NHL fan banned from Colorado Avalanche games after spreading friend's ashes on the ice
DENVER (KDVR) — A self-proclaimed “die-hard” fan of the Colorado Avalanche has been banned from attending the NHL team’s games for the rest of the season after he was caught spreading ashes on the rink.
“If you saw the little bit of the amount that I actually got on there, the Zamboni took care of it round one,” Ryan Clark said.
Clark attended the Avalanche game at Denver’s Ball Arena on Jan. 8, where he decided to honor his late friend by pouring some of his ashes over the glass and onto the ice.
“The usher asked me, ‘What was that?’ I gotta be honest with you. It was my friend. ‘What do you mean?’ I said, ‘Well he passed away. Yesterday was his service and I spread some of his ashes out there,’” Clark recalled.
Clark said he was then brought to the arena’s concourse, where he spoke with security. He was ultimately escorted out of the building.
“I knew what I did was considered wrong. I owned up to it the second it happened,” Clark said.
Soon afterward, Clark received a letter in the mail, informing him that he was not welcome at Ball Arena for any Avalanche games for the remainder of the season. That was before he knew the Avalanche would be playing in the Stanley Cup Final.
However, Clark said he would still do it all over again.
“If you’ve ever seen ‘Angels in the Outfield,’ like this is just the hockey version. So when they’re at home and they need a little assistance, my boy’s out there to assist,” Clark said.
Friends bonding over a love of hockey
Clark’s best friend is Kyle Stark. The two met while working at King Soopers in 2009 and became roommates. Stark was the best man at Clark’s wedding.
The pair bonded over their love of hockey. According to Clark, Stark just “eats, sleeps, breathes hockey.”
“[During the] 2018-2019 season, Kyle and I actually were able to scrape together [some money] and we were season-ticket holders,” Clark said.
However, Stark died suddenly just days before Christmas.
“If he was still here, we’d probably be at the stadium. We’d be doing what we had to to get the thousand-dollars-to-sit-up-top tickets,” Clark said.
Clark said he believes his friend is now watching over the Avalanche as they fight to bring the Stanley Cup trophy to Denver.
“I’d like to think in my heart that yeah, he’s out there flying with those guys down the ice, and when one of the other guys gets it from the other team, he’s throwing an extra elbow up against the glass there to get them back,” Clark said.
Clark said it has been tough watching the playoffs at home without his best friend, but being able to talk about Stark again feels good.
“It’s fantastic to be able to talk about him. Because the last few months have just kind of been, this or that, and then when the playoffs hit, that’s when I wish he was here. I really, really wish he was here at this point,” Clark said.