I’d Be Downtown

I’m so late in getting to this CBC/ NHLPA players’ poll that you’ve probably already been through it and now it’s old news.

But I had to work today. And if I don’t work, I don’t get enough money to buy the team, and if I don’t buy the team, you can’t be part of management. It’s that simple.

The poll, at http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/allstar/poll/, is interesting as we find out what players think about things such as where they would prefer to play if they had a choice, which came down to Detroit at 14%, Vancouver 11%, Chicago 11%, and New York at 9%.

Players are obviously leaning toward teams with success or promise or some such thing..

Toronto’s not mentioned.

Why Montreal isn’t up there in popularity is a mystery to me. I can only shake my head and try to understand.

I believe players miss the boat when it comes to NHL city living, and not just in Montreal. They spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on homes way out in the suburbs. Suburbs that could be anywhere, from coast to coast.

Downtown might be a bit more expensive, but it must be way more interesting. And closer.

Vancouver living could be excellent for a young guy with a million bucks in his pocket, if he’s living the life in Yaletown or Kitsilano or such, in the heart of the city near the harbour in a million dollar pad which will turn into a multi-million dollar pad in a couple of months.

For some reason though, which only NHL wives might explain, most players live in houses on the edges of the city, and then fight traffic back and forth from the rink.

Maybe it’s because players have been looked after for such a long time they have now have no idea how to take advantage of the city they live and work in. It’s a shame. So much money and not sure how to spend it. 

Although you’d have to be a Ranger, New York would be good because you could live in Greenwich Village or Soho or any of the many trendy areas Manhattan has to offer. The yard would suck but the living wouldn’t. And like Vancouver, putting out a million two, which many of these guys can afford, means turning it into three or four million in no time flat. And again, no commuting in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

Just a lot of good restaurants, antique shops, and blues bars. Sort of like an athletic, married Seinfeld.

Los Angeles would be fine too, but again, most of these guys live well out of where the action is, a monster freeway-drive away. I’m convinced I’d live in West Hollwoood, up above the Sunset Strip, living the good life with palm trees and Julia Roberts as a neighbour, with the Strip and its billboards pulsating below.

But they have young kids, you say? So what. Kids are allowed on the Sunset Strip and in Greenwich Village. They grow to be street-smart and parents sleep better because the kids can look after themselves. Soak in some street culture while your dad plays in the NHL.

And I’m sure facts would show that suburban kids can be just as rotten as inner-city kids.

Montreal? I’d live in old Montreal, down by the cafes and clubs. There would be no winter storms to drive home in after a game. It’d be like living in Paris with the Montreal Canadiens just around the corner.

I’d pass the Stanley Cup around as I walked by outdoor cafes on my way to Just For Laughs.

Why is it that players drive themselves to the rink from their homes in the distant suburbs? Why don’t they just hire a driver? The last thing I’d want to do is fight traffic in a late-night snowstorn while I’m plotting how to take out Sean Avery’s teeth with a puck.

Anyway, the poll is interesting, and good old Danno has pinpointed some of the ones with a Habs connection.

13 thoughts on “I’d Be Downtown”

  1. Dennis, the time to worry about traffic is at 9 in the morning, on their way to the practice facility which is off the island in Brossard. Which is why a lot of players choose to live on Nuns island, half way between Brossard and the Bell centre.

    Ps. I’m back

  2. Dennis,

    Young man, bright lights, professional athlete. 3 into 2 don’t go.

    If the management can’t get them married they do their best to make them live the quiet life in the ‘burbs.

    Then of course they still go to the bright lights and then drive home and dear me occifer what makesh you think I can’t walk a shtraight line….

    Or they stay up town for a night in a swish hotel making the beast with two backs in the company of some lovely (or three) who sells her story.

    Whadda you do? (as Al Pacino might say)

  3. There was an interesting tidbit of information when they presented these results during the game. Kirk Muller doesn’t have an out in his contract. Unfortunately I’m not sure what it means. Teams generally don’t prevent their assistant and minor league coaches from taking a NHL head coaching position. Unless it mean that other teams can’t discuss hiring him at all. No discussions, no offer.

  4. Christopher, I didn’t see the game but I heard it was certainly nothing to write home about. And you’re right, if guys have a chance for a head coaching job, teams generally don’t stand in their way. All I know is, when I own the team and you or someone else on my management team has an offer of a better job somewhere else, I’d sleep on it first before saying no.

  5. Thanks, Christopher. I watched the whole video (missed the game). Maybe the Habs should attempt to get Boogaard. What do you think?

  6. That segment was the best part of the game.

    Boogaard is a bit too much of a goon for me, I prefer someone who can play a regular shift. How about Brandon Prust also from the Rangers. They owe us for taking Gomez. Ottawa also has a couple of players (Matt Carkner and Chris Neil) and the Sens are desperate to rebuild, but not until the deadline or summer.

  7. Christopher, I don’t know if Ottawa would deal with Montreal but I suppose they would. I don’t know much about Carkner and the thing that stands out for me about Neil is I read that he lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in a business venture with his brother.

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