LAS VEGAS – Interviews from any red carpet at any event can be one of two things: 1) boring as heck or 2) super awkward. Naturally, I chose to go for the latter and catch some of hockey’s finest talking about anything but hockey.
This is part one of two in a series of whimsical (and yes, awkward) interviews from the red carpet at the NHL Awards. Up first we have Erik Karlsson, Carey Price, John Tavares, Johnny Gaudreau, Devan Dubnyk, Peter Laviolette, and Colin Hanks. Enjoy!
Erik Karlsson, Ottawa Senators
PD: What kind of cologne are you wearing?
EK: Ummm, babes?
Mrs. Karlsson: YSL L’Homme.
PD: Out of all the guys, who do you think wears Axe Body Spray?
EK: Ohh. Out of all the guys?
PD: [Talking over him] Out of alllll the guys, including your teammates? If you know any of their [body spray] secrets, you can tell me.
EK: Mark Stone would probably be the guy.
PD: Mark Stone?
EK: Yeah, he’s a young guy. He doesn’t really know that much.
PD: It’s cheap and he’s a rookie.
EK: Yeah, he doesn’t really know.
PD: [To Mrs. Karlsson] So, did you dress him tonight or did he do this on his own?
Mrs. EK: Ahh, I helped a little bit, but he’s pretty fashion savvy.
[Other people butted in and promptly ended my obviously important interview.]
Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens
PD: So, how you doing?
CP: Good. Real good.
PD: Tired? Good weekend? Err, mid-week?
CP: A lot of stuff going on; a lot to take in. It’s my first time here?
PD: [Interrupts] EVER?
CP: It’s a brand new experience.
PD: Wait. First Vegas ever?
CP: No, just to the awards. It’s a different type of experience.
PD: I’m going to ask a different type of questions. First, who dressed you? [To Mrs. Price] did you dress him or did he dress him?
Mrs. Price: He dressed him.
PD: GOOD JOB, CAREY! Not bad. We’ll add ‘very good dresser’ to your resume. [Awkward transition] So, what cologne are you wearing?
CP: I’m not wearing any. I don’t wear cologne.
PD: You don’t? Do you wear Axe Body Spray?
CP: No. [Note: I think he’s annoyed with me at this point.]
PD: Oh. Well, I’m trying to figure out which of the guys here wear Axe Body Spray. Or which one of your teammates?
CP: Uh [courtesy laugh]… I’m going to say Jamie Benn is probably an Axe Body Spray type of guy.
PD: Like he’s a rough and rugged Texas guy who goes for the easy fix…
CP: Uh, yeah.
PD: Okay, well, thanks. Good luck tonight.
John Tavares, New York Islanders
PD: I’m asking a couple irreverent questions tonight. The first being: did you dress yourself tonight.
JT: I did not dress myself.
PD: Did she dress you? [Points to lovely lady on his arm]
JT: No. She usually does.
JT: No, actually a tailor of mine I use back in Toronto, Long Island Men’s Suits clothing store, they’ve done my suits for a number of years. They did this one as well.
PD: It worked out well. Nicely done.
JT: Yes, thank you. Appreciate that.
PD: Are you wearing any cologne or do you have a favorite cologne brand?
JT: I am wearing my favorite cologne.
PD: Which is?
JT: [Leans back to talk to lady-friend] What’s it called again?
PD: HA! All the guys have to ask their better halves for this.
JT: She bought it for me.
Tavares’ lady-friend: It’s Jay-Z something.
JT: Jay-Z. Jay-Z…gold. Gold by Jay-Z.
PD: Now is that because you’re going to Brooklyn?
JT: It’s not! It’s just a coincidence. A good coincidence.
PD: I’m sure he appreciates it.
JT: It just smells really good. I think that’s why she got it for me.
PD: I’m trying to figure out if anyone here will admit to wearing Axe Body Spray.
JT: I did not wear Axe Body Spray.
PD: I KNOW you didn’t wear Axe Body Spray.
JT: [Laughs] I don’t know.
PD: Any of your teammates? Would you like to spill on them right now?
JT: Honestly, I don’t know. I know a lot guys use the pretty generic stuff we have in the locker room.
PD: Like ‘Cool Water’ that everyone wore in eighth grade?
JT: Yeah. It’s kind of good when you’re on the road or after practice, but every single day, I don’t know if that’s what you want to be wearing.
PD: Sounds good. Good luck tonight!
JT: Thank you.
Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary Flames
[Author’s Note: It wasn’t until way after this interview did I find out that Mr. Gaudreau is 21-years-old. Thanks to @LukeLapinski for making me aware of this before I published…]
PD: Nice to meet you. I’m asking ridiculous questions tonight. My first to you is: have you attempted to pull a slot machine handle at all?
JG: [Courtesy laugh] No.
PD: Not at all? Not even to take a chance?
JG: Not even a chance. My brother’s girlfriend was playing for about two minutes and lost like 20-bucks. I feel like they’re the worst thing to play.
PD: Have they ever kicked you out of a casino because you look like a child? [Note: Listening back, I realize how insulting this question was…]
JG: No, no.
PD: I’ve gotten kicked out before when I was younger because I looked like a teenage miscreant.
JG: Nah, I’ve never gotten kicked out. But every time I turn a corner, it’s a new security guard asking for my ID. I might as well just keep it out and have it in my hand the whole time.
PD: Next question. Who dressed you tonight? Did you dress yourself?
JG: Harry Rosen dressed me.
PD: Very nice, very nice. Is that so much easier than say going to Men’s Warehouse?
JG: Oh yeah, for sure. He came and helped me with my whole suit. Came to my hotel room, set it all up. It was nice.
PD: Ooooh, nice… Is this mom and dad? [Points to adults near him on red carpet.]
JG: Nope. This is Jamie, my agent’s assistant, and this is our media relations guy.
PD: Oh man. I thought they were mom and dad.
[Everyone starts laughing. They get together like they’re taking a family photo.]
PD: Aww. Fake family. So adorable! Ok, last question. Are you wearing cologne tonight? If so, what is it?
JG: We ran into a problem. I ran out of all of my cologne and I didn’t bring any extras. So, no cologne tonight.
PD: No Axe Body Spray then?
JG: No, no Axe.
PD: I’m trying to get someone to admit to wearing Axe Body Spray.
JG: You might be able to find someone.
PD: Did you ever wear it?
PD: Never? Promise?
PD: Not lying? Okaaay, I trust you. Final question. If you were ever to win any other award in sports, in any sport but hockey, what would you win?
JG: Tough one. I’d probably want to be a quarterback in the NFL and win one of those MVP awards.
PD: That’d be sweet.
JG: Yeah, that’d be cool.
PD: Good luck tonight, sir. Thanks for taking time.
JG: Thank you.
Devan Dubnyk, Minnesota Wild
PD: Come on over. Don’t be scared of me. I’m asking really strange questions tonight.
PD: First, who dressed you tonight? Did your wife dress you?
DD: More or less, yeah.
PD: Okay, well, you look good.
DD: We went pretty basic. Can’t screw up much though.
PD: Is it difficult to find pants for you? [Note: he’s really tall.]
DD: It’s actually not bad. My legs aren’t as long as my torso. It’s more of the upper-body stuff then.
PD: Do you get them tailored then or do you go to the Big and Tall shop?
DD: Actually, no. Hugo Boss stuff fits me real well. Right off [the rack]. You just have to get the length right. That’s usually my go to.
PD: Nice! I’m asking this question to everyone: are you wearing cologne and what is it?
DD: I’m not wearing cologne, actually.
PD: There’s been a lot of non-cologners tonight.
DD: Well, I’m married. She’s already got me [motions to wife and laughs]. I don’t have to smell good for anybody.
PD: Do you think anyone will admit tonight to wearing Axe Body Spray tonight?
DD: No. Absolutely not.
PD: How about your teammates? Is there anyone you want to tell on right now?
DD: Well, I can’t tell on anybody, but I assume [Matt] Dumba would be the easy choice.
PD: He is a young guy.
DD: He’s like 13-years-old or something like that.
PD: He’s probably wearing Cool Water like everyone did in eighth grade.
DD: Yeah something like that.
PD: Finally, if you could win any other award in any other sport but hockey, what would you want to win?
DD: Oh geez. That’s a tough one. [Pauses for a few seconds] Probably the Heisman.
PD: Ooh! The Heisman! Why is that?
DD: It’s pretty hyped up. There’s a big thing around it every year. I know there’s no chance of me ever playing football with this body…
PD: I think your [NCAA] eligibility might be up. I’m not sure. I’ll have to check.
DD: That’s about the furthest dream away, so I’ll say that.
PD: Thank you so much, Devan. Good luck!
DD: No problem.
Peter Laviolette, Nashville Predators
PD: I’m asking everybody: who dressed you tonight?
PL: My [laughs] my wife.
PD: Most guys are admitting that or a tailor.
PL: That’s exactly what we did. She looks great, doesn’t she? [Motions over to wife.]
PD: You look beautiful! Are you guys sweating as much as I am right now? It’s warm in here.
PL: It is pretty warm. It must’ve been cooler back where we were because it’s not as hot back there as it is out here. You look very nice.
PD: Oh, thank you! So, the question I’m asking is: if you could win an award in any other sport, what would you want to win?
PL: You talking like a trophy?
PD: Yeah, a trophy. It could be anything like a championship, the Heisman, anything.
PL: I’d probably, and this is going to pose a little bit of a problem for me, but I’d probably like to win the Kentucky Derby…
PL: … as a jockey.
PD: OHHH. [Cracks up] I don’t know about that.
PL: I would face some challenges, but you asked, I answered.
PD: That’s a great answer!
PL: I’d like to win the Kentucky Derby.
PD: Yes. I’ll take it. It’s the best answer I’ve had so far.
PL: And it’s the truth!
PD: Good luck tonight.
Colin Hanks, actor, Los Angeles Kings fan
PD: I’m going to do something therapeutic tonight. You actually made fun of me on Twitter once.
CH: What did I do?
PD: Well, when I’m not an unbiased hockey journalist, I’m a Ducks fan.
CH: Oh, so a mallards fan…
PD: The mallards, right. And the princes, which you are a fan of.
CH: No, no. You see because the Kings are not princes. Once you become a King, you’re a King. Ducks are mallards. It’s just another name for a duck.
PD: [Awkward five seconds of silence] DAMMIT HANKS!
CH: [Courtesy laugh] Well, I’m sorry if I made fun of you. It is all in good sports fun.
PD: Oh no worries. I just wanted to tease you about that. So, what did you do during the playoffs when you couldn’t watch the Kings play?
CH: I enjoyed my summer. I enjoyed watching the Ducks lose.
PD: You know, they went almost all the way, but the Kings were still at home.
CH: Yeah but you want to know what? They were polishing their two Stanley Cup rings over the past three years. And again, that’s one more than the mallards have.
PD: Mallards, right. Well, that’s all I wanted to say to you.
CH: Alright, alright.
PD: It was somewhat therapeutic. Have fun tonight.
CH: Take care.