In the end, Saul finishes up his season with the Moose and then accepts Jack Lanahan’s offer to train in Marlboro. In his final days with the Moose, Virgil pushes Saul especially hard in his training to prepare him for the rigors of big-league play.
Even after he knows Saul is moving on, Virgil continues to work closely with Saul to prepare him for his future, suggesting that Virgil is a true friend to Saul.
A few months shy of seventeen, Saul says goodbye to his adopted family and boards a bus to Toronto, where he’ll be training. At the bus station, he tells Virgil he’ll miss Manitouwadge. Virgil smiles and says, “You worked damn hard, Saul. You’ll do good down there.”
Virgil and Saul’s goodbye is simple but poignant. Virgil clearly has a lot of love and respect for his adopted brother, and Saul seems to have found a home in Manitouwadge.
Virgil tells Saul, “You’re like a brother to me.” Saul nods and explains that he used to have a brother. Virgil doesn’t ask anything further, but he tells Saul, “Maybe someone just gave you a chance to rub the shit off the board once and for all.” With this, Saul and Virgil say goodbye, and Saul boards the bus.
Virgil’s parting words to Saul suggest that he can sense Saul’s deep and hidden sadness. Virgil seems to think that the NHL will give Saul an opportunity to move on with his life, instead of ruminating on the past too much.