Go To Montreal!!!

With the Montreal Canadiens off to an incredible start, there’s no better time to head to Montreal with your team and enjoy the hype and hysteria that engulfs the city when the Habs are doing well.  CHE is thrilled to offer 3 dates this spring for your team to choose from: April 15 – 17, April 22 – 24 (featuring men’s & women’s divisions/private party at Sir Winston Churchill Pub) and April 29 – May 1.  Most people know that Montreal is a hockey mecca, has an amazing night life and some of the best and most diverse dining options, but just in case you don’t, here’s the top 5 reasons to bring your adult team to Montreal this spring.

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1. First Class Holiday Hockey Weekend

First and foremost, you’ll be treated to a first class hockey tournament that CHE is renowned for.  A 3-game guarantee with tournament games played at Isatis Sport Chambly three rink complex just 25 minutes from downtown Montreal, featuring a fully functional restaurant and bar including a convenient tap in the dressing room area.  Teams stay right in the heart of downtown Montreal at the Gouverneur Place Dupuis or can upgrade to stay at the Marriott Chateau Champlain, right beside the Bell Centre.  A convenient bus shuttle gets you to and from the arena to your hotel so there’s no reason to hold back on the weekend.  Our professional tournament staff will make sure you feel like you’re playing for Olympic Gold!!!

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2. Les Habitants

Winning their first 9 games and having the best goalie in the league, barring any serious injuries, the Canadiens will surely be heading into this year’s NHL Playoffs.  Getting tickets might be a challenge, but fear not, as the entire city will be in a frenzy and you’ll be hard pressed to find a bar or restaurant that isn’t showing the game.  Every car has those silly flags hanging out the windows, and the streets turn into a sea of red jerseys when the home team is playing.  Should an epic failure occur and they don’t make the playoffs, hockey fans of all types can head to the Bell Centre for a tour and catch a glimpse of the history of this most storied franchise.

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3. World Renowned Night Life

There are so many incredible adult beverage establishments in Montreal that it’s very difficult to single out just one, as you’re bound to have a great time no matter where you go.  Younger crowds will head down Boulevard St. Laurent to mix with the McGill University crowd and hit up hip hot spots like GoGo Lounge, Casa del Popolo or Lodge Tavern, or cross the english/french border and head to Rue Saint Denis and check out the spectacle that is Bar Le Saint-Sulpice which is a combination of 9 different bars, 3 stories tall with a massive shared patio they all bleed into.  Those looking for an easy, hassle free evening can head to Crescent Street to hit up Sir Winston Churchill Pub or Hurley’s Irish Pub for some fine Irish ale.  There’s no shortage of old school cocktail bars either and Dieu de Ciel, Dominion Square Tavern or Burgundy Lion are great for a tasty micro brew or fancy pants cocktail.

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4. Incredible Eats

In a city that’s a literal melting pot of cultures, there’s absolutely no shortage of amazing food no matter what your preference is.  No trip to Montreal is complete without an authentic smoked meat sandwich and you pretty much have to go to Schwartz’s or Reuben’s Deli if you’re in town.  Gibby’s is great if you’re looking for steak, Joe Beef is incredible if you like truffles and want to try some tripe or horse, Le Taj has some crazy good curry, the Bar-B-Barn will fill you up with greasy chicken and fries for almost nothing, and La Queue de Cheval is absolutely amazing, and will almost certainly empty your wallet.

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5. Old World Charm in a New Age Metropolis

These days, most cities in the Western hemisphere are keen to tear down the old, traditional, 3-story brick buildings in favor of a gleaming 40-story steel and glass sky-rise, and while Montreal has plenty of the latter, its always been careful to protect it’s heritage and the entire district of Old Montreal is rich in 17th & 18th century charm.  Nestled between the St. Lawrence River and downtown Montreal, pedestrians can meander the small cobble stone streets and feel like they’ve left the continent completely.

This April, make sure to grab your teammates and head to beautiful Montreal for the hockey tournament experience of a lifetime.  CLICK HERE for full details.

Graydon Crowley

Canadian Hockey Enterprises

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Montreal this Winter!

As days begin to get shorter, the thermometer drops and the leaves begin to fall, my head always turns to thoughts of warm sandy beaches and crystal blue lagoons, but as good as that hot sun will feel on my skin, it’s always going to be painful on my wallet.  Seeing as how it’s winter for 6 months here in the great white north, I thought I’d focus this week on one of Canada’s most iconic; Montreal!

1. It’s closer and cheaper than Europe!

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Take a trip back in time as you take a horse and buggy ride along the cobble stone streets of Old Montreal.  There’s something magical about walking past a 400 year old stone building or sitting down at a restaurant that’s been run for generations that you just can’t get anywhere else outside of Europe.  Now imagine everyone is speaking French, there’s shoulder height snow banks, seasonal light displays and the misty haze of blowing snow and it can actually feel like you’re in 18th century Paris.

2. Catch a Habs Game.

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See all those banner?  Those aren’t just there to add colour to the ceiling.  The Montreal Canadiens are the oldest and most storied hockey franchise in the world with a record 24 Stanley Cups.  Though the old Montreal Forum was taken down 1996, the atmosphere at the Bell Centre definitely gives justice to Les Habitant, and even the most mundane mid-season game has the palpable energy that most cities only experience during the playoffs.

3. Fewer Crowds

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No matter what time of year it is and no matter what your culinary pedigree, there are a couple of things you must eat if you’re in Montreal; a Montreal smoked meat sandwich from Schwartz’s, a fried bologna sandwich from Wilensky’s, and a poutine at La Banquise.  Try getting into Schwartz’s on a sunny July afternoon and you’ll be staring at a line around the block, but head into Montreal in the winter and you can try all of Montreal’s unique cuisine with limited to no wait times.

4. World Class Public Parks

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Immediately west of down town, this 764 foot Mont Royal is one of Montreal’s largest green spaces and provides spectacular views for the down town and St. Lawrence Seaway beyond.  You can head up just for the view alone, but if you’re feeling more active you can go tobogganing, tubing, skating, cross-country skiing, snow-shoeing and even take a ride on a horse drawn sleigh.

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Or if you already have your skates and are right in the down town core, you can head over to Parc La Fontaine and go for a skate on the canals.  You can see Montreal in it’s true form as buildings and monuments from the old world mix with the beautiful modern architecture of this brilliant city.

5. Nearby Ski Resorts

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Montreal sits just south of the Laurentian Mountains and the premier resort of Mont Tremblant is just an hour and a half drive from the city.  If that’s a bit too far for a day trip Morin Heights, Mont Gabriel, Mont Olympia, Mont Habitant, Mont Avila & Mont Saint-Sauveur are just 40 minutes away on highway 15 towards Tremblant.  You can stay in town and head to Mont Bruno if times a factor, or head east of the city towards Bromont, Sutton and Owl’s Head Resorts all just an hours drive.

So this year, as the falling leaves turn to snow flakes and that longing for warm weather and fruity cocktails starts to creep into your brain, maybe think of taking a trip closer to home and experiencing some of the culture, activities and excitement that Montreal has to offer.

Graydon Crowley

Canadian Hockey Enterprises

Hockey is Passion

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The two best things about working for Canadian Hockey Enterprises are the fantastic places we get to travel to, and seeing how passionate people are about hockey.  It doesn’t matter if I’m witnessing the joy on a girls face as she gets chased around the ice by Meghan Agosta, or the massive smile on the face of the captain of a men’s’ team when we present the Lefty Wilson Championship trophy, the passion and excitement is the same and it’s inspiring.  But like anything, when you’re constantly surrounded by it you tend to not notice it.

So I was pleasantly surprised when I peeked out at the game on Rink 2 at Isatis Sport Chambly on April 26th to watch The Cowboys from Barrie take on Strange Brew from Newcastle in the opening game of the 35+ division.  Both teams had been to Montreal before and there wasn’t anything particularly special about the game, except for the player wearing number 5 for the Cowboys.  Dave Gillham has a great stride and plays a sounds positional game on D, but as a member of Strange Brew breaks down his wing, Dave throws himself on the ice and takes out puck and player.  Not the most graceful play, but he gets the job done.

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You see, Dave had an electrocution accident at work and lost both of his arms, a setback that would have stopped most people from playing any sports at all, but not Dave.  A lifelong player, Dave had to basically learn the game from scratch and luckily he had a great group of guys to help him do that.  In the words of his captain Leonard Del Duca “he is my HERO!”, and the rest of the Cowboys feel the same and are more than happy to have on the team.  A couple of guys help him get dressed before the game, and when they pass to Dave they have to make sure to follow the pass so Dave can get it back to them just like a soccer play.  He blocks shots, chases down players and will literally throw himself in the way of anything if it will help the team.

And help the team he did as the Cowboys went on to win the Holiday Inn Midtown Championship trophy, but the true winners that weekend was anyone who had a chance to speak with Dave and his teammates.  That kind of passion for hockey combined with the camaraderie of his teammates and opponents was inspiring to everyone in Montreal that weekend.  You can read a more thorough article on Dave’s journey here and a great 16:9 video here.

Graydon Crowley

Canadian Hockey Enterprises

20 Years Later Generals Win!!

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Doug Fioroni and the Generals limped into Montreal, and the Canadian Cup expecting to have a great time as they usually do, and the unexpected happened…they won!

After 20 years participating in CHE tournaments in Niagara Falls, Florida and Montreal the Generals are already planning a Quebec City next year…they love Quebec! BTW the Generals are from Mike Kitchen territory near Bradford north of Toronto…so sad to hear of the passing of Bill Kitchen…I couldn’t believe that as I played against Bill for many years…we need to cherish our times on the planet and as Canadians we are lucky we have the great game of hockey to stay focused on friends, family and talking / playing hockey…what do the other countries do in the winter!!

Players on the Generals were going down memory lane that “they had hair ” when they first started with CHE!  I started recalling many of our first Montreal tourneys and  remarked that after 26 years the only thing that really changed in Montreal was we have a WORLD  CLASS brand spanking new arena complex, Isatis Sport Chambly Complex to showcase our tournament. Gone are the smelly rinks we used in Montreal for years,  bad ice and incredibly bad food that no one ever ate. What a difference..CHE is really committed at bringing quality facilities to our customers..check out the difference with CHE…congrats goes out to Stephane Malouin and his staff..

See you next year in Quebec City Doug…remember…the other teams are getting old too..

Paul Crowley

President

Canadian Hockey Enterprises