game against the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday, the Montréal Canadiens hosted the ever-boring San Jose Sharks last Tuesday. I didn't have a ticket so I didn't attend it, but I watched it on TV and nearly fell asleep. The whole time.
Had I paid to see that spectacle, I probably would have incited a riot. Or I would've been in a boredom-inspired coma.
But I did get to see Dainius Zubrus in the late afternoon. He did not recognize me from when he used to score on me during summer pick-up games at Brébeuf Arena; in his defense, the last time was ten years ago, and I did put on some 75 pounds since then. I'm not sure if he still lives here in the summer, but he used to, since he's married to Montréal-based model Nathalie Sanschagrin.
The former Philadelphia Flyers first round pick (15th overall in 1998) scored against the Habs, his former team, that night - his first tally of the season, after signing on with the team following a PTO.
He stands as the first Lithuanian to have played in over 1000 NHL games - he currently stands at 1254, with 226 goals, 360 assists, 586 points and 779 penalty minutes in the regular season and 11 goals and 24 assists (for 35 points) in 92 playoff games.
He reached the Stanley Cup Final twice (in 1996-97 with the Flyers, falling to the Detroit Red Wings in a 4-game sweep, and in 2011-12 with the New Jersey Devils, losing 4-2 to the Kings), and the Conference Finals in 2006-07 with the Buffalo Sabres.
He shares the Devils' record for most goals in a game (4) with Brian Gionta and Patrik Elias. He also got a few Selke Trophy votes in 2002-03 when playing for the Washington Capitals.
Which is to say he's had a distinguished career, and will likely bring some much-needed leadership to any team he's on, including the Sharks, unfortunately.
Here are the cards he signed for me, showing him with three different Flyers uniforms from the end of the 1990s, starting with the black one, from Upper Deck's 1997-98 Black Diamond set (card #8 in the collection):