MONTREAL, QC — Whoever said there’s nothing exciting that happens in hockey’s off-season apparently was not a Habs fan! Between development camp, the NHL Awards, and the NHL Entry Draft, supporters of the Montreal Canadiens have had plenty to focus on during the past few weeks…and there’s even more on the way!
During this year’s first development camp in Brossard earlier this month, the All Habs team was there every day documenting each session with detailed written reports, dynamic photographs, and video coverage. We’re your most reliable source of Habs camp news for a reason!
But that was just the beginning of the excitement in June. Next up came the 2012 NHL Awards which marked our inaugural All Habs On Location event. Armed with laptops, smartphones, and tablets, members of the All Habs team set up shop at McLean’s Pub to report on each award winner as they were announced live in Las Vegas, as well as the winners of this year’s All Habs Media Awards. During the night we also revealed the nominee our team predicted would win each award, as well as conducting our first Twitter version of the All Habs Trivia Challenge. It was a jam-packed night of fun, trophies, prizes, and winners – including Max Pacioretty, winner of this year’s Masterton Trophy!
Then all eyes turned to Friday, June 22nd, the night of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft in Pittsburgh. The Habs held the coveted No. 3 pick position in the first round, and the All Habs crew hosted an amazing event to watch all the drama unfold.
It was the 4th Annual Habs Draft Party presented by All Habs, and McLean’s Pub was bursting at the seams with exuberant fans! More than 80 people registered in advance to reserve their seat and get a VIP pass into a packed McLean’s Pub. Some fans even traveled from Quebec City and the United States to join in the fun!
Rick Stephens, Editor-in-Chief of All Habs Hockey Magazine, says it’s natural for fans to want to get together on draft night. ”For Canadiens supporters, the hockey season is 12 months long. Once the on-ice activity ends, they look for information on personnel changes including the draft and free agency. The draft party gave them an opportunity to engage in a live event with other Habs fans.”
There was a nervous excitement buzzing in the air as attendees debated who they thought would be the first player picked and who they believed the Habs would select. While the Edmonton Oilers and Columbus Blue Jackets announced their picks, Brian Wilde from CTV Sports – Montreal was on hand to capture the excitement and anticipation for the late-night news broadcast. You can check out the video by clicking on the link at the end of this post.
It wasn’t long before the time had come for the Canadiens to announce their No. 3 draft pick. An anxious silence settled into the pub as fans waited. The subsequent explosion of cheers and applause was the pinnacle of the evening for fellow All Habs writer Erica. “The biggest moment of the evening came when the Canadiens used their third overall draft pick to select Alex Galchenyuk. Almost everyone in attendance had been hoping for it to happen, most notably the guy who had fashioned himself a Galchenyuk jersey by making letters out of masking tape. Cheers erupted throughout the bar; they were the kind of cheers I didn’t hear as often as I wanted to during the season. It was great to see a room full of people fully engaged and united in their love for the Canadiens. Everyone almost immediately started looking to the future. It was nice to see some optimism!”
And the night was just beginning! ”With the Canadiens picking third in the draft it could have been an early night,” says Rick Stephens, “but fans stayed at McLean’s Pub to enjoy the trivia contest, prizes, Q&A with hockey experts Brian Wilde from CTV Sports and Rick Springhetti from McKeen’s Hockey, and live commentary provided by the guys from Montreal Hockey Talk. All Habs has been hosting Hockey Parties for over three years in dozens of cities… we know what fans like!” In fact, Habs fans continued to pour into McLean’s all evening, as they arrived to join the festivities after an early conclusion at the Bell Centre’s draft party.
Prizes were awarded for correctly predicting the top five draft picks, as well as for having the most correct OR creative answers in the All Habs Triva Challenge. Jamie took home a sleek laptop bag, courtesy of Fido, for answering the most trivia questions correctly and Kyle won an All Habs practise jersey for having the most correct predictions of the order of the top five draft picks. Additional winners were awarded other fantastic prizes, including gift certificates to Mac’s Taps at McLean’s Pub and to Baton Rouge – Decarie.
To view all of the photos from the 4th Annual Habs Draft Party and the All Habs On Location Event for the NHL Awards, visit the All Habs Facebook page.
You can also check out Brian Wilde’s CTV report from our Draft Party by clicking HERE.
— Rick Springhetti (@Rick1042) June 22, 2012
Special thanks to our partner, McLean’s Pub, for providing a wonderful venue to host our Hockey Parties and to the evening’s sponsors Baton Rouge – Decarie and Papeterie Zoubris.
Stay tuned to All Habs all summer long as we continue to bring you extended coverage of camps, news, updates, and pre-season analysis – starting with the Canadiens’ second development camp in Brossard later this week!