Thursday, July 06, 2006

Good News/Bad News for Sens fans

It's been one of those weeks for hockey fans in the region.

First the news that Wade Redden has agreed to a two year contract so we can be assured of keeping at least one all-star defenseman in our line-up. But for me the bad news was much worse, Big Z, Zdeno Chara, had signed with Boston for a 5 year stint.

Don't get me wrong, I like Redden and I'm glad the Sens managed to keep him in Ottawa, but Chara always manages to put that little extra in the game when he's on the ice and since his first season here has been one of my favourite players on the team. Unlike the player responsible for getting him here in the first place, who I did happen to meet once, he will be missed.

My deepest regret, hockey wise anyways, is not meeting him when I had the chance a couple years ago. In my defence I didn't choose not to meet him, just I turned one way down a hallway and he was down the other.

It was during a Senators/Rangers game here in Ottawa a couple years back when and friend of mine, Wanda, and I got to hang around with Shaun Van Allen's wife Colleen and later Shaun himself. Wanda's brother happens to be close friends with Shaun and Colleen so when he and his wife were in town visiting we got the spend the whole night in a box with the players familles (me and her brother being the only guys present) and down in the players room in the basement. After the game we went down to wait for Shaun and met a bunch of Sens and Rangers on there way out of the dressing rooms.

The chance to meet Big Z came when we were heading out to get something to eat and simply because we had the misfortune of being parked in the front lot, and not the back one Wanda and I headed back upstairs while Shaun and company headed through the basement to the back lot. We found out at the restaurant that on their way back to the cars they had stopped by the dressing room to meet some of the guys who hadn't come out earlier.

Word to the wise: be very careful about splitting a restaurant bill evenly, when one of the parties involved just happens to be a professional hockey player who just minutes before played a full game, including one minor fight. Not necessarily something that comes up all that often but when it does, there could be significant money involved.

On a side note: Even after losing a tough game Todd White had the very same ear to ear grin he has on pretty much every picture I've ever seen of him. Even though he is 5'10", he looks as much like a little kid in person as he does on TV.

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