By Erica Whyte
When Amerks legend and American Hockey League Hall of Famer Dick Gamble got a phone call that his AHL Hall of Fame ring was found at the bottom of Canandaigua Lake early in July, he had no idea that it was even lost in the first place. That’s because Dick's son, Craig, lost it three years ago while swimming, but got a replacement made before his dad even realized that it was missing.
“My wife and I were boating on Canandaigua lake,” Craig recalled to media last week. “We were just swimming and having a fun time and the ring slid right off of my hand when I jumped into the lake.”
As any son in a similar situation would do, Craig admitted that he couldn't tell his parents what he had done, so he came up with a different solution.
“I was really heartbroken and didn’t have the heart to tell my parents that I had lost it because my dad had given it to me in 2007. So I had that second ring made and put it on my hand like nothing ever happened.”
Craig’s plan to cover the lost ring worked perfectly, since his father, Dick, remembered by many as one of the most prolific scorers in franchise history, had no idea that the ring was even missing until early July when a phone call changed it all.
WATCH: LOCAL SCUBA DIVER GARY GAVURNIK RETURNS DICK GAMBLE'S AHL HALL OF FAME RING AFTER FINDING AT THE BOTTOM OF CANANDAIGUA LAKE
"I thought he still had it, until he got a call from his mother, then he admitted that he lost it. But I’m glad that Gary (the diver) returned it, and we really are thankful, all the family, for him being such a good individual,” said Dick, who’s tenure in Rochester delivered the city three Calder Cup championships in four years during the early dynasty years of the 1960s.
Scuba diving treasure hunter Gary Gavurnik, of Auburn, New York, was responsible for both uncovering Craig’s sneaky secret, and also for safely returning the prized ring to Dick, its rightful owner. Gary told media last week that he often dives with a metal detector to dig up lost items, but this ring was one of the most special things he has ever uncovered. Despite the ring’s rarity, Gary knew that the right thing to do was to give it back to its rightful owner.
“It just boggles my mind that I found a Hall of Fame ring in a lake. But I knew it belonged with the family, and I was more than happy to give it back to the family, and here we are today,” Gary said.
The family was so moved by Gary’s discovery and willingness to return to ring that Dick presented him with one of his very own autographed jerseys and a $500 check to the charity of his choosing.
Now that the Gamble family has two rings – the original and the replica – in their possession, Craig was asked was he will do with both.
“Well, we won’t be wearing them to the lake, that’s for sure.” he responded with a smile.