Tag Archives: Powell River

Habs To Crush Canucks – Hopefully

Aside from the Price/Luongo Olympics-related storyline, the Diaz/Weise swap, and the game being huge for both teams, this is a night when the Canadiens really have to win on top of all that.

I just spent the last 17 years among smug Canucks fans. I don’t know why they’re smug, but I suspect it has something to do with their team being better during the regular season than the Habs over the past couple of decades.

Not that the Canucks have been any good in the playoffs, but that’s beside the point. Canucks fans I know never failed to remind me of the superiority of their team.

Yes, I know, Habs fans have been accused of being the same thing at times. But the accusers have been wrong. We’re misunderstood salt of the earth fans.

If we were a tad smug, it was years ago. It doesn’t count

And one last thing to mention. I miss many of these smug Canucks fans. Great people, great friends. I’ll be thinking of you when the game’s on.

 

 

 

 

A Night To Remember

The 2014 Winter Auction is coming up soon at Classic Auctions, and one of the lots we’re putting up are the three Charlestown Chiefs jerseys worn by the Hanson brothers in the movie Slap Shot.

There should be a fair amount of buzz about this.

And mentioning the auction is a good way of getting to my Hanson brothers story.

The Hansons came to Powell River in the late-1990s to do their schtick before a Powell River Kings/BCHL game, towing along the back of the zamboni, pretending to be unruly, and generally being very amusing for the fans.

Before they went up to the arena, they came into the little sports bar my friend and I owned, all decked out with their taped hands, horn-rimmed glasses, and Charlestown Chiefs jerseys, and ranted about “old time hockey”.

It was prearranged and they did it for free.

After the game, two of the three Hansons (Jeff and Steve Carlson), came back to the pub, I locked the door, and the three us sat at the bar and drank beer and talked hockey until 5 am. They were both tremendously friendly guys, completely down to earth, and I remember them talking a lot about how they thought Jaromir Jagr was such a great player and how Paul Newman was a wonderful guy.

We drank a lot of beer that night, I had to open the bar a few hours later with a hangover, and the Hanson brothers left town for another gig in another town. All in all, a fine night indeed.

I might be talking to them on the phone soon, and if so, I’m going to ask if they remember that night in Powell River. Maybe they won’t.

But I’m hoping they do.

A New Year Comin’ Up Fast

Canada plays the U.S. today in World Junior action, and it’s the Habs in Carolina this evening to meet the Hurricanes.

It’s a good hockey day, and even better if both Canada and the Canadiens win.

But before all this action takes place, I’d like to wish everyone a very great 2014. I hope it becomes a terrific year for you and yours.

2013 was a big year for Luci and I. I retired from B.C. Ferries, packed up things in Powell River, and we drove across the country to start anew in Montreal. And even with the frosty air and slippery streets, we both agree that it’s been just great and we’re excited about the new year.

Again, from me to you, happy 2014. Be safe and have fun.

Two Months Now In Montreal

It’s been two months exactly since arriving in Montreal, and you bet it’s been a big change. Coming from a city of 20,000, up the coast from Vancouver, where I could bomb around town, stop at the grocery store, get some gas, go to the dump, stop at the license bureau, make my dentist appointment, and buy socks at Walmart, all in an hour or two.

That’s not the case in Montreal. We’re talking a couple of days for this kind of thing. It took me most of one day just to get my driver’s license and new plates here.

In Powell River, traffic jams mean five cars at a traffic light. Montreal isn’t quite like that. Not by a friggin country mile.

You hardly ever see a detour sign in Powell River. In Montreal however……….

I used to get upset with slow drivers on the Sunshine Coast. In Montreal, I want to slam my brakes on the next person who tailgates me when I’m already 20 kms. over the speed limit, get out and pound his or her windshield with a crowbar.

Montreal has sports talk radio, which is the first such thing I’ve heard since I moved to Powell River from Calgary 18 years ago. I listened to CBC in Powell River.

It was 99% English there. I’m living in St. Hubert now, which is 99% French.

Most Powell Riverites cheer for the Vancouver Canucks. In Montreal, it’s another team. :-)

The view’s better in Powell River, with the ocean and Vancouver Island just across the way, with fishing boats and tugs going by. However, if you’ve ever seen some of the Montreal women walking around, you might ask yourself what’s better.

From my deck in Powell River I could hear sea lions barking. I’ve yet to hear one sea lion in Montreal. Although I saw a deer on Cousineau Boulevard recently.

More often than not, strangers walking past each other in Powell River smile and say hello. Not so much in Montreal.

I’ve noticed that some shopkeepers in Montreal aren’t overly friendly. Then I remembered that some in Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, and yes, even Powell River, aren’t either.

I’ve yet to see any loggers or fishermen in Montreal.

It would be ridiculous to compare smoked meat between the two places. But the prawns in Powell River are sensational.

Beer’s slightly cheaper in Montreal, but taxes are higher.

Montreal’s downtown is fabulous and I’d love to live in the heart of it. Powell River doesn’t have a downtown. Just some shops here and there. And of course the Walmart in the mall, which isn’t really the downtown but probably is.

Luci and I grew palm trees in our yard in Powell River. Ain’t gonna happen in Montreal.

Everyone in Powell River talks about not being able to live away from the ocean. I can, and the St. Laurence suits me just fine.

Montreal gets some serious winter. Powell River dips a few degrees below zero, but it rains non-stop for four or five months. I’m not afraid of Montreal’s cold and snow. I grew up with it in Ontario. And I drove semis in it for 20 years.

The bottom line is, both places are great. I have an excellent hockey-related job. And I’m living in the home of the Montreal Canadiens, the team I’ve loved for about 57 years now.

Maybe Luci and I will end up back on the West Coast, in beautiful Powell River. But right now I’m focused on my job at Classic Auctions, which is a big learning curve to be sure, and also on living in Montreal, which I’ve wanted to do for much of my life. And Luci is embracing the whole idea.

You might ask yourself, why would he do this at his age, leaving a tranquil place with everything pretty well under control, and just take it easy instead? It’s because I’m restless, always have been, and if I turned down a chance to work at the best hockey auction house on the planet, I’d regret it for the rest of my life.

Two months now in Montreal. I can’t believe it.

 

 

 

 

Mr. Goalie

He came to Powell River in 1997 when the Allan Cup was on, and I asked him if I could buy him breakfast the next day. He said sure, we did, we talked hockey, and then I gave him a tour of the area in my little Hyundai Excel.

A real nice fellow, this Western Canadian farmer dubbed “Mr. Goalie”. When I asked him who the greatest ever was, he didn’t even have to think about it. Gordie Howe could do everything better than anybody else, he said, including Gretzky, whom he never played against of course, and Bobby Orr.

Glenn Hall, elected to the Hall of Fame in 1975, was the goalie in nets for the St. Louis Blues when Bobby Orr scored his famous “flying through the air” Stanley Cup winner in the spring of 1970.

Glenn Hall

Orr

Just One Month?

It seems crazy that just one month ago exactly, we drove out of Powell River, stayed in a bunch of hotels as we crossed the country, visited family and friends in Ontario, went to Niagara Falls, then to Ottawa, then on to Montreal where we stayed in a hotel for a week while we found a place to live. And once we did, I started a new job and have been there for eight days now.

Whew!

Just a month. Feels longer. In a good way.

It’s been a big thing for Luci and I. We uprooted from a small town on the West Coast, Powell River, and now it’s Montreal where everyone drives fast but I’m doing what I think is a fine and unique job and Luci likes our apartment.

We don’t know where we’ll be in five years, and someday Luci and I will look back on this big adventure and think how fantastic the experience was. So far there’s been no regrets from either of us. And I think being in Montreal during hockey season will be serious fun. Can’t wait for TSN 690 to heat up on my car radio.

It’s all been really interesting, this last month. Just hate the traffic, that’s all.

At The Good Old Hockey Game

From a new book called Liquor, Lust, and the Law (Aaron Chapman), which is a look at the old Penthouse nightclub and strip joint in Vancouver.

Penthouse owners hired these ladies to streak the Pacific Coliseum in 1974 during a game between the Canucks and New York Islanders.

It was a good idea, I suppose. Thousands of people would’ve been talking about Penthouse for days after. Hopefully all the kids shut their eyes.

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Gary Lupul

It was July 18, 2007 when Powell River’s Gary Lupul died of a heart attack at just 48 years old. I was shocked. He was a close friend of mine, and he seemed in good shape. It was a horrible time for many people, because Gary was loved by many.

There were those who didn’t love him quite as much as the rest of us though. Gary’s NHL career was cut short, mostly because he had a love for the good life, and there were some in town who felt he didn’t behave himself properly and blew a promising career. Gary heard these things, he felt bad that some felt that way, but que sera sera. He was simply an outgoing and fun-loving guy who was funny, great with kids, had no ego, and the ladies loved him, although some women in Powell River steered clear of him because of rumours of his struggles. That and I guess because he was often broke. It was their loss. He was an excellent fellow who looked like a stronger version of Hollywood actor Rob Lowe.

Below, Gary with the Canucks, fighting for the puck with Gordie Howe, and taking a faceoff against Marcel Dionne.

Habs Woodstock

The video below shows where I’ve hung my hat for the last 16 years. It’s a terrific place. Way too many Canucks fans but great anyway.

Powell River sits at the top of the Sunshine Coast, 120 kilometres north of Vancouver, with the Strait of Georgia, also known as the Salish Sea, also known as part of the Pacific Ocean, in our backyard, so to speak.

There are also some Habs fans here, and I suppose now is as good a time as any to mention what my wife Luci came up with. We’d like to have local Habs fans join us some night at TC’s Pub for beer and talk. We can trash Gomez, for example. We can slander the Canucks. We can toss the around the idea of whether or not Brad Marchand’s brain should be donated to science. While he’s still alive.

I think it could be the most fun any of us could ever have with our clothes on.

I’m going to start putting the word out. Like now. Heck, maybe it’ll get so big that those of you from other parts will make the trek out here. Sort of like a Habs Woodstock, with you arriving in your Volkswagon vans, whooping and hollering, blasting Annakin Slayd and wearing Habs sweaters.

Powell River might never be the same again.