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Rideau Canal procession kicks off all-star weekend

NHL trophies on display as fans flock to first official event of annual showcase

Thursday, 26.01.2012 / 5:38 PM / 2012 NHL All-Star Game
Every National Hockey League trophy was on display Thursday afternoon as they were paraded down the Rideau Canal in front of several thousand fans in the official start to the 2012 Tim Hortons All-Star Weekend.

Fans lined the canal to get a glimpse of all the NHL's hardware, from the Ted Lindsay Award to the Stanley Cup The trophy procession featured 150 Timbits players from Tim Hortons youth hockey program escorting the awards across the canal. Each trophy was on an individual sled with one lucky youngers riding along with it.

Two of the many fans on hand were Ron Palmer and his young son, Justin Palmer, both of whom were donning skates for the festivities. Ron yanked his son out of school for the day, and the trophy procession is just the start for the pair.

"We're here to see the trophies go by," said Ron, who lives not far Scotiabank Place in nearby Stittsville. "He has a PD day (reports cards are being handed out) tomorrow, then we're going to the fan fest all day tomorrow, the skills competition on Saturday, then Sunday we're going to the all-star game. So we're making it an All-Star weekend."

Following the procession, trophy keepers Phil Pritchard and Mike Bolt escorted the trophies into the Ottawa Convention Centre, site of this year's Scotiabank NHL Fan Fair, which opened its doors to the public shortly after the canal parade. There, fans can get a picture with the Stanley Cup, test their skills at different booths, and create their own hockey card thanks to Upper Deck.

But getting to see the trophies on the canal was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for Ron and Justin.

"We've seen them at the Hockey Hall of Fame," Ron said, "but nothing like this."

Not surprisingly, Ron was wearing an Ottawa Senators jersey. But his young son decided to go a different way — he was wearing a Philadelphia Flyers jersey.

According to dad, Justin became a Flyers fan because on several occasions, he got to meet Danny Briere, who was born across the river in Gatineau. Justin once received a goal stick from Ilya Bryzgalov, and now he's excited to get a chance to meet Philadelphia forward Scott Hartnell at some point during the weekend.

"I want to see all the Flyers on one team," said Justin, hoping Hartnell, Claude Giroux and Kimmo Timonen don't get split up at tonight's Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft, set for an 8 p.m. start at the Hilton Lac Leamy in Gatineau. The event, during which all-star captains Daniel Alfredsson of the Senators and Zdeno Chara of the Bruins will choose their rosters for the skills competition and game at Scotiabank Place,  is being televised by TSN.

— Author: Dave Lozo


1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
3 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
4 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
5 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
6 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
7 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
8 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52


E. Karlsson 82 20 54 -15 74
J. Spezza 75 23 43 -26 66
K. Turris 82 26 32 22 58
C. MacArthur 79 24 31 12 55
B. Ryan 70 23 25 7 48
A. Hemsky 75 13 30 -15 43
M. Michalek 82 17 22 -25 39
M. Zibanejad 69 16 17 -15 33
M. Methot 75 6 17 0 23
P. Wiercioch 53 4 19 -1 23
C. Anderson 25 16 8 .911 3.00
R. Lehner 12 15 6 .913 3.06