Thursday, July 26, 2007

St. Trev in the Dolomites

Maybe training camp. Maybe pre-season. I was going to wait to start writing, but then shots of Trevor Linden snugged into spandex in Europe surfaced—shell-shocked, jubilant, shirtless by a cold river in Italy, dehydrated and schnitzelling in Germany.

When I finished writing Cold-cocked: On Hockey, I wondered if I’d ever be that hell-bent drawn to the game again. Would players still inspire, thrill, disgust, delight and bore me? I guess so, starting now.

Linden’s lately been the topic of fan snits and on-air sport-gripes. Canuck fans are choked with management for not re-signing St. Trev the minute he scraped off his (grey) playoff beard. Fan favourite. Heart and soul. Great playoff stats (for a team that couldn’t cut-and-paste a goal post-season). “Beg him to stay! Pay him double!”

Last week’s 2007 JEANTEX Bike Transalp was 725K through the German and Austrian Alps and Italian Dolomites in 8 stages. Vertical gain: 20,836M. The winners took 27 hours; Linden and his partner went 40 and finished a stunning 48th in the Masters category. His partner’s blog describes Linden’s harrowing cartoon careen—hey! no brakes!—down a perpendicular hill and it’s clear to me the team would be nuts to sign the naughty daredevil before he passes his next physical.

Also clear: Linden is not a guy who’ll be lost without hockey. Let’s see: relax—tanned, handsome, beery—in an icy river in Predazzo after an epic 12-hour bike ride, or get 20 minutes of penalty-kill ice time 5-on-3 playing against this year’s Edmonton Oilers for 8 hours?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I see him as The Dolomite Knight maybe more like, clanking his way around the spas of Europe postgame, like the White Russians.

Welcome to blogging. Blogging got better because you're here.

(Grey) playoff beard. Priceless!