Father Len blesses new ice at Amalie
Father Len Plazewski, pastor of Christ the King Catholic Church in South Tampa and Lightning fan from the beginning, blessed the new sheet of ice Monday at Amalie Arena.
“It’s pretty cool,” Lightning goalie Ben Bishop said Tuesday morning. “Hopefully it brings some good luck.”
“That’s a good idea,” forward Brian Boyle added. “Keep everyone safe.”
Father Len, who grew up in Pasco County and attended Jesuit High, has been a Lightning season ticket holder since Day 1.
He recently blessed the Florida Hospital Center Ice rink in Wesley Chapel and was invited to do the same at Amalie Arena when the new sheet of ice was laid after the circus left town.
Father Len said he worked from the Church’s “The Book of Blessings,” using one geared toward athletic fields.
“Obviously, we don’t want God to play favorites,” he said. “We want to win, but we pray for the safety of the players, that they compete well, that be kept free from injury and harm. That they show good sportsmanship. I kind of threw in there, ‘God, we’d be more appreciate if we have more goals scored on that side (pointing to net Lightning shoot at during the first and third periods) than this side.’”
The Lightning broke in the new sheet Tuesday when it played the Bruins in the first game after the All-Star Break.
“I kind of feel the pressure now, because of they do well and go on a tear, that would be great,” Father Len said. “But if they go in the opposite direction, will they revoke my season ticket?”
But if the Lighting does go on a tear during the final months of the season and reaches its potential, might we see Father Len’s name on the Stanley Cup?
“I’ll just take it for a day,” he said. “That will be fine with me.”