Rob Kitamura Brings The Stanley Cup to Chedoke, News (Hamilton Huskies)

PrintNews Article
Click to view full-size image
Rob Kitamura Brings The Stanley Cup to Chedoke
Submitted By Web Admin on Tuesday, December 7, 2021
Finally, Hamilton’s Rob Kitamura has his day with the Stanley Cup. His mom would have loved it.

Click here to go to Spectator Article By Scott Radley Spectator Columnist
Tue., Dec. 7, 202


She liked hockey well enough. Not the rough stuff, but if her son was involved in
any way, she was all in.

So, back in July when the Tampa Bay Lightning were playing for the
Stanley Cup, Chris Kitamura was upstairs in the bedroom of her Hamilton home
watching every minute of every game. Where she could be nervous alone.

“I could hear her yelling,” laughs her husband, Yosh.

She was rooting for the Lightning because her boy is a scout for the team.
Rob Kitamura has worked his way up from a low-paid bird dog for the Barrie Colts
to the head of Ontario Hockey League’s Central Scouting Department to the pros.
If the Lightning wins, he wins.

So, she cheered for them.

When they won the Cup the first time in the summer of 2020, she was elated.
When they made it back-to-back championships a few months ago, it was even

“She was proud of Robert,” Yosh says.

With good reason. Few make it to the place her son has. Fewer still win a
championship ring, let alone two, which, by the way, are a pair of baubles so giant
and so covered in diamonds they have to be specifically protected.

“It’s tripled my house insurance,” Kitamura says.

He’s not kidding. They really have.

On top of everything, few get their own day with the Stanley Cup.

The well-known tradition says everyone on the winning team gets a day with the
big silver mug. Except during the lockdown season, that had to be cancelled.
So, he and the family missed out the first time. This year, he was supposed to have
his day in August but it had to be delayed.

Anyway, his visit — the very last guy in the organization to get one — was moved
to Sunday.

Just before 6 p.m., Kitamura’s 10-year-old son triumphantly rolled the giant box
containing the trophy into Chedoke Arena. Then Wyatt got to be the coolest kid in
town for a couple hours as he hosted his Hamilton Huskies U11 team for the
greatest show-and-tell in history. The kids and their families got to look at it up
close, touch it and take photos with it. Not to mention try on the two gigantic rings.

Honestly, what could be better that being the kid whose dad did this?

“And I found five bucks in the penalty box,” Wyatt says. Even better.

It was a terrific night. There’s magic in this trophy, there really is. Nobody can not 
smile when standing next to it. And nobody didn’t. It was joyous.

Kitamura stood on the periphery and wore his own smile as he watched
everything unfold. He turns 50 in a couple months, yet he admits it’s impossible
not to feel a kind of childlike giddiness about the whole thing. And a warmth about
being the author of such a moment.

After a couple hours, when the last of the players had left — and a few from some
other Huskies’ teams since Yosh has been heavily involved with minor hockey in the
city for over four decades — it was time for the family to have a few special
minutes alone with it.

To reflect, is how Kitamura describes it. About all those games and practices they
shared in freezing rinks when he was a kid. About all those miles driven and bad
cups of coffee he’s consumed searching for talent. And about the roughly 300 days
a year he’s on the road now doing the hard and often thankless work of a scout.

And, honestly, to cry a bit.

Because back in October, his mom suddenly fell ill. Two weeks later, she was gone.

Her husband dabs his eyes as he talks about meeting her when he was a
16-year-old at Central High School and she was 15, about their 54 years of
marriage, about her years as an educational assistant with the public school board,
and about how everything good about their kids came from her.

She would’ve loved this night, he says. Loved it. She couldn’t be left out.

So, when nearly everyone was gone, Yosh gently lifted her urn out of a bag and
placed it carefully on the table beside the Cup. Close enough that it was almost
touching the trophy and the black vessel was properly reflected in the polished

There was no way she wasn’t going to be there, Kitamura says.

“Dad wanted to let her see it.”

Scott Radley is a Hamilton-based columnist at The Spectator.
Reach him via email: [email protected]
This article has been viewed 255 times.
Social Networking
Follow Us On
Follow Hamilton Huskies on Twitter
- and -
Visit Hamilton Huskies on Facebook
- and -
Follow Hamilton Huskies on Instagram
Quick Links
Manage Subscriptions
Signup to receive email or text messages for the teams you want to follow.
News ArchiveOther Recent Articles
  • 24
    The Hamilton Huskies are excited to have Chris Jedrzejewicz return as Head coach of the 2009 U14 AAA team. We are looking forward to seeing the progress Chris and staff will make with this age group!
  • 21
    Congratulations to Hamilton Huskies GM Mike Spadafora in his new position as President of your Hamilton Kilty B's. So much history is shared between these two organizations and we look forward to watching Mike and company honor the past, work at ...
  • 21
    The Hamilton Huskies Hockey Club are excited to welcome Andrew back to coach our U15 AAA team in the 2022-23 season. We believe Andrew’s playing background and player development experience will be a great asset for our players moving forward!
  • 12
    The Hamilton Huskies are excited to announce the return of John and his staff to our U18 AAA team! John has built a culture of accountability, work ethic and a team first attitude. We look forward to working with John to continue building our ...
  • 12
    The Hamilton Huskies are pleased to announce that Rick Chapman will take the 2007 AAA age group forward into the 2022-23 season as they play in their U16 year. This is an important division for both our players and our organization and Rick is ...
  • 11
    HAMILTON, ONTARIO. The Hamilton Bulldogs have completed a trade with the Kitchener Rangers acquiring overage defenseman Arber Xhekaj.  Xhekaj, a Hamilton native, comes to his hometown Bulldogs having skated in 128 career OHL games with the ...
  • 10
    The Hamilton Huskies Head Coach Application is now available for submission for the 2022 - 2023 season. NOW OPEN for all AA Seeded and MD teams. Questions please contact Huskies GM Mike Spadafora  [email protected]  Click here to go to ...
  • 03
    In conjunction with the announcement made today by Premier Ford and the Ontario Government concerning public health measures and further COVID restrictions, all hockey under the umbrella of ALLIANCE Hockey will pause in its entirety beginning ...
Printed from on Tuesday, January 25, 2022 at 10:00 AM