Future Price or Mason in ’09 World Juniors?

Two years ago Canada beat Patrick Kane and the USA in the gold medal game of the IIHF World Junior Championship in a dramatic shootout. The game winning save was made by Carey Price.  Three years ago Steve Mason led Canada to the gold. In 1999 Roberto Luogno carried the Canadian team on his back (sign of things to come?) but fell just short of the gold.  In 2002 Henrik Lundqvist carried a weak Swedish team.  Was there a Luongo, Lundqvist, Price or Mason in this year’s tournament?

Dustin Tokarski and Jacob Markstrom, top two goalies of this year's tournament

Dustin Tokarski and Jacob Markstrom, top two goalies of this year's tournament

The two choices to potentially appear on the distinguished alumni list one day appear to be Canadian Dustin Tovarski and Swede Jacob Markstrom.  Tovarski won MVP in the finals and Markstrom won MVG for the tournament.

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Mike Palmateer Interview

Mike Palmateer was the most entertaining goalie (apologies to Johnny Bower) to wear the blue and white.

Mike Palmateer was the most entertaining goalie (apologies to Johnny Bower) to wear the blue and white.

Mike Palmateer was the most acrobatic NHL goalie of the late 70’s and early 80’s, and to this day is still a favorite of Leafs fans. Mike was kind enough to talk to me during a rare day off from his current job of being an amateur scout for the Leafs. I caught up with him after his last fishing trip of the year so he was kind of sad about finally having to put his boat away for the winter. I started our conversation by telling him one my favorite memories, getting to meet him and Rick Vaive after a Leafs practice when I was 12 or 13 years old and then having lunch at the Hot Stove Lounge at the old Maple Leaf Gardens. To this day it’s one of the best days of my life. He actually had a similar memory of getting to go to the Hot Stove Lounge with his dad when he was a kid. When I told him about how he had come out of the locker room to meet me he asked if I was playing in goal back then. I told him I was and that I had first become a goalie at the age of four because I couldn’t skate so I thought I could hang onto the posts. That got a laugh out of him and the best thing overall about the interview is that he laughed a lot. He talked about how he became the Popcorn Kid, the ’78 Leafs, his somewhat-recurring role on a TV sitcom and how he ended up with the famous design on his mask.

TendersLounge: The first question actually comes from my dad: which rink had the best popcorn?”

Mike Palmateer: (laughing) Someone came to interview me in junior and saw me eating popcorn before a game. We used to get to the rink two hours early and would be kind of hungry and the only thing we could get at the concessions was popcorn. They weren’t even open yet but we’d knock on the back door and they’d give us some popcorn. So the reporter asked me if I ate popcorn before every game and I said ‘Not really’. But when the article came out the next day he called me The Popcorn Kid. The best popcorn was the London Gardens, but I didn’t really eat it every game. To be honest though most of the time when I go to games today I end up getting popcorn. But when I’m in Quebec I get a hot dog because they’re good.

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