And when Lundqvist—who will be a first-time father in little more than a month (“I’m not going to lie,” he said. “I’m nervous.”)— spoke of how much he appreciated how his own father would support him after a tough hockey loss, he could find no better example than with Astacio’s father, who was on hand to support his son. “I am so proud of him,” the senior Astacio said.
As the lemonade and ice tea flowed, and hamburgers and salads gobbled up, the depth of commitment necessary to be a good dad was palpable in the crowd. So was the pure fun of being a pop. “I told Lundqvist if he needs help, he can call me,” said honoree Eric Green, who has raised seven children, mostly on his own. He spoke with a glint in his eye and a knowing laugh; being a dad is tough, and sometimes you need all the help you can get. But it’s well worth it.