Favorite Moments of the Season (Pt. 2)
Brian Gionta’s first game at Prudential Center as a Montreal Canadien was a pleasant homecoming for many. Kevin Weekes and I have an ongoing inside joke about my height as compared to Brian Gionta’s height. It was pretty hilarious and a lot of Twitter followers were laughing along at the exchange between me and Kevin.
So the question was: Just how tall is Brian Gionta?
My claim was that he was 5’8″ and with 4″ heels on, I’m actually an inch to two inches taller than Gio. Weekes claim was that Gio had to be much, much shorter than he claimed he really was (he must have been wearing skates or had big hair when I was 1″-2″ taller).
So I went in and asked Gio just how tall he was. He immediately responded, “I’m 5’8″.” Now, at this point, I have flats on. I am looking at myself and sizing myself up next to Gio. I know how tall I am because I had the doctor measure me. They measured me at around 5’4″ (the shorter end of it). Gio…I could swear up and down that he was the same height as me.
I asked Gio if he’d submit to a measuring tape. He was more than willing to.
So I told Kevin and left it for Kevin to do. He ran into Gio a day or two later and told him what the whole exchange was really about. He said that Gio was roaring with laughter over it.
So if anybody asks…I’m the same height as Gio. He says he’s 5’8″. So I guess I’m 5’8″. You want to challenge it…take it up with Gio.
When I was in Greece, a list of nicknames that Kevin Weekes has for players across the league was released. It didn’t say who was who, so I’ve been trying to figure this list out all season long.
Mind you, Weekes has a nickname for everyone (including me).
I was somewhere in the Aegean Sea, on a ferry from Mykonos, Greece to Santorini, Greece, completely jet lagged and hungover, trying to concentrate because I didn’t want to get seasick from the boat on top of everything else. I was concentrating on this nickname list.
Some of them were easy…like David Clarkson. NO ONE knows what his nickname is except for me and Weekesy. Clarky got the nickname because of the “The Goon With a Big Heart” article. Kevin said it reminded him of this commercial:
Since then, we’ve been calling Clarky “Albert.” (David has no idea, because I never told him about the nickname.) It’s become a bit of a code name.
But as I was crossing the Aegean Sea I realized what Zach Parise’s nickname was and I started laughing hysterically on the ferry. I couldn’t even explain to anyone what was so funny because they just wouldn’t understand.
Here’s the original list that was published by one of Kevin’s co-broadcasters. (It’s a mix and match deal)
I. Warm & Easy
K. Ersekin & Fire
M. Boll and Chain
O. Staff Infection
1. Gilbert Burke
2. Josh Harding
3. Bob Errey
4. Dave Bolland
5. David Clarkson
6. Zach Parise
7. Marc Savard
8. Adam Pardy
9. Travis Zajac
10. Bryce Salvador
11. Drew Stafford
12. Evgeny Artyukhin
13. Sam Gagner
14. Dan Ellis
15. Rich Peverley
16. John Erskine
17. Patrick Eaves
When I figured out Zach’s nickname, I messaged Kevin to ask if it was what I thought it was. He confirmed it was correct and told me to enlist either Zach or Travis Zajac in helping me figure out the rest of the list…but I never did. I think I chickened out more than anything because to ask for help on this list would require a special request on the article content from the communications department and by the time Inside Hockey would have been ready for the request, the Olympics happened and The Tooth Fairy and Shanny retiring and…etc etc etc…let’s just say the story got put to the wayside. So maybe this summer…I can find a Devil that will help me figure it all out at the NHL Awards.
So what was Zach’s nickname?? He’s Warm and Easy like Zach Parise. [Now do you understand why I was laughing hysterically in the middle of the Aegean Sea?]
SHANNY’S LAST GOAL
If you’ve been following the blog over the past few weeks, you’ll see that Jagr dropped from the #1 All-Time Favorites List, which bumped the list up for everyone else and Shanny became #1 on the list (after being #2 for years).
Shanny’s first goal in his career was as a New Jersey Devil (both of his first two goals were gamewinners). His final goal (that didn’t even count because it was in the pre-season) was a beautiful one in his final hockey game ever…as a New Jersey Devil and as a NHL player (if memory serves correctly, it was also a GWG).
The goal was not televised. If you weren’t at the game, you missed his final goal of his career. It was probably one of the most beautiful goals I’ve ever witnessed in his career. It was sad to realize that it was also his final goal a few months later…a goal that did not even count towards his career goals…and something you can never watch on Youtube and share with the world. Only the people in Prudential Center were allowed to have that experience…such a shame he couldn’t share it with the world.
I have an unfair advantage over a lot of hockey people out there. I’m next door to the NHL building. They say “Come Over NOW” I’m over there…that includes when they have special events…like Alexander Ovechkin visiting, Dwayne Johnson, Chris Pronger, Tim Thomas…I have plenty of photos.
I won NHL2K10 out of it…ended up giving it to some kids.
But the weirdest moment…Alex Ovechkin flying down the street in a ZAMBONI!
I’m 100% on all Brendan Shanahan predictions…including the one that predicted that he would go to work next door at the NHL corporate office.
There were some interesting suggestions coming from the media about where Shanny should go. NHLPA Executive Director was a big suggestion amongst many (but I wasn’t so keen on that with the whole Chelios vs. Shanahan posses…it’s like Republicans vs. Democrats and who’s gonna be in power).
I had always seen the NHL as being the organization that was preparing Shanny for the job in the corporate office. So when I said he should go there, and he did…I was happy that he did. It still meant I was 100% on ‘where’s Shanny going’ predictions.
WEIRD D’OH ELEVATOR MOMENT
Sometimes when I’m taking the elevator, I run into someone interesting…usually some NHL alum. But one day, I didn’t realize who the guy was that was waiting for the elevator with me to go up to the press box, before he said something…in RUSSIAN.
I looked at him and realized we recognized each other. I couldn’t place from where.
I went to my seat in the press box and looked over the names on the roster of scratches. That guy was none other than Andrei Markov. I felt like a complete idot then, because I had forgotten I’ve spoken to him a few times before.
Trust me…I’m sure I’ve probably walked right by him a few times this season and didn’t even recognize him. That would explain why I keep getting random ‘Heys’ from a few of the Habs. Could all be from Markov. LOL.
MORE MOMENTS TO FOLLOW…