DON BRENNAN: What about Vincent Pun? Dressed in the stands, the Canadian Tire tags still on his gear, he hopped on the ice to "try out" for the Senators at Kanata Recreation Complex? Rick Bowness had to chase him off. Wait, that would be the funniest thing I NEVER saw. Dean Brown just reminded me.
CHRIS STEVENSON: The funniest thing I've seen? I think it was Dennis Vial firing the puck into the Buffalo Sabres bench in the second season. He had a thing with John Muckler, who was the Sabres coach at the time. "I didn't know Dennis Vial could lift the puck that high," said Mucks. "That was right out of Slap Shot." I loved Vial's comeback: "I thought Slap Shot was a pretty good movie."
TIM BAINES: Speaking of Slap Shot, Don, that is one of the movies you've seen, right? I know that you hate cartoons ... And you're like the only guy over 40 who had to be forced under threat of double secret probation to watch Animal House. My advice to you: "Start drinking heavily."
BRENNAN: The funny follow-up to Chris' story: The next time the Sabres and Senators met, Muckler was heard yelling at Vial that he was going to trade for him. "So I can cut you," he told Vial.
BAINES: Some of the superstitions are funny too, right? Was it Bruce Gardiner who used to dip the blade of his stick into a toilet for good luck?
STEVENSON: Yup. I think it was Tom Chorske who put him up to it. Chorske was also the guy who carried the Buddha around in his shaving kit. It was the Senators' good luck charm in 1997, the first year they made the playoffs. That reminds me of another thing from that spring. A columnist from the other paper, after a loss on the road in March, wrote: "It's over and to a man they know it." So, you never know, huh?
BAINES: Yeah, I'm not quite as optimistic as Don, who seems to emphatically believe the Senators could still make the playoffs. I'm hoping he didn't bet his 1976 Ford Pinto, or whatever the hell it is he drives, on it.
BRENNAN: Wow, who's that from? Some drunk I assume. What about injured winger Chris Murray running up the stairs at Scotiabank Place while the rest of the team was on the ice stretching before practice? He thought he'd be funny and moon his buddies. It was hilarious when our photographer took a shot of him flashing his bare ass and it turned into our front-page photo the next day. Ah yes, we were a cheekier paper back then.
BAINES: Speaking of funny, Don, your relationship with Alexei Yashin turned into a comedy, didn't it?
BRENNAN: Yeah, it was funny that nobody else saw him for the fraud he was.
STEVENSON: Not that it got personal or anything.
BRENNAN: One of my favourite quotes came from Damian Rhodes, after he was traded from the Leafs to the Senators: "First my dad dies ... and now this!" It was an eventful few weeks for the fair-haired goalie with the knockout wife.
STEVENSON: Alexandre Daigle in a nurse's uniform was kind of amusing.
BAINES: We had the exclusive on that photo. The guy with the Score trading card company gave us the photos to use in the paper. As a nurse, Alexandre was a good hockey player. Actually, he wasn't really that, either.
BRENNAN: He was actually a pretty good hockey player, Tim. A lot was demanded of him at 18.
BAINES: He was a good hockey player? A lot was demanded of Sidney Crosby, too. Chris Pronger, too. But nobody ever remembers the guy who gets drafted second. C'mon. Daigle was a dog.
STEVENSON: Fifty-one points his first year on one of the worst teams of all-time.
BRENNAN: As an 18-year-old. Yeah, a real dog.
BAINES: Yeah, and his career was stellar after that. Dog.
BRENNAN: Bruce is right, Tim. You are a stooge.
BAINES: As a first overall pick, he was a bust ... a big bust (which I know you love, Don).
BRENNAN: Classic moment from the Senators' first playoff. Some aspiring comic comes to practise with a small-time TV crew and offers all of the opposing players a cookie. At the coaches' post-practice conference, the guy asks Devils coach Jacques Lemaire: "Why won't your players take my cookies?" Lemaire abruptly called an end to the interview, ticking off all the New York reporters who still needed him. The comic is now trying not to get fired by Donald Trump. His name is Tom Green.
STEVENSON: The other story I remember from the early years was the burglary of the Senators offices at the KRC, where they used to practise. They lost a bunch of monitors and recording equipment, but the thieves left behind all the game tapes. The crooks must have been hockey fans.
BRENNAN: What's your favourite cure for a hangover, Baines? Mine always was barbecuing up a big thick burger and having it with a coke. Then washing it all down with a beer, of course. What can I say? You don't get much more Irish than Brennan.
BAINES: Okay, O'Brennan. Best cure is to mix yourself up a Caesar, take one little sip, then a bunch of big sips. Top of the mornin' to ya.