The worst thing about going away for 30 days is that when you return, there’s 30 days worth of things to catch up on. 30 days of dust to wipe off the floor, 30 days of e-mails to respond to at work, 30 days of time with the family to make up. You get the picture. But now I’m caught up and it’s time to hand out a few awards.
Let me establish something a few things right up front. My views are subjective, so there's no whining allowed! Plus I’m going from memory, which fades fast at my age! And this is not like those grade school awards where everyone wins a prize. If you don’t see your team, don’t cry yet, as I’ll be adding plenty more awards to the list.
With disclaimers out of the way, let’s get going!
The Game Seven Award for best atmosphere goes to Montreal’s Bell Centre. With Henri Richard on ice pre-game and Carey Price’s home debut, the atmosphere in the building was simply electric. South of the 49th parallel, St. Louis takes the cake.
The Abandoned Airplane Hangar Award for lack of atmosphere goes to Washington, who narrowly edges out Florida for the bottom spot, simply because it was a Saturday night and the fans still sat on their hands all evening.
The Archie Bunker Award for most comfortable chair goes to my seat behind the net at the Nassau Coliseum. It was deep and so comfy, I didn’t want to get up. Plus the beer vendor visited regularly, so I didn’t have to!
The Don Rickles Award for best insult goes to an unnamed fan in Edmonton. The heckler wasn't happy with Minnesota enforcer Derek Boogaard. he yelled, "Hey Boogaard, I'm gonna take your mother out tonight (insert long pause here)....and never call her again!". Esoteric, yet effective.
The Pink Floyd Award for best imitation of The Wall, goes to Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo and Edmonton’s Mathieu Garon, who stopped every shot in their 0-0 tie (Yes, I know Ales Hemsky scored in the shootout to give the Oilers a win, but a scoreless tie sounds like a better story)..
The Takeru Kobayashi Award (Part 1) for best hot dogs eaten (all four of them) goes to the Chien Chaud at the Bell Centre in Montreal. The Knife & Fork Dog in Dallas is right up there too.
The Takeru Kobayaski Award (Part 2) for the hot dog that came back out the same place it went down goes to the one I ate in Edmonton. (Although I did receive a call later from the head of operations at Rexall Place, who was genuinely concerned about my health, and maybe it was just the chicken I ate at a restaurant earlier).
The Ron Burgundy Award for best TV interview goes to Steve Coates, host of Coatesy’s Corner on Comcast in Philadelphia. We talked about everything but hockey and I couldn’t keep a straight face!
The Garrison Keillor Award for best radio interview goes to Adrian Harewood at CBC in Ottawa. His erudite style, perceptive thoughts and snappy questions made me feel like Dan or Casey in Aaron Sorkin’s underrated TV show, “Sports Night” as I responded. You can listen here, look for the Nov 6th show.
The Monty Python Award for silliest name goes to Nashville for the Sommet Center. The “T” is silent in Sommet, as are most people when asked what does Sommet mean? Honorary Mention goes to the Jobing.com Arena where the Coyotes play. Have you been jobing lately?
That wraps up the first few awards.
For those of you with HD TVs, HDNet will be running a feature on my Philadelphia Flyers visit tomorrow night (Thursday 12/13) at 6.30pm Eastern. I haven’t seen it yet, but we had lots of fun taping it, and hopefully that will come across on the air! The NHL Network will rerun the show later for those of us without HD.
David Amber from ESPN.com also did a wrapup interview with me that you can read here.
More awards are on the way….. Click the little orange button to get an RSS feed when I update the site.