That's the time on the scoreboard when the NHL off ice officials call up to the pressbox with the Senators starting lineup. I'm writing all the names down, rehearsing how I'm going to announce Schubert which is a great name to say because you can go long on the Schuuuuuuubert....
Then Nicklebacks Saturday Night's Alright for fighting is blasted through the rink and the anticipation of the night's matchup has the whole building pumped, including this PA announcer.
We just got word that Steve Yzerman is in fact waiting in the Wings (sorry, bad pun) and I'm about to introduce him to drop the puck for the ceremonial faceoff. Yzerman was inducted the night before along with Mike Nevesvary and Bob Rathwell at the Ottawa Sports Hall of fame dinner, which by the way started at 7 and was done at 9:15! A feat in itself, considering most events in the city that involve any type of speeches and a full meal end closer to 10. Yzerman stayed right till the end making sure every jersey was signed and every photo was taken.
Back to the game, and with three minutes to go, the familiar chunka, chunka, chunka is played which means the Sens starting lineup is coming up. I get through the names and my heart is practically pounding through my chest when I realize CBC is carrying the Yzerman tribute across the network, which means some hockey fan is Fort McMurray is going to hear my big yap. Why am I nervous? After all, I worked the Stanley Cup finals last year and this is a game in January.
Its Steve Yzerman that's why.
The crowd is going crazy during the video montage right before he's introduced and for a second it didn't feel like Ottawa. Watching his number 19 raised to the rafters in Detroit on TV last season I would have killed for the opportunity to announce something special like that. Tonight, I simply had a few lines about Steve and like the other 20,000 fans in the rink was thrilled to be apart of the ceremony.
Here's the clip, (fast forward to the 3:25 mark to watch)
The game lived up to the hype, and reminded Sens fans who have had their doubts (including me) that this hockey club can get it done against a Western equivalent. Now if they could only beat the Capitals!
More Sens tix this week on TGOR and a few chances to win your way into our Superbowl party - the big prize is a trip to Superbowl 42 in Arizona.