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Edmonton Hockey Fan Rob Suggitt On Quest To See 30 NHL Games In 30 Nights

03/20/2015 01:06 EDT | Updated 05/20/2015 05:59 EDT
Make-A-Wish Foundation
EDMONTON - If it's Friday, he must be in Florida. Time to see the Lightning.

Edmonton hockey fanatic Rob Suggitt is on an ultimate sports road trip — 30 games in all 30 National Hockey League arenas over 30 consecutive nights.

With seven games already under his personalized jersey, the 53-year-old says he has to start reminding himself each morning where he is, and where he's off to next.

"I've got some serious travel miles ahead," Suggitt said Thursday afternoon after arriving in Miami to watch the Florida Panthers play Detroit. He was heading to Tampa Bay on Friday to watch the Lightning take their turn with the Red Wings.

The adventure began March 13 when he landed in New York to see the Islanders lose to the Ottawa Senators. It is to wrap up in Toronto on April 11, the last day of the regular season, when the Leafs take on the Montreal Canadiens.

Suggitt said he's feeling tired, but it's a good tired.

"By Game 17, Game 21, Game 26, I might be pretty wiped out. But there's no way I'm stopping, because I'm loving it and I'm going to complete it for sure."

The magazine publisher grew up in a cash-strapped family with six children and didn't see his first live NHL game until he was 20.

He was hooked.

He came up with the plan to see 30 games in 30 nights about a decade ago, but there was always a reason to put it off — not enough time; not enough money. As the years went by, other sports fans made similar trips, some to see hockey games, others baseball.

This year, Suggitt said, he wasn't going to procrastinate anymore.

Part of the incentive came from a meeting with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, a charity his company regularly works with. He decided to make the trip part dream holiday, part fundraiser. He hopes to collect $30,000 in donations on his journey, so some children will also get to have their dreams come true.

Suggitt is financing the tour himself at a cost of about $25,000. His wife joined him on the first six games and a few other friends will be meeting him in other cities. Otherwise, he's doing it solo.

His schedule has him criss-crossing the continent several times, racking up nearly 38,000 kilometres on planes, trains and automobiles.

Suggitt said he's trying to pace himself: in bed each night by 1 a.m. to get about six hours sleep, then up early to zoom off to his next destination.

He's doing it all with a carry-on bag so he can speed through airports. Switching it up with some fresh T-shirts underneath, he pulls on the same jersey for each game to promote his "30games-30nights.com" website and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

He hasn't packed 30 pairs of underwear, but plans to stock up on fresh clothes when he arrives home in Edmonton for an Oilers game on Monday.

So far, his favourite arena is Madison Square Garden in New York. But it's also where he heard the most cussing by fans.

He got goose bumps when Canada's national anthem was played in Buffalo.

And the best hot dog so far was at Nassau Coliseum in Long Island.

Suggitt said he's trying to watch his weight, eating healthy during the day so he can splurge on dogs and beers at night.

"Sometimes, if I'm having a hot dog, I just have a half ... but I have to try it."