After stumbling into the luck of acquiring press credentials for media day at the Heritage Classic and a free ticket to the game, I was hit with another bucket of good luck. I was sitting in the Abbotsford airport waiting for my flight without a wink of sleep, when my close friend Joey wandered into the same under-crowded gate, which was more of a waiting area. This was the same Joey I used to play hockey with, the same Joey who happens to be married to the sister of former Vancouver Canuck Brendan Morrison, and the same Joey that owed me a favour from way back.
Since the flight was so undersold we sat next to each other on the plane, and caught up with life and chewed tobacco while I melted on the valium my doctor gives me for my fear of flying. When we touched down in Calgary, Joey called his wife Jen and told her to take one of Brendan’s bigger vehicles to pick him up, because there would be two coming to the Heritage Classic media day, instead of just one. Before we got to the Ramada, Joey told me that he BlackBerry Messenger’ed the former centre of the West Coast Express line and told him to make sure that he gave me a one-on-one at media day. I had met Brendan a couple of times before: at Joey’s Stag and wedding. On the stag I even got to golf the last three holes at Niklaus North in Whistler with Brendan’s threesome because my foursome turned into a one-some due to alcohol and a lack of golf balls.
Media day was such a zoo that it took me 15 minutes to find the Calgary Flames dressing room after their practice. I asked the Flames media Rep to find Brendan for me, but he informed me that he may have left already. I roamed around the dressing room chatting with various Flames, still hoping that I would get a chance to have a quick exchange with Brendan. Just as I finished with Backlund and was about to give up, I got a tap on my back from the media rep; there beside him was the Pitt Meadows native, fresh out of the shower.
Q: Hey Brendan it’s been a while, I don’t know if you remember me from Joey’s wedding, we also met on the stag.
A: Right, right, Orly, Joey texted me this morning, he told me that you would be looking for me.
Q: Great, let’s get right to it, first off what did you think of the ice?
A: I thought it was pretty good overall, there were a couple of spots where it was pretty chippy and there were some chunks coming out, but I am sure it will get it fixed for tomorrow.
Q: You must be pretty excited to be playing in an event like this.
A: Yeah man, it’s going to be awesome; it’s a big game for us, obviously the race is so close out West, but this is a pretty cool environment to be in right now, a lot of excitement surrounding it, so it’s going to be fun.
Q:Brendan, I watched you for so many years in Vancouver and now that you are wearing a Calgary Flames jersey, what does that feel like? Was it weird at first?
A: It definitely was weird at first; I mean we had a lot of big games against Calgary over the years. The first couple of times pulling on the red jersey was definitely different, but sometimes you gotta go where you are wanted. I am thankful that Calgary has given me an opportunity.
Q: Well you’re definitely tearing it up this year. Okay I got the big questions out of the way now I have to ask you a few personal questions just to keep the readers happy, cool?
A: Yeah, yeah, sure.
Q: Let’s start with your pre-game meal.
A: Pretty standard man, I always eat brown rice, a couple chicken breasts, a baked potato and a little bit of pasta.
Q: Sounds tasty, now what’s the top song being played on your iPod right now? And don’t lie!
A: Top song on the iPod? That’s a tough one.
Q: Don’t be embarrassed.
A: No, no I won’t be, Right now it might be… It’s something hip hop; it’s the new Eminem song.
Q: I can live with that. What’s the last movie you saw? In theaters? At home? On the plane? last one you saw?
A: It was in the theaters, western movie, True Grit.
Q: Not bad, good movie.
Q: Looking forward to tomorrow?
A: It’s going to be awesome!
A: Well I will be watching you out there, Brendan, good luck and take care, good seeing you again.
A: You too Orly.
Out of respect to Brendan, I decided not to take his photo while he was in his bath towel. Brendan Morrison was a great sport for this interview and a big part of Vancouver Canucks history, playing on the famous West Coast Express Line. He played Ridge-Meadows hockey just like me and he is a huge part of the Ridge-Meadows hockey history and a major credit to BC Hockey heritage. It’s fitting that he was a part of the Heritage Classic, representing the Canucks alumni and British Columbia as a whole.