Email Hot Stove: Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?

This week's Hot Stove is all about dinner parties.

If you could throw a dinner party with any former or current Senator, any former or current hockey player, and any former or current athlete who would you invite and why? What would you serve? Would you cook? Where would you host your party?

Peter: Question before answering: Do the people have to be alive?

Amelia: No, you can invite dead people to your dinner party, they probably won't eat much! Or maybe they will eat more, because they don't get regular meals?

Michaela: Former Senator: Mike Fisher - He's one of my all-time favourite Senators, and there is a chance he might bring Carrie.

Hockey Player: Hayley Wickenheiser - She was/is my idol. I have looked up to her since I was 8 years old and learned that women's hockey was an Olympic sport. Before that I thought my only option was the NHL. ;-)

Athlete: Clara Hughes - ... It's Clara Hughes!

What would I serve: Something healthy; they are athletes, after all.

Would I cook: In the interest of them coming back someday, no.

Where: My house, after I spent a full week cleaning... everything!

Mrs. O: Former Senator: Daniel Alfredsson. He's still my favourite and I'd like to get the in about why he really left.

Hockey Player: Gordie Howe because I wear #9 in hockey and he was, indeed, Mr. Hockey.

Athlete: Since Michaela said Clara Hughes, I'll say Alexandre Bilodeau. I'm absolutely inspired by him and his advocacy for his brother.

What would I serve: Grilled steak tenderloin with caramelized onions in a bourbon butter sauce because it's nice to indulge sometimes. OH and cheesecake, because I love cheesecake.

Would I cook: Yes, definitely. I love cooking - especially for others.

Where: At my house...I mean, I'll end up drinking too much when Alfie divulges his information that I wouldn't be able to drive anywhere. Senator: Tough one, but I'll try to be different from our first two answers. I'm gonna say Ron Tugnutt, because he was my favourite as a child, and I still think he'd be pretty cool to talk to.

Hockey player: I'll say Jarome Iginla. He's always seemed to be a really classy guy, and a great guy to talk to. I think he'd be an asset to any dinner party.

Athlete: Tough one, but I think I should pick a soccer player, since I also follow soccer quite a bit. I'm gonna say Michael Essien ( because he's Ghanaian, and I lived in Ghana for three years and own one of his jerseys. For those who don't know, when Chelsea signed him in 2005, he became the most expensive African-born soccer player of all time. (He's since been passed)

Honourable mentions to Ben Foster (keeper for my favourite EPL team West Brom) and Russ Howard, because I also love curling, and just think he'd be an awesome guy to have at a dinner party.

What would I serve: I like crepes. Let's do meal crepes and dessert crepes. I like Sarah's idea of cheesecake, so maybe I'll do cheesecake-stuffed crepes for dessert.

Would I cook: Yes! I love cooking. It's a creative outlet for me.

Where: Tough question. I've kind of floated between student houses for a while... Maybe somebody will let me house-sit while they're gone for a couple days, and it'll be beautiful, and it'll be the perfect spot for my imaginary dinner party.

Mrs. O: If you're having cheesecake-type crepes, you can have your party at my place.

Amelia: I'd invite Pierre Gauthier as my former Senator because I think he was in charge during a fascinating period of change for the team and there are probably a lot of great stories that go along with that which haven't been told yet. The hockey player I'd invite? That's a tough one, but I'd probably pick Mark Messier, he was my favourite player when I was a kid, was part of a dynasty, multiple championship teams, and international events. Plus we could talk about his bogus leadership award and junk food.

As for athlete, if Clara Hughes has time in her schedule after Michaela's party, Hughes. Some of my favourite sports memories involve Clara: watching her gold medal performance in Torino with my mom, and feeling right there with her and Cindy Klassen as they celebrated on the podium. I remember watching her bronze medal in the individual road race in Atlanta in 1996. There was this moment where she was struggling to get up a hill near the end of the race and there was this Canadian fan on the side of the road and he just started yelling and cheering and waiving his flag and sprinting up the hill. Hughes picked up her pace and went on to land the bronze. What was really cool about the moment was in her post-race interview with CBC, she talked about a moment where she was lagging, but she saw that fan and thought, if he can do it, so can I. I was a kid at the time, but it always stuck with me that at the moment of her greatest sporting success (to that point) she would share some of that moment with someone she didn't even know but who had helped her. So I loved Clara Hughes since 1996, but that has only grown since she's retired from sport. Her role as a spokesperson for mental health is incredibly important and I think is doing some good. Plus she would probably smile a lot even if she didn't like the food.

If it's summer, we're having a bbq dinner. St. Louis ribs, baked potatoes, corn on the cob, cucumber and tomato salad. Probably a punch, I like to make punch. For dessert blueberry-peach cobbler. If it's fall/winter a pot roast, with carrots, potatoes, and dumplings. Pie for dessert, apple if it's fall. I will cook.

I would host at home, so my dad will probably crash the party and ask a lot of questions.

Adnan: Senators player: obviously Erik Karlsson.

Other hockey player: Alexander Ovechkin because he sounds like he would be really fun to be around.

Other athlete: would have to be either Roger Federer or Cristiano Ronaldo. I would invite both. ;)

Also would be cool if Erik brought Patric Persson and @steffeG along because everyone loves Patric and Stef!

I can't really cook, so we would just take over one of the display rooms at IKEA and eat their cafeteria food.

Ross: Too bad, Adnan, a couple weeks ago you could've taken them to #MinestroneMonday

Adnan: That's cold Ross. Ice cold. If I had a standing army under my command, that would be grounds for war.

Amelia: I love that Adnan is spending seven dollars on meatballs and taking his four favourite players to a fake room named Trendig or Malmö.

Mrs. O: I'm shocked that no one has invited Mike "Sounds like Sundin so he must be good" Lundin to dinner yet.

Can I change Gordie Howe to Denis Potvin? Denis Potvin was not only a phenomenal hockey player, but I found his quirkiness as a commentator rather endearing. I feel like he'd have a tonne of neat stories to tell about the NHL and would be a very polite guest as well.

Ryan: I like this question.

Unfortunately hockey players - and athletes in general - are not very interesting people much of the time. So here's what I'm going to do:

I am inviting Dany Heatley, Joe Sakic, and replacing my athlete with Bryan Murray. I will be serving goulash. Since Joe is a good Croatian boy he will appreciate that, and we can talk about the Purina dog chow plant near the Denver airport. As for Dany, I won't serve him any goulash, but I will make him sit there with nothing to do but watch us all eat or stare out the window. Also the dinner takes place in Edmonton. And Bryan is there entirely so he can laugh at Dany.

Amelia: I also invited a (former) Sens GM to dinner Ryan! I feel like you could just talk about the Denver airport.

Ryan: It looks like a circus tent!

I forgot to mention the meal takes place in the winter. This is very important.

Peter: Former Senator: Since we're talking former Senators here, I'm inviting King Clancy--I read his book recently and he came across as a great story-teller, and I'd love to hear his tales of both the city and professional hockey in the early 1900s.

Hockey Player: Ron Francis, because he seems like a smart dude and is probably my all-time favourite non-Senators player. I also think he'd be great for conversation, because his career has spanned a good number of different NHL eras.

Athlete: Tough choice, but I've decided to revive another deceased person from the Greatest Generation: Paul Robeson, the famous African-American pro football player, singer, actor, and civil rights activist. Possibly the most interesting life ever lived, at least in modern times, and if the other two failed to provide good conversation I'd wager Robeson could fill the void. (Close runner up was Jim Thorpe, the greatest athlete of the 20th century.)

What would I serve: I think it would be a pretty standard meal; probably locally raised chicken with potatoes and vegetables. Some sort of berry dessert afterwards, maybe a mixed-berry crumble.

Would I cook: Probably not a good idea.

Where: My own home seems like a reasonable idea; the dining room is near the family room, which we could move to after dinner to continue our conversation.

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