You can’t put a price on drinking beer in the company of some old-time NHLers – unless you’re the operators of the Molson Canadian Hockey House at the Winter Games, in which case the price is $450. That’s how much it costs for an all-day VIP pass to a tent near Canada Hockey Place, where you can stand on plastic carpet, drink some beer from the open bar, eat overdone lemon chicken and potentially bend the ear of Stan Smyl. For the Canada-Russia game, they jacked up the price to $750.
Those of lesser means and greater sanity can enter the Hockey House for $99, which gives you the opportunity to a) pay $7.50 for a one (1) Molson Canadian and b) make fun of the idiots who paid $450 to stand on the other side of the velvet(ish) ropes. As one guy put it: “If I get to shake the hand of someone like Yvan Cournoyer, that makes it worth the 99 bucks to me. But to pay $450 – man, I’d have to at least get a kiss or something.” He and his buddies broke down laughing, then spent about five minutes trying to calculate how much beer they’d need to drink to make it worth spending $450 apiece. Their conclusion: all of it.
I took in part of the U.S.-Switzerland game at the Hockey House, wearing a media pass that prohibited me from drinking beer. (Molson Canadian, my bad side. Bad side, Molson Canadian.) To be fair, the lighting in the Hockey House is very flattering if you happen to be a stripper. And it’s perhaps the only place on earth where one can look into protective glass cases and simultaneously gaze upon the stick used by Joe Sakic during the 2002 gold-medal game (cool) and a helmet worn at some point somewhere by “veteran Finnish forward” Raimo Helminen (what’s Finnish for “Huh?”)
Also, there’s a big white Baldwin piano that’s signed by the members of Team Canada for some reason. Barney Bentall would be playing later. I picked up a tart from the dessert tray and it fell apart in my hand.