Fan keeps lucky charm close at hand

AEDAN HELMER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:28 AM ET

Call it his good-luck charm.

Ross Archer just celebrated his 71st birthday. Wheelchair-bound for the last 20 years, the Nepean man suffers from an array of ailments. He takes 29 pills a day to treat his diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, bronchitis and Parkinson's disease.

He's had four strokes and one heart attack in the last few years. Surgery is no longer an option for Archer. It could do more harm to his body than good.

Through it all, Archer has kept his good-luck coin close -- an antique bronze collector's edition emblazoned with the Senators logo from the modern-day team's inaugural season in 1992-93.

The 1917 date stamped on the coin indicates the first year the Senators competed in the newly formed National Hockey League.

Sealed in a plastic case, an accompanying card lists the Ottawa franchise's nine Stanley Cup championships, dating back to the 1903 season.

The last championship on the card is from 1927, the first year the NHL assumed control of the game's top prize.

"Just a couple of years before my birthday," laughs Archer, adding he hopes there will be another victory soon to top the list.

INSTANT FAN

A friend passed the coin on to Archer as a gift back in the early and often dark days of the Senators team. Archer had recently moved to Ottawa, and became an instant fan.

"I feel there's value here," said Archer, insisting he's not interested in any financial gain. He said he would consider passing the coin along to team management, to keep the good luck flowing.

As for burying the coin under the Scotiabank Place ice surface -- in the tradition of the "lucky loonie" planted by Edmonton icemaker Trent Evans before Canada's gold-medal victory at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics -- Archer is hesitant.

"I'd give it some thought," says Archer, "but I'd hate to see it get damaged. I cherish it to no end."


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