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Commentary, news, analysis and reader-driven discussions focusing on this year's Stanley Cup playoffs.
10:27 p.m. ET, 5/28/07

Star-gazing at the Finals

Posted by Arash Markazi
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger kicked-off the Finals with a pregame faceoff.
"Get out of the way, gentleman."

The order came strong and swift from a detailed security guard as he brushed aside NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and NBC Sports Chairman Dick Ebersol to make room for Arnold Schwarzenegger.

California's "Governator" was rolling into the Ducks' VIP party tent located just outside of the Honda Center about 40 minutes prior to Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals, while Bettman and Ebersol no doubt debated the importance of horse racing analysis vis-à-vis overtime Stanley Cup playoff games.

Before Schwarzenegger and his sons, Patrick and Christopher, made it to the buffet table, Bettman and Ebersol were able to sneak in a handshake and a few minutes with him.

"Thanks for coming," said Bettman. "It's great to have you out here."

"Thank you," said Schwarzenegger. "I try to go to as many sporting events as I can. I'm excited to be here."

After chatting up the Governor, Bettman and Ebersol grabbed a drink from the open bar along with Ducks owners Henry and Susan Samueli. The Samuelis, along with Ducks enforcer George Parros and a few other inactive players in suits, actually made their way around the VIP party making sure the various celebs were having a good time. They spent time with Masi Oka from the NBC show, Heroes, Dodgers owner Frank McCourt and Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti.

While they greeted and took pictures with the various guests enjoying the top-shelf open bar and dining on fresh shrimp, crab legs, mini burgers and beef skewers, a live band played rock tunes from a stage set up in front of the room. The Samuelis then retreated back inside the Honda Center just before the puck was dropped to welcome Stephen Stills, who sang the National Anthem before the game.

"This is great," said Oka, as he sat down on a couch in the corner of the blue-carpeted tent and enjoyed a beer before the game. "This is the first year I've really followed hockey, and I love it. Every game I've gone to has been exciting, we're talking double overtimes and shootouts and the home team has won every time; so I hope the same thing happens to tonight with the Ducks."

In true Southern California fashion, here's a "Map to the Stars" who were at Game 1 on Monday night:

- Arnold Schwarzenegger (California Governor), Suite 208, the "Owner’s Suite"
- Adam Brody (Actor, The OC), Section 206
- Jerry Bruckheimer (Producer, Pirates of the Carribbean), Section 210
- Cuba Gooding, Jr. (Actor, Jerry McGuire), Section 210
- Kevin James (Actor, King of Queens), Section 210
- Frank McCourt (Owner, Los Angeles Dodgers), Section 223
- Masi Oka (Actor, Heroes), Suite 308A
- Sasha Cohen (Figure Skater), Suite 308A
- John Ondrasik (Singer, Five for Fighting), Suite 308A
- Jackie Autry (Widow of Gene Autry), Suite 308A
- Stephen Stills (Singer, Cosby, Stills, Nash & Young), Suite 308A
posted by SI.com | View comments |  


Posted: 10:06 PM, May 28, 2007   by Anonymous
I would "question" one person on this list ...

Cuba Gooding, Jr.

After doing "Snow Dogs" and "Boat Trip" ... how can you consider him a star? This is a textbook case of destroying a promising career.

Go Ducks!
Posted: 8:23 AM, May 29, 2007   by Anonymous
You forgot Sabres goalie Bryan Miller and ex-Oiler star Ryan Leaf, looking like two regular guys. Imagine meeting them in line at the concessions!
Posted: 12:18 PM, May 29, 2007   by Anonymous
was it just me or did stills have a hard time singing ? lol GOOOO DUCKS
Posted: 12:19 PM, May 29, 2007   by Anonymous
Cuba Gooding, Jr. is a Kings fan. Way to jump on the bandwagon! Go back to L.A., who needs ya!
Posted: 12:54 PM, May 29, 2007   by Anonymous
The Sabres goalie is RYAN MILLER!
Posted: 2:39 PM, May 29, 2007   by Hank Kingsley
It wasn't just you. I tuned in during the anthem for a look see while my TIVO was recording and I thought, "who in the hell is that singing?" He almost couldn't carry a tune.

And I know Arnie wasn't on skates but he looked like a smurf out there compared to Neidermeyer who is not an overly large player. Good thing it wasn't Pronger. I guess movie camera angles and back drops make the man.
Posted: 2:42 PM, May 29, 2007   by Anonymous
Cuba Gooding Jr. has been a Ducks fan since 2003. He was there and has been at the Ducks games thoughout the following seasons. Kings fan I don't think so. whoever you are annonymous, get your head on straight he's a DUCKS fan.

You must be new to the Pond say these playoffs or you woul dhave bumped into hime over the years.

Posted: 9:25 PM, May 29, 2007   by Anonymous
I was really angry to see that the first game of the Stanley Cup Finals was on Versus instead of NBC. I mean, honestly, MISS UNIVERSE OVER THE FINALS!? There were probably 100 people watching that pageant and trust me the only highlight was when Miss USA fell on her butt during the evening gown competition.

The NHL can talk all they want about improving the league's image in America, but when the only "stars" showing up to your games are Sasha Cohen and Cuba Gooding, Jr and the Miss Universe pageant and a horse racing pre-show get preference, you know something's wrong.
Posted: 5:52 PM, May 31, 2007   by Anonymous
Its Ryan Miller and Ryan Smyth not Bryan Millar? and Ryan Leif thats a quarterback mabye you should watch some my little pony and smurf reruns because your probably 10, idiot!
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