HIO’s lovable, beloved Boone calls it a career – almost

Mike Boone

Charter Habs Inside/Out writers/bloggers/videographers/audio techs (from left) Sid Banerjee (now with Canadian Press), Mike Boone and Dave Stubbs in the Canadiens’ Bell Centre dressing room in the fall of 2006. Sadly, they’re all holding Alexander Perezhogin sticks… and what does that say about them? (The Gazette bought us the jerseys; we had to give back the sticks.)
John Kenney, Gazette

I’m not going to send you racing off to a link to read the last for-Gazette-print column of friend and colleague Mike Boone, who on Friday brings down the curtain on a 38-year journalism career. I’m going to lay his final column on you below, free of charge.

Mike will still be with Hockey Inside/Out readers; you’ll have to read on to learn how.

But for a spell at HIO, considering how news can bump down posts here  quicker than the Habs used to take too-many-men penalties, I’m giving Mike his due. Please, folks: for once, keep the comments on topic. No guff about who should be on the team’s second power-play unit against Western Conference teams when the Habs are playing road matinées.

Embarrass Mike, a fellow charter member of Habs Inside/Out (before our name change), with your praise – or heckle him with your abuse. He lived, and lives still, for both. I’m glad he’ll still be in Seat 40 on the Bell Centre press gallery this season, whenever it begins. Take care, my friend… and promise not to proofread the Sports section with all the time you’ll have on your hands.

– Dave Stubbs

MIKE BOONE
The Gazette

It’s time again for my annual farewell column — and this time I mean it.

A year ago, I was leaving the Gazette City department to begin writing a sports column. Now I’m bringing the curtain down on 38 years in print journalism.

If profligate use of the first-person singular hasn’t stopped you reading this already, I should explain there’s an asterisk beside my “retirement.” I will continue to write a live game blog and About Last Night wrap-ups for The Gazette’s Hockey Inside/Out website. I’ll still be tapping away with two fingers 82 times during the Canadiens’ season, plus exhibitions and, inshallah, playoffs.

But you won’t find my smiling face in what we old farts call the dead-trees edition of The Gazette.

Why hang ’em up now?

I just celebrated my Beatles birthday. And while a disinclination to scrimp and save has deprived me of a retirement cottage in the Isle of Wight, I have modest needs and enough money to last the rest of my life … if I don’t buy anything.

But seriously, folks, it’s been a helluva run. My career has spanned typewriters to Twitter. I want to enjoy whatever days are left to me without having to stare at an empty computer screen (or squint at an iPhone screen) and wonder how I might fill it before deadline.

Also, a sports column demands strong opinions and a flair for proclaiming them. I’m more in touch with my inner J. Alfred Prufrock than my Foghorn J. Leghorn.

I’m also handicapped by being passionate about only the Canadiens, the English Premier League (YNWA, Liverpool) and the NFL, in order of ardour.

That’s too much narrow-minded specificity, like a music critic who can only bear to listen to Bach, Gram Parsons and Bill Evans. Wait, come to think of it …

Some Gazette readers will remember I sucked as a rock critic, after joining The Gazette from the defunct Montreal Star in 1979. To be good at this job … really, to be good at any job … you have to love — or at minimum, like — what you’re doing.

Anything less is a disservice to readers. And I’ve loved nearly every darn day I’ve spent as a journalist.

When I covered the MSO tour of Europe in 1984, Adolfo Bornstein, an acerbic wit who played in the band’s second-violin section and regularly regaled me with timeless wisdom, offered the opinion that too many people spend their working lives doing their second-best thing.

I’ve spent almost 40 years doing what I’ve been good at since elementary school: stringing words together to create the kind of wisecracks that got me kicked out of class in high school, eg. my imaginary lawyer friend, “a master of legal legerdemain who once plea-bargained sodomy down to tailgating.”

Bada-boom. Hey, it beat working.

It’s been my pleasure, down the years, to work with a remarkable variety of people, some of them less crazy than I. Naming names has negative connotations for someone who went to a Communist Party summer camp in the 1950s. Suffice it to say my cavalcade of colleagues runs the alphabetical gamut from Aaron (Derfel) to Zoe (Bieler). It has been my immense privilege to have had peers whose wordsmithery and dedication to craft have been a source of inspiration.

I had a flash of enlightenment during the aforementioned MSO tour. Waiting for the musicians to take the stage of the Philharmonie in Berlin, I gazed in awe around that magnificent concert hall and thought: “Man, you are a putz from Park Ex, sitting in Herbert von Karajan’s living room.”

It was humbling — as were the food bank visits I made to write columns for The Gazette Christmas Fund, as is watching the Canadiens from the Bell Centre press box. I have counted my blessings every day on the job.

As befits a pathologically shy and resolutely non-confrontational person, I’ve had maybe five newsroom arguments — and five million laughs. Some of the best stories never make the paper. A sampling:

• The venerable Montreal Star sports columnist who, spending the workday in his customary alcoholic fog, doubled his suspenders while doing himself up and emerged from the men’s loo bent over and bellowing “I’m paralyzed!”

• The veteran baseball writer misapplying Spellcheck and quoting “Expos manager Feline Aloud.”

• The Toronto Star’s man in Quebec, covering a labour demo and, translating picket-line slogans at the insistence of his editor, filing a story that began “Waving placards and chanting ‘The bosses, the bosses, the communion wafers, the bosses …’”

So many laughs. So many good times. Being a newspaperman has let me practice what I preach: Life is too damn short to be anything but happy.

Happy, but not stupid. With bitterly ideological elections looming in Quebec and the U.S., the fundamental question posed by Harlan County coal miners has never been more relevant: Which side are you on? I’d like my last kick at the columnizing can to reaffirm my loyalty and gratitude to the Montreal Newspaper Guild, the union to which I’ve proudly belonged for my whole career.

Finally, I hesitate to go all David Suzuki on y’all because I’m just a dumb-ass sportswriter. But if you’ll permit me one final use of the first-person plural, we are confronted by immense challenges. Too many problems are a consequence of what people my age have neglected in our stewardship of a fragile planet.

Fixing this mess will be up to my daughter’s generation. I hope they’ll be informed and guided by my Gazette colleagues, who work tremendously hard to make sense of the 24/7 information whirlwind.

I can help by making like a hockey player and getting the puck out of here.

It’s been real.

Heartfelt thanks to everyone who took the time to read me.

137 Comments

  1. von says:

    Since I started following the Habs Inside/Out community many years ago, I’ve always enjoyed your occasional puckcasts, pre-game/about last night posts and live blog, which I find myself reading after most games to catch your comments and analysis.

    Like all of us, I’m happy that you’re staying on to continue these things. It wouldn’t be the same without you.

    All the best in your semi-retirement, Mike.

    _________________________________

    “Obviously it would be great, but they don’t really hang conference titles in this rink. They raise Stanley Cup banners.” – Carey Price

  2. Kaptaink says:

    Hey Boone,

    Despite your typo in your article, I still loved what you brought and love reading every article or blog you wrote. Look forward to seeing you pre-during-post game.

    It will always be habsinsideout.com – never forget.

    Cheers
    KaptainK

  3. Ian Cobb says:

    Mr. Mike Boone,
    You have no idea what you have done for me over the past 8 years.
    I started out years ago trying to gain a somewhat decent vocabulary by listening to Danny Gallivan, Harvey Kirk and Lloyd Robertson. Being dyslectic and never being able to read and write my whole life. I sure did not want to be found out illiterate, so I needed a better vocabulary to cover.

    After Andree (my girl friend) purchased my first computer at age 60, I stumbled across your pictures and words on HIO 8 years ago now.

    I had a profound love of hockey and our Hab’s all my life, so when I saw pictures of our Hab’s on HIO, I tried very had to read your words with the help of Andree. It took everyday for hours, trying to pronounce and somewhat understand what each of your string of words put into sentence form meant.

    I knew when Andree would read your sentences to me, that you had a great passion for my game, and you motivated me to keep working at reading them.

    I will never forget the thrill for me hitting the comment button on HIO with my very first written words of my life. I read your stories and posted everyday. I am sure some did not make much sense, but many HIO members helped me daily with spelling and how to work on a computer without feeling to embarrassed.

    Your words were put together each day, in a way that I could extract the information at my level of comprehension. Every time you used a new word, I would grab my Webster, and then I would try to use it in my next post on HIO. Often it did not fit and I was corrected by members.

    I do owe you Mr. Boone, for this wonderful gift that you have given me of being able to communicate with out my shyness being vivid.
    You are one hell of a writer that can with words paint the most wonderful pictures for your readers and I try to do the same. Gawd knows what kind of a picture people see when I post, but I have made many life time friends on here.

    I am very pleased that you will be continuing with HIO Mike, as I am sure most of us are. You are a special man with a special gift. Thank you very kindly!
    Ian

    • Ron says:

      Good morning Ian, wonderful it is. What you have brought forth in your thanks to Mike is just one of many such inside stories at HIO. For all you people here that have read Ian’s remarks and might pass them off as a slight bit of over the top then I must tell you all that what Ian has said is a very accurate account of his introduction into the realm of HIO. I was on site the first day Ian posted and for all his posts thereafter and he was helped along by many including Mike in getting his working knowledge of computer basics and working grammar. There is no doubt that Mike was one of the many people that encouraged Ian to return most days to post etc. We all have alot to thank Mike for and this is just one of the many great things Mike has brought HIO over the years. Thanks Ian for posting this and thanks Mike for being Mike Boone.

    • jeffhabfan says:

      very well said Ian mike will be greatly missed.

  4. ths says:

    Thanks Booner and HIO for keeping my Habs and Montreal memories alive.
    Nothing better than cracking open a cold one at 8AM on Sunday Morning watching a dodgy feed with the live blog cranking away.

    Ooh Aah Habs on the war path

  5. tedsel says:

    Mr. Boone the fact that you are walking away from a career, but stayin’ with the fans, says alot about how you spent the last 38 years.

    I’ve enjoyed the commentary of most on the website and thank you for your insight, passion and class.

    Fair Winds’

    Ted
    Livin’ the Dream

  6. Gormdog says:

    Boone… You’re the best, plain and simple… The first paper I ever read had your musings in it, sad to see you go, truly one of a kind…

    Three cheers for Boone and here’s to a great Habs season, filled with such whimsy and excitement that he has no choice but to return for next season to boot…

  7. Lafleurguy says:

    Thank you very.very much Mike. For information, and fascinating analyses and directorship of this site along with your cohorts which enhanced our enjoyment of all-things-Montreal Canadiens. Insideout suggests two dimensions, but you Stubbs, Hackel, Mio, Hickey, Cowan and others give evidence that String Theory may be correct in postulatiing seven dimensions in the Canadiens universe and your superb site allows many of us to visit those dimensions. Happy to say it’s not time yet to wish you “Vaya Con Dios,” ’cause I and thousands will be reading ya on this site avidly. Won’t be sending you “…a Valentine,” but yes to “…Birthday greetings, bottle of wine….”

    “May you live in interesting times.”

  8. secretdragonfly says:

    Bittersweet for those of us here who found your columns to be both insightful and entertaining. It was my great privilege to meet Mr. Boone at a summit event at Hurley’s; he was gracious and his knowledge of all things hockey encyclopaedic (although my husband still insists I was being hit on, lol). I look forward to being able to continue to follow your musings on our adopted home, HIO. Best wishes for a long and healthy (semi) retirement, Mike!

  9. jmsheehy19 says:

    Cheers Boone, Thanks for the blood, sweat, and tears (or at least 2 of the 3).

    It’s crazy how much of an influence you’ve had on so many people here simply by blogging the games.

    As we say down in Georgia
    “Much obliged, here’s a drink.”

  10. hansolo says:

    Mr Boone:

    I don’t post much but I always read the board. A large part of why I did was you. You could be relied upon to be informative, interesting and provocative. Good journalism demands all three but in exactly the right proportions. You pretty much nailed it. The number of posters here confirms how many people thought similarly.

    I’ll look forward to to your live game blogs and ALN. Enjoy your semi-retirement. It looks like Dewey, Skruwem and Howe negotiated a more than adequate severance package for you. Being able to go out on your own terms means you went out on top. Take care of yourself.

  11. Old Bald Bird says:

    I am thankful that you are staying on for the Liveblog and ALN, which are kind of the heart and soul of this site. As are you, Boone.

  12. HABitual Fan says:

    I’m an outdoor columnist in Atlantic Canada with a passion for the Habs almost as great as my love for the outdoors. I want to interview for your job!!!

    PS: Make the most of today Mike; we’re not promised tomorrow.

  13. newbrunswick troy says:

    play safe Mr. Boone !!! it was good reading ya,

  14. joeybarrie says:

    Heartfelt thanks for what you helped to create here, for what your work added to in the last 38 years and for staying on this season in this capacity for those of us who are suspicious of change.
    Enjoy Mike, as we have enjoyed you.

  15. habstrinifan says:

    Alone, like Adam, the game I enjoyed,
    Soliloquised loudly to each thrill that buoyed.

    An audience of none; a vision of one
    Unheard and un-shared; poor madrigal sung

    And then I found in an Eden online
    Camaraderie, commentary; a discoursive mine

    A conductor named Boone who blogged alright
    And then told me more ‘About last Night’

    From a basement couch he worked an alchemy
    And brought us together in “strange chemistry”.

    Cheers to you Boone as I remember one of your most unique and enigmatic quips from the ‘live blog’. You desribed Eller and Kostitsyn as having “a strange chemistry”. I think you captured the ethereally evanescenct success of that pairing and the HABS fortunes so well that night.

    May your retirement be filled with magical moments of ‘strange chemistry’.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Great post Habstrin.

      ———————————–

    • JohnBellyful says:

      We all should be so lucky to have a poem written in our honour.
      Nicely done, Trini
      (I am intrigued by this ‘strange chemistry’ of which you speak)

      • JohnBellyful says:

        I sent a congratulatory candygram. I didn’t know we were sending poems as well.
        Well, here goes:

        There is an old man name of Boone
        Whose writings are ne’er out of tune
        His live blog we visit
        For wisecracks exquisite
        – Last Night sends us ‘over the moon’

      • habstrinifan says:

        All credit to Boone for that phrase. He used it once in his game blog. It was oustandingly in context.

        • JohnBellyful says:

          I gathered that. I just wondered if there was a Dr. Jekyll-Mr.Hyde quality to the on-ice relationship that Eller and AK had, which was effective, and if it could be reproduced by chemical means — subject to NHL approval, of course — to bolster the play of lines no matter what the combination.

  16. rhino514 says:

    Love the live blogs. Mr. Boone conveys a humble, entertaining, and worldly tone in his writings.
    On a much smaller note I have never understood the frequent uses of “y´all” ,”peeps”, and (to a lesser extent) “shout-out” by a Canadian writer of his background; such idiomatic expressions work well for African Americans or U.S Southerners, perhaps, but I cringe slightly when I hear Mr.Boone use them.
    Again, thanks for hunkering down in your basement and and continuing to deliver those blogs to those of us with no life, when you need not do so.

  17. Rob says:

    HIO came into existence the year I moved out west to Calgary, and I could not have been more thankful. It was a way for me to stay connected with the team I love, and also the city I love, and I grew very fond of everyone and everything affiliated with the site. Though I didn’t post much (still don’t), I felt a great kinship with all the contributors, writers, and posters who kept me coming back literally dozens of times a day. But if I could pick one thing about this site that has stood out from the rest, it would be Mike Boone’s contributions: notably the Live Game blog and ESPECIALLY his About Last Night column. It’s incredible how quickly it became necessary for me to read Mike’s thoughts before a game, and his recap afterwards. To not do so became unimaginable.

    At last year’s summit (my first), I sat down next to Mr. Boone at Chez Cora’s for a few minutes before he left. While I managed to mutter a few words of gratitude for his contributions to the site, I was unable to truly convey my appreciation. Perhaps communication is not my strong suit. But I hope all the well wishes and thankful posts by the commentariat today are giving Mr. Boone a sense of just how important and impactful his contributions have been.

    Congratulations on your retirement Mr. Boone and I look forward to more Live Game Blog and ALN entries in the future!

    The Montreal Canadiens: sporting the best AND worst fans since 1909!

  18. Dave has asked that we all not discuss line changes in this post, in respect to Mike, but I must make mention of the trio pictured above, that helped start this wonderful HIO place dear to so many of us. Sid would be the digger in the corners, doing the unheralded work that allows his mates to shine. Dave would be making the silky passes; classy, beautiful slips that set up memorable goals. To the left, Boone would be burying those passes, top shelf every time.

    This site means an awful lot to a bunch of us, and it’s meant a lot to me.

    Back in 2006 when I started Eyes on the Prize, there were less than a half dozen quality Habs’ sites. Mine was not among them. I had no direction, but once Habs Inside Out (can I say that without being sued?) came along, I had found a template that served me well. My little place grew and grew up, assisted by hundreds of HIO links to my pages. As it happened, EOTP was picked up by a sponsor and I earned some tiny cash for my craft. Five years in, I burned out and decided to pursue a book idea that came to me. That project went on hold, interrupted by a different book offer I received earlier this year. That work will be out in November.

    Sometimes in life, one ends up in a place and thinks “Wow, how’d I get here?” I had a bit of that, but I knew.

    I owe a lot to Mike Boone. Were it not for his graciousness in recognizing my site, I simply would not have that book coming. Dave has been equally wonderful to me, but their biggest legacy here is the community they have created. They have fostered this site from day one into something super special and unique. It’s a home, and it’s a family of sorts.

    There’s a tinge of sadness today, as Mike packs in his Gazette chores, but in a sense, what is our loss, is his gain. He’ll now have the free time to enjoy his numerous friends and innumerable interests. And I am very happy for him.

    Thank goodness Mike will not deprive us of ALN and live game blogs. The precious pre-game to post-game analysis he has sculpted into a practical art form has become part of our Habs ritual. There’s an unspoken rule in my house – “unless it’s about hockey, don’t talk to Dad while the Habs game is on!” Then, the kids and wife wonder why I am scurrying from the TV room to the comp during commercials like a maniacal lunatic. It’s Boone’s live blog!

    In the note above, Dave encourages us to “embarrass Mike!” I have an anecdote to that end, with a one-liner that I’ve held back for four years. Back in 2008, Ian and I picked up the charity raffle chores for the Habs Fan Summit that year and made a $1,250 contribution to the Gainey Foundation. After the day’s events were almost over, Boone and I were standing together in a bar chatting when he asked how the raffle had gone. I showed him stash I was holding onto, mentioning the amount.

    “Hey Robert,” he joked, “We should bust outta here, take that stash and head into town, grab us a couple of chicks!”

    Had I maybe known the man better at the time, or perhaps respected him less, I’d have delivered the one-liner I bit my tongue on:

    “Jeez, even with that much cash, a couple of schmucks like us would have trouble getting laid, even in this town!”

    Enjoy your semi-retirement Mike, and thanks for staying with us!

    • Chuck says:

      Amen, Robert. I couldn’t have said it better myself. Three CHeers (or beers, as the case may be) for Boone!

      ___________________________________________________
      Being a Hab fan is like buying real estate: only over the long-haul will you appreciate the true value of your investment.

    • Rob says:

      Great post Robert! Thanks to people like Mr. Boone and yourself, this site has become a second home for many of us

    • Ron says:

      I was there in those early days Robert and I must say you have nailed it on the head as too how most of us feel for Mike. There isn’t much more one can say. Mikes not disappearing totally so we still get to enjoy his wit. Thanks Mike and thanks Robert for putting it in this perspective.

  19. Cal says:

    Mike, you’ll be green as all get out not being in the Dead Trees edition of the Gazoo, so it’s just like…starting over. I am very glad you are continuing here. In these trying times, hockey fiends like us need skewering every so often.
    All the best to the blogger who brings us hockey from the heart: passionate, loud and funny and sometimes all in the same sentence. Keep on keeping on!

  20. jew4jah says:

    mike,

    best of luck from the wholly unholy land.

    chara = חרה

  21. punkster says:

    Mr. Boone, for you, because you deserve the very best…Bill Evans with Miles and Coltrane.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZYHezhSR4E

    ***Subbang Baby!!!***

  22. HardHabits says:

    Mr. Boone. I have always enjoyed your ALN’s and consider them to be the best after game sports synopsis in all of journalism. Your acerbic wit and poignant insight coupled with a most legible writing style has rendered you one of the foremost purveyors of the genre. Congratulations on a career which has earned the accolades of your peers. Thank-you for accepting a further role as a guest columnist in this den of inequity.

  23. Propwash says:

    I signed up on HiO I believe it was during the 2nd year of it’s existence. I thought it was a really nifty way to interact with fellow Habs fans, I am not a numbers, or line building type of guy, because I came to the realization that I might have an opinion on something, it’s not up to me to dictate what happens on the ice.

    My first time meeting Boone was at the first (I think) HiO summit at Le Manoir, there I met Boone, Stubbs, Mio, and a bunch of other commeteriat from the site, namely Punkster, J_D, AndrewBerkshire, and a few others. Meeting the hosts of this site rendered me practically speechless. Hearing Boone’s growly voice was a novelty to me, but at the same time, it was really cool to shoot the bull with him. Boone’s ex wife was one of my teachers in Chambly County Highschool, and I can understand why she is the ex-wife, lol.

    Mike, thank you a million times over for your hard work and dedication to Habs InsideOut (screw the corporate b.s, it’s always been Habs InsideOut to me) and I still owe you a pint, I never forget my debts.

    _____________________________
    “Access Forbidden” gettin’ ya down?
    Hold down Shift while clicking refresh.

  24. Boone, good luck in retirement! If you decide to come out of retirement again there could be a position available for you at teliopost.com…we are looking to hire a good editor/writer.

    if you are interested you can apply at teliopost.com.
    CHEERS!
    TELIO
    The greatest Canadiens and NHL news-site: http://teliopost.com/
    Twitter: @teliopost

  25. citizenSanto says:

    Mazal tov Boone.
    Enjoy the well deserved time off.
    Nobody did it better.
    Sons and daughters will sing your praises.

    C
    hildren will be named after you.
    Hab fans hope you live long and prosper.

  26. AceMagnum says:

    Boone! Boone! Boone!

    All the best.

    —————————-

    THE KINGS ARE KINGS!! 2012

  27. Bill H says:

    Awesome column today Mr. Boone. And congratulations on your retirement. So glad to hear that you will not be completely abandoning us here at HIO. I always look forward to your ALN columns, especially since being in Toronto means I don’t get to see many of the games.

    I hope you will consider gracing us with your wit and presence in the occasional podcast too.

    All the best Mike.

  28. savethepuck says:

    Enjoy your retirement but glad you still be the conductor on here on game nights with your Live Game Blog and starting things off the next day with ALN.

    “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
    Carey Price

  29. twilighthours says:

    Beautiful. Boone made HIO worth coming to every day. Hope he is at the next summit.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Methinks he shouldn’t have to go to pocket for a drink at Hurleys if he makes an appearance. Hope to see you there as well, now if only Bettman and Fehr would realize how much the season means to all of us!

  30. JUST ME says:

    Congratulations, enjoy and thanks Mr Boone ! Always did like your style. Wish more of your friends were like you.

  31. Klondike Habs Fan says:

    Mike Boone,
    When I first heard that you were retiring, i honestly began to panic. I quickly realized that you would continue to, as mentioned above, be the heart and soul of HiO. This made me happy. It’s not only that I enjoyed reading your everyman take on the Habs, it’s that I am constantly called to the site, over and over, day after day, called to HiO like I am called to that bong in my shed.

    Mike, I have only ever known you as the master and commander of HiO. Before you and HiO, I would sit up here in the Yukon thinking that I might be the only Habs fan in the world. If i were to feel like I belong anywhere on the internet, it would be here at HiO, and more specifically on “About Last Night”.

    But you haven’t let the stardom and riches go to your head. When I email you randomly a few years ago about a young Yukon Habs fan with cancer, you replied back to me promptly, you looked into it, and that young man had a blast at a Habs game.

    Thanks for not retiring from the thing you are best at.

    There is a 52 inch plasma and a bottle of Yukon Winter vodka for you up here in Whitehorse – ready for a live blog. And you can crash in the shed with the bong:)

    Klondike Habs Fan

  32. L Elle says:

    From a fellow putzette from Park Ex, glad that things aren’t changing around here. Please keep the wisecracks coming. After some sucky games, only the humour here, is what got me through.

    Congratulations!

  33. HabinBurlington says:

    Perhaps it is only fitting my gravatar finally accepted my change to the patented logo of the Steelers Mr. Boone.

    I remember when I first started to read this website, it started with only reading the About Last Night, the game day stories and various links. It eventually led to reading all the comments, why? Because I kept reading Boone refer to this so called Commentariat. I thought it was some special club. I then realized these were people like me, but they were posting their thoughts online, heck I don’t do facebook etc.. this was weird.

    Well I couldn’t stay away and finally started to post after following this site for almost a year. Then the highlight of my HI/O career occurred, Boone quoted my post one time on his About Last Night section. I saw that in the morning and felt like I was truly accepted, but more than that I felt validated, an actual mainstream Gazette reporter was endorsing my thoughts!

    Mike, I briefly met you at Chez Coras last year shook your hand and said hello. Your work on this website is underrated, I may not agree with all your political etc. opinions but you write them well and you also are more than willing to poke fun at yourself. I am very happy you can continue to be a part of our addiction, The Habs and this Community that you helped foster.

    I have met some people from this forum personally and am so much better for it, at the risk of getting sappy, this wouldn’t have happened if not for the professionalism which you brought this site. Otherwise this is just another blog site in my opinion.

    Thanks for hanging with us a while longer, if you even consider not hanging with us, there will be repurcussions! :)

    Happy Retirement, but feel free to work any spare hours you have here at HI/O.

    CHeers!

  34. Marc10 says:

    Thanks Mr Boone. I’ve enjoyed every one of your columns. I wish you the very best.

  35. boing007 says:

    Will miss your man about town articles. Pleased that you’ll still be blogging the games (if we have any) and following them up with About Last Night. I hope Ian invited you to this year’s Summit. Game or no game.

    Richard R
    Price is an oyster. Unfortunately not all oysters produce pearls.

  36. habstrinifan says:

    Enjoy your retirement Mike! It is wonderful news that you will still be doing the ‘Live Blog’ and ‘About Last Night’ for HIO.

    Hope you make it to our summit.

  37. habaholic68NJ says:

    Enjoy your extra time Mike. You deserve it and your writing will be missed. Fortunately you will continue with the live blog and give us more of the Markov puppet, my favorite shtick. Also looking forward to your about last night segment. Rock on.

    *Listen to my instrumental tribute entitled “Habs at War” at http://petertoliasmusic.site11.com/Music_Site/OtherOriginalMusic.html

  38. The Dude says:

    Just like Carey Price is the face of a last place franchise…..I think Boone deserves better than that! How bout with the retirement of Boone so goes open minded Habs journalism! Bad day for realist!

  39. ProHabs says:

    Congrats Mike. Always enjoyed reading your pieces of writing, you were given a great gift of being able to put things into writing in an entertaining way. Thanks for sticking around to write the game blog and ALN. THey are both absolute reads for me.

    Now that you have retired, can you answer the question of why did the “New” comment feature (in red) not come over to HockeyInside Out from the Habs InsideOut site.

  40. Mike D says:

    Mike,
    First and foremost congratulations on an impressive career. You leave us putzes here at HIO, especially those who have been here for a while, with many a funny memory thanks to your witty insights. So many game nights I have spent turning my head back-and-forth from my TV to this site so I could watch the action, then see what YOU had to say about it…..and then reading your summary of it all the next morning. You made the experience much better for all of us fans, and while I’ll miss your posts, I’m grateful that you’ll continue with your Live Game Blogs and ALN – and don’t be a stranger to the Comments section either. It’s the end of an era for those of us here at HIO, and I only wish Les Boys would have given you something more exciting to write about – a Stanley Cup perhaps – for all of our sakes. Best wishes and many more happy years to come, Mike. I hope to be reading your Live Parade Blog in the near future.

    Lastly, and most importantly: Thanks, Boone.

    - Honestly yours
    Twitter: @de_benny

  41. bigjames says:

    on behalf of everyone living far far away from montreal, i want to thank you Mike Boone for bringing us this medium, HABS inside out (as i will always call it) to keep up with news, opinions, discussions and debates on our beloved team. i have been a reader and occasional poster right from the start and your stories and the discussions you have generated are priceless to me. all the best and look forward to reading your game blogs this season.

    Big James
    Hong Kong

  42. HabsFanInVictoria says:

    Thanks Mr. Boone. I’ve always enjoyed your columns. Glad to hear you’re still doing the live blog.

    Sorry I called you a chimp a few years back…

  43. Clay says:

    Congratulations on a great career. I hope you enjoy every minute of your retirement – but who wouldn’t, being able to still see all the Habs games!
    I’ve enjoyed your work over the years since the day I first stumbled upon Habs Inside Out in my quest to fill the void of my lack of proximity to the Habs. I have been a loyal reader since that day, and I will miss your work. Looking forward to the blogs and ALN though. That was always my favourite part of being here.
    All the Best Mike!

    __________________________
    ☞ The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. ~ Richard Feynman ☜

  44. habsroc says:

    Mike,

    From the hometown of Brian Gionta, Rochester, NY, best wishes in your retirement! So glad you’ll still be contributing to HIO.

  45. V says:

    Thanks Mike. All the best. V

  46. temekuhabs says:

    Boone:
    Enjoy your “retirement” will still look forward to your Liveblog and ALN ( whenever the season decides to start )

    Matt in Seattle

  47. Haborama says:

    Mike Boone: best Habs Journalist of all time, better then Red Fisher

    happy retirement and good luck to you!

  48. JohnBellyful says:

    Congratulations, Mr. Boone. I envy your past, present and future. You’ve made the most of your opportunities to the delight of a huge following. And best part of today’s milestone is that it won’t yoked to those dreaded words: “He will be missed.”

  49. arcosenate says:

    All this love must be giving him a booner.

    I am glad it’s not a goodbye, I have really enjoyed being a part of this community and Mike Boone’s the reason I think, there’s no substitute for good, funny writing, and he’s all that.

    Glad to know we’ll all be sharing a few more laughs despite the part time retirement, enjoy the off season.

    All the best.

  50. bel33 says:

    I am by no means as articulate as some of my fellow posters here on HIO… but I would like to thank you Mr. Boone for all your musings that have been posted here in the past…. and I’m very glad we’ll be able to continue to enjoy your insight and humour going forward.

    Growing up in Ontario, and living in Toronto… I haven’t been able to enjoy most of your great work in the city/province of my heritage, but I wish you the best in your “pseudo” retirement, and I’ll look forward to the HIO posts to come.

    Cheers!

  51. Habilis says:

    Boone,

    Great read for your last column, the commmunion wafer bit almost made me fall off my chair.

    I’ve only been a member here since february but have been visiting the site for quite a bit longer. What started as a curiosity for me has now become part of my online routine. This is due in part to the entertaining and informative commentariat but mostly to the excellent articles written by you and your colleagues and of course the hallowed live game blog, which I only miss when I’m at the bar or the Bell Centre.

    Congratulations on your retirement. I’m so glad that you’ll be continuing to write the blog and game recaps.

    I’m going to enjoy a frosty malted beverage in your honor tonight. Cheers to you sir.

  52. petrov14 says:

    Boone is why I kept coming back to HI/O and i’m really glad we’ll both continue to come here. ALN is something I look forward to reading after every game.

    ______________________________________
    Long live Captain Gionta

  53. ooder says:

    Good luck with everything Mike and thanks for the great reads!!!

    ——————
    The 2010-11 Stanley Cup was not won, but given

  54. Congratulations Mike, on fantastic career. Enjoy the retirement.

    It was people like you who inspired a lot of bloggers such as myself to express their own thoughts on Les Glorieux.

    You gave us an alternate look at the game from your perch in the press ring (or your basement), and it’s good to see you will be continuing that if/when the season starts. I hope they paid you upfront for that!

    I’m not one to post here anymore (I have my reasons), but nevertheless still enjoy reading your “Quick Hits” and About Last Night segments, to see things I may have missed.

    I’ll lookk forward them to seeing them again, as well as the great work of Dave Stubbs, once this season eventually starts.

    Till then, enjoy the retirement time!

    ___________________________________________

  55. JF says:

    Congratulations, Mike, and heartfelt thanks for your passion, your insight, and your acerbic wit. The live blog and ALN will continue to be the most-read and commented-on pieces on this site. Happy retirement!

  56. curtishab says:

    I’ll miss your columns, Mike. Your trademark — insight mixed with humour — is all too rare in sports journalism these days. All the best in your retirement.

  57. AliHaba says:

    Congratulations on your retirement Mike. This site has been a constant for me since it was inaugurated. Thanks for making it what it is. I’m so happy that you’ll be continuing with the “About Last Night” segment.

    Enjoy your quieter time and looking forward to many years of Habs’ reading.

  58. frontenac1 says:

    Best of Luck Mike! You mean a hell of a lot to us here. Thanks Amigo.

  59. shakey says:

    Boone: many, many thanks for your passion and insight for the Habs.
    Your writing and commentary (especially ALN) is the main reason I keep coming back to this site, so I’m selfishly glad you will continue doing that, and wish you all the best in whatever else you do with your time.

  60. Dave Stubbs says:

    You guys keep this up and Boone’s going to unretire…

    Dave Stubbs

    Hockey Inside/Out
    Sports Columnist/Feature Writer, Montreal Gazette
    • On Twitter: @Dave_Stubbs
    • Email: dstubbs@montrealgazette.com

  61. HABdriven says:

    Best wishes on your retirement, Mike and thank you for continuing with the HIO blog. Looking forward to more of your entertaining, and at times hilarious, commentaries for many years to come.

  62. EasternOntarioHabsFan says:

    I think that for future generations the name Mike Boone will be synonymous with the Montreal Canadiens in it’s own special way. Not in the same way that names like Lafleur, Richard, Gainey, and Robinson are connected to the lore and mystique of les Habitants, but in a deeper, more populist sense, in that no one following the team for an extended period of time in the past ten years could possibly not be affected by his witty, dry, dead on journalistic brilliance, his live blogs were, and hopefully will continue to be, a thing of beauty. In fact they were one of the few brights spots for many of us this past season, making the whole experience a lot more bearable. I admittedly was part of the new generation of Canadiens fans drawn to the team in the 2007-08 season by the likes of Kovalev, Koivu, and Komisarek, but unlike the others in this generation who took off once the sh*t hit the fan I choose to remain loyal to Les Gloriaux, in part due to Mike Boone. That Is how I for one have been impacted by his coverage of the team.

    I am not alone in this, many others no doubt have been drawn to the team by his splendid journalism, and hopefully many more will stand in awe of his legacy.

    38 years and with a lot to show for it, what a great life you have had and I wish many more wonderful years to you sir!

  63. Welks says:

    Best of Luck to you Mr. Boone. I truly enjoyed your work.

  64. neumann103 says:

    Mr Boone,

    I trust that you have negotiated the rights to 57% of HIO Related Revenues in perpetuity. If not, I can recommend some negotiators from the friendly family firm of Fehr & Fehr .

    I also hope that the dead tree arm of the Gazette empire appreciates the expeditionary force that sites like HIO represent in the battle to remain relevant in an internet age. I grew up half way between Montreal and Toronto in the days of Guy Lafleur to the East and Harold Ballard to the West. I was a Habs fan because of that clear Good vs Evil distinction, although getting news or even seeing games became increasingly difficult. I craved any tidbit and was overjoyed to find a game en francais on a fuzzy UHF channel in black and white.

    Flash forward 30 some odd years and I live in Toronto. I can pay for RDS in HD. I can get minute by minute updates on Rene Bourque’s tummy via Twitter. But more valuable than any of that is the community of fans, peers, and -dare I say – friends that congregate here in this little corner of the web that you carved out for us.

    HIO (and every time I spell it out I still say Habs Inside Out) has gone from an occasional read three years ago, to a trusted source a couple back to a daily obsessive Hab-it for the last year and a half. You really can’t buy that loyalty except through providing some rare quality. It goes beyond clicks and eyeballs, although it is those things too.

    So I hope that you understand what this all has meant to us, means to us, and will mean. So I like many others look forward to coming here like so many nights for the Live Blog and will eagerly await your words announcing “Here we go”for the first game of the season…

    On or around December 8.

    Best of Luck and many thanks

    “Et le but!”

  65. HabFab says:

    Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus!
    When the rumors first started concerning Mike’s retirement, it was my fervent wish that somehow arrangements could be worked out that Mike would stay on HIO. Well, wishes do come true and we can continue to be blessed by that “old hack writer” (your words not mine bro).
    I have been reading this blog almost from day one and started posting after the first season ended. I will admit to not having a lot of tolerance for the poor play of our Habs over that time and out of respect to my TV and remote, have adopted the policy of allowing Mike to watch the game for me. If his observations sound promising then I’ll turn on the game (sacrilege I’m aware).
    Enjoy your retirement Mike, thanks for the past memories and looking forward to sharing some good new ones over the next few years.
    PS. I’m writing this from Saint John especially for you. Well actually, I’m visiting my Mother but it sounds better the other way ;)

  66. CharlieHodgeFan says:

    I have always enjoyed and respected your work. I have never met the man, but I have admired his artistry.

  67. Avid reader – occasional poster (never did make the full transition to the new site) but THANK YOU BOONE FOR ALL YOU DO.

    I would love to get all beered up with you someday. Maybe I’ll get out to a summit one of these days.

    CHEERS!!!!

    Forbidden

    You don’t have permission to access /wp-content/cache/supercache/www.hockeyinsideout.com/news/a-win-that-slipped-away/index.html on this server.

  68. Pete in Regina says:

    I have read this site almost from the beginning, but it took Mr. Boone’s retirement to give me a reason to become a registered member.
    Mr. Boone, best wishes on your retirement and thank you for sticking with HIO. Your game-blogging makes good games better and dreadful games bearable.
    Go Habs

  69. Hamayoune says:

    Congrats Mr. Boone! Looking forward to your “About last night” blogs, if there is a season InshaAllah! Always enjoy reading your perceptions of the games.

  70. Habfan10912 says:

    Mr. Boone. I hope you have a long healthy and especially happy retirement. You’ve given us all much enjoyment throughout the years and will be greatly missed. May your future adventures include lots of birdie’s and big fish. Best wishes.

    Jim

    ———————————–

  71. HammerHab says:

    Congrats Monsieur Boone! I haven’t been a posting member long, but have been reading the site for years and if I can’t catch the game live I make sure never to miss your game blogs. Glad to hear you’re continuing on in that aspect at least. Sorry about you missing out on the Isle of Wight retirement dream, absolutely gorgeous area….perhaps I can make a call or two to some relatives and get you a room for a week….anyways, congratulations again, you deserve it!

    ———————————–

    It’ll always be Habs Inside/Out to me

  72. Chuck Chuck Goose says:

    Congrats on a great run Mr. Boone, and glad to see you aren’t leaving the HI/O crowd too soon!

  73. commandant says:

    My favorite piece by Mike Boone is the short intro he wrote for “The Greatest Game”. Now I’m too young to have seen that game live, but I feel that Boone was able to really capture what it was like in the 70s to be a fan, and to know that the Soviet Red Army was visiting the mighty Habs on New Years eve. The story from the announcement of the game, to the lineup for tickets, to the electricity on game night was fantastic.

    And ultimately thats one of Boone’s greatest gifts. He’s a fantastic story teller. Weaving a yarn, while putting just the right amount of passionate fanaticism, subtle humor, praise, and critique in his pieces to provide good analysis for the game blog and About Last Night.

    I’m glad to say I read his stuff, and I hope he enjoys his semi retirement. I’m also glad he’ll still be around.

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

  74. Dave Stubbs says:

    Posted on behalf of 24 Cups, aka Steve Kerley:

    A shout out to Mike Boone as he begins his retirement this weekend. He has been the heart and soul of HI/O since it’s inception. Just like Carey Price is now the face of the Hab franchise, Mike Boone has been the face of Habs Inside/Out.

    The thing I like most about the headmaster is the fact that he is a real journalist. Mike is a legitimate newspaper man who has earned his stripes over the years as a city and sports beat writer. I guess you could call him old school – a badge he would probably wear with honour.

    I mention this because today’s media world is dominated by the internet. Now instant access makes everyone a critic, an authority on matters large and small. There are no filters, as much of what is written is characterized by mindless drivel. As Jay Stone points out, it may take years to sort out the voices that matter from the endless noise that is dominated by the lowest common denominator.

    Mike Boone is a voice that always rings true. We, the fans on HI/O, should all be thankful that he has signed on to do a part-time gig that will center around Hab games (Game Blog plus About Last Night). I look forward to his insight, wit and heartfelt comments.

    All the best my fine friend,

    Steve


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