during the All-Star Weekend in the NHL this past FebruaryTampa Bay Lightning star Stephen Stamkos was eager to make memorable memories with his two-and-a-half-year-old son, Carter.
“As an athlete, you never know when your last All-Star game will be, so I made sure to bring him there with me,” Stamkos told The Post about Carter being with him during a press conference. “It means the world to me.”
The 32-year-old dad got that and more: a tender moment with his offspring who made a 10 on the gravity scale and a viral video that stole the show.
While sitting on his father’s lap, Carter repeatedly asked to ride Zamboni, Each request is interspersed with an early “please” and good manners.
The father of two acquiesced and denied himself from the microphone. “We do a very good job of making sure he says ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ all the time. Perhaps one of the reasons I got out of the press conference and went was because he asked politely.”
Thus, Carter Stamkos became known as the “Zamboni kid”.
So when the NHL and the Zamboni Company were releasing their first electric Zamboni ride-on, they tapped into their most popular young fan to officially introduce it.
In an equally adorable video, Stamkos took Carter to the ice of his home at the Amalie Arena in Tampa and surprised the now 3-year-old with his miniature Zamboni.
An enthusiastic Carter jumps and rambles around the ice as his father takes the super-sized Recreation Wheel to his side.
“I was joking he had more endorsement deals than I have now,” said Stamkos, who describes his young boy as an “expert driver in Zamboni.”
“I knew he was going to love it, and I still couldn’t get her out of the house. It is every day. We had to kick him out of the house and have him ride it outside for a stretch because when he was his younger brother [10-month-old Chase] Snooze, they make a lot of noise. It’s very funny.”
The game was in development for decades until the famous company found a suitable partner with the manufacturer cole cherry, which was able to meet Zamboni’s specifications. It’s an original that features the trademark Zamboni horn sound, working headlights and a snow-collecting tank for storage. It retails for $349 and will be available at On the league website and the NHL Store at One Manhattan West.
Paula Kony, the Zamboni Company’s brand manager, said there was a “pent-up demand” for the item. “We have people from all over the world inquiring about our Zamboni ride-on toy machine, and we are very excited that we have finally found the right manufacturer to work with on this project.”
Stamkos, who has had consecutive Stanley Cup titles and seven All-Star games, said the moment ranks higher with those accomplishments.
“Anytime you have children, it puts a new perspective on your life. My children mean the world to me. So any time I can share with them, it will instantly be on top of my accomplishments. That’s right there for sure.”
On Tuesday, his team will start the season at Madison Square Garden against the Rangers, who Eliminated in the Eastern Conference Final On their way to the Stanley Cup Finals last year, they lost to the Colorado Avalanche.
“Anytime you play a team in the qualifiers, especially late in the qualifiers, it starts to create a rivalry. I’ve played two MSG conference finals during my career and I’ve been lucky, I’ve been on the right side of both. It’s a great place to play. Crowds It’s a hostile environment… These schedule makers are doing things on purpose, so it’s going to be a fun night for sure.”
As for Carter’s future in hockey, Stamkos said his son can choose which path he wants to take.
“He has just started snowboarding now and is doing a program to learn to skate in Tampa,” said Stamkos, adding, “We will see if he gravitates more towards wanting to be on the snow or to drive Zamboni. He can do whatever he wants.”