What We Learned on 24CH: Better Halves [S3:E19]

(Image: screen capture)

by Erica, Staff Writer and Fundraising Specialist, All Habs Hockey Magazine


(Image: screen capture)
(Image: screen capture)

MONTREAL, QC. — The opening montage of 24CH usually waxes poetic about the nature of hockey. Imagine my surprise when the show introduced the players’ wives and girlfriends instead of the players themselves. This episode drew a lot of parallels between the life of a hockey player and the life of the woman he loves. Here’s what we learned:

Team spirit is important on and off the ice. Earlier episodes have shown players retreating to the locker room at intermission to catch their breath and prepare for the next period. A segment in this episode followed Angela Price walking to her seat at the Bell Centre, then retreating to the players’ wives’ lounge, where the wives congregate before puck drop and between periods, to discuss the game and calm their nerves.

Outside the Bell Centre, the Canadiens get together for a Super Bowl party at Lorbeer, a Laurier avenue restaurant and bar co-owned by Brandon Prust. The atmosphere is relaxed as the players watch the game – Carey Price looks ready for some football in a Seattle Seahawks jersey – and mug for the camera.

Similarly, a few of the players’ wives got together two days later to have dinner together in Old Montreal before supporting Julie Eller at a charity event. Many of them don’t have family members or close friends in Montreal, so other hockey wives become their community and they support each other like teammates.

An NHL career = lots of sacrifices. Players often have to do what’s best for the team, no matter where their career takes them. They may have to move to another city or country at a moment’s notice. Their wives and girlfriends have to make sacrifices of their own when this happens. Maripier Morin, girlfriend of Brandon Prust, explains that many wives and girlfriends have prepared for careers of their own, but sometimes have to put their ambitions aside due to the unpredictable nature of a hockey player’s career.

When she first moved to Montreal, Angela Price (wife of Carey) felt out of place. She had professional experience in marketing and event management, and started to pass the time by taking cooking classes. She combined all of these passions into a lifestyle blog, Champagne and Shimmer, co-founded with a high school friend. Aside from the regular sacrifices that come with being a hockey wife, Price needed to adjust to this hockey metropolis – it’s not easy being married to the Canadiens’ starting goaltender, she says, because “you have to share your husband with the city.” Still, it looks like she’s doing pretty well in her own right.

With great power comes great responsibility. 24CH viewers have seen players participate in community events. This episode focused on the wives’ efforts to give back. Angela Price is joining forces with Rhianna Weaver, also a marketing professional, to help promote a charity fashion event. Scheduled to take place next month, a spring shopping spree sponsored by women’s fashion brand Vero Moda will feature Price and Weaver as celebrity spokespeople and stylists.

Role reversal: Julie Eller agreed to a physical challenge by taking part in a Dancing With the Stars-themed event for the Montreal Children’s Hospital’s Just for Kids Foundation. She suffered a back injury during rehearsals and had to put training on hold, returning to the dance floor just a few days before the event. Eller looks comfortable rehearsing in her ballroom dance shoes, with no sign of lingering injury. As Julie dances, husband Lars is helped off the ice during a game versus the Arizona Coyotes. He recovers in time for the following game, which takes place the same night as his wife’s big performance. Since they are both hard at work, Lars records a video with his young daughter to wish Julie good luck – looks like the wishes helped, as a confident Julie Eller walked off the stage after her performance, giddy and happy.