In the late 1990s a buddy and I owned a sports bar in Powell River called Kane’s Sports Bistro. It was a nice little place and I was able to have my treasures all over the walls, just like I’d always wanted.
But it was way too much work and not much money, we were fairly clueless about running a place like this, and we ended up selling it.
The new owners kept the name and carried on for several more years.
When we had the pub, 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 a couple of legends, 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 go on 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 in general.
From that conversation, the thing that most stands out is Mahovlich saying what a class outfit the Canadiens were. He said it was by far the best team in the league to play for. He explained that 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 mc’d, and told the sold-out crowd of about 2500 that everyone should go to Kane’s because the spaghetti was so good.