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Habs pack bags for NHL spring break

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
Canadiens scattered all over the world during Olympic hiatus

Aaron Downey and Michael Ryder are going to keep busy during the NHL's two-week Olympic breather.

MONTREAL - With six Canadiens in Turin in pursuit of precious metals, that still leaves a majority of the Habs lineup with just under two weeks of puck-free downtime during the Olympic break. While many players will be getting some much-needed rest, others will certainly have their hands full.

With his wife Tamara expecting their third child in late February to early March, Mike Ribeiro is all set to stay at home and play Mr. Mom for his two young sons Mikael and Noah.

"I'm going to relax and spend some time with the family," said Ribeiro. "Tamara really needs my help now, so the timing for the break couldn't be better. I only normally get to have this many consecutive days at home with the kids during the offseason, so I'm really looking forward to it."

While newest Canadien Aaron Downey will get the chance to heal his bumps and bruises, he also has his work cut out for him over the next two weeks.

"I've got all kinds of things to take care of, like finally finding a place to live!," laughed Downey, whose been calling a downtown Montreal hotel "home" since being plucked off waivers from the St. Louis Blues by the Canadiens on Jan. 23. "I'll get the chance to relax a bit too, but everything just moved so quickly after I came here that I really didn't have the time to handle any of this stuff until now."

Heading back to St. John's, Newfoundland is nothing new to Michael Ryder, who always enjoys getting back to his roots, but this isn't his average trip home.

Mike Komisarek will be polishing up his short game in West Palm Beach over the break.

"It's going to be great to finally see my new house," said Ryder, who has yet to see the finished product of his new home that has been in construction since the summer. "I haven't had the chance to get back there and see it for myself, I can't wait. But I'm sure there's probably enough house stuff left to take care of to keep us pretty busy while I'm home."

While Ryder and girlfriend Sue Ann will be filling up their shopping carts at Home Depot and Canadian Tire, Sheldon Souray will be soaking up some rays with his favourite little lady in Cabo, Mexico.

"The plan is to spend a week in Mexico with my daughter Valentina and just take it easy," said Souray, who was all set to pick up his two-year-old in California before heading to Mexico. "It's only a two-hour flight from L.A., which is perfect and I've heard nothing but awesome things about the resort so it should be great."

Fellow blueliner Mike Komisarek had a number of options for his Olympic layoff, but decided to go the more relaxing route.

"I'm going to spend some time at home on Long Island with my family and then head off to Florida for a few days," said Komisarek. "A friend of mine has a place in West Palm Beach and a few of us are going to just kick back and play some golf. I'm just starting out so I can definitely use the practice.

"I figured taking it easy was the way to go. A bunch of buddies of mine from my days at the University of Michigan were begging me to meet them in Las Vegas, but I figured the last thing I needed was to go on a vacation that would require another vacation just to catch up on my sleep!"

Manny Almela is a writer for

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