Reflection is important and comes naturally on this day, and for the Los Angeles Kings family, so does the push to honor and remember Garnet “Ace” Bailey, who served as Kings’ director of pro scouting, and Mark Bavis, an amateur scout with the organization. Bailey, 53, was about to begin his 33rd season in professional hockey, and Bavis, 31, was to open his second season in the club’s scouring department. Both men were aboard United Airlines Flight 175, which departed Boston’s Logan Airport the morning of September 11, 2001 and was deliberately crashed by hijackers into the South Tower of the World Trade Center at 9:03 a.m.
There are many well-articulated articles honoring Bailey, Bavis, and the thousands of others who perished in the attacks. Puck Daddy’s account 10 years after September 11, 2001 also salutes other members of the hockey community who had lost their lives that day.
One of most stirring articles about the tragedy affecting hockey was published nearly 11 full years later, when the Kings were one win away from capturing their first Stanley Cup. It was penned by Lisa Olson of The Sporting News, who eloquently reflected on Bailey’s legacy while connecting with his son, Todd, and imagining how he’d interpret the club’s on-ice emergence during the spring of 2012.
He’d laugh and shake his head at Jonathan Quick. That guy is special, Garnet Bailey would surely say, and he’d probably nudge the person sitting next to him with an excitable poke, the kind of poke a kid might give when he’s witnessing something remarkable for the first time, and then Quick would make another save and there’d come another poke from Bailey, and another, and another, because in the eyes of the man everyone called “Ace,” hockey always brought forth the new and amazing.
He’d nod proudly at Jeff Carter, and note with another poke the veteran’s calmness, how he rarely crumbles under the pressure. Oh yes, Bailey’s smile would have brightened Staples Center like a strobe light, because these Los Angeles Kings were his kind of a team, his sort of guys.
Former NHL referee Paul Stewart also reflected on the day and his interactions with Bavis, who had played high school hockey with his nephew, and Bailey, whom he had known quite well. Stewart’s wife was a flight attendant with United Airlines who had experience on the Boston-to-Los Angeles flight but was not working that day. As you may recall, Bruce Boudreau, then the coach of the Manchester Monarchs, was supposed to be on Flight 175 but changed plans to attend a coaches dinner organized by Andy Murray a night earlier, as Stephen Whyno wrote.
— Denis Leary (@denisleary) September 11, 2015
Roslindale's Mark Bavis killed when UA Flight 175 hit south tower of World Trade Center. Played at BU. Scout for LA https://t.co/dvMvVIyHPh
— John Buccigross (@Buccigross) September 11, 2015