What’s that written in the top right hand corner 17 years ago? Oh, right.
On the day he passed out our Cobras jerseys (like the one Gretzky wore for the St. Louis Blues) he named the captain and assistants. The captain was no surprise. He named the only guy on the team who could take a slap shot and put it top corner. He was a French defenseman from Verdun. Then Flo – our coach – named one of the better, more passionate and passionate French Verdun forwards assistant-captain. The LaSalle guys were looking around at each other wondering if they were going to be represented in the leadership group, let alone with an English guy. I wasn’t thinking much of it at the time when Flo called my name out and handed me the patched “A” to be sewed onto my jersey.
I was so proud I was shocked. I couldn’t stop smiling. That point in my young 12 year young life – it was the greatest moment of life. Afterwards I realized that I was also a defenseman, and felt that it was rather exceptional that two defensemen would have letters on their jerseys.
I play hockey in Asia. The response I get ranges from surprise to confusion, and the first question I usually hear is, “Isn’t hockey a sport for girls?”
Ice hockey, man, not field hockey!
I’m from Canada – no, scratch that, I’m from Montreal; the birthplace of the NHL, the home of the legendary and practically mythical Habs, and the heart, though at times it seems to be hooked up to a defibrillator, of the great sport of hockey.
So, when I met a woman in Switzerland named Lena at a party near the capital Bern who turned out to be a true puckhead, I was naturally charmed. That is, of course, until she started bad-mouthing Canadian hockey fans as boring.
Lena saw games in both Toronto and Montreal. Obviously, I thought, she was generalizing about her experience of the rich suits in the best seats at the ACC.
Nope. Montreal too.
It’s so quiet. Everyone is just sitting around. In Switzerland it’s a party.