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Dayn Belfour on father Ed: 'He's everything, he's awesome'

It's probably not all that surprising Dayn Belfour sees the same person in his father that everyone else does. It's also not all that surprising he sees much, much more.

And he views his father's induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame in a manner that is unique and, in many ways, refreshing.

Although Belfour did not chat with ESPN.com about his Hall call, Dayn shared his thoughts on what will be a significant day for the Belfour family.

A red-shirt freshman at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, Dayn, 22, and his father share a love of classic muscle cars, old heavy metal rock and hunting. They also share a passion for the game's most demanding position, goaltender. And when Belfour steps to the podium Monday night in Toronto, no one will be more proud than Dayn.

"I might as well be him," he said.

Dayn's choice to follow so closely in his father's footsteps is the purest form of flattery, respect and adoration.

Dayn's voice is the voice of a son who has managed the tricky task of balancing the natural love a son has for his father while trying to learn a craft from one of the most demanding players the game has known.

We first met Dayn in the summer of 2003 when he and his father were attending Tretiak's hockey school in the Toronto area. We sat with Belfour in his SUV while Dayn went through dry-land training and talked about his career and family. The two seemed comfortable with each other, joking about how Belfour was going to have to keep playing until Dayn was ready to play in the NHL so they could play together. Even now, the two share the same joke; Belfour kids Dayn that he's going to enroll in college so they can take the ice together.

From an early age, Dayn understood his life was different than that of his peers. He hung out in a Blackhawks dressing room with Chris Chelios and Jeremy Roenick, both of whom he counts as his heroes. He started playing hockey as a defenseman so he could be like his godfather, Chelios, whose children Dayn played youth hockey with. Then he moved to forward because he idolized Roenick. But by the time he was 12, the call of the net was too great.

"I just asked my dad for goaltending equipment one Christmas and Santa Claus came up with some goaltending gear," Dayn said. "I think my dad was thinking, 'Oh no, what's he getting himself into?'"

Around that time, Dayn realized his father represented something special to other people, too.

"As I got older, I realized how much he is a mentor and a hero to lots of other people other than myself," he said.

Once Dayn became a goaltender, his relationship with his father changed. The two worked out when they could with Dayn trying to learn the craft and impress his father at the same time.

"He has got all this knowledge in his brain and he's passing it on to me," he said.

Not that such transferal hasn't had its moments. There were times when the perfectionist in Belfour grated on his son.

"We had a little bit of time there where I just had to be left alone and had to try and find my own way through things," Dayn said.

Still, the two remain close, and the memories of those moments on the ice together are powerful ones for Dayn. "He truly cares and truly wants the best for me," he said.

In the end, Dayn Belfour's voice opens a door to an Ed Belfour that transcends the stats and peculiarities.

"I'm very proud of him. When he starts speaking about his journey, it almost feels like I'm walking the same path," Dayn said. "I do tend to get very emotional when I'm talking about my dad. He's a Stanley Cup winner, a gold medalist; he's like the bionic man. He's everything. He's awesome.

"Words can't really describe what this man is really like."