Community Contact discovers Subban Super Fan
By Nancy McKenzie
I attended a few hockey games at the Montreal Forum in the 70s and 80s when standing room was $5. I last picked up a hockey stick and wore a helmet in Inukjuak, Northern Quebec in 1989. I was present at the last Habs game in the Montreal Forum in 1996.
However, now I am a real super fan.
In 2009, the centennial year of the NHL, I won a pair of tickets to the Bell Centre—Habs against Sidney Crosby. What a thrill to have amazing seats and see two of the top hockey teams in the world face off! It could not get any better. I was totally hooked on the live game. But how does one get tickets to the Bell Centre? They are expensive and/or impossible to purchase. But there was no holding me back after that free game.
I decided to do the next best thing…follow my favorites to cities where tickets were affordable and I could simultaneously experience some new adventures. My first destination was Florida—why not escape Montreal, send home photos of palm trees, have some good food, go sightseeing and sit in the second row beside the players bench, for less than the cost of a Bell Centre Premium seat?
It was a fabulous experience to witness first hand the breath-taking physical skills with the puck that the players display with their sticks. It is magical. It was observing the amazing skills of those professional players on ice, particularly during warmup time that sealed my obsession with the live game.
I wanted to see more, so I started travelling to see some of the best in the world…to Tampa Bay, Toronto and Vancouver, but one day realized that affordable games could be found much closer to home, in Ottawa. I became a Sens insider and got access to excellent seats at affordable prices and saw the best of the NHL from October to April, and even some playoff games.
I loved watching PK Subban play. I followed him to Nashville, to watch the Canadiens against his new team. I bought tickets in the lower bowl, then booked the hotel, just across the street from the hotel where the Habs were staying.
I made other trips, but none more rewarding than the Ottawa/Nashville contest last year –seats behind the goalie, six rows up from the ice with an amazing vantage point for all of #76’s moves. Although he was booed every time he touched the puck, PK prevailed, with two assists in that game.
PK triumphs in the realm of giving back to the community. One of his first deeply moving statements was in reaction to the Haiti earthquake after a visit there when he was just 19. His fundraising and personal commitment to the Montreal Children’s is unprecedented, and although Jonathan Drouin has pledged a half million for the CHUM, it pales in comparison to PK’s continued contribution (even when Montreal is no longer home).
After PK was traded he was scheduled to do a fundraiser basketball game in Verdun. I bought tickets. When organizers realised that the auditorium would only hold 2000, the venue and game were scraped and PK subsequently performed at Just for Laughs. That performance recently won an award.
His favorite Montreal restaurant is in Westmount’s Victoria Village. Look at his stats since he moved to Brookfield. Almost on a daily basis Montreal media report a PK story, whether it’s Karl’s book launch or PK’s twitter about Les Canadiennes. These days one can follow, watch and cheer him without leaving home, watching online. For just the cost of the internet connection, thanks to technology, one need never miss a PK move. But believe me, PK live is awesome.