It’s hard to see, and not talked about often, but a revered hockey coach from Hamden has been memorialized at the Stanley Cup Championship. On the back of the helmet worn by Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick, it says “Everybody Rides, Pags.”
“Pags” is Jason Pagni, who was killed in a crash this past winter near his home in Hamden. He was only 43, and left behind a loving wife and two beautiful children.
Pagni graduated from Avon Old Farms some fifteen years before Quick, a native of Milford, but the two later became close friends. Pagni was a member of the 1989 AOF team that became the New England Championship Hockey Team and later devoted his life to hockey, owning the Connecticut Yankees Hockey Organization.
While many in Connecticut are undoubtedly rooting for the neighboring New York Rangers in the Cup, there is a big contingent of folks whose lives were touched by Pags, pulling for his pal Jonathan Quick and the Team from the other side if the country.
By the way, the Los Angeles Kings had a rich history in Whaler Nation. Most importantly, they were the losing team in the Whalers first home game in 1979, which was actually played in Springfield because the Hartford Civic Center was still being repaired after the roof collapse. Check out the vintage picture of Gordie Howe from ’79 in a game against the Kings.
top picture courtesy ESPN