Monday, September 01, 2008

(Almost) Brushes With (Almost) Habness

Don't recognize either of these people or any link to the Habs? You're not the only one.

As the biography to the right mentions, I am the Habs Fan stuck in the middle of the Red Mile. Since I'm so far from Montreal, my brushes with Habsness are now likely to be second hand. This one occurred at my wife's family reunion.

Mrs. Panger is originally from Edmonton, born to French Canadian parents. In good Catholic French-Canadian fashion, they have a combined 11 siblings and huge extended families. I love my wife - and her family - but asking me to keep her extended family straight is beyond me. So unbeknownst to me when I wooed my fair bride, it turns out that one of her cousins has a link to the Canadiens: my father-in-law's first cousin is Yvon. His son, Brent, was if not famous, at least a infamous one-time member of the Montreal Canadiens organization. Yvon and Brent's last name happens to be Bilodeau. Yes, I'm related to that Brent Bilodeau.

Now, finding out you have a second-cousin by marriage who was a firsr round pick of the Habs is exciting, since it's as close as I'm going to get to being part of the Canadiens organization. I found this information particularly funny because before I knew we were related, Brent Bilodeau was a personal whipping boy of mine, as a symbol of all that was wrong with the 80s/90s era Canadiens (specifically their drafting). Apart from '84 and '93, the Habs did not draft an impact player in the first round during that era. A 6'4 defensive defenceman projected to go in the top 5 in '91, Bilodeau turned out to be one of two of those picks that had the distinction of never playing a single game anywhere in the NHL. Although Brent had a fairly lengthy minor-league career and is now an assistant coach in the ECHL, I talked to his dad about his NHL (non) career. While Yvon didn't go into specifics, he cited what I'll call "internal team politics" as the major reason for Brent's failure to reach the NHL. Shockingly, he didn't mention how Brent skated like a donkey in mud.

Although Brent himself was not at this northern Alberta family reunion, I am proud to say I got to babysit his adorable, platinum blond niece and nephew (his sister Brandy's kids). I was also sexually assaulted by Penny, his mom - although admitted it was due to a case of mistaken identity (thankfully Brent comes from an attractive family). Bilodeau now lives in Vegas with his wife Cass, herself a 6'4 former WNBA player, where the couple is raising their 2-year-old twins, Tyler and Jacob. The twins may already be taller than me.

Of course, now that I know we're related, my new whipping boy is Alain Heroux (the other first rounder who never saw NHL ice). Brent got screwed - Heroux really sucked.


Zwirb said...

Not too many Habs blogs have a Brent Bilodeau tag.

HabsFan29 said...

I was also sexually assaulted by Penny, his mom

I think there needs to be a Part 2 where we get the details of that

Habsfan10 said...

Could always be worse, Panger. You could be related to a former Leaf first-rounder. Does Mrs Panger have any Fichaud's on the family tree?

Zwirb said...

Hey, I went to high school with Fichaud. Used to give him answers to chemistry exams. Ah, those were the days.

panger76 said...

@zwirb: was he as useless in school as on the ice?

Zwirb said...

Uh... let's say he was no more the sharpest bulb in the box that he was the brightest blade on the skate.