Here’s some factoids or moments from each stop thus far:
Dallas – Nov 16 – I almost missed the start of the first game of the trip because I took the wrong shuttle bus to the train for downtown. Was discombobulated after five hours of hotel trauma the night before. Couldn’t find the right technical hook-up for morning show and changed hotels last second. They have both since charged me. So much for a relaxing pre-adventure night in Dallas.
Calgary – Nov 17 – If this game was any indication, the Battle of Alberta is BACK!
Edmonton – Nov 18 – Dead building, tough vibe, big loss, coach then gets fired.
Vancouver – Nov 19 – Come see monkey-man sign books. Or not. Mostly not.
San Jose – Nov 20 – Cancelled flight and thought the quest was dead on Day four. That would have been brutal. Fortunately the re-book got me to SF/SJ earlier and on a direct flight. Hit my head on a steel wire in the catwalk at the Shark Tank. Otherwise, great time with my tech bud Tony Tyson and his posse.
Anaheim – Nov 21 – Chatted with Oilers brass who were in town early and enjoyed guesting on “Duck Calls” with Josh Brewster on radio.
Day Off – Nov 22 – No games. Drove to Vegas and had Thanksgiving food and drink with the Burchill’s extended family, whom I’ve known for 40 years.
Arizona – Nov 23 – Drove back and forth from Vegas to Glendale same day for an early evening start. JT Compher of Colorado scored two SH goals in the 1st period on the same Coyotes power play. Pretty good indication of how that game went. Small crowd.
Vegas – Nov 24 – There’s a party goin’ on.
Los Angeles – Nov 25 – Quick TV hit, and I mean quick hit, on FOX Sports West talking about the trip coming out of a 2nd period commercial break. So glad Carrlyn Bathe and I didn’t step on a goal during those :35 seconds.
Toronto – Nov 26 – Slept in my own bed.
Minnesota – Nov 27 – Great job by retail guy Nick Mickelson to have a cool book signing set-up. I was absent a lot doing media during intermissions. Wild blew a three-goal third period lead to lose to Arizona. Buzz kill. Fans filed out quickly. Bruce Boudreau was “devastated”.
Colorado – Nov 28 – Hung out with good friend Bob Naegele (III). Had done media here during the day via phone so had a chance to enjoy a couple cocktails.
Columbus – Nov 29 – My one time missing “Stellick and Simmer” during the adventure because of travel. Speaking of incredible retail: sold-out of books thanks to Stephen Pawlak and crew. And of course to great fans who waited patiently while I ran around doing media. Experienced the cannon firsthand.
Washington – Nov 30 – Always great to visit with and guest with John Walton and Ben Rabe in the Cap’s radio booth. For luck, I turbo-rubbed Wally’s bald buddha head. Metro rides back and forth to Virginia were annoyingly slow.
Dec 1 – Ottawa and Montreal – This was the doubleheader to make up for no games on (American) Thanksgiving and to keep the 31 day concept intact. Karlsson’s return to Sen’s barn nice, but not overwhelming. Montreal, enjoyed talking pucks sitting next to Larry Brooks all game in the Bell Centre press box. Had two forum dogs at the 1st intermission.
Dec 2 – New York – Delta flight delays, Brooksie on the same flight. He headed straight to Garden, I headed UWS. Vic Hadfield jersey retirement night, the delays forced me late to book signing at Cosby’s Store on 31st Street. Great guys. Did the show from the store the next morning. NYR blew lead and lost in a shoot-out.
New Jersey – Dec 3 – Delightful hospitality and fun times with my friend Stephanie. Bit of an anemic hockey night at The Rock.
Pittsburgh – Dec 4 – Took a break from the airline life and drove about 5 hours to PPG Paints Arena, just in time to eat, meet retail folks (Karen Ford, two thumbs up) and to finalize media hits.
St. Louis – Dec 5 – My fifth and final time seeing the Oilers during this adventure. They finish 2-and-3 on Simmerpaloosa after pulling this one out in a shoot-out. Great to visit with the NBC folks, Doc, Eddie, and Ben Bouma, the-king-of-stats.
20 down, 11 to go.