The fascinating ice hockey career of Maple Ridge’s Brandon Yip will add another chapter this Sunday (Jan 19) when the 34-year-old suits up for the Chernyshev division team at the 2020 Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) all star game.
After a five year NHL career and a two year stint in Germany, Yip is currently captaining the Kunlun Red Stars, who are based out of Beijing. His 13 goals and 10 assists were enough to catch the attention of the KHL voters and earn him his first trip to the match in Moscow.
The right winger’s number one fan will be doing her best to watch the match live.
‘“I wish we lived closer to be able to watch it [in person]”, Yip’s mom, Gale Yip said, “We did manage to see the skills competition though, so that was exciting.
“Live is always the best. We’re just trying to cheer him on and be supportive from afar but if we had lived closer, of course that would be much better, so we just have to settle for the next best thing, which is the internet.”
Although Yip’s mother might be disappointed at the great distnace, she’s thankful for modern technology.
“But if we were talking 20 years ago, we’d be in that situation were we’d get zero contact, maybe we might have gotten a long distance phone call – collect – from Russia to let us know how he did, so we’re grateful for what we have.”
While Yip plays very far away, he is reminded of home on a fairly recent basis thanks to a couple team mates on the Red Stars. As chance would have it, Maple Ridge’s Victor Bartley and Garet Hunt are both playing for the same team in China.
They join head coach Curt Fraser, who is an ex Vancouver Canuck, and several other former NHL’ers.
The KHL all star game won’t be the last first for Yip, who will also join China at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing, where he will be more than comfortable playing.