Phyllis Guidolin and Aldo Guidolin

Aldo Guidolin and his wife, Phyllis, are pictured at an event last year. (Baltimore Sun / February 28, 2013)

“I always wanted to be a doctor,” Guidolin told his wife.

“You’re too old for that,” she said.

“Okay then,” he said. “I’ll sell real estate.”

That’s what he did until 2008, when he suffered the first stroke. As his health declined, Phyllis Guidolin questioned hockey’s role in it.

“There were games where Aldo hit the boards and got knocked out — and then played the next day,” she said. “I often wonder if the hockey had anything to do with this.”

There’s no doubt that the game took its toll on her dad, said Barbara Guidolin, chief nursing executive at Georgian Bay General Hospital in Midland, Ontario.

“Every additional stroke has taken more of his independence away,” she said. “But he has my mom, and they were made for each other.”

At Riverside Glen, where Guidolin resides, the walls of Room 419 are peppered with photographs of his old teams. From time to time, his wife gets calls from former players like Noel Price, of the Clippers, and Andy Bathgate, of the Rangers.

“When anyone comes by and says hi, Aldo looks at them,” she said. “I’ve often thought, what long days these must be for him, but people say that maybe he no longer recognizes time.

“I do know that he’s a great guy and that I’ve had a wonderful life with Aldo. On our first date [in 1951] he took me to see ‘Gone With The Wind,’ then out for a soda. When I got home I said, ‘Mum, I’m going to marry that man — he’s for me.’

Nothing has changed, she said:

“If I had to do it again, I’d do it tomorrow.”

mike.klingaman@baltsun.com

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