John Garrett recalls time he played with a hot dog hidden in his goalie pads

Mar 27 2023, 9:06 pm

With John Garrett’s time on Vancouver Canucks broadcasts winding down, Sportsnet host Dan Murphy is taking a look at the popular broadcaster’s most legendary tales.

“Storytime with Cheech” made its first instalment during the second intermission of Sunday’s game, with Murph getting all the details on Garrett’s most famous story: the time the former goaltender played with a hot dog in his pads.

Yes, the loveable former goalie who is well-known for his love of fast food, actually played an NHL hockey game with a hot dog hidden in his pad.

“This is your most famous story, it’s been told many times, but let’s get it on record, on camera,” Murphy said.

Prior to being traded to the Canucks in 1983, Garrett appeared in 29 games over two seasons as the Quebec Nordiques’ backup goalie. It seems that Garrett became enamoured with the hot dogs at Quebec’s home arena, the Colisée.

More importantly, as the backup in that rink, Garrett sat behind the players bench, and behind the coaches.

“You were back behind the players, so the coaches couldn’t see you. There’s no cameras around. Not many games were televised then,” Garrett explained.

The Nordiques trainer used to sneak hot dogs to Garrett, and he would eat them during games.

“He used to, every now and then when I wasn’t playing, give me a hot dog just to tide me over while I was sitting there,” said Garrett.

With Dan Bouchard in net and playing well, Garrett thought he was safe to indulge in a Colisée hot dog, when out of nowhere, the moustached backup was thrown into the game.

“So it’s 2-1, and a goal’s scored, and Dan didn’t like the way the defence played it. Anybody that knows Dan Bouchard knows how fiery he was. He just comes skating off. And there I am with a hot dog sitting in my pads, where I was hiding it.

“Dan just blows right by me, and I realize I gotta go in, and I’ve got the hot dog stuffed in my pads.”

Rather than reveal he had been chowing down on a hot dog, the veteran netminder decided to stash the hot dog in goalie pads — ketchup, mustard and all.

“I’m doing up the straps and it’s these old leather pads, not the new ones that are floppy and everything. So I could hide it. Nobody else would know. And then I go out and I finish the game.”

When the game ended, Garrett and his Nordiques teammates returned to the dressing room. Garrett said he had to pretend to be extra upset about the loss, as a cover, to explain why he didn’t get undressed quickly.

“I come off after the game and I have to wait… I had to wait before I could get the hot dog out of my pads with the mustard and the ketchup.”

Sportsnet will eventually find someone else to call games next to John Shorthouse, but they’ll never find another beauty like Cheech. His last Canucks broadcast on Sportsnet is set for April 13.

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