The third in a series of “summertime five” articles, I’m going to give you the five arena’s that I want to see a game at. Since I’ve already seen games at the United Center in Chicago and the Bank Atlantic Center here in Florida, I have a few places that I somehow must get to. The culture of an arena and it’s fans are something that I’m sure every dedicated hockey fan can appreciate. Besides it helps that the home team is exciting to watch and wins their share of games only adds to the drama. The difference in seeing a game in Chicago and South Florida is like night and day. What you saw on T.V. during the playoffs in Chicago only scratches the surface. What you see on T.V. for the Panthers is… well… what you see. Anyhow, here’s my five rinks I must see a game at.
1) Air Canada Centre, Toronto. Without a doubt one of my favourite cities to visit as I’ve been there a number of times, although I’ve yet to be there during the hockey season. A packed arena with lots of tradition and fans that appreciate the game, at least from what I see. It looks like a perfect place to watch an original six team from Canada faceoff against a rival. I would prefer to see the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens at this arena, as I’m sure the place will be rocking and rolling, and packed to the rafters. The city is mad about their hockey, and the fact that on Saturday nights Hockey Night in Canada is broadcast from there adds to all the glitz. The P.A. announcer Andy Frost has a strong voice, and you never know who’s going to sing the Canadian National Anthem.
2) The Centre Bell, Montreal: That’s the right way to say it isn’t it? Another Canadien city with a loud and crazy crowd. Careful, riots have been known to break out after playoff victories! The city of Montreal feels as though their city is the hub of the hockey universe. It might be. I was there a just a few short years ago, again not during the season. However you can feel the hockey atmosphere. One thing I really like about a game in Montreal is how the P.A. announcer, Michel Lacroix announces everything in French, then in English. To me, that’s pretty cool. Matchup I’d like to see? Montreal against the Boston Bruins.
3) The Saddledome in Calgary and Rexall Place in Edmonton. Yea this is a tie. I had to do it. Been to Calgary. Another great city as I’m sure you see a pattern here. I like Canada. Never been to Edmonton, but a weekend of watching the Battle of Alberta would be absolutely perfect. Would love to be on Red Mile in Calgary and see all the red Flames sweaters. When the Flames take the ice, the place is one of the loudest rinks around. As for Edmonton, never been there, but need to get myself on Whyte street, and see what that’s all about. Oil Country loves it’s team, no matter how they play.
4) Wachovia Center, Philadelphia. Never been to Philly, unless you count a 45 minute layover in the airport. Would love to see the Liberty Bell and have an original Philly Cheesesteak. The Wachovia Center gives the U nited Center a run for it’s money when you talk about loudness and crazyness, but I think Philly is a solid number two. The fans are nuts, and they don’t care if you’re in a Flyers sweater or not. If you’re sucking that night, you’ll hear about it. The matchup I’d like to see is the Flyers and the Buffalo Sabres. Two working class cities facing off against each other. I’ll bring my Scottie Hartnell wig too! ( I don’t really have one)
5) TD Garden, Boston. An east coast city with alot of character and tradition. Plus my daughter seems to want to go to college there. Yikes, better get that third job! Many a great player has come from the Boston area, including my favourite Jeremy Roenick. Fans that are passionate as well as knowing their hockey. Don Cherry, Bobby Orr, Bobby Schmautz (who?), Espo, Cheevers, and Cam Neely. Hard nosed, talented and respected. The city loves their team, and you have to like that logo too. The matchup I’d like to see here is, the Bruins and the Chicago Blackhawks. Two cities very similar in nature. Towns that have suffered for years, yet stay true to their sports teams. For better or for worse.
So there you go. Someday I hope to accomplish this and if I do, I’ll be sure to tell you about it.
Which five arena’s do you want to go to?
Please, no offence to any other cities that I left out. Doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t see a game there, just that these come first.
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