The Highlights of MK’s 2008-2009 Season Pt. 2
WINTER CLASSIC Ctd.
So where did I leave off…
Following Lidstrom up two flights of stairs to the locker room…
The winning team’s locker room was definitely different than the kind of locker room I’m used to (a hockey locker room). A baseball locker room is so different…so petite when you put a bunch of hockey players in it with hockey gear sprawled all over the place. There was barely any room.
It reminded me of a Manhattan subway car during rush hour!
My favorite quote from the winning team came courtesy of Chris Chelios. “The only thing that could have been better,” Chelios said. “Is if Chicago won.”Take Me Out to the Hockey Game
Another notable moment was meeting Bill Clement. He is such a sweet guy. He tried to carry my luggage around Wrigley Field for me. I had to talk him out of it so he could let a girl take care of her own baggage. The only thing I was really in awe with during that whole moment…his Stanley Cup ring.
Definitely great memories from the Winter Classic.
BEST CHRISTMAS GIFT EVER
Right before Christmas, the Devils surprised me with something I wasn’t expecting. My editor knew about it, but he waited until I was given this little gift before saying anything.
For the first part of the season, I was permitted in on a game-to-game basis. By Christmas, I had apparently proven myself and the Devils handed to me my official season credentials.
Ironically, I got my little gift in a weird way. There was a really bad snow storm that afternoon. The train was delayed and I missed the whole first period.
I arrived at the arena to find I was locked out and had to go through one of the main entrances where I was then escorted to the press room. Of course, the Devs communications team was upstairs so I didn’t have my badge.
Luckily, security knew me and I was able to go to my seat with no problems. When one of the Devs guys came around to distribute the 1st period summaries, I asked for my badge. He looked at me weird asking how I got in without it because he didn’t remember seeing me come in. I explained that I was locked out and had to go in through the main entrance.
He came back 10 minutes later with my new season credentials and explained that this was definitely not how they planned on handing me my credentials, but congratulations, you earned it.
That was officially the BEST GIFT EVER.
IT’S ABOUT DAMN TIME
Ok, I’ll admit that by January I was going insane that a prediction I had made back in July had still not come to fruition. I felt like I was just as emotionally being dragged through the mud as Brendan Shanahan was by the New York Rangers. Throw in that I felt really bad for the guy because he really believed they were going to sign him (and I had known differently for months) and well…it was a blessing that he signed with the Devils.
When I did my exclusive with Shanny at the end of the season, we talked a little about those things. Something he mentioned that I had not noticed was that the first time he had stepped out onto the ice as a New Jersey Devil (for the 2nd time around), the Devils took over the #1 spot in the Atlantic Division and there wasn’t one time after that they were not in the #1 position.
That had a lot of meaning to him because it confirmed to him that signing with the Devils had been the right thing for him to do.
So this was a highlight because HE MADE THE PREDICTION COME TRUE.
NHL ALL-STARS 2009, MONTREAL
Two weeks after the Winter Classic, I was on another plane heading to someplace cold in Canada in the middle of January. [The only weird part was that I was supposed to be in St. Petersburg, Russia and Omsk, Siberia around the same time, but had to turn down the invitation to go to St. Petes due to some internal bleeding problems post-surgery.]
Montreal was by far the coldest place I’ve ever been to in my life. Most memorable moment…I cried in the middle of the street when I got hit with an arctic blast. Enough said.
Crosby was hanging around here and there in Belle Centre because he was told he would be suspended if he didn’t show up. Datsyuk and Lidstrom were both suspended following the All-Stars for failure to show up.
In Centre Belle, I got the first feel of Canadian fans. There is nothing like it in the world. It was the most intense thing I have ever experienced. There is nothing like it in the USA. NOTHING. Well, maybe when David Beckham touches a soccer ball there’s that much intensity.
I met a cute little family from Tampa Bay while I was there. They invited me to the All Stars party. Normally, I’d get my ticket to go to these events from the NHL, but I wasn’t hanging out in the media room like I normally do. I was all over the place at Belle Centre.
The All Stars party was the best party out of all the NHL parties I’ve been to this past season.
The band was hot. I loved the huge Statue of Liberty ice sculpture (it was a movie themed night) in honor of The Day After Tomorrow. I even enjoyed watching a little boy out on the dance floor wearing his Parise All-Stars jersey dancing his heart out. It was the cutest thing. I tried to get a photo of the kid just to show Parise that he had a little fan that was definitely representing at the party!
Of course, this was where Mr. Bettman was hanging out…watching the band.
Star struck moment: Sheldon Souray. It was bad the first time I saw him…second time…that’s in a later event.
From the All-Stars, I learned that Carey Price (Montreal) was really cool for a kid. He had me cracking up. The most priceless moment was when he appeared to be bad mouthing Tim Thomas (as Tim was walking by). Tim stopped in his tracks to listen to what Carey had to say. Carey was facing me with his back to Tim so I got to see the entire expression on Tim’s face.
Carey said, “I can’t follow Tim’s moves.”
The look on Tim’s face was priceless at this point. With his lip slanting and his face turning bright red, Carey continued.
“He’s too fast for me.”
Tim then waved it off and took off towards the showers. I broke out into laughter and Carey turned to me and asked me what was so funny.
I motioned towards the showers. Carey turned to look and then looked back at me all confused. Tim had already jetted.
I said, “Um, Tim just heard everything you said.”
And Carey’s reply…well, I can’t print that.
TO BE CONTINUED…