It's finally over; literally years of dreaming, worrying and wondering.
My son, Landon, loves the game of hockey and has wanted nothing else since he has been able to articulate the thought.
People have told him since he was the second overall pick in the 2006 WHL Bantam Draft that he was going to be a first rounder.
On June 26, our family filed into the Bell Centre, Landon looking so good in his new suit and all of us in almost suspended animation. We were all guessing at which spot he might be attractive to teams. As we went by one team after another, in what can only be described as an excruciatingly slow pace, a couple of picks that seemed a little surprising left players on the board that I knew would push Landon down the pecking order.
Almost four hours later, the 30th pick was made and Landon and I were out of the arena in under five minutes, walking quietly back to the hotel.
Although many people had told Landon that it doesn't really matter where you are picked, about 45 players felt they had a chance to be selected in the first round. I know I would have been disappointed in not being selected, and he was. So were Stefan Elliott, Jeremy Morin, Drew Shore, among others. All good players, all top-end prospects, and all had to wait through one more long night.
This is one area where Landon is so much better equipped than I was. He takes a kick in the shins, can digest it and move on. That is what happened overnight.
We met in the morning to walk over to the arena, Landon wearing a different suit and hoping for a quick selection.
Sometimes you look back at an event and realize its significance only in retrospect. With the 29th pick Friday night, Detroit traded down three spots to No. 32. They acquired a third round pick to move down, and 10 minutes after getting into the arena Saturday morning, we heard words I had dreamt about many times watching my son chase his dream.
Ken Holland was at the microphone and said "with the 32nd pick, the Detroit Red Wings select, from the Western Hockey League's Red Deer Rebels - Landon Ferraro."
When I write those words, I still have tears in my eyes. The disappointment of 12 hours earlier washed away in an instant. When I saw my son on the draft floor in that beautiful Red Wings sweater, I don't think I can convey my pride. I thought of my dad, who was so proud of my career, and how proud he would be of his grandson. The countless hours of practice, hard work, disappointment and fun that had gone into this moment. It was just an unbelievable day to see my son drafted by such a terrific organization.
And now it's Sunday and it is all over. The next stage of work to chase the dream begins in the gym tomorrow at 10am.