Monday, December 05, 2005

Puck Trip

I've fantasized for along time about being able to take a hockey vacation like the one Ben Sturtevant was fortunate enough to take recently.
I studied the NHL schedule and a road map and discovered it would be fairly easy to hit several NHL cities in a week. I informed my friend, Josh, an equally demented pucks fan, of my plan and he was quickly on board. The plan was to go to games in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Detroit. The trip would allow us to see three Original 6 teams (the Montreal Canadiens, the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Detroit Red Wings) in three hockey-crazed cities, and possibly the NHL's best all-around squad in the Ottawa Senators, who also happened to have one my favorite all-time players, 40-year-old Dominik Hasek, in goal. Since the trip would take us through Toronto, we'd also be able to hit the Hockey Hall of Fame. It was the ultimate pucks pilgrimage.

Best of all, we'd be free to act like little boys again.
Read more about >>> Ben and Josh's excellent puck adventure.

If I ever get the chance to fulfill my fantasy puck vacation it would go something like this...

  • Montreal... watching games from the Bell on CentreIce is incredible, the crowds are just so totally into the games from beginning to end, chanting, singing, booing, cheering... LOUD. No nuance of the game escapes their attention or appreciation in Montreal. It's just a totally immersive hockey atmosphere bordering on worship that I just GOT to go and experience someday. Plus it's got all that history.

  • Laval... Ever since seeing the movie Les Chiefs I just have to make a pilgrimage to this Montreal suburb and experience the primal and crazed hockey sub-culture of the Ligue Nord-Américaine de Hockey... the infamous LNAH. Maybe even visit the apt. under the bleachers where the enforcers live.

  • Toronto... Not so much to catch a Leafs game (which would be cool) but really more to visit all the rinks, bars and other haunts of Dave Bidini's great book "The Best Game You Can Name" which is set in this city which arguably is the most hockey fanatical of them all. The Best Game... is a great hockey book that I've really fallen in love with and I highly recommend as a great X-mas present.

  • Calgary... Another place with a super highly charged hockey atmosphere that I think would be a lot of fun to experience especially a night on the Red Mile after a Flames win.

  • Vancouver... Any city voted the Most Livable Place on Earth ...AND... has all kinds of hockey played in it's incredibly beautiful surroundings is definitely on my must visit list.

    Well, that's my fantasy road trip through Puck World. What's yours ?

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  • Quote for the Day:
    I'm sitting on my watch so that I'll be on time.
    Bob Dylan

    sacamano said...

    Clearly you've never been to a game in Calgary. The Saddledome is like a morgue.

    The only place to watch a game in Alberta is the House that Gretzky Built.

    sacamano said...
    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
    br. t. said...

    Great, thanks for straightening me out there sacamano, I'll adjust my itinerary accordingly. I guess this means I can come crash at your place, drink your beer and have you score me some tixs when I come through your great town... right? I've always heard about how friendly and hospitable Edmontonians are and I'm sure your a shining example.

    Besides I voted for you guys and your blog... YOU OWE ME and I'm coming to collect.

    sacamano said...

    You've got it! If you show up, I will very happily supply you with beer, tickets, and a floor to sleep on.

    I'll even take a picture of you beside the Wayne Gretzky statue outside of Skyreach.

    How can you go wrong?

    br. t. said...

    Thanks, I hope to take you up on that offer someday sacamano. The same offer goes to you too if you should ever find yourself headed south across the border... say waaaaay south down here New Mexico way. You seem like the kind of guy who could find himself on the run from the RCMP someday and might need a hideout. You never know, if you do look me up. I'm always willing to help a fellow puck nut out... unless of course if your a Wings fan (christy over at BtJ would be the only exception to that general rule).

    JP said...

    I posted it over at OffWing, but should've come straight to the source.

    Back in March of '04 my Dad, brother (then a Kings employee) and I hit Habs/Kings, Avs/Canucks (the Bertuzzi-Moore game), Oilers/Flames, Avs/Oilers, Isles/Ducks and Kings/Sharks - 6 arenas - in 8 days. There was some aggressive travelling involved, but it was probably the best vacation of my life. You simply can't buy the bonding, etc. that goes on.

    Oh, and say what you want about the Saddledome - being there for an Oilers/Flames game was very sweet (though I'm still growing back the eyebrows that were burned off from the pyrotechnics when the Flames scored).