We've never met, and probably never will. You know nothing about me, yet I know so much about you. Hm, that sounds slightly creepy. Probably not the best way to start a letter.
I'm in the middle of finals and I have an exam tomorrow that I really need to start studying for. But I'm sitting here, writing you a letter (by hand!) because I'm sad and mad and frustrated. You're probably never going to read this, and in the end it doesn't really matter if you do. This is mostly to let me say what I'm feeling. But if you do read this, I'm sorry for the crappy quality. I'm not going to proof-read or make multiple drafts, so be warned: I may ramble. I'll probably end up sending this because of how frustrated I am.
Why am I frustrated? Because someone I care about can't do what he loves to do. That person, obviously, is you. You have tons of money and hundreds of thousands of fans, but none of that matters because your body isn't letting you play hockey. I've never been in your situation and so I'm not going to pretend to know what you're going through. But at the same time, I hope you understand that it hurts for me, as just one person in a sea of fans, to see you go through this. You're certainly not the first player to go through this, and unfortunately not the last. And yet, this particular injury, among a host of others across the league, is getting so much attention because it resonates with so many people. And that's what speaks to the things you've done for the sport of hockey.
What have you done for hockey? You've saved an entire franchise. You've turned a whole bunch of people into Penguins fans, into hockey fans. I have friends who've lived here in Canada their entire lives and never gotten into hockey until you came along. You know that feeling you get when you step on the ice or score a big goal? You gave them that feeling. You united an entire country, for goodness sake. I'll never forget what happened to Canada on February 28, 2010. And for moments like that one, I thank you.
When you were cleared for contact, one of my friends and I wanted to celebrate, so we were going to get a cake. But since you've said that you don't like to eat that stuff often, it didn't feel right. So we settled on cheesecake, since you've said you love it. And since then, we've been celebrating every major accomplishment with cheesecake. We didn't know what kind you like, so we usually stick with chocolate.
I'm probably as impatient as you are to see you back on the ice, but you've got good people around you who won't let you rush back. I'm really proud of the way the Pens are playing with so many injuries, and I look forward to watching a great group of guys carry the torch while you get better.
So I've realised that I actually don't know all that much about you. But from what I do know, or at least think I know, you'll be back with a vengeance. I can't do much except wish you good luck and all the best. Here's to more cheesecake moments.