Search This Blog

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Habs Fan in LeafLand Profile: Greg Chambers

Here's the start of a new set of articles for this year, profiling my fellow Habs Fans in LeafLand. Not all of us are as traditional as myself, growing up in Montreal then resettling in Toronto to chase the American, err, Canadian dream.

Greg with P.K. Subban, Montreal's thoroughbred star defenseman at an autograph signing in Toronto, Summer 2011. We won't slight P.K. for wearing the Blue Jays cap. After all, he did grow up in the area.

As I'm sure you're all aware, there's quite a few of us out there. None are disguised as Leaf fans.

Of course maybe today some may have contemplated that after the Habs fell to the Bruins for the 2nd straight game, 2-1. However, there is a light at the end of the horizon, as this was definitely the team's best outing of the preseason -- an impressive feat given Montreal only iced 8 NHL regulars. Price had a strong game, as well as Bournival and everyone's current darling, Brendan Gallagher.

Bournival and Gallagher remain with the team today. Chris Campoli arrives after being signed. More depth? Or is Subban hurt worse than the team is letting on? And then there's Markov. Eller still needs some more time and what about Ryan White? It is troubling to have so many injured already, but maybe this is a good sign for this year -- get it out of the way now!!!


Peterborough is a sleepy little town roughly 125 kms Northeast of Toronto but it probably has one of the best pedigrees going for Canadian cities who produce NHL players -- especially players that suit up for the Habs.

The Peterborough Petes is the longest continuously run hockey team in the Ontario Hockey League and boasts such NHL alums like Eric and Jordan Staal, Steve Yzerman, Chris Pronger and Corey Perry.

The team's connection to the Habs is strong, producing Mickey Redmond, Bob Gainey, Doug Jarvis and Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman. And that's where this story begins. Because Greg Chambers grew up a Habs fan in Peterborough.

Funny enough his physician father was born in Toronto, yet rooted for the Red Wings. Well they had some darn good players in Gordie Howe and Ted Lindsay, so easy to understand that. But he liked to follow the Petes and Bob Gainey was a star player on that team when the legendary Roger Neilson was coach. So Greg liked Gainey for his Peterborough-ness and the fact that he was a winner -- and a Habs fan was born.

And of course, once a Habs fan, always a Habs fan.

Greg Chambers in 1982 at Kew Gardens rink (not far from where I live now funny enough) wearing Gainey's iconic #23 -- with matching gloves to boot -- wondering why it's taking so long for the Habs to win another cup. The Canadiens won their fourth in a row 3 years earlier, an eternity for spoiled Habs fans who lived through the dynasty of the late 70's.

Eventually the family moved back to Toronto, and Greg the little boy skated around town proudly wearing Gainey's #23 after Santa left it for him one Christmas morning.

The Chambers, regardless of their NHL allegiances, are hockey fans through and through and have had Leafs seasons tickets for over 30 years.

How else can you get to see the Habs and Red Wings when living in Toronto?

Now a grown man, Greg continues to watch the Habs whenever they're in Toronto plus he skates down the 401 once or twice a year to see them in Montreal. He's a diehard, no doubt. He even makes time to see his heroes in person. Like when P.K. Subban did a little autograph session this summer in Toronto.

Greg getting the P.K. treatment to his jersey. That'll make a nice collectable in the years to come pho-sho!!

It should be noted here and now that the last couple of times I went down to the Air Canada Centre to see the Habs play the Leafs here in Toronto was due to Greg's generosity in letting me have his tickets. And maybe he couldn't stand to see a grown man beg too.

Not only is the guy a fan, but a team player to boot.

He even told me about an autograph signing a few weeks after P.K.'s with Carey "my man" Price. Would've been great to see the Griefster face-to-face with Pricey. But truth be told, I forgot.

Some Habs Fan in LeafLand I am, eh?

No comments:

Post a Comment