Brushes With Habness is a feature on FHF, wherein we, the FHF, tell you riveting stories about our brushes with Habs and people in the Habs family. Basically, some filler while we wait for the damn season to start.
So as the "About Four Habs Fans" sidebar says, I'm the FHF who "somehow grew up a Habs fan in the middle of Ontario Cottage Country". My Brushes With Habness are a little more random than the rest of the FHF, who grew up in the city our beloved Canadiens lived and worked. Mine tend to be Brushes With Former Habness, or, if you like, I could start a whole new summer filler series called Brushes With NHLness, since Muskoka is a summer playground for both the Hall of Fame bound (Paul Coffey once asked my sister to dance ... while she was waiting tables! Steve Yzerman goes to the local butcher for burgers!) to the shoulda-coulda-woulda been Hall of Fame bound (Eric Lindros used to hang out on the patio at the old Edenvale Inn!) to the not-even-close to Hall of Fame bound (hey, is that Nelson Emerson and Nick Stadjuhar over by the bar? WTF?)
Anyway, the big news back in the day when Lindros was at the height of his powers was his purchase of a cottage in Muskoka. As a general rule, the people of Muskoka try and show some restraint when the likes of Martin Short, Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell wander into town for some hot dog buns or a new canoe paddle, but in the mid 90's, a random Eric Lindros citing sent people apeshit. Well, one morning I noticed a big commotion in the parking lot at the Tim Hortons and was breathlessly informed that the man himself was grabbing a coffee. Now, since I was of drinking age and regularly saw The Big E and his equally massive brother (and friends) out on the resort drinking circuit, I wasn't about to hang around for a glimpse of the guy carrying his double double to his car. But when I rounded the corner towards the Mac's Convenience store beside Tim Hortons, this Habs fan was stopped cold. There, sitting in the driver's seat of what I remember as a Jeep Cherokee reading the paper and no doubt waiting for his cruller was former Habs winger and current and future Habs-killer John LeClair. Two-thirds of the Legion of Doom in the parking lot of the Tim Hortons Plaza in Bracebridge, but only one was a Cup-winning former Hab.
So yeah, this Brush with Habness was fleeting, and bittersweet. But still. It's a long offseason and there's nary a large Swedish centre to be found.