Alex Tagliani was surprised by the number of Canadians who showed up to watch the Tampa Bay Lightning play host to the Washington Capitals in an NHL game March 7.
“There are a lot of people speaking French here,” said Tagliani, who led the crowd at St. Pete Times Forum in yelling “let’s play hockey” just before the puck dropped.
One such group of French-speaking fans, the La Fortune family, was first in line to meet the Sam Schmidt Motorsports driver. The family was vacationing in Florida from their home in St. Roche de L’Achigan, Quebec, which isn’t far from Tagliani’s home of Lechanaie, Quebec.
“Living five minutes from Alex’s hometown, I know who he is,” said Patrick La Fortune. “It’s very nice to get to meet him and get his autograph.”
Another Tagliani fan, Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Road Show member C.J. Miller, took the opportunity to enlist Tagliani in his planned marriage proposal.
Miller had Tagliani sign a hero card with the message: “Tracy, will you please marry C.J?”
“She told me to come up with an original way to propose,” Miller said. “I thought this was pretty original.”