As soon as Saul arrives in Toronto, he thinks that the city is a “chimera”—a mythological beast with a goat’s body, a lion’s head, and a serpent’s tail.
Saul doesn’t clarify what he means by “chimera,” but it’s clear enough that Toronto is a surreal, intimidating city, made up of parts that seemingly don’t really go together.
Saul stays with an elderly couple, Elissa and Patrick Sheehan. Their family members have played hockey for generations, and their house is decorated with seemingly endless Toronto Maple Leafs posters and stickers. Patrick tells Saul that Indigenous Canadians have played in the NHL before. However, Saul is the only “brown face” in his particular rookie camp.
Saul isn’t breaking the color barrier for the first time in history, but he’s still very much the minority on his team, which leads to his feeling alienated and uncomfortable.
Saul trains hard with the other recruits. During scrimmages, many of the other players ignore Saul and refuse to pass the puck to him. The players are very talented, so Saul doesn’t mind being excluded, since “It gave [him] time to read them.” That year, the Marlboros are planning to accept only three rookies onto their team—but there are as many as thirty rookies in the training camp.
Saul’s teammates look down on him because he’s Indigenous. However, this suits Saul just fine, since it gives him time to study the game and the players more closely to figure out how he’s going to succeed.
During one scrimmage, Saul begins to excel on the ice. His teammate pushes him and whispers not to make him look bad. Making use of the muscles he’s built up with Virgil’s help, Saul outskates his opponents and scores a goal. Gleefully, he approaches his teammate and says, “Like that, you mean?” His teammate doesn’t say a word.
Saul appears to be off to a great start: he’s dealt with bullying teammates before, and now, as in the past, he appears to be overcoming the odds with sheer talent on the ice. But his growing talent comes with a new display of arrogance—in this case, toward one of his teammates.