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Old 11-16-2007, 04:56 PM   #231
Bronx33
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Default Daters favorite avs memories

I’m a bit of a nostalgic guy. I have a KISS pinball machine, collect all the old magazines on Ebay that my mom threw away (16, Hit Parader, Some SI, Circus, Sporting News, old Red Sox game programs, etc.). Many times at night, as a way of relaxing and falling asleep (see a previous blog, where I implored The Nation for sleep tips for insomnia) I replay certain parts of my life, in as much detail as I can muster (no, not JUST those parts, perverts).
Yesterday at the Avs’ practice facility, I took a look at the 1995-96 team picture, with a Stanley Cup sitting in the foreground. And, I started getting nostalgic and remembering what, are now, old times.
So, for those in Avs Blog Nation who care and want to revisit some of those memories with me, here are some off-the-top-of-my-head, inside moments from those early days:

-Mike Keane coming through the aisle of the team plane always yelling, for some reason, “Hot coffee here, hot coffee.”

- Mike Ricci making fun of Avs media relations man Jean Martineau for a preseason game hotel in Fresno, Calif. “Nice hotel Jeanny”, Ricci yelled from the back of the bus, in a French accent.

- Marc Crawford saying, “Hang in there, Paxie” to former Avs prospect Paxton Schulte after a rough preseason game.

- Claude Lemieux always saying “Run it” to the bus driver as the light changed from yellow to red.

- Marty McSorley of the Sharks looking at a pair of pants I had on one day and saying with a sad shake of his head, “Bad pants, man.” The pants were purple, hence my nickname for a while with the Avs, “Barney.”

- Patrick Roy saying he wanted a glass of “Lee-mo-nad” from a waiter at a Florida hotel his first year with the Avs.

- Somebody putting shaving cream all over my head after I fell asleep on the team plane back from Sweden, right after 9/11.

- The first time I covered a game at the old Montreal Forum. It just smelled like hockey in there. And they had the greatest hot dogs in NHL history.

- Chris Simon calling Warren Rychel “fat Bundy” after a contentious practice one day, at the old barn at the University of Denver. Bundy was Rychel’s nickname.

- Marc Crawford rightfully chewing me out for calling him at home on Christmas day, asking about a minor injury to Scott Young.

- Troy Murray chewing me out one day in Tampa for a headline to a story of mine in the Hockey News (reporters don’t write the headlines).

- Me getting lost in the Watts section of Los Angeles one night in my rental car.

- Getting a tour of Patrick Roy’s house one day after he first was traded to the Avs, and being amazed at the size of his TV (this was 1995).

- Playing basketball with some Avs players in a Dallas hotel gym, and thinking “don’t quit your day jobs, guys.”

- Sitting, wide-eyed, listening to Jari Kurri tell stories of playing on the same line with Wayne Gretzky.

- Being absolutely amazed at the size of Ray Bourque’s thighs.

- The day in Winnipeg when the team plane needed some work and, after a game to fill the time, sitting with the entire team at a great dinner at the Canadian steakhouse chain Hy’s and marveling at how fast Adam Deadmarsh could put away a thick piece of steak.

- Watching Deadmarsh and Peter Forsberg play ping-pong together in the game room of the Long Island Marriott.

- Always taking grief from Chris Drury about how his Yankees always beat the Red Sox in the end (times have changed Chris!).

- The time in New Hampsire when, the day before Ray Bourque played his first game back in Boston as an Av, flipping over my rental car on an icy road, tumbling down an embankment and landing upside down in deep snow, and having to tunnel my way out from the window.
Then, of getting my car towed to a salvage yard employed by people straight out of “Deliverance” and thinking, “Will I be luckier to have survived this car accident or getting out of this salvage yard alive?”

- Valeri Kamensky’s son nearly breaking my ankle swinging a stick in the locker room after practice one day.

- Patrick Roy laughing hysterically when I asked if he ever kept in touch with former Montreal goalie Jacques Plante (Plante hadn’t been one of the living for several years by that point).

- Pierre Lacroix waking me up in an Edmonton hotel room one morning at about 5:30 to comment on an article I’d written (no, it wasn’t “Nice job”).

- Me having a beer with Ray Bourque the night he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in Toronto and thinking, “I’m having a beer with Ray Bourque on the night he went into the Hall of Fame” and not thinking it was real.
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