Category Archives: Life

Podcast interview: The Sports Corner

Here’s my latest podcast interview, with GabeRealSports on The Sports Corner.

Gabe and I briefly discussed the Houston Astros baseball scandal before talking about the 1988 Dodgers book and my other book projects.

My “1992-93 Montreal Canadiens” book to be released in late January 2020

Here’s some news about my new book, The 1992-93 Canadiens, which is expected to be released later this month in late January.

I was asked to draft a jacket copy for the book, and here’s what I submitted to the publisher. I have to admit… it’s pretty exciting have the book come out soon!

The 1993 Canadiens: Seven Magical Weeks, Many More Unlikely Heroes, and Canada’s Last Stanley Cup Champions 

Never to be confused with any previous Montreal Canadien “Flying Frenchmen” juggernauts who dominated the National Hockey League between the 1950s and 1970s, the 1992-93 Canadiens, whose lone superstar was future Hall-of-Fame goaltender Patrick Roy, were essentially a nondescript team coming off an embarrassing second-round playoff series sweep against the Boston Bruins the previous spring. 

Yet these Habs, led by the superb goaltending of Roy and with timely goals from various unlikely heroes, stunned the hockey world by winning a record 10 consecutive playoff overtime games over a magical seven-week run during the spring of 1993. Montreal ultimately captured hockey’s ultimate prize that June—the 24th championship in franchise history—in the last Stanley Cup Finals series ever played at the venerable Montreal Forum. 

While the Canadiens had proven scorers in Kirk Muller, Vincent Damphousse and Brian Bellows—and had veteran presence in Hall-of-Famers-to-be Denis Savard and Guy Carbonneau—Montreal might not have won the Cup without the heroics of a host of others who weren’t exactly household names. There were Gilbert Dionne, John LeClair (before he blossomed into a three-time 50-goal scorer in Philadelphia) and the undersized Stephan Lebeau (while playing on one good leg) notching overtime winners. There was little-known Paul DiPietro scoring goals in series clinchers. Gary Leeman and Rob Ramage, despite being near the end of their NHL careers, contributed in ways that didn’t necessarily show up on the scoresheet. And behind the bench, while Jacques Demers made all the right moves that spring, he isn’t even considered today among the top 50 coaches of all-time. 

More than a quarter century later, these Habs remain the last Canadian team to win the Cup—not the Montreal Canadiens but the last Canadian team—and in The 1993 Canadiens: Seven Magical Weeks, Many More Unlikely Heroes, and Canada’s Last Stanley Cup Champions, K. P. Wee relives the story of this incredible season

 

Jerks?

There will always, inevitably, be jerks who post impractical, insensitive comments like this:

The context here is that there is a threat of transit workers going on strike in the coming week – and, of course, we get people posting insensitive comments taking shots at transit users. Brilliant.

One week ago…

It was a week ago when I went to Staples to pick up supplies for my classroom.

I was looking for a crate as well, but on that particular night the Staples store didn’t have it on the shelves accessible for customers… 1) those crates were up on the upper, upper shelves, where you’d need an employee to grab a ladder and bring them down.

That proved to be the first misstep.

I asked one of the shop assistants to get me one of those crates, and she did.

Now, it should have been a warning sign for me in terms of foreshadowing, but as she came down the ladder, that ladder for some reason started to move – even though she’d locked it down before climbing up.

I reached over to hold on to the ladder as she came down, but I actually didn’t need to.

2) I went to pay for the crate, and I was first in line as the cashier was helping a customer. Inexplicably, an African American customer came around to the end of an unmanned cash till, and a male shop assistant came to that till to ring up his order – while I was clearly in line.

Whatever. It was my turn soon, and I paid.

3) I walked out of the store carrying the crate (with some other supplies that I’d gotten at Dollarama earlier that day in that crate), and went down the stairs, and tripped and fell on (I think) the second-last step. A teenager who was going up asked me if I was okay. I wasn’t, but I thought I was.

Soon, I realized I was bleeding and the crate was broken.

I took it back into the store and explained to the first employee I saw that I had tripped and was bleeding, and if they had a band-aid. Three employees came to me but it seemed nobody knew what to do.

Finally, one of them gave me some band-aids and offered to let me use the washroom. I took the key and went to use the washroom and fix myself up.

4) When I came out, a different employee saw me and sarcastically said that if I needed to use the restroom, I needed to put my backpack at the front. Since I was still in pain and in shock of tripping, I let that comment go.

Why did I choose to come on this night? It was my own mistake. I’d always thought that this store closes at 8pm daily, but earlier in the day I checked its store hours on my phone and found that it closes at 10pm on Thursdays (that particular day).

And I went to that store at around 9pm, when it was dark. And I fell down the stairs. My fault. What upsets me is that I watch where I’m going, and I did watch my step. And I still tripped.

It didn’t help, though, that there were three missteps by the store. 1) no crates accessible for customers, 2) the male employee inexplicably helping a guy who wasn’t lining up, and 3) it was dark and there wasn’t any lighting.

If those first two things didn’t happen, I might have gotten out of the store a few minutes earlier, and perhaps I wouldn’t have tripped? (ie. maybe I would have taken a different step or walked down in a different way…) It’s just one of those things where you second-guess things and wonder if things might have been different if…

PS – Oh yeah, that crate broke when I fell. When I was in the store after the mishap, I showed them the crate and I offered to buy a new one. Yup, they charged me. Meanwhile, even as I was bleeding and limping around, not one customer or anybody not in uniform (other than that teenager outside the store) asked me if I was okay. Nobody gives a damn.

Another night at the ballpark

Another interesting night in the press box at Nat Bailey Stadium in Vancouver…

It was a night of predictions, extra innings, and … trying new snacks.

For starters, the local Vancouver Canadians were ahead of Boise 2-0 entering the sixth inning.

I looked over at the official scorer, Mike, and told him that the sixth inning seemed to be the C’s “trouble inning” as the team had just lost the previous night in Spokane by giving up back-to-back homers in a 2-1 loss. Plus, the week before, they’d lost a pair of games in Tri-City by giving up the lead in the sixth.

Sure enough, Boise scored twice in the sixth – thanks in part to an error – to tie the game.

As the night progressed, you could tell the pitching was dominant on both sides, and it might take some luck to get the tie-breaking run across.

So I told the scorer that the winning run – or go-ahead run – might come home on a wild pitch with a runner on third.

Fast forward to the bottom of the 12th, and that’s exactly what happened as a wild pitch allowed the winning run to come home. C’s won, 3-2.

And snacks… here’s what I ended up munching on as the game went into extras. I ended up opening the second bag after the game moved into the 10th.

Onion rings and cheesy garlic bread! What was it that Mark Messier said during those commercials from the 1990s? Something about how you can’t just stop at one?