716 Sports Podcast is excited to announce Buffalo Beauts’ Director of Operations, Linda Groff-Mroz, will be contributing her behind-the-scenes perspective on the 2016-17 season.

I know it’s been a while since you have heard from me. I apologize, life has gotten in the way, and it’s been difficult for me to take a minute to sit down and write.

On November 20, we played Boston, and it was our Teddy Bear toss game to celebarate Krusher’s birthday!  I was so excited to go to the rink that day.  I bought balloons, birthday tablecloths, and we were getting a pant load of cupcakes and a donut cake.  Oh – did I mention we invited other mascots, not only from Buffalo, but Boston and Rochester?  That’s right, Krusher has friends.  The game did not go exactly according to plan, like scoring during regulation time, but the bears were tossed at the final buzzer.  The bears are being donated to Gold Star Mothers who will distribute them to veteran families, along with canned goods.


Last week was Thanksgiving and I was able to take the time to relax with family and really think about what I am thankful for and I realized something spectacular. I’m blessed; truly, blessed. 

I recently went through a divorce (no worries, we are still friends, we both came from divorced families and swore to each other we would do what we could to remain friends, and we’ve kept the promise) and for the last year I have been trying to figure out my new life, how to juggle being a single mum of two boys, working the Beauts, visitation schedules, coaching and being a Tastefully Simple consultant.  All I have to say is that I have so many colors on our calendars to keep track of everything…SO. MANY.  COLORS.

Do you want to know how blessed I really am?  I have two kids that are unbelievable. They are happy, healthy, imaginative, sweet – so sweet –  and caring and they are incredibly crazy.   They are boys, so they like to play, wrestle, fight, love, fight, laugh and of course fight some more.  But here is the part that makes it crazy, I wouldn’t change who they are or how they act for anything in this world.  I love my boys, as much as they push my buttons (on a daily basis), I would do anything for them, anything.  Make sacrifices that I never thought I would have to make, have patience with them while trying to teach them how to read, write and solve multiplication and division (thanks to the new standards in the schools – I’ve gotten plenty of help from teacher friends, so thank you), take extra special care of them when they are sick, plan family vacations and birthday parties to make them feel special, or camp out in the living room with popcorn, a movie and sleeping bags.  Like I said, I am blessed when it comes to my boys.


My parents are still alive and well.  I see them pretty much everyday because they watch the boys when I have to coach in the afternoon.  My mum picks Cooper up from pre-k three days a week because I work a part time job, and my dad watches the boys if I have errands to run or to coach my sniper clinic.  I cannot thank my parents enough for everything they have done for me – early morning hockey practices, ballet classes (yes, I was a ballerina too), softball practice, field hockey games…my mum made chocolate chip cookies for every single high school field hockey, ice hockey and softball game! She then continued to do the cookies when I went to Niagara and played hockey there. My parents are my biggest fans and I am striving everyday to make sure that I make them proud.  And, of course, my brothers! I would not be tough, rough and be able to rumble without their spectacular beatings, rough-housing and lessons as kids.


I am grateful for my friend, Fish, she is my rock. Without her, I couldn’t have survived the past year.  She’s my person.  Enough said.  I need to thank Nikki; we’ve had a special bond since playing hockey together – there is always something to be said about a goalie and her defense.



I also need to be thankful for my Wright family. Yes, my Wright family.  They came just at the right time!  I gained some sisters, a brother, Nana, pops, Mama Viv…I got lucky at the right time with my Wright family.


It’s not every day that I can say thank you to all of those who have cheered me along my journey.  It’s not every day that I can say thank you to the Beauts fans who make me smile every game and support our home town beauties. 

I just needed to take a moment and count my blessings and change my perspective – life is going to throw curve balls and you are going to have to jump the hurdles placed in your path, it’s how you knock them out of the park and leap with faith that makes you who you are.  I cannot sit here and say, “why me”? but I can respond with, “Try me.”  Count your blessings, see the light at the end of the tunnel and take one day at a time and live each moment to the fullest.

On December 3 at 4:30pm, the Buffalo Beauts will take on the New York Riveters for the first time in their Newark home. Tune in at nwhl.zone.