As told to: Dave Bidini
AL MCDONOUGH: I can still remember my first rush in an NHL game. It was in the Spectrum in Philadelphia and I was playing with Los Angeles. The puck came to me out of our zone from a defenceman, and suddenly, I was forced to make a play. I took the puck and got it up the ice, and I remember thinking: “Well, that’s kind of like what I always do.” I got through the game, didn’t get scored on, and felt pretty good. I scored in my next game and, because I was filling in for an injured player, there was a lot of talk that the Kings were going to engineer a trade so they could keep me up with the big team. But the trade never happened. I sat out a few games and was eventually sent down.
YVON COURNOYER: I was 19 when I got a call from Sam Pollock. The junior Canadiens played their games on Sunday afternoon, so on Saturday night, he told me: “Tommorow, you’re going to Detroit.” I was so excited that I didn’t sleep at all. I played the game with Bobby Rousseau and Gilles Tremblay and we won 7-3. I scored the 7th goal. I was lucky that the game took place in Detroit, because the Olympia had very good ice. When Toe Blake touched me on the back to go out there for the first time, I thought to myself: “I don’t want to go.” But I did and it was okay. Still, what people don’t realize is that even though it was hard to make the Montreal Canadiens, it was even harder to stay there.
DAVE BIDINI is the co-creator of ‘Slapshot Diaries’ as well as a writer/musician/columnist from Toronto and the author of 12 books.
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