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The annual "Players' Favorite Things Basket Auction" is raising funds to benefit underprivileged youth

by Matt Cudzinowski @CanadiensMTL /

MONTREAL - Think you and your favorite Habs might have some common interests? Here's your chance to find out - and make a difference in the process.

Twenty-three players - along with our wonderful Saint-Pierre Labernese, Flambo - have assembled "Favorite Things" baskets featuring a variety of sweet items that are being auctioned off to benefit the Montreal Canadiens Children's Foundation and help underprivileged youth.

Defenseman Victor Mete, for example, has a real passion for Formula One racing. With that in mind, the 21-year-old Woodbridge, ON native ensured that his basket reflected his deep appreciation of the sport.

It includes two tickets to the 2020 Canadian Grand Prix in the Lance Stroll Grandstand, which provides spectators with perfect views of the iconic hairpin turn at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

"The F1 tickets are my favorite item because it's a great experience. I love racing. It's pretty cool to watch. I've attended the Canadian Grand Prix the last four years, and it's always just a highlight of the summer," said Mete. "I love Lewis Hamilton, but I'm Italian, so everyone's a Ferrari fan. I love him because I got to meet him for the first time here. He was a really nice guy. It'll be another interesting year for Formula 1, so we'll see what happens."

Video: Victor Mete rides along for an F1 hot lap

A Montreal Impact soccer ball and Spalding NBA basketball pay homage to his love of those sports as well.

"I literally play basketball every single day in my backyard in the summertime," mentioned Mete, who was a loyal supporter of the Toronto Raptors throughout their championship run last season. "I'll go out for an hour and just shoot baskets."

Food-wise, Mete is also proud to offer the lucky auction winner a $100 gift card to one of his favorite restaurants in town - Pizzeria Sofia in Brossard. 

"It would be nice to share that with somebody. I go there a lot," said Mete with a laugh, before revealing his top menu items. "I always get the margherita pizza with hot soppressata. And then the mac and cheese is unbelievable."

Mete acknowledged his passion for gaming, too, by throwing a HyperX headset into the mix.

"Sometimes on days off I'll play for about an hour and have the headphones on. I play every once in a while with my buddies," explained Mete. "When we play, I can hear everyone around me. That makes it a lot more fun."

Video: FULL GAME | Victor Mete plays Fortnite Battle Royale

To view the full descriptions of the baskets and to participate in the auction, click here.

You can also text the word BASKETS to 514-900-2220.

This is the seventh edition of the auction, which has raised more than $100,000 over the past six seasons. It closes on Saturday, February 22.

NOTE: All proceeds from the auction of Flambo's basket will be donated to the Mira Foundation. The organization provides guide dogs and service dogs to people with disabilities.

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