So you think this job is all glamour: Bright lights, big cities and a glass of Bailey’s on ice to wrap up the night.
Sure, some days are like that.
There is nothing like a trip to Boston to see my friend Pino Irano at Piccolo Nido, a Italian joint located in the North End. If you’ve never had a beer at the Quarterdeck in Ft. Lauderdale and watched hockey you’re missing an experience.
A walk through Central Park in New York on a quiet Sunday morning is just something to behold. One time, I was even able to watch CBS doing its NFL Today show live. All great experiences.
The last two weeks, well, they’ve been different and, of course, it could only get longer if there is a lockout.
Captain Daniel Alfredsson arrived back from Sweden a couple of weeks ago because his son Hugo had hockey tryouts in Kanata for the competitive team so I fully expected he would be on the ice Aug. 28th at the Bell Sensplex.
I went out there that day and sitting at a table was my buddy Sylvain St. Laurent from Le Droit. No sign of Alfie. That’s okay, he’s probably just taking a break. That was a Tuesday.
We stopped by Wednesday. No sign of Alfie.
We went by Thursday. No sign of Alfie.
They usually take Friday’s off. We didn’t go that day and stayed in our home offices to get other things done.
Last Tuesday, St. Laurent and I were back in our perch waiting for Alfredsson. No sign of him.
Wednesday: Where is No. 11? This is becoming Groundhog Day.
Thursday: Since Alfredsson wasn’t there, we were just going to leave when Senators GM Bryan Murray dropped by. Okay, there was some salvation.
Friday, they usually don’t skate. That was supposed to be the case but early in the morning there was some sense that Alfredsson was going to be on the ice. Sylvain and I decided to give it a shot.
At 10:45 a.m., Shane Prince skated out on his own.
And, he skated, and skated, and skated.
At 11:05 a.m., Andre Petterson walked in.
Sylvain and I decided to give it 15 minutes.
Then, lo and behold Alfredsson arrived.
He skated for about 45 minutes, waved to photographer Errol McGihon and headed for the exit with a couple of guys who had been waiting for him for seven days in chase.
“I’ve never seen you guys move that fast,” noted the Bell Sensplex employee.
No kidding. We’ve waited a long time for this.
“Can I talk Monday?,” Alfredsson asked outside his truck.
“We’re the only ones here,” I said almost begging. I’m sure Alfredsson didn’t know what St. Laurent and I had been through in the last two weeks.
“I guess you want to talk today,” he said to St. Laurent and I. “Ok, let’s talk.”
He was engaging, he was funny and he gave us a glimpse of what could lay ahead if there is a lockout.
Then, he even stopped his truck on the way out of the parking lot to have a nice chat.
As usual, Alfredsson made the wait worth it.
Hopefully, we don’t have to wait this long for hockey.