On his way to the Governor General’s black-tie dinner Friday night a hockey fan in the lobby of the Fairmont Chateau Laurier in Ottawa recognized Pat Quinn in his tuxedo and shouted: “Hey, the Penguins are in town! Did they settle the NHL lockout?”
Earlier in the day, His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, had presented Quinn with the Order of Canada at Rideau Hall.
Quinn’s wife Sandra, daughter Kalli and brother Barry were the allowable three guests of the 44 recipients. “It was quite a long process but each one of us being acknowledged had big smiles on our faces,” Quinn said later. “Knowing a little bit about the Governor General’s hockey background, I told him I had heard from just about everybody he ever played against in junior and college.”
Johnston grew up in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., and played with and against Phil and Tony Esposito and was later captain of the varsity team at Harvard University where he was twice named an all-American. It was at Harvard where he befriended Erich Segal who wrote the best-selling novel and eventual movie Love Story, basing a character on Johnston — “Davey, the captain of the hockey team.”
Quinn didn’t seem to be kidding when he said he was hoping to get the Governor General’s ear at dinner to see if there was any way he could use his influence to help end the NHL lockout.
HERE ‘N’ THERE: Without the Lions, Whitecaps and Canucks — all Team 1040 broadcast properties — talk show hosts are scrambling to fill air time. Case in point: Barry Macdonald and Don Taylor interviewing Penthouse owner Danny Filippone for a 15-minute segment reminiscing about the after-hours nightclub on Seymour Street that attracted famous sports celebrities 40 years ago for what was then considered naughty entertainment.
Lions GM Wally Buono spent the early part of the week on various talk shows calming the troubled waters along media row. His message was the same with all of them, saying the wounds suffered against Calgary last weekend needed time to heal before making any key personnel decisions. Look up the words patience or classy in any nearby thesaurus and you’re liable to find Buono’s picture alongside them.
SHORT HOPS: The late Frank Gnup will be inducted into the UBC Football Hall of Fame on Nov. 30 at the River Rock Resort. ‘The Gnupper’ joins previous inductees Frank Smith, Cal Murphy and Doug Mitchell in the Hall. More information is available at www.ubcfootball.com/events
END ZONE: John McKeachie suggests that if former Global TV newsroom colleague Brian Coxford pulled a B.C. Lions helmet over his head he could pass for kicker Paul McCallum’s twin. He could be right.
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