Now that Bluesfest is over, we are officially deep into the summer and the news coming out of the NHL seems to be a little slow. You might think that slackers like Bob Mackenzie or Elliotte Friedman are doing it right by taking off to the cottage for two months rather than dissecting the minutiae of which RFA’s pre-arbitration salary request is the most preposterous, but you’d be wrong. The hockey off-season isn’t just about contract negotiations and salary cap escalators. There are some great hockey stories that come out of every summer, if only you have the eyes with which to see them.
Don’t believe me? Here are some great moments from past off-seasons in Ottawa.
August 3rd, 2014: Bobby Ryan calls his Aunt Louise to wish her a happy “Big Six-Oh”.
June 29th, 2009: Jim O’Brien is recognized by a fan while dining alone at Baton Rouge. The fan does not say hi.
August 4th, 2012: Chris Phillips tries to invite Chris Neil to his cottage for the weekend, but accidentally sends the text to Sergei Gonchar instead. Luckily, Gonchar declines the invitation.
July 22nd, 2003: Shawn Van Allen does an internet search for his name and learns a thing or two about astrophysics.
July 17th, 2008: Ray Emery has a quiet day where nothing remarkable happens.
July 3, 2014: Clarke MacArthur spends time with his daughter while his wife goes out for drinks with her girlfriends. After his daughter is in bed, Clarke catches the last two innings of the Jays game.
June 8th, 2007: During locker cleanout day, Dany Heatley finds a collection of turtlenecks thought to have once been owned by Alexei Yashin.
July 6th, 2013: Robin Lehner just so happens to be at home during the delivery window and receives or a UPS package he was expecting. The contents of the package were undisclosed, but are thought to have been “organic” in nature.
August 20th, 2002: Mike Fisher watches the classic Seinfeld episode “The Contest” for the first time. He feels guilty for laughing at it.
July 7th, 1999: Petr Schastlivy learns that Beavertails are both delicious and not actual beaver tails. His first Beavertail is a classic cinnamon-sugar flavour.
June 28th, 2012: Zack Smith remembers he is nearly out of paper towel before checking out at the grocery store. He does a small, private fist pump as he leaves the store with paper towel.
August 29th, 1996: Janne Laukkanen discovers a local Valu-Mart that carries his favourite brand of pickled herring.
Various Dates: Erik Karlsson goes to a concert.
August 12th, 2009: Chris Campoli throws out any of his socks or underwear that have holes in them. He buys new socks and underwear from the Joe Fresh section at a Westboro Loblaws.
July 27th, 2008: Joe Corvo declares that the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ early stuff is “pretty underrated”.
June 14th, 2001: Wade Redden accidentally grabs a bottle of red Gatorade instead of his usual blue following a morning run. He drinks the red Gatorade anyway.
July 29th, 2010: Pascal Leclaire accidentally drops a plate following dinner, but the plate doesn’t break. However, the plate is slightly chipped and is only ever used when all other plates in the house are dirty.
August 17, 2013: Jason Spezza has an extremely desirable parking spot stolen at the last second. He just laughs it off and parks two rows further down.