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~ There is something extraordinary about the bond between goalies and their gear. Add in the magic of Christmas and it’s little wonder so many goalies have special memories about receiving a specific piece of equipment under the tree. For five years now, our Kevin Woodley has been gathering new stories and anecdotes about those bonds for an annual NHL dot com Christmas column, but word count limits often mean shortening them in that format. With no limits here, we want to share them all, in full detail, including new memories added this season:

Pheonix Copley is from North Pole, Alaska, so it’s no surprise the Washington Capitals goalie has strong memories of goalie-themed presents at Christmas.

If being from the North Pole wasn’t enough to ensure a good hockey-related story about being inspired by equipment found under the tree on Christmas morning, being a goaltender did.

Sure enough, Copley didn’t disappoint.

“I can still remember getting a Heaton glove and blocker for Christmas that matched my team colors when I was 9 or 10 years old, and I used them for two or three years,” Copley said. “They were the same gloves that Marty Brodeur had back then and I loved them.”

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