Don’t worry Vancouver Canucks fans, Ryan Miller may be out for a while but that guy teetering between the pipes in the really old-school mask at Canucks practice Saturday morning isn’t his replacement.
Like a lot of Canadian kids, Scot Keith dreamed of playing in the NHL when he grew up. He was a pretty good goalie, playing competitively as a youth in southwest Ontario and even making the Junior B team in Chatham. But that’s as far as he went.
“When I was 17 years old, my NHL dreams came to an end. I just wasn’t good enough,” he said.
Or so he thought.
He’s almost certainly right about not being good enough (sorry Scot), but turns out the dream isn’t over for the 44-year-old president and CEO of Vancouver agency 123w. Though he hasn’t played competitively in 20 years, Saturday morning he’ll sign a one-day contract with Vancouver Canucks president Trevor Linden, join the team in the locker room, strap on his pads, pull the team sweater over his head (with the number 123 on the back) and take the ice with the Canucks towards the end of practice ahead of the team’s Sunday game against the St. Louis Blues.
Keith is a big supporter of The Canucks for Kids Fund, and the team wanted to thank him for his contributions in a special way. And so tomorrow he gets to come out of retirement—if only for a couple of hours.
“I’ve been training and I’m going to try my best and hopefully not make a complete fool out of myself,” he said.
After giving up on hockey in his youth, Keith took an aptitude test that recommended advertising or the army. “I picked advertising and went to Mohawk College.” But through the years his passion for the game stayed with him and found its way into his work. In 2002 while at DDB, he worked on the famous “Relax, it’s just a game” campaign after a hockey dad killed another father. “I literally cold-called Hockey Canada and convinced them to do the campaign,” he said.
Later, when he got a chance to pitch the NHL in New York he grew a full playoff beard and slipped a Lucky Loonie under the table before the executives came in. (Just like Team Canada at the Salt Lake City Olympics.)
Aside from the risk of being embarrassed by the world-class snipers like the Sedin twins Saturday morning, Keith runs the risk of hurting more than his pride.
“I’m wearing a special ’70s goalie mask that is authentically made with fiberglass,” he said. It will look cool, but won’t offer much in the way of protection.
“If I get hit in the face, it will likely break my nose,” he jokes (we think).
You know what they say about no good deed.