January 4, 2009
Pete Michaud: Back from Portland
Hello, Admirals fans?
I hope your holidays went well. Please accept my apologies for the long delay since my last blog entry. I guess the hustle and bustle of the holidays get to all of us.
The team has just arrived back from a 5-day, 3-game road trip through Portland and Worcester. Portland may be the favorite road stop of a majority of AHL players. The Old Port area, located within walking distance of the team?s hotel and the arena, features lots of restaurants and shops. It?s a huge tourist area in the summer months. Although it?s just minutes from the Cumberland County Civic Center, it can, however, seem like it is miles away when the weather doesn?t cooperate. On New Year?s Eve, I walked out of our hotel following our early game against the Pirates with the intention of walking through the Old Port area. The temperature was 5-degress, and with a brisk breeze blowing off the bay, it was the kind of cold that is downright painful. I walked about 100 yards from the hotel, then did an ?about face? and went back inside. So much for New Year?s revelry!
Being a native Virginian, I don?t seem to handle the cold as well as many of the players, who mostly hail from cold-weather climates. To compensate, I bring a big, bright yellow ski coat on the road during the winter months. Assistant Coach Alan May and some of the players like to give me a hard time about it. Bracken Kearns asked me when I was reporting to the tug boat for work! I don?t mind. I?m warm!
I figure some of our players and staff could have used my coat when we departed from Portland on New Year?s Day. With bright sunshine basking down from a cloudless sky, it was still only 6-degrees outside at 11am. Our departure was delayed when the Lightning called to recall a player. Initially, we thought that player might be Mike Lundin, so Equipment Manager Peter Henderson, Trainer Brad Chavis and a few of the rookies were forced to unpack the team?s trailer to remove the needed equipment. After battling the bitter cold to get Lundin?s equipment, the parent club called and asked for Vladimir Mihalik to come up instead. Back in the trailer they went again to find Mihalik?s gear. Those guys were practically frozen by the time they finished! Chavis even commented, with his teeth still chattering, that that kind of effort deserved a mention in my blog. Well, here it is, Chavy!
Speaking of Peter Henderson, a visit to Portland is always something of a homecoming for the Admirals? Equipment Manager. ?Hendu,? as we all call him, was born in Portland and grew up in several Maine towns before eventually settling in Rockland, a waterside town known for its annual lobster festival. While Pete?s had a long career in hockey, he?s spent more than 30 years coaching select baseball teams, as well. This past summer, his team came within a game of claiming the state title. Henderson, who just retired from baseball after the last season, is known to lots of folks in Maine as ?rabbi.? His dad is a minister, and Peter tells me friends through the years called him all sorts of nicknames related to his father?s work. Monikers like ?minister? and ?preacher? never stuck, but ?rabbi? eventually caught on.
Well, that?s it for my first 2009 blog edition. If you have any questions, feel free to email me and I?ll try to answer in an upcoming edition. Until next time?
Pete ( firstname.lastname@example.org )