Derek Dorsett got traded Friday. He got married Saturday.
Here’s betting some speeches at his nuptials changed on the fly.
Dorsett, 27, was skeet shooting with family and friends Friday in Columbus, Ohio, relaxing before exchanging vows Saturday with Allison Humbert, when he got the phone call saying he had been traded by the New York Rangers to the Vancouver Canucks.
The Canucks sent a third-round pick, 85th overall, at Saturday’s NHL draft to the Rangers in return for the pesky winger, a former mainstay with the Medicine Hat Tigers under new Vancouver coach Willie Desjardins.
Dorsett and Humbert had 225 guests at the wedding, including several of his now former teammates from the Rangers.
“Allison’s not been to Vancouver, but she’s heard me talk about it a lot,” Dorsett said of his bride, a Canton, Ohio native he met while he was playing with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
“I love the city. It’s one of my favourite places in North America. And going to play in a Canadian market is exciting.”
Hyping things for his new fans? Maybe. Dorsett, a Kindersley, Sask., native, does have enough of an affinity for this province that he and his family recently purchased a summer place in Vernon.
And he did spend extended time in these parts in the spring of 2007. The Tigers and Vancouver Giants had a scintillating seven-game duel in the WHL final and then met again in the Memorial Cup national championship. Medicine Hat won the first half, the Giants took the big prize.
Dorsett was front and centre. He had a rowdy feud with Giants winger Kenndal McArdle. In Game 2 of the WHL final, he coaxed McArdle into a fight off the opening draw, only to step aside and let defenceman Jordan Bendfeld take his place in the bout. It was never confirmed, but Dorsett reportedly had an injured hand.
He did get some time off later in the series. In Game 4, Dorsett received a match penalty for biting McArdle’s finger during a scrum and was suspended for a game.
He was booed lustily by Vancouver fans throughout the Memorial Cup.
“I don’t think I was very well liked there when I played with the Tigers,” he said, chuckling.
And what about McArdle? Has he ever discussed with him everything that happened?
“No. I have not talked to him,” he said, chuckling again.
He’s that guy. He’s a third or a fourth-line mucker. He’s a pain in the posterior for the opposition. And even though he’s relative middleweight size, at 6-feet and 192 pounds, he’s not averse to putting up his dukes, as evidenced by his 855 penalty minutes in 331 career NHL regular season games.
He worked that same role under Desjardins, picking up 593 penalty minutes in 180 WHL regular season games. He says Desjardins is “a guy who is very honest and open. He communicates very well.”
Dorsett isn’t shy about speaking his mind, either.
When asked if being hated in every arena except his home rink was his goal, Dorsett agreed.
“I love it. I feed off it,” he said.
Critics will wonder if his body is breaking down.
He missed 18 games this season with a broken right leg, the result of blocking a shot in a Jan. 3 game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. He missed the final 25 games of the 2012-13 campaign with a fractured clavicle after a collision at the net.
“The injuries I’ve had are not ones that you can prevent,” he said. “I’m 100 per cent. I’m fine. My game is not going to change.”
The Rangers were looking to shed salary, due to a plethora of free agents. Dorsett carries a cap hit of $1.63 million and will be an unrestricted free agent after next season.
In 51 regular season games with the Rangers last season, he averaged 11:01 of ice time and had four goals, eight points, a minus-one rating and 128 penalty minutes. He played 23 of 25 playoff games for New York and averaged 9:28 minutes, putting up one assist, a minus-two rating and 19 penalty minutes.
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