Last year, NBA star Kevin Durant ended up playing a pickup flag football game because he was killing locked-out time on Twitter. Montreal Canadiens defenseman Josh Gorges embraced a similar itch on Wednesday, as Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette reports.
The spirit was similar, but the scenario was quite different.
Durant enjoyed playing a different sport in what was 60-degree weather; Stubbs spoke with Gorges about playing shinny in frigid weather at Verdun’s Willibrord Park.
“It wasn’t bad when I was actually playing, but it was cold when I had to stand around doing interviews,” Gorges said after the pickup game.
About 50 people showed up after Gorges sent out a call to get back to the game’s roots on his Twitter account.
Much like the haphazard Twitter organizing process, the on-ice action occasionally amounted to what Gorges described as “total chaos.” Still, it reminded people like Stubbs of the game’s golden era.
You’ll hear stories from old-timers about how 1940s and ’50s Canadiens legends Elmer Lach, Doug Harvey, Dickie Moore and others would join a handful of star-struck kids on a park rink only for the love of having another puck on their stick and a sheet of ice beneath their blades.
A half-century later, without knowing it, Gorges picked up the legends’ torch. He hastily cobbled together a pickup game, something that participating youngsters will one day be describing to their kids, not because he wanted publicity or figured it was good PR.
With the lockout continuing indefinitely, Gorges asked if it might happen again: