The Canadiens played the Ottawa Senators last night and will play them again tonight and I noticed that nowhere in the Ottawa lineup did I see Frank Mahovlich.
What’s that? Frank Mahovlich is a senator in Ottawa, not an Ottawa Senator? Ohhhhhh.
But speaking of Frank Mahovlich…..
In the late 1990’s, I owned a sports bar in Powell River called Kane’s Sports Bistro. It was a good little place and I was able to have my stuff all over the walls. Too much work, though. Way too much work. We sold it and the new owners kept the name.
During this time, the NHL Oldtimers came to town to play one of their many charity games and dazzle us with their playmaking, the skill that never seems to leave retired players.
On the day of the game, in the early afternoon, my partner and I were the only ones in the place when Red Storey and Frank Mahovlich walked in. They strolled around, looked at all the stuff on the walls, and then sat down.
Naturally we were very polite, offered them a nice spaghetti dinner (on the house), and started asking questions about hockey which they both seemed more than happy to chat about. We talked about the 1972 Canada-Russia series, modern-day hockey, and Red told me how hard it was to handle the Rocket sometimes when he (Red) was refereeing.
And of course, we had a big talk about the Habs.
From that conversation, the thing that most stands out is how Mahovlich went on about what a class outfit the Canadiens are. He said it was by far the best team in the league to play for. He said he didn’t get along with Punch Imlach in Toronto and wasn’t happy there, and when he was playing in Detroit and heard the news that he was traded to Montreal, he knew it was perfect for him.
He said the Canadiens treated the players first-class, and he considered himself an ex-Hab, not a Leaf or Red Wing.
That night at the game, Red Storey carried a microphone with him as he refereed, and told the sold-out crowd of about 2000 that everyone should go to Kane’s because the spaghetti was so good.