Timing. It is everything in the world of AHL team pictures. You can’t show up the day before…though for the Marlies there was no shortage of trying…you have to be with the team the moment they snap the photo. Now whatever happens to you after or before matters very little. For all of history, a hundred years from now when they look at the photo on the walls of whatever rink they’ve built, you will have been on the team.
Take Jerry D’Amigo who has been instrumental in garnering wins for the Marlies this season, no picture for him. He had the fortune to be up with the Leafs when Henning Aargaard-Svendson marshalled with a fierce devotion, the freshly shaved group to centre ice. You have to think in the world of trade-offs…that’s a good one for Jerry D.
After many erasers and pieces of paper were sacrificed to the seating plan, it was up to Graig Abel the team photographer to take two hours of set up and turn it around in 15 minutes. The people in the suits arrived. The players came out. The coaches followed. People were instructed to look where countless others have been told to look in thousands of team photos before.
CLICK…CLICK… and many more clicks.
When you take a picture of 40 people someone always looks the wrong way. Someone has their eyes shut. Someone is too serious, someone is way too happy. Among all the shots there is one that is the least messed up. Maybe that one has only one person looking goofy.
And then that one is the one. For all time. Framed and put on the wall it is what future custodians of the building will have to dust every once in a while. And maybe while they will dust one of them will look closely and see Eric Knodel and say, “I didn’t know that was his first year pro!” And they will be kind of right. After a couple of games on the team he found himself in the back row centre by virtue of his height. Those differences in minutes doesn’t make Eric Knodel any less of a Marlie. He has contributed (and will likely keep contributing) just like Stefan Legien and Mike Duco, and Troy Bodie and Wade McLeod and John-Michael Liles and Kory Nagy and Andrew Crescenzi and Jesse Blacker. They were Marlies this year, they helped this team win and despite not making picture day, their efforts aren’t forgotten of taken lightly.