Saturday, 2 November 2013

Behind the scenes: San Jose Sharks hold surprise team meal at Del Friscos

It has been a long time since Canadiens legend Larry Robinson lived in Montreal, but thanks chiefly to his agent and close friend Donny Cape a connection has been maintained with our city.

Cape and Robinson became pals and business partners back in the 1980s. Robinson and his family resided in West Island Kirkland, not far from Cape’s Dollard des Ormeaux home. They ran an auto repair shop together called Dingy. Even after  Robinson left the Habs to play for the Los Angeles Kings and then coach there, the bond between the two men and their families remained. It is sad and almost scandalous that the Habs never reached out to bring Robinson back here as part of their coaching staff. He spent most of his time behind the bench as a head coach and assistant with the New Jersey Devils. Prior to the 2012-2013 lockout season he left the Devils to become an associate coach with the San Jose Sharks. Habs new head coach opted in favor of Jean-Jacques Daigneault to run the defensive corps.

As Robinson’s agent, Cape has handled all of his merchandising, appearances, endorsements and contracts. Very quietly, Robinson spends parts of his summer staying at the Cape home. One of the oufits he endorses is Del Friscos, the popular restaurant at the Galeries des Sources in Dollard. Commercials have been running on TSN 690 Radio for years, with Robinson insisting that this his “go to” place when he comes back to Montreal.
The Sharks players (with Donny Cape front and center) strike a pose.

Well, Robinson is indeed a man of his word. When the Sharks came to town to play the Habs on October 24, Robinson arranged for the entire team to have a meal at Del Friscos the night before. “It was wild,” Cape told me. “Last year Larry told me he was going to do it and I thought it was impossible. Well Larry went ahead and rented a bus and indeed  brought the entire team and coaching staff. Naturally they loved the meal. The bus was a half hour late to pick them up to return to the hotel,  which turned out to be very lucky for the customers as the players stuck around, signed autographs and posed for pictures.”

The Sharks coaching staff, with Robinson third from the left and Cape far right.
Needless to say, Del Friscos owners John, Terry and Jimmy were a pretty proud trio.

Del Friscos is known for serving creative Italian American cuisine in a cozy and welcoming ambiance.  The menu offers everything from traditional Italian pastas, to a variety of fresh salads,  signature veal and wood-burning oven pizzas.  

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