Ian Robinson's pre game routine has been forever altered with the passing of longtime Halifax Mooseheads fan Mike Martin.
Widely known as "Moosehead Mike," Martin died on Feb. 23 at the age of 72.
"God bless Moosehead Mike, I'll miss our pre-game chats. Enjoy the rest of the season with Pat Connolly in the skybox," Robinson wrote on Twitter last week.
Robinson is the public address announcer for the Halifax Mooseheads. In an interview last week, he commented on how Martin was never seen in public without a Mooseheads logo on his clothing in the form of a pin, hat or jersey.
"If you looked up the definition of a Moose Maniac in the dictionary, I swear a picture of Mike would be there," Robinson said. "He was a dedicated sports fan."
Martin's devotion to local minor sports spanned decades. His niece Nancy Holmes said her uncle passionately supported and coached local minor sports.
"His true love in life was both hockey and baseball and he made sure he had a positive impact," Holmes said. "We found out from the hundreds and hundreds of stories (following his death) that he coached up to 20 teams in a season in some aspect at one point."
Holmes said her uncle's apartment was filled with mementoes and dedicated to all the children whose lives he said had positively impacted his. Martin never forgot a face or a name. Though he never had children of his own, he proudly followed the careers and accomplishments of every child he had ever coached.
"He never looked at it as though he had touched their lives, it was all about what they did for him. He treasured and was proud of every kid's accomplishment," she said.
"They were all his kids, his family... (Photos of) every hockey team he coached, every birthday card anybody took the time to give him, he kept it all. But he wasn't like a pack rat. You'd have to see it. It made him smile every day."
Robinson said the loss will be deeply felt around the rink.
"He was a fixture at the rink and not to see him again is going to be strange. He has been with the team through good times and bad times and that means a lot to the team," Robinson said. "Whether we were being whooped 10-0 or winning 10-0, he was there... The whole team, the people in the office, everyone feels it."
When asked what he remembers most about his chats with Martin, Robinson laughed heartily.
"The constant theme is Mike's gripe of the refs and he was not afraid to tell you what he thought of referees and some of the refereeing," he said. "He was a small guy with a huge heart and a big voice when he wanted to voice his opinion."
Martin will be recognized at the March 17 Mooseheads' game at the Metro Centre during the team's fan recognition night. The game against the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles is the last one in the regular season.