If you sit back in one of four wooden seats recently installed at the Thunderbird Winter Sports Centre's main rink, close your eyes, and listen carefully, you can hear the shouts of hockey greats like Yvan Cournoyer, Maurice Richard, Jean Beliveau and Guy Lafleur, the echoing sounds of slapshots and the roar of frenzied fans.
The seats in the rink's Molson Room, were salvaged from the Forum in Montreal before the wrecking ball leveled the old building.
"We're happy to have a piece of Canadian hockey history here," says Rick Noonan, co-ordinator of Athletic and Sport Facilities, who, with a little help from local Molson's people, managed to acquire the seats for UBC.
"They're in pretty good shape for originals. They're very narrow but quite comfortable, considering they're wooden."
Noonan, who saw the Montreal Canadiens play in the Forum on many occasions, says sitting in the seats brought back memories of the St. Patrick's Day riot in Montreal after National Hockey League Commissioner Clarence Campbell suspended Rocket Richard during the Stanley Cup play-offs, and of the Canadiens' glory days when they won the Stanley Cup in five consecutive years, twice.
"It was electric," Noonan says of games at the Forum. "You just walked in there and you could feel it. The game just isn't the same without the great old buildings like the Forum."
Those wishing to try out the dream seats in the Molson Room can do so by renting the suite for a meeting, party or to watch a T-Birds game. The room was rented for 10 of 14 T-Birds home games last year. The rental charge is $600 for as many as 25 people, and includes wine, beer, food and a chance to relive a little bit of hockey history.
For information on renting the suite call Noonan or Pat Logan at 822-6121.