Put them in street clothes, though, and I'm lost.
"It's scary," I said to Mom. "What am I going to be like when I'm 80? I don't recognize anybody!"
Actually that wasn't quite true. I knew their faces and their names, but I just couldn't affiliate two together correctly unless it was Alain Cote or Stephane Richer.
In fairness, I remember seeing them play years ago, although I had no real use for Cote as he spent most of his career in a Nordiques uniform and if you don't know how I feel about the Nordiques by now I have to wonder why you even read this blog.
|Me and Alain Cote, making nice. Sergio Momesso on the right.|
It was after the NHL Legends had trounced my home team of the Port-aux-Basques Mariners. Having sold only 8 of 100 Tier 2 VIP tickets meant Mom and I would have a lot of quality time with the Legends, particularly as only 5 of us had bothered to attend the schmooze-fest.
For reasons I cannot even begin to explain, I was sporting a Tomas Plekanec sweater when as far as I could ascertain he was currently playing in Europe and was highly unlikely to be at this party. Since I was wearing a Habs sweater and Mom was wearing a Canadiens t-shirt and vintage sweater we stood out like sore thumbs.
Everyone else at the game wearing a team sweater had been playing on the ice, unless you count the lone Boston fan wearing his jersey and it's not like I'm going to do that because he disappeared after the first intermission and anyway it's just Boston for crissakes.
On the plus side, this meant Mom and I got hauled upstairs to watch the third period from the booth, which had the best view in the rink.
|View of the Legends bench from the booth.|
As it turns out, not much.
We cheered for everyone, got razzed by John Horrigan, and ducked when Mike Krushelnyski tried twice to lob his stick into the booth at us.
During the third period a Mike Cammalleri type deal went down, and Richer, Dupont, I-forget-who-else got their asses traded to the Mariners. It didn't help though as the Mariners fourth and final goal was scored by a local anyway.
"I need a drink," I said, because I always say this and particularly at hockey games when I've worked up a vicious thirst by hollering at the players who wisely ignore me unless they are Mike Krushelnyski at which point they try to high-stick me in an elevated booth.
"You almost hit me," I scolded him, having been treated by then to a drink courtesy of Stephane Richer who made certain that the "Habs women" got their rum and cokes.
Krushelnyski said it didn't count since he actually didn't hit us and if you've never met the man let me tell you he is unfairly charming and really what are ya gonna do? I shrugged and gave him a bag of Newfie Screech laced coffee.
|Try to find Stephane Richer in this photo if you can.|
He was personable and kind enough to make sure to spend time with all the fans in turn, but left early to get some shut eye as the boys were playing 5 games in 5 nights and if you've never been to Newfoundland that means a lot of damned driving back and forth across the island so it was perfectly understandable.
I probably spent the most time with Gary Leeman and Mike Krushelnyski, discussing Newfoundland's charms and their love of doing this sort of charity gig for the fans. Leeman was most kind about loving the East Coast of Canada and its friendly nature, and Krushelnyski missed his calling as a stand-up comedian / smartass.
I spoke with Roy Nolan and Glenn Anderson at length about the current lockout, and we all agreed on one thing: it sucks, there's unlikely to be any NHL hockey this year, and thank God for the AHL teams.
|Mom, Ian Lafratte, Me, Roy Nolan, Rick Middleton|
Despite my initial reservations Alain Cote, like every other player there, turned out to be a sweetheart of a guy and while I will never like the Nordiques I've decided that even a rotten barrel of apples probably has a good core or two and hopefully my fellow Habs fans will forgive me for liking the guy. I also liked Rick Middleton a lot and he was a Bruins and I kind of overlooked that too just as he ignored my Habs sweater and even signed it.
|Glenn Anderson, Moi, Gary Leeman, and Andre DuPont|
I'm posting pictures just to torment you and to prove I'm not making all this shit up. I can't give you names, numbers or any other info other than this - if you get the chance to go to one of these games and the meet and greets, take advantage. It's worth every penny.