TORONTO — We’re off. Photographer Julie Oliver and I are on our way to the North — way, way North — to watch the Ottawa Senators’ Craig Anderson, Chris Phillips, Chris Neil, Zack Smith, Marc Methot, Guillaume Latendresse and fellow NHLers Grant Clitsome, Jordin Tootoo, Jim Slater and others for a three-game charity tour of the Northwest Territories and Yukon.
From here to Edmonton. Then to Yellowknife, Inuvik and Whitehorse — with some hunting, fishing and possibly dogsledding thrown in for good measure — then back home through Vancouver.
What to call the tour? I thought about the Great White North tour, but then I couldn’t stop singing “coo-roo-coo-coo-coo-roo-coo-coo” out loud. (Sorry, young readers, but SCTV viewers of a certain vintage should get the reference to the Bob McKenzie who doesn’t work for TSN). So, Northern Lights tour? Northern Hope tour? Northern Exposure? Anyway, something will come along.
I must say this is a cool assignment. And by cool, I mean cold. Daily November average temperature in Inuvik? Minus 21. Certainly made packing easy. It’s not business casual. It’s business cold: comb the closests for the thickest stuff and all the long underwear you can find. In the words of trip organizer John Chabot, “think of the coldest day ever….and then add two layers.”
— Sat., Nov. 17, 7:22 p.m.