Canadiens defenceman Josh Gorges finally got a chance to lace up his skates for a hockey game on Wednesday – even if it was only an outdoor pickup game.
Frustrated by the ongoing NHL lockout, Gorges organized a game through his Twitter account at Verdun’s Willibrord Park outdoor rink. An estimated 50 skaters, from small fry wearing caged helmets to teenagers and those older still, turned up for some crowded-rink shinny that saw Gorges on the ice from shortly before 2 p.m. until past 3:30. In a wool tuque, parka and jeans, minus-10 C feeling like minus-17 with the breeze, it was no doubt the longest shift he’s played in his life.
You can read Dave Stubbs’s column on Gorges’s pickup game by clicking here.
The Willibrord Park rink is one four artificially refrigerated, Canadiens-funded rinks in city and borough parks as part of the team’s Children’s Foundation Bleu, Blanc, Bouge (Blue, White, Move) program to encourage youngsters to be active. A fifth one will open in January in N.D.G., which has citizens there excited. You can read Brenda Branswell’s story on the fifth rink by clicking here.
With the NHL lockout set to drag into 2013, Jeff Z. Klein of the New York Times writes that commissioner Gary Bettman and the NHL owners view the lockout as a “kind of apocalyptic battle in which the players union must be defeated, even if the world must be brought down to do so.” Read more by clicking here.
Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal wonders what will happen to the 2013 NHL entry draft if there is no season because of the lockout. Read his column by clicking here.
Klein of the New York Times also has a feature on Seth Jones, one of the top prospects for the 2013 draft. The defenceman with the U.S. team at the world junior championship is the son of former NBA player Popeye Jones. Read more by clicking here.
Donna Spencer of The Canadian Press has a story on how Malcolm Subban, P.K.’s brother, has grabbed the starting goaltender job with Team Canada at the world junior tournament. Read that article by clicking here.
And SportsPickle.com’s recent list of new Christmas song titles included this one: Bettman Got Run Over by a Reindeer. Read more by clicking here.
(Photo by John Kenney/The Gazette)