Buffalo Tea Room Barista Unwittingly Serves Hockey Star

"I'd just like some black tea--this one," he said. "Do you have it in decaf?"

As he walked through the doorway, his body eclipsed the sun.

I was behind the bar washing dishes, my body folded over to reach the cramped sink. I spoke my usual greeting, and asked if he'd like a table. No, just some tea to go.

He approached, and I could see that he looked pleasant, but much taller than our usual customers. I gave him the list; the mélange of construction paper, Chinese graphics, and expensive-sounding teas. He looked forlorn, as if he were lost in a foreign country and did not speak the language.

John's head appeared in the kitchen door, and then disappeared.

"I'd just like some black tea--this one," he said. "Do you have it in decaf?"

I told him I could brew it twice, and the second time it would be naturally decaffeinated. Ten minutes later, I poured it into the paper cup and offered our selection of sweeteners: honey (liquid or granulated), sugar (granulated, cubed, or turbinado), agave nectar. He gave me four dollars and told me to keep the change.

As he left, John's head appeared in the open crack of the kitchen door: "Do you know who that was?"


"That was Ryan Miller."

"Who's that?"


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