I didn’t realize it at the time I booked this trip, but this game happened on the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination, an event that shaped the American people for decades to come. (and 10 days later the Capitol turned 150 years old!) Washington bears witness to a long and eventful history, and we used the opportunity to play tourist for a couple of days and see the various monuments and museum that are legion around the National Mall. We flew in from Montreal the day before the game so we had the entire game day available, as well as most of the day after. We would try to cram in as much sightseeing as possible.
In the course of starting this blog, I was of course focused on my road trips. But recently it dawned on me that if I truly wanted to cover all 30 NHL arenas, I needed to write about my home base, Montreal. And what better way to cover the Habs’s home turf than with a season opener against perennial enemies, the Toronto Maple Leafs. And as an added bonus, the NHL Faceoff event took place in Montreal this year. Continue reading
Local collectible experts Classic Auctions held an event today where fans could meet emerging star Lars Eller of the Montreal Canadiens.
Lars Eller was traded to Montreal before the 2010-11 season, in a controversial (at the time) move that sent beloved goalie Jaroslav Halak to the Blues. Halak had been the star of the previous playoffs, leading the Canadiens to upset wins over the Penguins and Capitals before the small Habs were pummeled by the bigger Philadelphia Flyers in the semi-finals. Continue reading
I spent last week in Vancouver for a work related conference, and while I was sad that the event happened in the offseason, I still used the opportunity to walk around the city and explore its connection to hockey.
My first stop was of course the Rogers Arena, home of the Canucks. Looking at Google Maps, it appeared to be a short walk away from my hotel near the Convention Center, so I set off to find it. Downtown Vancouver is very nice, with lots of luxury shops (Coach, Versace, Villeroy & Boch, etc), so it was a pleasant walk to the arena. As I was coming up to the area indicated on my map, I could see it in the distance. But as I got closer, I realized that what I was seeing was BC Place, home of the BC Lions from the CFL, and the Whitecaps from the MLS. Here’s a view of BC Place from the opposite side I was coming from.
On the right hand side of the photo, across the elevated highway is the Rogers Arena. Continue reading
The good thing about being at the start of this project is that our options are wide open. We have the luxury of choosing the timeframe and have more destinations available.
We would have liked to hit Tampa Bay and Miami during the holidays, but couldn’t create an itinerary that worked for us. The Habs will also hit these two cities end of March, and that time it would have worked better, but we sort of fell in love with the idea of going south during the holidays, so we decided to wait another year before going to Florida.
Last June I attended the Electronic Entertainment Expo (better known as E3) in Los Angeles. The Kings were battling the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference Finals, and I foolishly hoped I could get a ticket on the secondary market for one of the games. (Realistically, the tickets would have been way overpriced, but a guy can dream).
For the 2010-2011 season, I chose to go to Ottawa. Being the closest city to Montreal, this was an easy one to get out of the way. We chose the October 23rd game because it was a rare Saturday away game for the Habs. (Most Saturdays, the Habs play in Montreal. I guess it’s a benefit of being the oldest franchise in the league).
I’ve been to New-York twice since starting this trek, but either after the local teams have been eliminated, or during the off season. But any time I’m in the Big Apple, I try to hit the NHL Store. Located in the same building as NHL headquarters (1185 Avenue of the Americas), it offers all manners of NHL merchandise. It is not that impressive, but one thing I like is that you can buy NHL branded items (as opposed to team branded).
It was sort of a no-brainer that my first trip would be to Boston. The Bruins and Canadiens share a rivalry going back decades, and I’d been wanting to go back since I visited that beautiful city when I was 18.