Words with Weekes

Last week the Owen Sound Attack opened their season at home on what felt like a sunny mid-June evening. While many could not resist the opportunity to explore the surrounding waters of Georgian Bay, those who remained ashore were treated with meeting one of the biggest celebrities in the NHL broadcast realm and Attack alumnus Kevin Weekes.

Weekes, 39, was regarded as one of the top 40 under 40 in The Hockey News 2011 edition of the 100 most powerful people in hockey. Weekes played in 63 games for the original Platers franchise, and 41 games with the 67’s before being the first goalie drafted in franchise history for the Florida Panthers(2nd round, 41st overall).

Kevin made himself available to local fans for an autograph session during a huge bbq outside the Harry-Lumley Bayshore Community Centre. Despite agreeing to make himself available for the blog, the overwhelming adulation he was receiving from passionate Attack fans was rightfully the first priority.

His schedule by puck-drop was spoken for and I felt I had missed a great chance to speak to one hockey’s most trusted personalities. The next day, to my surprise, Weekes had provided contact information to do the interview electronically. It went as follows;

Hi Kevin,

First of all, let me thank you again on behalf of the Attack fans. We truly appreciate you taking the time to come back to Owen Sound. The positive impression you left on the fans was evident at Wednesday’s home opener.

Q: Having spent the majority of your Jr. career in Owen Sound, what did you enjoy most about your time in our humble city?

Weekes: Mostly I enjoyed the fans and the great people of Owen Sound and Grey Bruce. They don’t just follow the Attack, they live it. At least 1 person from every 7 house holds are at the Attack games which speaks volumes!

Q: With the Platers, you split a lot of games with former LA Kings netminder and teammate Jamie Storr. What was your relationship like with him considering the opportunity each start represented at that age?

Weekes: One thing about Jamie and I, we had great mutual respect as 17 year olds and we still do to this day at 39 year olds, we pushed each other to be better we wanted to make the NHL and we were one of the only junior goalie tandems in CHL history to do so.

Q: The hockey community mourned the passing of Rod Hinks just prior to the start of the OHL season. Sudbury and Owen Sound fans alike will always remember him for his goal scoring prowess on the ice. As someone who got to know him off it, what will you always remember about Rod.

Weekes: I’ll always remember the speed and pace he played with but more importantly how kind and gentle he was. He treated me like gold my rookie season. May he rest in peace.

Q: Before retiring from professional hockey, you had the chance(misfortune) to share the crease with arguably the best at the craft of all-time? What impressed you the most about Martin Brodeur in your time with the New Jersey Devils?

Weekes: What impressed me most about Martin Brodeur was that he still wants to play every game every night and still believes he can.

Q: You had a chance to watch 6’7″ netminder Jack Flinn in the Attack’s home opener. Besides the obvious, what do like about his game? Did you get a chance to speak to the goalies directly?

Weekes: I like that he plays to his size. His competitiveness and good blend of technique with athleticism.

Q: You’re always the best dressed on the Hockey Night panel, so it’s fitting you have your own apparel line. How long has this been a passion of your’s?

Weekes: My parents always raised us the old school way, to always present yourself well no matter where you’re going as a sign of respect – you never know who you’re going to see. It’s a privilege when people allow you into their homes through the TV and or second screens so I always want to present my best. N5H Apparel has long been a concept but now as a 2 year old business we have the unique opportunity to tell stories and share stories through our customers and our brand ambassadors from grassroots all the way to the NHL, other sports, athletes, celebrity influencers, and most importantly great fans all around the world.

Q: Where can fans and fashionistas find themselves the full I HAVE NO 5-HOLE apparel line?

Weekes: Most importantly, we’re proud to come full circle and offer custom series N5H / Attack themed apparel at the Attack Shack. For additional pieces from the N5H collection please visit out store at www.ihaveno5hole.com.

Thanks again to Kevin Weekes for taking the time with myself and rest of the Attack fans in Grey-Bruce.

Doug grew up playing minor hockey for his hometown Chesley Colts.  He became an avid fan of the then Platers, when he received an autograph from goaltender Jamie Storr in 1993.  Before graduating from Chesley DHS, he played one season for Owen Sound Grey Motors United in the York Region Premiere Division(formerly New Market Region).

Now a permanent resident of Owen Sound, Doug hopes to entrench himself as an involved member of the community and an insightful columnist, that provides more than just stats and game reviews.  When not covering hockey, Doug enjoys listening to his fiancee sing at  a number of Owen Sound’s many terrific open mic functions.