“Reflections” with VU Hockey Mom Lisa McLaughlin

“Reflections” is a column where Vanderbilt hockey parents answer a few questions about their sons and, in doing so, offer up some light-hearted embarrassment in a public forum. (Think of it as a modern version of parents giving their sons hugs at the elementary school bus stop.) It is also our attempt to throw an emotional life-line to those parents who are stuggling with life after 6am hockey practices and the smell of “hockey hands.” For you carpool-less hockey addict parents who love to make your kids squirm, “Reflections” is your nirvana.

This week’s “Reflections” submission comes from Lisa McLaughlin, mother of junior forward and St. Louis native Scott McLaughlin.

How did Scott first get interested in ice hockey?

Scott was interested in hockey before he could even read. He would bring me the TV Guide and say “you have to show me when the Red Wings are playing”, or would ask me to show him on a map “where the Red Wings live.” We live in St. Louis, so go figure why as a small tyke he loved the Red Wings so much and not the Blues. He started playing at the preschool age when baby hockey players are as wide as they are tall once fully suited up.

What would you say is Scott’s greatest asset (or assets) as a hockey player?

Scott’s greatest asset is his speed – hence his nickname “Scooter.” His high school lacrosse coach’s jaw dropped the first time he saw Scott running up the field – all those years of power skating in hockey gave him great speed on grass too. He’s also pretty accurate shooting goals too – a skill honed by hours spent on rollerblades taking slapshots and breaking lots of windows and siding on the backside of our house in the process!!

What is your favorite road trip story from Scott’s days playing club or high school hockey in St. Louis?

Scott’s traveling team played Thanksgiving and Christmas break tournaments in the frigid cities of Chicago or Detroit. Scott’s dad wouldn’t let him bring his his stinky clothes or equipment into our hotel room – it had to stay outside in the carrier on top of our car overnight. Scott always complained about putting on frozen pads and uniforms when the other guys’ parents let them dry and warm up their clothes on the radiators in their rooms. Bob always said the frozen gear contributed to Scott’s speed – he had to skate hard and fast to thaw out and warm up his uniform and gear.

What is the thing you do as a Mom that embarrasses Scott the most?

Most everything I do in the presence of his peers seems to embarrass him – writing this will most certainly embarrass him. Isn’t that what moms are for?

Where do you see Scott in 20 years?

Hm, in 20 years I think he’ll be a financier or corporate lawyer, and as a hobby he will still be playing on a men’s league team and will probably be coaching too – I know his passion for hockey will be lifelong.

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