Hello fans, or should I say bonjour from the great white north. It's time for the 2009 NHL All-Star Weekend and I'm in Montreal experiencing the festivities first hand with all of my mascot friends from around the league.
With the game still being a few days away I wanted to take time and share my experiences leading up to the big game. So here we go with "Stinger's 2009 NHL All-Star Blog."
I arrived in Montreal late yesterday afternoon, after a quick stop in customs I was greeted by Blades the Bruin (Boston Bruins), Nordy (Minnesota Wild) and Stanley C. Panther (Florida Panthers), then was whisked away to my hotel. After getting settled in to my room we all went out to dinner at a restaurant located inside the Bell Centre.
Thursday January 23,
This morning Youppi! (Montreal Canadiens) and I got to visit Sainte-Justine Hospital for the "Companions in Courage" Celebration. We greeted fans before the press conference and then visited with patients on the floors. Check out the awesome photos of Youppi! and me at the hospital. Later this afternoon I'm heading over to the "Lay's NHL All-Star Jamboree," to greet all the fans over there. Make sure you stop back throughout the weekend to see what I'm up to.
Check out the photo gallery from the event
Thanks and GO JACKETS!!!
Friday, January 24
Hello fans I just wanted to drop a quick line to update you on today's events. The morning started off with the Eastern and Western Conference team practices. But before the teams took the ice for their practice, the mascots took center stage with the annual Mascot Hockey game. The West took to the ice first with every mascot being introduced to the crowd. I was pleasantly surprised with the ovation I received from the fans as I skated out to center ice. After the introduction of the East team we posed for a group picture, and then it was time to drop the puck.
Our celebrity referee took her sweet time dropping the puck so I took the puck out of her hand and started the game myself. It was a fast and furious game with the East team coming out on top with the final score of 7-4. Youppi! (Montreal Canadiens) the home town favorite was the lead scorer for the East, registering 2 goals and 2 assists. Also scoring for the East was Sabertooth (Buffalo Sabres), Thrash (Atlanta Thrashers), Iceburgh (Pittsburgh Penguins) and Stormy (Carolina Hurricanes).
Although my team lost the game I did have the highlight goal of the morning. It was a two-on-one break with Fin (Canucks) and I bearing down on Sparky (New York Islanders). Fin threaded a pass just over the stick of Sparky and right on my tape. One quick deke past Carlton the Bear (Toronto Maple Leafs) who tried a two-pad stack and I put the puck top shelf, right where mom kept the cookie jar.
After the game the Western Conference All-Stars took to the ice for their practice. I walked around the Bell Centre concourse and posed for lots of pictures and signed a ton of autographs. It's amazing how nice the fans here in Montreal have been, it's really a great hockey environment for all. After a short break for lunch I was off to entertain fans at Lay's Jamboree fan fest, I walked through the venue greeting fans, posing for pictures and signing autographs. The fans again were huge fans of both the Jackets and Rick Nash. I didn’t hear a negative comment the entire time I was there. Outside they have all 30 NHL teams jerseys on display in solid blocks of ice. Check out the picture of me next to ours, it turned out really good.
After an hour at Jamboree it was time for a quick change into my tux and make an appearance on the red carpet. Nothing makes you feel like an NHL Superstar like walking up and down the red carpet with hundreds of fans taking your photo. I felt like I was being stalked by the paparazzi. At the end of the red carpet I found Blue Jackets' Captain Rick Nash. Rick was doing a little play-by play commentary for the final round of the 2K9 Hockey Tournament. After posing for a quick photo, I was back on the carpet entertaining the fans before the player arrivals started.
Next on the agenda is the Honda/NHL SuperSkills starting at 7 p.m. tonight. Be sure to check it out on Live on VERSUS.