks is my favourite hockey player. 
That statement demands some qualifiers. I should stress that I do not believe Sparks is above criticism for his performance last season, nor do I see him as some paragon of goaltending that is unfairly viewed by Leafs fans. Instead, I would like to share my story of how my love of hockey evolved, and how Garret Sparks unwittingly played such a central role in helping me get to where I am today. 

To put it bluntly, I have lived a fairly privileged life.
I am an LGBTQ+ person, but I live in a country where I am not punished for being honest about who I am (it helps that I am “straight passing”, I am aware). I struggle with my mental health, but I have access to resources that allow me to manage my situation without financial penalty. Most importantly, though, I have had amazing educational opportunities, culminating with my enrollment at the University of Toronto as a Masters candidate in 2016.
These opportunities also brought their challenges; leaving home while my parents dealt with my grandmother’s Alzheimer’s was a heartbreaking choice, and I …

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Author: Dan William / The Leafs Nation

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