Breaking: Canadian politician demonstrates fondness for hockey

by Aaron Wherry

This is so not important. But it so sort of is, isn’t it? Because Michael Ignatieff wants to be prime minister he so has to do things like this, doesn’t he?

For Immediate Release
January 5, 2009

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff to Attend the Gold Medal Game of the 2009 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship Between Canada and Sweden

Date: January 5, 2009
Time: 7:30 PM
Location: Scotiabank Place
1000 Palladium Dr.
Kanata, Ontario 

Please note that all details are subject to change. All times are local.

Update. Lest you fear he’s less a Canadian than Mr. Ignatieff, the Prime Minister is at the game and provided a little pre-game analysis for TSN. As the Prime Minister sees it, Canada will win because “Canada knows how to win.” (This, of course, starkly differentiates our 18-year-old hockey players from those of Sweden—life in socialist Europe being, as it is, completely bereft of competition.)

In other news, one of the TSN hosts, James Duthie, happily noted that Mr. Harper is working on a book about hockey and also has a son who plays hockey. Mr. Duthie should be in the Senate by Spring.

In still other news, the Prime Minister confessed that he can’t actually skate that well. 

Stephen Harper: Not a skater.

Update II. Rough night for the Prime Minister. His reviews (well, review) are in and they’re not kind. Indeed, no less than his parental attitude is called into question.

From the Globe’s William Houston.

At times, Harper’s answers to questions by host James Duthie were as fascinating as the play on the ice.

When Duthie asked Harper which was “bigger” — watching his son, Ben, score the winning goal in a kids’ hockey tournament or Monday night’s junior game — he said, “As Prime Minister, I’d have to say the game [Monday night].”

Harper did note that Ben’s goal was a “thrill.” Still, the guess here is that many and perhaps most fathers would have said: “Nothing beats watching my son play hockey.”

Ouchie.

The Globe was nice enough to run a picture of Harper posing with two men in silly hats. So that’s, uh, something.




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Breaking: Canadian politician demonstrates fondness for hockey

  1. Come now Mr. Wherry, let’s focus on the important issues. Might I suggest “Puppies and Rainbows: Pro or Con?”

  2. I guess he’s damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t, eh? Maybe he learned the lesson from when Harper refused to go see the Flames play in the playoffs when he was in opposition.

    But have you had any word yet on when our self-described “hockey dad” Prime Minister is going to publish that book on hockey he’s been promising us now for at least 4 years or so? or how about when we’ll see any paper or study published on economics by our self-described “economist” Prime Minister?

    Iggy goes to a hockey game to make us all think he is a hockey fan. Dion plays street hockey during the election to make us all think he is a hockey fan. Harper pretends to write a book to make us all think he is a hockey fan, throws a football on the Hill with McKay to make us all think he like sports, shows up during an election at a Tim Horton’s to make us think he actually likes regular Canadians.

    • M. Dion is a HUGE hockey fan.

      Nobody in English-Canada (I hate that term) would ever believe it because the thinking became how could somebody like him possibly be a hockey fan?

      • Jeff Simpson is perhaps the most fanatical Sens fan there is. Liking hockey doesn’t make you dumb! For Christ’s sake, this is Canada.

        • It wasn’t that he was/is too smart to be a hockey fan but that he was too much of everything else he was smeared with being to be a hockey fan.

          • Yeah, seriously. “Everything else” being “he’s wears glasses.”

        • Jeffrey Simpson is the best example of a non-idiot who likes hockey? And liking the Sens is your best example of that? I’m not sure what they’re playing this year, but it can’t be hockey if they’re doing it worse than the Leafs.

          • I’d say you have to love hockey to still be a diehard Sens fan this year.

          • Which I am.

  3. I don’t have the impression that Iggy is a real sports fan, but who knows. It is insignificant event as long as Iggy does nothing inappropriate. However, he will never win an election again if says crazy things, like which colour is Canada wearing or how many points do they get for scoring a goal, when they interview him.

  4. Good thing Sweden hasn’t invaded a small third-world country lately.

  5. I just hope someone catches Iggy saying “There. That oughta hold the little sons o’ bitches.”

    I don’t care if our illustrious leaders engage in these pointless charades…I just want to be convinced they really don’t take them seriously.

    That’s what has distressed me so much about our own version of the Republicans. They really do seem to think these things matter; that there is value in treating the electorate like we’re all a bunch of children in need of cajoling.

    Or is this all really just a sop to “journalists” (and I’m not picking on anyone here) who’ll get to go to game and get paid for it, because they’re “working,” and who might get nasty if they don’t get enough events like these?

    • Iggy’s got a plan to fox Harper. He plans on cheering for the Swedes. ‘ There that outa hold them sons o bitches’.

    • “They really do seem to think these things matter; that there is value in treating the electorate like we’re all a bunch of children in need of cajoling.”

      I rather think the last few elections show that we ARE a bunch of children.

  6. Maybe he will wear a cape.

    • You know, I’d vote for a politician who wore a cape. That takes moxie!

    • maybe he can borrow one of Pet’s old ones off of Justin. He should ditch the beret though. We’re looking for the Russian effect.

  7. I look forward to Harper’s upcoming (well, it has been for the last few years) book on hockey. I wonder if he writes as well as Iggy, or perhaps Steve’s afraid he might have to attend one of those cash-soaked arts galas, that he rails about, if his purported book is any good. If Harper’s writing is as sound as his economics I wouldn’t look for the book to be on any bestseller lists. If it in fact ever comes out.

  8. Ergo, Harper will cancel the gold medal game.

    (For those not in the know… One of Harper’s minions attempted to have a Jewish celebration cancelled because Iggy planned to attend.)

    • That was an impressive segue. Nearly seamless.

      On the other hand, if Ignatieff were to paint his face, get hammered on stadium beer, and wear a Canada flag cape, he’s won my vote. For ever. If our politicians are gonna pretend to like stuff I like, I want them to go all out.

      • Doesn’t he have to go shirtless and be covered in body paint as well?

      • Sorry, Olaf. The advisers focus-grouped just that scenario, and it didn’t go over big with the upwardly mobile suburban parents aged 30 to 43 with kids aged 2 to 10 who thought it would be providing a bad role model that might potentially traumatise their children into becoming adolescent cross-dressers.

        It went over big with downwardly mobile suburban parents in the same age group with kids aged 13 to 17 who are smoking dope in the basement, but that was thought to be too authentic.

        Please be serious about democracy.

        • In light of your facts and figures, which appear to check out, I humbly withdraw my recommendation as hopelessly unrealistic. And I’ve fired the intern responsible for floating such an absurdly un-focused-group notion.

  9. It’s a good thing this wasn’t a Canada-Russia final which would have forced Iggy to make a decision. although he might have said something along the lines of “Russia if necessary, but not necessarily Russia” which would have bought him enough time to get through the mid-game interviews.

    But more to power to him, why leave Harper have the hockey vote all to himself.

    • Almost funny, but too…engineered. Iggy’s Russian heritage is really immaterial, although that won’t stop Conservatives from sifting through every gene in his DNA sample (which they no doubt have) to find something incriminating to other with.

      What’s Russian for citoyen Ignatieff?

      • “Iggy’s Russian heritage is really immaterial”

        I wonder. You know the line began with the Count Ignatieff who was instrumental in crushing (/canceling) the Decembrist Revolt . . . which occurred in December . . . which advocated for a constitution and an independent Duma . . . hmm . . .

        • I doubt the line BEGAN with the Count.

          Or was this another virgin birth? In which case we really should focus on the count’s mother….

        • OMG, the parallels are uncanny!

          But what about George Grant? Or is there some genetic principle I’m missing?

          I don’t know why the Connies can’t other Ignatieff on his self-identification as an American not so long ago.

          • Ah, good point. Yeah, that Grant gene could make for some serious mood swings. “We stand for a proud and independent Canada and we will crush the serfs like insects! All power to the Tsar and let us take a moment recall the dignity of our humble forefathers. Release the borzois! But let mus not ask for too much.”

          • You guys are giving the cons way to much room for improvisation. The reality will likely be far more prosaic. M. Ignatieff not a leader…too!

          • You guys are giving the cons way to much room for improvisation. The reality will likely be far more prosaic. M. Ignatieff not a leader…too!

            You’re right, kc. Besides, the Connies already have that campaign ready, which they produced in its entirety during the last Liberal campaign, when they thought Ignatieff had it in the bag. All they have to do is photoshop in “Not a leader too!” or, if they’re creative: “The Liberals Part Two: the Not-a-Leadering!”

    • I doubt this to be true.

      However, the junior Canadian Team against Europe’s most powerful vampires – now that would test his loyalties.

  10. This rates right up there with Iggy liking rural Canadians because he once went to a barn and could smell something funny.

  11. Most of the Canadians who care about hockey probably can’t even fathom someone who isn’t also a fan, so no political gains to be had in this department.

    If either Harper or Ignatieff really want to do some sucking up, though, they should be pretending to like basketball to curry favour with Obama, who apparently has a decent jump shot and scrimmaged with his younger staffers while on the election trail.

    And it is Canada’s other game (invented by a Canadian).

    • Cripes when will this myth ever end. Naismith was a Canadian working in the states and that is where the game took off.

      • Like AG Bell and the telephone?

      • So it’s not Canadian if it was invented by a Canadian but “took off in the United States?” That rules out the Blackberry then too, I guess.

        Hockey is safe, though, it hasn’t taken off in the States notwithstanding NHL delusions of grandeur.

  12. What, John Howard isn’t finished writing that damn hockey book yet?!!

  13. Hmm . . . now which journalist will have the cheek to ask him to explain a simple rule that a casual hockey would know, such as icing or off side, or what’s a power play? (hint: it does not involve crushing Bob Rae).

    • that wont matter if he can just get himself in the same cam shot as Don.

    • Not the same one who asked Harper if he could spot the Modigliani, that’s for sure. He hasn’t been heard from since.

  14. Amazing how people make statements when they don’t really know. Iggy does like hockey and he played sports in university.

    What sports did Harper play?

    Isn’t it a little petty to be making an issue of this?

    • What sports did Harper play? Pin the tail on the liberal/ donkey?

  15. I suspect Iggy will be asking for Dom Perignon at the beer hut. Truffles at the hot dog counter.

    • .”..truffles at the hotdog counter..”.

      You got the wrong LPC leader..it was Dion who wanted truffles, which is why he was fond of May (who had a nose for finding them…)

      • “May (who had a nose for finding them…)”

        That was just nasty

  16. Y’know, I always got the impression that Iggy was more a football (i.e. Premier League soccer) guy than a hockey guy, and that he’d cheer for Arsenal.

    • What is the implication of the Arsenal reference? I’m a fan, and I’ve done my reading and cheering, so I have an idea what you’re getting at, but some clarification would be nice.

  17. Macleans.ca commenters: the only people in the country who would spend the game taking lame political shots at each other instead of, you know, making fun of the Swedish goalie for being such a pathetic flopper. Whether you are a stupid liberal enemy or a sensible Tory friend or even heaven forbid someone who thinks Elizabeth May made sense ever in her life, I don’t care…. WE FUCKING WON BABY!!!

  18. spicy doc? Liz finding Truffles? …. meow!

  19. I appreciate his honesty and I can’t stand the man. Every parent knows that watching endless games of the children’s sport (or musical recitals or whatnot) is boring as phoque.

  20. Dr. Canto has to be called out on this statement. He said on Fox 25 last year, ” you just don’t get a concussion from a blow to the jaw” and went on to say, there is no empirical data that supports this. Because of this, no mouth guard has ever showed it helps reduce concussion.

    In Boston last week, Dr. Robert Cantu related to Bergeron that “99 percent” of NHL players would have similarly suffered a significant concussion in the manner of collision that saw the side of Bergeron’s face smack into the unforgiving shoulder pads of Dennis Seidenberg with such violent force.

    Cantu’s statement was meant to assure Bergeron that his second concussion wasn’t the sign of a player that’s becoming more and more susceptible to head injuries and hockey dings.

    What it really was, was an affirmation that blows to the chin/jaw, are related to a new origin of concussion recently identified by military research. The finding is important because many such brain injuries have been missed in the past, especially when more severe or obvious wounds demanded attention.

    Military researchers report observations recognizing this “new origin” of concussion in a letter in to the New England Journal of Medicine

    Moving forward, now that he has said it, he has to be asked why the change, he will be at the London concussion conference next week. What new research changed his mind. He was on the board of the 2008 FIFA conference where our manuscript was accepted for presentation on its scientific merit. Since this is an accepted origin of concussion, the question remains, why do some athletes become more prone than others.
    Our recent work outlines a physical change in the jaw joint in boxers who have developed a “Glass Jaw”, clearly it has been well documented that these athletes are more prone to concussion. The attached research marks a dramatic reduction in concussion when these physiological elements of the “Glass Jaw” are othopedially corrected prior to the making of the Maher mouth guard.
    Both the UPMC paper and the FIFA paper were accepted for their scientific merit at the two latest concussion conferences, yet the London group fails to recognize this latest information.
    Bergeron interview
    Are you looking into equipment and other ways to maybe avoid concussions out on the ice? PB: Part of it is that the symptoms are gone and I’m working my back. But part of it is also is looking at things that could help with a concussion. Right now there’s not much that doctors know. We all know that a mouthpiece helps. I do wear a mouthpiece and we’re looking into it and seeing if there’s anything better. We’re looking into that. Helmets…all of that stuff. We might have to work with Reebok and see if we can change some stuff on the helmet. Right now I have no idea. So far it’s about me feeling good, getting better every day and then taking it from there.

    Take us through what happened and what has it been like to recover. PB: As everyone knows I had a concussion. It’s been tough. It’s been frustrating. I’ve worked my way back from last year and starting to feel a lot better on the ice and then that hit happened. I’m trying to stay positive and now that the worst of it is behind me I feel a lot better. I’m obviously very positive about the way that I’m feeling. Talking to the doctors and knowing that the type of hit right on the jaw like that has nothing to do with last year’s hit. He said that it would have happened to almost anyone…a hit like that on the jaw.

    That seems a little strange that you got a concussion rather than an injured jaw. PB: Well, I mean I’m not the first one to ever get a concussion from getting a hit to the jaw. I would have preferred [an injury] to the jaw instead of a concussion. My jaw is fine now. It was sore for a couple of days. But I’m good and I’m just looking better each and every day.

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