It’s hockey season in Canada again. The Ottawa Senators will play their first home game (pre-season) this Thursday.
Ladies and gentlemen, I was among those who played in the first ever hockey game at the Palladium-Corel Centre-Scotiabank Place-Canadian Tire Centre site. Yes, you read that right. Here’s the proof:
That’s me to the left, standing under the sign.
Okay, so the building wasn’t actually built yet, and we weren’t even wearing skates, but we won’t quibble about that. It was hockey, and it was at the site where the Senators play.
In 1992, I worked for what was then Maclean Hunter Cable TV (later Rogers TV), and my co-workers produced a show called In Your Face. The producers, Daniel Allard and Paul Huppe (with contributions from Mike Waterhouse) put together a comedy show of unusual undertakings, skits and on-street interviews. One of the unusual undertakings was the first ever hockey game at the Palladium site.
We arrived on site with road hockey nets and jerseys the Ottawa Senators supplied for two teams. After Paul’s father sang the national anthem (You can’t have a hockey game without a national anthem, now can you?) we were underway.
Here I am making a fine hip-check on my co-worker, Stan Newton.
Here’s, Dan Allard, making a great save.
You won’t find it in the record books, but it’s true nonetheless. Long before Wade Redden and Chris Phillips defended our goal, and long before the Anaheim Ducks broke our hearts in 2007, and long before Daniel Alfredsson brought his class act to our ice and to our city, we were there.
Oh yeah, baby, thanks to Paul and Dan (with contributions from Mike Waterhouse) we were first.