Bill's Bubble - Life in the NHL Bubble - Week 8

Bill Lineker, CPA | CA | Managing Director

After 55 days, Gilligan is getting a bit restless here in the Bubble, although I am hanging in there, as the Holy Grail is within reach!

Gary Bettman and Bill Daly brought the 80 or so full time Bubble inhabitants together Monday in Ford Hall, at Rogers Place, for a short thank-you and ra-ra speech, followed by a question and answer session. Of course, we were all wearing masks, and were socially distanced, to ensure everyone’s safety! The off-ice fellas racked our brains to come up with a few priceless questions, given this once in a lifetime opportunity, but alas not a single question was asked, by us or anyone else. Gary and Bill did sound very sincere in their appreciation for the commitment and effort made by everyone who made the Bubble such a success. It was nice to have that acknowledgement.

The food has been very good, with reasonable variety, despite there being only three or four restaurant options. We ordered in some Cajun food from Louisiana Purchase, outside the Bubble, including alligator skewers, muscles, gumbo, corn bread and southern pecan pie.  Wow was that a feast!  I set aside my walnut salad and pecan pie to eat later in the room, only to have the waitress mistake my bag for garbage, like the other delivery bags, and toss it into the trash.  The fellas made sure they reminded me just how good their pie was!

We had a little excitement one evening when the fire alarm went off in the Delta hotel.  Everyone spilled into the lobby and then onto the street, including the new arrivals who were still in isolation.  Most of us headed to the Marriott for a couple of beverages, until the fire department gave us the all clear to return. Unfortunately those in quarantine, including a lady with her four month old, were required to wait in the parkade. Apparently a small fire was started in the basement trash container.  While it caused no damage, it did leave behind a nasty smoke smell for a couple days. Maybe someone was hoping to get a glimpse of some of the Stanley cup finalists, or the Cup, as it is located in our hotel!

Randy, our crew supervisor, has spent a portion of virtually every day on the one golf simulator available to the non-player inhabitants of the Bubble (there are three available for player use only).  He, and others, smashed the 3 Taylormade balls so many times, the balls literally split in half.  Luckily I had a sleeve of Pathfinder balls with me, which I quickly emptied at the simulator, for folks to use.  So, if we get some calls from the Bubble inquiring about Pathfinder, you know the folks are likely golfers!

Mike Leggo and Shane Heyer, retired referees who are working with our crew in the Bubble, coordinated the On-Ice Officials hosting us Off-Ice Officials for a Chinese food dinner in their sixth floor social room.  I think this is a first in NHL history, as the on and off ice officials generally don’t run in the same circles.  Thanks in large part to Mike and Shane, the referees and linesmen have gained a considerable amount of respect for the professionalism and competence of our crew.  Everyone played cards, swapped stories and had a great evening, some of us until nearly 3 am. Thanks fellas.

It was a special morning today, as our crew was introduced to Lord Stanley’s Cup. What a moment! That alone has made sacrificing my summer worthwhile! Such an impressive trophy, and so interesting reading the names inscribed, imagining the history of where this cup has voyaged over the years! I wonder if there will be a special note ‘in The Bubble’ with this year’s winning players’ names. Thanks Holly for supporting me throughout the past two months, and in particular for allowing me to have this special time with Stanley; I guess it’s my turn to walk Chloe for the next couple months!

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