It has been well-documented here on PITB that Kevin Bieksa is a funny man. We collected his twenty best quotes during our (ultimately successful) Twitter Needs Juice campaign. Once on Twitter, he owned the medium, photoshopping a disturbing image of a naked Alex Burrows and riffing with Ryan Kesler and Roberto Luongo.
He dropped the phrase “milk hot dogs” seamlessly into an interview to win a bet. He throws gloves and punts helmets. He has, multiple times, called out the hosts at the Jeff O’Neill show for their dumb questions in his interviews with them.
Then there was the highlight of his comedy career: doing an entire interview with Mike Dunsmore of Fox Sports while pretending to be Ryan Kesler.
Now that he’s the captain of Team Canada at the World Championships, don’t expect him to suddenly turn serious. During his first practice as captain, he started off leading stretches with snow angels. Then, before the tournament started, he butted in on an interview with 18-year-old wunderkind Nathan MacKinnon, turning it from a run-of-the-mill interview into something way more awkward and hilarious.
Rather than take the English quotes that were translated into Swedish and translate them back into English, we got Jonatan Lindquist, who wrote the article, to send us the original quotes. Regrettably, there is no video or audio available, but someone at least snapped a picture.
By butting in, I mean that literally, as he shoved the butt-end of his stick in with the handheld recorders in the small scrum, treating it like a microphone. When MacKinnon protested that there were no cameras around, Bieksa insisted that he still needed a mic.
MacKinnon must have felt the pressure of having Bieksa staring at him. When asked about his excitement level, he couldn’t help but throw a little love Bieksa’s way: “I’m excited, this is my first world championship like you guys said. With our good leadership and good captain…”
Bieksa laughed, then decided to interrupt with his own question: “Is it true that you are the best looking 18-year-old in the tournament?”
MacKinnon replied, “I think I’m the only 18 year old, so…”
“So you are saying that you are the best looking 18 year old in the tournament? For the record.”
“Yes,” MacKinnon replied, “I am saying that.”
Lindquist, undoubtedly with a big smile on his face, chimed in, “It’s noted.”
“Yeah, it’s noted,” said MacKinnon, “Write that down, write that down!”
First of all, Bieksa is the best and as funny as ever. But his sense of humour is also part of his leadership style. Considering how young the group is, the team is likely nervous and shaky. You just have to look at their performance against France in the tournament opener for proof of that.
Keeping things light, then, is actually an important part of his job as captain.
“Just to keep guys loose, having fun and then focused for the games,” said Bieksa at the start of the tournament, and catching MacKinnon off-guard like this certainly helps keep things light.
His leadership seemed to work, as the team bounced back from their tough loss to France with a big win over Slovakia. It may seem a little much to give Bieksa all the credit for how Canada played in their second game, but it was also a little much to blame him for how they played in their first game, and there were plenty of people willing to do that on Friday.Tags: Kevin Bieksa, Nathan MacKinnon, World Championship