There are things that nominees for public office can stretch the truth about with no consequence. But if you’re a nominee for the Supreme Court in Canada, best not stretch the truth about being drafted by an NHL team.
Marc Nadon, selected by Stephen Harper for the Court, told a Parliamentary committee on Wednesday that he was drafted by the Detroit Red Wings.
That, in itself, sounds a little sketchy; that he claimed it was when he was 14 years old … well, he might as well just add “and I invented Post-It notes” because we’re in the town’s square of Fibbersville.
According to Huffington Post Canada, Nadon told the committee:
"During my youth, my ambition in life was to become a hockey player, which may seem surprising looking at me but those days were different. In fact, I was drafted by the Detroit Red Wings when I was 14," he said.
Blogger Stephen Smith of PuckStruck.com caught him on this, noting that the youngest picks in the NHL draft back in 1964 (when Nadon was 14) were age 16, and that there’s no evidence that Nadon was selected by the Wings. “Did his memory mislead, or was it an error of enthusiasm on the second day of a bright new shining NHL season?” he asked.
Nadon came clean to HuffPo on Thursday, confirming he was never drafted by the Wings. "I wasn't trying to say that I was going to play for the Red Wings that year or something to that effect," the Federal Court of Appeal Justice said.
As he told HuffPo:
"I was 14, my father was handling all this and he had told me that I would be part of the Red Wings' organization. So I used 'draft' in the way that I would have used it in those days, loosely termed to say that I would be part of the organization. The exact details I never knew exactly. So it wasn't a draft the way they are now, that you are drafted and you go and play for the Red Wings or — no, no, I was 14. So, it was employed very loosely. Not to imply that I would play for the Red Wings, that somehow I was part of the Wings' organization and I was a decent hockey player that's what really what it was meant to say, nothing further."
In fairness to Nadon, the structure of junior hockey back in the early 1960s (as chronicled by Puckstruck) included club sponsored teams that could have eventually led to contracts for teenage players ('C Cards' that gave their rights to the team). He could have been on track to become a Red Wing if he showed promise, but there was no formality to it.
So he’s sorry he said “drafted” and that he created confusion with his word usage. Meanwhile, this guy dislodged his foot from his mouth with such impressive use of nuance, subtle distinction and semantics, we’d confirm him for the court in a millisecond.
Check out the followup from Puckstruck. Good stuff.