I grew up in Park Extension, within walking distance of Dickie Moore’s Dairy Queen on Jean Talon. Reggie Fleming was from Park Ex, too. While “studying” at McGill University during the 1960s, I used to attend games at the old Montreal Forum. My fellow undergraduate reprobates and I would scramble up the stairs to get centre-ice spots in the top standing room section, where aged ushers didn’t know or care what we were smoking. I stood out in the cold for six hours to get tickets to the 1975 New Year’s Eve game between the Canadiens and Central Red Army. With the exception of the birth of my daughter, the 3-3 tie was the greatest event I’ve ever seen in my life. The Canada-U.S. Gold medal game comes close …. but I wasn’t there. I’ve been a professional journalist since 1974, when I joined the Montreal Star sports department. I’ve covered the 1976 Olympic Games, the 1979 Expos, pop music and MSO tours of Europe and Asia (classical musicians are WAY more fun to drink with than athletes). I wrote a TV & Radio column for 20 years and, since 2000, have written a City column for The Gazette. The best part of being a Habs Inside/Out contributor is attending games at the Bell Centre. I think it’s a great building: noisy, raucous and packed to the rafters with Montrealers and visitors who live for hockey. And I still get goosebumps every time Michel Lacroix booms out “Accueillons nos Canadiens …” Having seen the Boston Red Sox win two World Series and the Pittsburgh Steelers add a couple Super Bowl titles, I suppose I can die happy … but not before another Stanley Cup parade. And I’d really like my daughter to see a historic New Year’s Eve game. I like all the players. Having covered major league baseball, I really appreciate pro athletes who aren’t total schmucks. My weltanschauung was summarized by the late great Bill Hicks when he said “all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there is no such thing as death, life is only a dream and we are the imagination of ourselves.” Have a nice day.
HI/O member for: 3 years 20 weeks
Habs fan since: In utero
Favourite player (current): All of ‘em, with a few exceptions
Favourite player (all time): All of ‘em, with several exceptions
Dave Stubbs has been a sportswriter since 1976, which was roughly a decade after he wore the first of many holes through the knees of his jeans playing nets in road hockey (using a modified butterfly popularized by Hall of Famer Glenn Hall). He still has the welts to show on his shins from that rotten, frozen orange ball. Stubbs kept thick hockey scrapbooks filled with game summaries and Gazette and Montreal Star stories, collected dozens of Bee Hive Corn Syrup photos and put a fortune of hockey cards through the spokes of his bikes. First book ever owned: Scrubs On Skates, the classic by Scott Young (Neil’s dad). Stubbs’s fantasy is to travel back in time to the 1950s and watch the great Canadiens dynasty that won five consecutive Stanley Cups. Or a decade earlier, to watch Elmer Lach centre Rocket Richard and Toe Blake on the fearsome Punch Line. Or at least to get Rogie Vachon into the Hockey Hall of Fame – where he belongs.
Kevin Mio is a Montreal Gazette editor who grew up playing hockey, watching the Canadiens every chance he could on television and reading articles about the team by some of the people he works with today. He still remembers going to the Forum with his father to watch the Canadiens and was even fortunate enough to skate on Forum ice with his minor hockey team. From Mats Naslund to Saku Koivu, he has always enjoyed watching the small, speedy and skilled players, while also admiring the gritty players that are essential to any team’s success. From his one-on-one interviews with members of the team to a look at other coverage of the Canadiens, he will keep fans posted on their favourite team and looks forward to sharing his love of hockey with other passionate fans.
HI/O member for: 3 years 20 weeks
Habs fan since: 1980