It’s a dream every hockey fan has had, in one form or another, but one few have the gumption or wherewithal to achieve.
Alex Jordan wanted to do it before he turned 30 and, through diligent planning and Internet flight deals, his fantasy became reality Tuesday night when the Wild and Coyotes clashed at the Xcel Energy Center in Minnesota.
He’d visited the last of each of the NHL’s 30 arenas.
“I always thought it would be fun to go on the road and cheer for the away team as a Canucks fan,” said the Vancouver-based aspiring actor of the idea’s genesis, which came about in his early 20s. “I kicked around the idea of 30 before 30 and it came down to the wire.”
While Jordan, who turned 30 Wednesday, wasn’t able to cheer for his Canucks in every opposing market, he did get to see them “in 12 or 14 arenas,” including a memorable encounter in L.A. at the Staples Center.
“We met a gentleman and his young daughter before the game and they were Canucks fans as well,” said Jordan. “Afterwards they told me they had ‘backstage’ passes and invited my friend and I to come along.”
While meeting the players and getting autographs from two former Canuck greats, Trevor Linden and Markus Naslund, was a once in a lifetime opportunity, Jordan lists another part of his adventure as the pinnacle moment.
In December 2005, he and friend Allister Stuckless took in seven tilts in seven nights down the East Coast.
“It included four overtime games and three shootouts,” said Jordan, who’s considering writing a book chronicling his odyssey. “And one was also the first scoreless game decided by a shootout in Philadelphia against Calgary.”
And speaking of the Flames, Stampede City gets another nod from Jordan.
“Of all the arenas, Calgary was the loudest in the West and Montreal in the East,” said Jordan. “The Xcel is a close call with Nationwide (in Columbus) as far as the nicest, and the Florida Panthers have a beautiful one. But the Buffalo Sabres have the best bang for your buck. Those are my favorite ones.”
Now that he’s knocked off all the current NHL homes, Jordan has his sights set on achieving the same feat in another sport.
“I’ve been to close to a dozen baseball stadiums over the past few years, so maybe I’d consider that,” he said. “But I don’t think I’m going to put a deadline on it.”
Edward Fraser is the editor of thehockeynews.com. His blog normally appears Thursdays.
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