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A Life Taken too Soon

Wednesday, 11.30.2011 / 11:07 PM ET
By Bill Roose - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com / The Wheel Deal
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The Wheel Deal

DAVID MANNINO - 1993-2011
While many of his peers on the Red Wings’ ice crew are often shy, not-so talkative teenagers, Dave Mannino was the complete opposite.

There wasn’t an ounce of bashfulness in him. And that’s what you first noticed most when meeting Dave. He was just an openly-friendly teen with a gregarious and unflappable personality.

He made you laugh, and he made you think, whether it was about hockey, or the validity of pro wrestling or the rivalries of the sports teams in the Detroit Catholic High School League.

He had such a bright outlook on life.

Even when he discovered a lump on his right collarbone last April, and doctors told that it was acute lymphoblastic lymphoma, Dave remained upbeat and positive. Even when chemotherapy treatments kept him from attending senior prom at the University of Detroit Jesuit High School, and from walking the stage at graduation, he was optimistic.

Dave was an outstanding student-athlete. He earned all-state honors as a forward on the Cubs’ prep hockey team, carried a 4.2 grade point average in the classroom, and had been accepted at the University of Michigan.

Earlier this month Dave got a dose of great news when he learned that the cancer had gone in remission.

He was so excited to share the news with everyone during the Wings’ game against the Dallas Stars on Nov. 12. He ever sat in my office that Saturday night and chatted for 20 minutes, said he had one more major round of chemo starting on Monday and that he would return to the JLA ice crew by January.

He skated with his crew members that night, shoveled the ice during TV timeouts at the 14, 10 and 6-minute marks of each period. The chemo zapped his strength, and it took everything that he had to perform the on-ice duties that he loved to do so much.
 
Still, when we last saw him at The Joe, he assured us that he would return. He was a fighter, and there was no doubt that the future was as bright as his personality.

But this week the cancer took that promising future away.

Dave died Monday with his family at his side. He was 18-years-old.

He loved life and enjoyed people, and he especially liked annoying fellow ice crew members, Brittany and Maria. He was a fan of The Rock, the pro wrestler, and had a penchant for Puma athletic shoes and anything purple.

Al Sobotka, the building manager and Zamboni driver at JLA, oversees the ice crew and often kiddingly called Dave “Jay Leno” for his likeness to the late night comic.

Last Thursday, Dave sent Al Sobotka a text message. In it he wished the Red Wings’ Zamboni driver a Happy Thanksgiving, and finished the note with, “I look at you as my third grandfather”.

Dave is survived by his parents, Dr. Thomas and Annita; his brother Thomas Jr.; sister Andrea; grandmother Annita; and many loving aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.

A visitation will be held this Friday from 1-9 p.m. at McCabe Funeral Home, 31950 West 12 Mile Road, Farmington Hills, Mich. A funeral service is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday at Brightmoor Christian Church, 40800 West 13 Mile Road, Novi, Mich.

Donations may be made to the foundation seventyk.org.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 51 38 9 4 166 114 80
2 FLA 53 31 16 6 143 118 68
3 NYR 53 30 18 5 150 135 65
4 TBL 52 29 19 4 138 123 62
5 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
6 DET 53 27 18 8 133 131 62
7 PIT 52 27 18 7 138 132 61
8 NYI 51 27 18 6 143 127 60
9 NJD 54 26 21 7 120 122 59
10 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
11 MTL 54 26 24 4 143 143 56
12 OTT 54 25 23 6 153 166 56
13 PHI 51 23 19 9 121 133 55
14 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
15 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Larkin 52 18 20 26 38
H. Zetterberg 53 9 27 3 36
T. Tatar 52 16 17 -1 33
G. Nyquist 53 14 15 -2 29
P. Datsyuk 38 8 20 12 28
J. Abdelkader 53 14 13 -3 27
M. Green 46 4 17 -7 21
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
B. Richards 39 5 11 7 16
D. DeKeyser 49 6 8 12 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 20 10 4 .933 1.97
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89