It was surprisingly hot today in Montreal, at least hotter than I thought it would be. About an hour or so after last checking in with you guys, Travis from Broad Street Hockey and I walked from our hotel to the Bell Centre. "Monsoon" is probably the best word to describe the torrential downpour that swept over us not even a block into our walk. Thankfully we were able to duck into an office building and watch the streets flood while staying bone dry. Needless to say, things cooled off a bit after that.
While rushing around in the Bell Centre, we were told to report to Section 112 for a briefing. Seeing as how we were running a bit late and just looking to catch up on things, who were we to argue? So we stepped onto the ice...er, floor, of the Bell Centre, gently interrupted some sort of briefing and took our seats in the back. 30 seconds is about all it took for us to realize we didn't belong here. In fact, seeing as how we applied late for our credentials, the NHL staffers thought we were draft guides - as in people who volunteered their time to help others at the draft - rather than media peeps. Such is life.
Travis gave the heads up that Brandon from Defending Big D was meeting up with Matt over at Bird Watcher's Anonymous (who by the way has some great coverage from the media luncheon). The plan was to get together, shoot over to the league's media shindig and then go from there.
Well, we all met up but tardiness remained the theme of the day when we realized we showed up a bit late for any "real" sort of food. Ravenous from over seven hours of driving with very little food stops in between, I didn't think twice about gobbling down the octopus kabobs that seemed to have been left over (or is it left alone?) from the meal portion of the night. It had a spicy kick, mildly chewy and I'm pretty sure it kicked my larnyx on the way down.
After dessert, which included homemade lemon cakes (delicious), marshmallows (not so much) and brownies (decent) we all came to the conclusion that despite a few beers, dessert and my helping of octopus, we still hadn't eaten anything substantial. So we picked an Italian joint across the street, lest we perish from starvation on the spot.
Not long after putting in our orders, Don Waddell, GM and VP of the Atlanta Thrashers, walked over and greeted Matt from Bird Watcher's like old chums at an alumni dinner. Apparently he and a bunch of other front office guys were jonesin' for some Italian food too. Don gives off a fan-friendly vibe that strikes me as traditional southern hospitality, even if he is from :gasp: Detroit.
Following our meal, and a plea from the owner that he needs a 15% tip because he has "nothing" after he pays taxes, we kinda strolled down St. Catherine a bit before calling it a night. The night came to a fitting end after we passed by a club blasting Michael Jackson's Beat It.
I really wish I was more of a picture person so I could show you some of these things. I really need to get into the habit of carrying that thing around with me. Pictures tomorrow from the draft. I promise.