’s Williams tells the story of Tyler Spezia’s relationship with his late father’s Patrick Williams posted a profile of Grand Rapids Griffins forward Tyler Spezia, telling a feel-good story regarding Spezia’s relationship with his late father:

Hockey can shape a life in many ways. A father can, too. Grand Rapids Griffins forward Tyler Spezia and his late father, Brian, know that bond. Years later, Spezia has carried that bond with him in his journey through pro hockey.

“I didn’t really know what the Grand Rapids Griffins in the American Hockey League were growing up as a kid, but he did,” Spezia explained. “He would have a great understanding of what’s going on [with my career], and so that part of it has been really cool.”

Now 28 years old, Spezia’s life changed dramatically in December 2009 as a 16-year-old growing up just outside of Detroit.

“Around Christmas time, my dad came home, and he was complaining,” Spezia began. “The first doctor he saw, they said he had pneumonia. And then next, he wasn’t feeling any better. A couple of days went by, he [still] wasn’t feeling any better. The next doctor said that he had bronchitis. Same thing, he wasn’t feeling better. So we went to another doctor, a third doctor. And this was the hammer.

“‘You’ve got Stage IV lung and liver cancer, and you don’t have much time,’” Spezia recalls the doctor telling his father. “So, I believe it was December 23, he checked into the hospital. And then on January 18, 2010, he passed.”

But before those difficult days, Spezia and his father had bonded over hockey. The Detroit Red Wings ruled the local sports scene, and the team had won four Stanley Cup championships by the time Spezia had turned 15.


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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.