“We’re looking forward to some very intelligent questions, probably the best questions we’ll get all year,” said Kevin Bieksa, taking the stage beside his goalie Eddie Lack and the Vancouver Canucks’ mascot FIN, at the PNE.
Both players were in East Vancouver at the fair grounds to answer questions from their youngest fans, and the sample the team gives on its YouTube page is a two-piece picture of why kids may just make better journalists than their older peers – you know, the people like me who think too much, talk too much, but say far too little.
“My question is, did you ever agree with anything (John) Tortorella ever said?” asked one young fan, referencing the hiring and firing of the Canucks’ now-former head coach, who was dismissed after one season and only 36 wins.
“Well, I played 41 games last year,” said Lack. “I was happy.”
After letting Lack answer first, Bieksa then elaborately responded the question in No. 3’s trademark diplomatic, honest style.
“We agreed with a lot he did. He was actually a really good coach,” said Bieksa. “He obviously has some of his blow ups and he was entertaining and all that, but he’s a very smart hockey coach and it’s too bad that he got let go, but we’re going to move on and we’re going to try to have another good year.”
When another kid asked the duo how many games they had played – total, over their whole life – Bieksa playfully responded with, “One million.”
“He’s very old,” said Lack. “You have to think about that, too.”
“How about you, Eddie?” asked Bieksa in return. “You can probably count them on one hand.”
The two walked out to their fans with t-shirts in hand, which they then tossed into the crowd to a couple lucky kids.
“You’re so classy when you walk out,” Lack told Bieksa as he sat down. “You’re like a superstar.”
In all seriousness, Bieksa and Lack probably gave a better answer to the Totorella question than they had to give to anyone on CBC or Sportsnet last year, and they weren’t going to shrug their shoulders or roll their eyes at someone in elementary school. Or give them the death stare, like Roberto Luongo did to this guy a couple seasons ago.
Perhaps our Vancouver-area beat reporters should start laundering their questions through their sons or daughters at the PNE.
Maybe then you’d get a story like this one Jonathan Toews told, when a young fan in Chicago asked him, “Does (Patrick) Kane ever get on your nerves?”
Or you’d be able to write Trevor Linden letters like this one, which a 12-year-old named David sent the president in June:
“My advice would be to stop giving away goalie and instead, just train goalie. So you’ll have good goalies instead of no goalie.”