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Blues’ O’Reilly learned a lot as parents ran foster home

Blues' Ryan O'Reilly learned lasting lessons about teamwork while growing up in a foster home that his parents opened for children in rural Ontario.

By the count of Bonnie O’Reilly, Ryan O’Reilly’s mother, the family took in 47 foster kids over the years, who made for a full house when you consider that Ryan O’Reilly also has one brother (journeyman NHL’er Cal O’Reilly) and two sisters.

That provided quite the life experience for Ryan O’Reilly, far beyond the benefit of basically always having someone to play hockey with as a child. The video above details those experiences, and how they shaped O’Reilly as a hockey player, and person.

There’s some other great stuff on O’Reilly’s experience, including this 2010 Denver Post piece from Adrian Dater, which should inspire all of us to call Ryan O’Reilly “Snook” when we get tired of the standard “ROR.”

Ryan still goes by the name of “Snook” to his parents, because at one point a foster child they cared for was named Ryan. To tell the Ryans apart, his father called his son Snook, an Irish term of endearment that means “Little Rascal.”

Game 3 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final is currently taking place in St. Louis. The contest is airing now (8 p.m. ET on NBCSN on Saturday) [stream here]

More from the 2019 Stanley Cup Final

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.