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Arrested development
MONTREAL | May 17th, 2011
Arrested development
When a friend gets engaged, what’s the most appropriate gift to commemorate the occasion? Cookware? A food processor? Cold, hard cash? How about an all-expenses paid trip… to the slammer?

With just a few months left before their respective wedding days in 1987, Canadiens defensemen Mike Lalor and Chris Chelios left the Forum after practice one afternoon to meet some of their teammates for lunch. Unfortunately for the grooms-to-be, Montreal’s finest had other ideas in store.

“On my way down to the restaurant, one of the police officers that patrolled the Forum on his beat pulled me over,” recalled Lalor. “He said ‘Mike, what’s going on here? It looks like you have some parking tickets you haven’t paid.’

“I had no idea what he was talking about,” the former Habs’ blue-liner continued with a chuckle. “And the cop said, ‘We have a warrant out for your arrest.’ He was being nice, but he was like, ‘Mike, we have no choice here,’ and he cuffed me.”

Luckily for Lalor, he wasn’t about to spend the afternoon in solitary confinement.

“They got Chelly at the exact same time. I saw them bring Chris in and he was telling all the other cops that the guy must’ve been a Nordiques fan or something,” recounted Lalor with a laugh. “The officer just kept right on with it, telling us there must be some misunderstanding and that they would figure it out, but in the meantime, they were going to have to keep us there locked up overnight!”

Spending the evening in the clink wouldn’t be necessary thanks to teammates Chris Nilan and Guy Carbonneau, who came to the rescue and bailed out their caged buddies.   

“We were in there for at least an hour-and-a-half, and we started getting pretty nervous. Knuckles and Carbo arrived and pretended they’d just heard about it on the radio and came as fast as they could,” described Lalor. “We knew as soon as we saw them there smiling that they’d planned the whole thing.”

They may not have had to actually post bail, but at least the devious Habs pranksters covered the engagement lunch after springing their teammates from the big house.