Dr. Sport: Former Canuck Kearns shocked by Gretzky's memory


Subheadline: Mum on Argos: Braley shoots down sale rumours to MLSE

Columnist Greg Douglas, a.k.a. 'Dr. Sport.'

Columnist Greg Douglas, a.k.a. 'Dr. Sport.'

Photograph by: Vancouver Sun files, .

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SCENE & HEARD: Former Vancouver Canucks’ 10-year veteran Dennis Kearns (1971-81) was holding court in the team’s alumni suite Thursday, sharing yet another amazing Wayne Gretzky yarn. Kearns was at this year’s Masters in Augusta, Ga., and was taken aback when he spotted The Great One standing alone by the 18th green.

“I knew he wouldn’t recognize me but I got up enough nerve to say hello anyway,” Kearns said. “I mentioned that I had played against him years ago and when I said my name, he instantly said: ‘Oh, yeah … No. 6.’ I was shocked.”

Gretzky scored his first NHL goal against the Canucks on Oct. 14, 1979 against Glen Hanlon. Kearns wasn’t on the ice, instead watching hockey history unfold from the Vancouver players’ bench.

HERE ‘N’ THERE: It might not be too late for the Canucks’ brass to fly Jim Robson into Calgary for Game 6, just for luck. The 80-year-old retired broadcasting legend has worn a tattered 1970 Canucks jersey to both Vancouver home wins thus far in the series. He shows no sign of shyness with the fact his name is splashed across the back along with a big number 0 in full sight. It was presented to Robson as a joke by original general manager Bud Poile when the Canucks held their first training camp at the old Calgary Corral, which would now be the equivalent to our old PNE Forum.

SILENT ON SALE: Away from the podium and out of the spotlight for a brief moment at the annual Orange Helmet football fundraiser, B.C. Lions owner David Braley gave new meaning to the phrase “no comment.” When asked about eastern media speculation on his having completed the sale of his Toronto Argonauts to Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, the former senator said in his most eloquent political style: “Let me put it this way: Both myself and the parties with whom I am allegedly talking have agreed to remain silent. Anything that is said electronically or appearing in print is pure, unadulterated bulls---. But thank you for asking.”

Which can only mean, of course, they’re getting close.

SHORT HOPS: Local attorney-at-large Art Vertlieb was singled out in the latest CFL Players’ Association newsletter for his valued legal counsel as a special adviser to the executive during the process of finding a replacement for retiring Ed Molstad. The learned Vertlieb didn’t miss a beat playing goal for his over-65 UBC hockey teammates. One of those teammates is Dr. Bob Hindmarch, who was honoured with the Big Block/UBC Sports Hall of Fame Order of Thunderbird for lifetime contributions to UBC athletics. Also inducted were the university men’s and women’s swim teams that won 10 consecutive CIS championships in the 1990s.

END ZONE: Basketball B.C. Hall of Fame chair John Buis hands out the awards tonight at the Langley Events Centre, including the first-ever media award to Province reporter Howard Tsumura in the builder category … BC Sports Hall of Fame curator and facility director Jason Beck has signed a contract with Caitlin Press to publish his book based on the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games. Beck’s work has been nine years in the making.

Greg Douglas’s Dr. Sport column appears every second Saturday in The Vancouver Sun.


Columnist Greg Douglas, a.k.a. 'Dr. Sport.'

Columnist Greg Douglas, a.k.a. 'Dr. Sport.'

Photograph by: Vancouver Sun files, .

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