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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
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Rideau Canal procession kicks off all-star weekend
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 MTL 62 41 16 5 171 135 87
2 TBL 64 38 20 6 210 171 82
3 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
4 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
5 FLA 63 28 22 13 154 178 69
6 OTT 60 27 23 10 171 163 64
7 TOR 63 25 33 5 170 193 55
8 BUF 63 19 39 5 123 212 43


E. Karlsson 60 15 32 3 47
B. Ryan 56 15 30 8 45
K. Turris 60 15 28 -4 43
M. Hoffman 57 23 16 23 39
M. Stone 58 15 24 11 39
M. Zibanejad 58 15 18 2 33
C. MacArthur 53 13 13 -10 26
M. Michalek 55 11 14 -1 25
D. Legwand 58 8 14 -3 22
A. Chiasson 54 9 12 -8 21
C. Anderson 13 11 7 .927 2.37
R. Lehner 9 12 3 .905 3.02