So many potential names could be thrown into the hat on who Gord Downie’s favourite hockey player was but it turns out to be a longtime opponent from youth hockey. Laverne Hennessy was his favourite hockey player says musician and friend of Downie, Dave Bidini (Rheostatics) while speaking with CBC.
Surely Bobby Orr you thought? or maybe Ray Bourque or Cam Neely also Bruins legends. Downie, notably a long time Boston Bruins fan.
Bidini recounted conversations with Downie and when the ‘favourite hockey player’ discussion arose he made the head-scratching choose of Hennessy.
“I remember him telling me that he watched [Hennessy] as a kid” “I guess he had the moves”
“I hated him, he hated me, but really we liked each other, you know what I mean?” is Hennessy’s side of the story on his rivalry with Gord. “I guess he must have liked how I played, and I liked how he played”
Hennessy’s hockey career went as far as four games for the Cornwall Royals of the OHL in the 1982-83 season when a medical issue sidelined him. The Royals went on the be a powerhouse franchise in the 80’s producing players drafted to the NHL like Hall of Famer Dale Hawerchuk, Doug Gilmour and Owen Nolan.
Why Hennessy? Dave Bidini recounted “Gord could illuminate even the smallest detail, I think that speaks to his appreciation for this player. This little small tile in the enormous mosaic. It’s wild”
Cover Photo Credit: YouTube