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Life & Viking heaven

according to an NHL star

by Pamela Corante-Hansen
arty McSorley is chasing after a renegade wielding a hockey stick. His target evades him, but not for long. McSorley grabs him, picks him up and plants a kiss on the red-faced rebels babysoft cheek. This scene unfolds not on the ice but on the Hermosa Beach Strand, and McSorleys squirming captive is 2-year-old Owen, his son with wife and pro beach volleyball player Leanne Schuster. A two-time Stanley Cup winner and former NHL enfant terrible, McSorley recently welcomed South Bay Digs into his custom Strand home and extolled the virtues of family life, karma and classic Errol Flynn movies.

Former NHL star Marty McSorley worked with architect Grant Kirkpatrick to give his custom Hermosa Beach Strand home a see-through effect. Even though the pool and spa (above) are located in a central courtyard, they still have a stunning ocean view.

SOUTHBAYDIGS:YouwentfromtheNHLtothebigscreen,and laterpokedfunatyourbadboypastinaCanadianalt-country musicvideo.Tellusaboutthat. MCSORLEY: Kathleen Edwards is a well-respected songwriter in Canada and she has this song about a relationship gone bad. Theres a line where she compares her boyfriend to Wayne Gretzky and herself to me, and they asked if I wanted to be in the video. At first I wasnt going to do it, but a friend of mine said, Dont take yourself so seriously. So I went ahead with it, but theres the part where I have to kiss her and I thought, Oh no, whats my wife going to think? But she knew we were just having fun with it. Beforewegoinside,Ihavetoaskaboutthestonemarkerthat says,Valhalla. Valhalla is Nordic Heaven. In the Viking afterlife, its where you go
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and sit at the table with all the warriors to wait for the next battle. McSorley comes from Sorley, a Norwegian name. A lot of people at the beach name their houses, so we decided to name ours in honor of the Nordic roots. Keeping with the theme, our wood dining room tablemy wife would say its my baby; it takes four good-size men to lift it and its reinforced with steelis 6-and-a-half feet square, so no ones left out of the conversation. We have dinner parties, my kids sit around and play puzzles and gamesits the centerpiece of the living area. Twenty years from now, Ill see marks where my little boy has rammed something or my little girlshes 3-and-a-halfhas drawn on it. I think it will add character to the house. Yourhouseisbuiltinamodern,angularstylewithbigpicture windows,yetithasawarmfeelingtoit.Howdidyoudecideonthe openfloorplan? Really, it was Grant Kirkpatrick, our architects idea, to have a seethrough effect and bring the outdoors inside. When we first bought the property in 2001, it had this great old Spanish colonial home with a courtyard. I wanted to keep the original house and update it, but it wasnt going to work. So we kept the courtyard idea with the pool and Jacuzzi in the center, but even from back here you can look through the house and still see the beach. The outdoor fire pit and barbecue came later. Now we spend most of our time out here. I have friends who come over and say, Oh, so were outside friends? And Ill say, Well, this is just an outside moment. YourcareerhasallowedyoutolivealloverCanadaandtheU.S.

The focal point of the McSorley home is the custom designed 6.5-foot square wood and steel dining table.

Edmonton,Pittsburgh,NewYork,SanJose,Boston,LosAngeles. WhatmadeyouchooseHermosaBeach? I got traded to the L.A. Kings with Wayne Gretzky. His wife let me stay in an apartment she kept in Sherman Oaks. I grew up on a farm in Canada with a lot of open space. Staying in the Valley, I found myself getting in the car and driving to the beach because I craved the open space. I loved the attitude down here, the atmosphere. When youre playing, you get so fired up and your adrenaline is going day after day, so this is a chance to get grounded. I ended up getting an apartment on Marine Street and from that moment forward Ive always had a place in L.A. Over the course of eight and a half years, I developed a support system herefriends, my orthopedic, nutritionists, trainers. At one point you had almost all of the Kings team living here, partly because of the training facility [in El Segundo], but also because their wives are happy and their kids could enjoy it here. And the people in South Bay just leave you alone. They dont knock at your door, they dont come up to you all the time, probably because theyre used to seeing athletes around. Itsclearthatyoulovelivinghere.Describeatypicalweekendin theSouthBaywiththefamily. If the weathers nice well get our bikes out, ride to the Redondo pier, have some coffee and watch the kids run around and feed the pelicans and gulls and look at the fish. A lot of our good friends play volleyball, but they mostly want Leanne to play. They call us The good one and the other one. Later on, the whole family will get into the Jacuzzi or go into the spa downstairs. This is probably my favorite room in house because its tranquil and I can put my stinky hockey equipment in the steam room. The spa area has concrete floors, so you can just rinse off the sand and not worry about messing things up. After that, its dinner, maybe read a book and go to bed, and its been a good day. My daughter and I will go to a coffee shop Sunday mornings. At 6 a.m., its good daddy-daughter time. A lot of the time
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The open floor plan focuses on easy transitions from indoor to outdoor living spaces.


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home of the week

Prestigious Peninsula View Home

Extensively remodeled and upgraded (more than $250K) 5 bedroom, 3 bathroom, two-story country club home is distinctively located on a prime Culde-sac street adjacent to Los Verdes Golf Course on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Features begin with Ocean and Catalina views, formal living and dining rooms, family room with brick fireplace and wet bar, Brazilian Cherry hardwood and travertine floors, Chefs dream kitchen complete with stainless steal Thermador dual ovens, 5-burner cooktop, refrigerator, hood, black granite counters and custom cabinetry. Master suite boasts large walk-in closets and attached master bathroom with Jacuzzi tub. The private landscaped backyard is ideal for entertaining, recreation or relaxing with built-in BBQ, granite bar counter with refrigerator, concrete patio with stone inlay boarders and a spacious grass lawn. Truly a luxury home worth the pursuit.

Im traveling and doing speaking engagements. So the weekends Im off, we dont get a sitterwe stay here. Spokenlikeatruehomebody. When we were building our house, my wife and I thought, how do we make it more about the family. I was lucky enough to play a long time, but we didnt want to put all our sports memorabilia out. If we put up pictures, they were going to be of our kids and family. We wanted it to feel comfortable and warm. The only place we hang anything is in my office. We put up some trophies and jerseys and decided to leave it at that. I do have some LeRoy Neiman paintings. Theres one I have up of Gretzkys 802nd goal. Our interior decorators werent too keen on itthey called it the Leonard Nimoy. Onthatnote,whatstheonethingyoudsaveiftherewereafire? You know, theres nothing in the house that means so much that Id go back in after it. NoteventheVikingtable? [Laughs] As long as my wife and kids are safe, were fine. My wife and I have talked about this. If we lived two miles back in a small house away from the beach, were fine. This house is not us; we are us. I think the individuals collectively are the strength of our family. Were both comfortable with where we are. Weve had accomplishments. You have the Stanley Cup, you have your things, but theres nothing Id stop and get. Workshoporwineroom? Workshop. SmartphoneoriPad? None. Im not technologized [Laughs]. Catordog? Dog, absolutely. But we dont have one because we travel so much. And I grew up on a farm with wide-open spaces, so I hate to see dogs confined. Homegymorhometheater? You touched on two sides of me. Probably home theater. I love to sit and watch History Channel documentaries. Sometimes when the kids are in bed, my wife will sit with me and well watch old movies. Errol Flynn is phenomenal. I loved the original Robin Hood. Theydontmakethemliketheyusedto. Im very aware of history. Its like the old house that once stood on this lotI wanted to incorporate the old beams into the new house because I felt it was good karma. Unfortunately, the demo crew had already torn the place down. One thing I was able to save was the ceramic tile plaque with the original name, Las Olitas [Spanish for the little waves]. Weve embedded it in the steps leading to the Strand. If you live at the beach, you should appreciate where you are and those who were here before you.

For more info on this home of the Week visit


sOuth bay digs