Matt Sekeres: Sekeres & Price a special holiday edition here and our guest today ex- Canuck Darcy Hordichuk. And this show a presentation of Audi Downtown Vancouver.
Blake Price: At Audi Downtown Vancouver they are waiting to help you construct your dream Audi vehicle. That's right, you're in complete charge now. You don't do the engineering. Don't worry they've got people for that, but you pick and choose exactly what you want. There's no more settling for what's on the lot. You are in charge. You order up what you want and it arrives at the corner of Burrard and 2nd Audi Downtown Vancouver.
Matt Sekeres: Bodog line of the day, New Year's Day, the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, Louisiana. Number seven Baylor, number eight Mississippi. I just think the SEC talent of Mississippi is going to carry the day here. A bunch of NFL draft picks waiting to happen there, so give me the Rebels minus 105 on the money line. Bodog is your source of free casino games, poker strategy, and sports odds.
You know how we always talk about how ... And really we don't say it anymore because there's very few of them but the enforcer is always the best conversation in the dressing room, right?
Blake Price: Yeah.
Matt Sekeres: Boy is Darcy Hordichuk testament to that.
Blake Price: He always has been and apparently always will be, as you're about to find out. I mean, he was just a delight to cover. He was salt of the earth-
Matt Sekeres: You covered him back in junior back in Saskatoon.
Blake Price: I did and one of the days I remember was we were late arriving for a practice. I'm walking into an arena and I know, " Oh my god, I'm going to get crap." We were busy doing a university story or something like that and-
Matt Sekeres: Now you're just looking for who's there, who can we grab quickly.
Blake Price: Yeah, is there anything left? On the way out Darcy's on his way out just on his own. I said, " I missed you guys." I said to him, I said, " Any chance we can just get you here on your way out?" He was like, " Yeah, I might miss the bus but if you guys can give me a ride for sure I'll ..." It was just at the end of practice, probably-
Matt Sekeres: (crosstalk) That is classic Darcy Hordichuk.
Blake Price: We ripped off two minutes of clips with him. I was able to go back to work with my head held high? " Did you get anything?" " Yeah, I got Hordi." Yeah, he's just salt of the earth. You know what? It's a tough conversation to open up with an enforcer now because we know the roll doesn't really exist. We know now the sometime tragic history of enforcers in the league. He's got a different attitude towards it than you might think. But I did wonder how he would tackle some of those questions.
Matt Sekeres: Well he's salt of the earth and he assaulted the earth.
Blake Price: Yes.
Matt Sekeres: Here's our conversation with Darcy Hordichuk. Darcy Hordichuk played 542 NHL games, 129 of them with the Vancouver Canucks and he joins us on the line from his home in Arizona. Long time no talk. Thanks for making time Darcy.
Darcy Hordichuk: It's been a while. We can blame it on COVID.
Blake Price: Yeah. Blame everything on COVID.
Matt Sekeres: Now we find you in Arizona. Is that where you live these days my man?
Darcy Hordichuk: Yeah. Just up in Scottsdale. This is kind of where we made home after I finished with the Oilers. My wife has her family around this area. It was between here and Nashville, and we landed in Phoenix.
Matt Sekeres: And a couple of boys, right? If I'm not mistaken?
Darcy Hordichuk: Yes. Yep, my son is Braden, he's 12. Then my younger one is Declan and he's nine years old.
Matt Sekeres: Okay. So how hard has it been to find them minor hockey in Arizona? If they're playing? Maybe they're not playing.
Darcy Hordichuk: How hard? It's impossible to get ice time. Every kid thinks they're going to be the next Auston Matthews here. It is more popular than probably hockey in Vancouver. I mean, everyone is playing. It is crazy?
Matt Sekeres: Really? Wow.
Darcy Hordichuk: And the people have so much money here they are playing these CCM tournaments. I mean, the problem is when you don't know much about the game you kind of just, " Okay, I got to go play in the CCM tournament. I got to play six tournaments." We were supposed to, until I kiboshed it, come to the Pat Quinn in Vancouver and play. So it's pretty crazy. Then the problem in Arizona is everybody kind of breaks off and there's four different teams in our age group. Where if we all came together and got one killer team we would do well but in our age group, my kids in 09, we just went to Boston and ended up dominating because we did a summer team, did a couple tournaments in Minnesota and Boston. But no, these kids man they're training well.
I mean, your coaches are Ray Whitney, Daymond Langkow. You got Shane Doan, Taylor Piatt, all these guys. Taylor is on the ice every day and I'm like, " Taylor what are you doing?" He's like, " I'm coaching the 15U team." It's just Dave Ellett. I mean, it's all NHL guys that are just like, " Hey, weather's great here. Let's have fun." And that's really what you need. You need ice time and you need coaching, and-
Matt Sekeres: That's what Gary Bettman was banking on, right? Like what you're talking about is sort of what he was hoping Arizona would turn out to be.
Darcy Hordichuk: Now the Coyotes that's a whole ... Besides that I don't know if people know hockey exists here. I mean, when you play Canada teams all of a sudden it's like, " Oh geez, it's sold out. Why is it sold out? Oh Edmonton's in town, all the Canadians." But it's been tough the last couple of years because no Canadians can get down here but you're starting to see all the license plates come into town. I think it's exciting for everybody to be able to see a lot of the Canadians coming back into the US.
Matt Sekeres: Arizona the one place where youth hockey is bigger than NHL hockey.
Darcy Hordichuk: Yeah, exactly.
Matt Sekeres: (crosstalk) I know you're in real estate my man. I just hope you get your agent certification here and cash in on all these young bucks that you're coaching.
Darcy Hordichuk: Well talk about agents, so I was just hanging out with Kent Johnson's dad. We went to Michigan State, had Thanksgiving. Owen Powers came over, Kent Johnson. Jimmy Hughes actually he's like, "Darce, my kid is playing with the Canucks. He wants to come and golf in Phoenix. Can you take him golfing?" I'm like, " Dude, I'll take anybody." Jimmy coached me when I was with Orlando and I think his youngest son was born actually in Orlando when we played together. Yeah, it was fun to see that team play. I mean, how many times my kid was just laughing. He got The Hockey News today and he's like, " Dad, we were at Owen Power's playing football. We had Kent Johnson over. We had Bernier's over." It's just an unbelievable team to see in person and so fun to see all these young kids coming up. That Kent Johnson he's going to be a great player and it's fun to see Vancouver pumping out kids like him.
Blake Price: That Michigan team might give the Coyotes a run for their money.
Matt Sekeres: Oh my goodness. (crosstalk) Yeah.
Darcy Hordichuk: I would bet my house on that game. I would bet my house.
Matt Sekeres: Well-
Darcy Hordichuk: After Samoskevich's on the one- timer just-
Blake Price: (crosstalk) I know. I know.
Darcy Hordichuk: Pat was there. Yeah. I mean, it's a really fun group of kids to see.
Blake Price: Well to the minor hockey rinks in and around Phoenix a long way from Kamsack, Saskatchewan huh Darce? Where you were born. Tell us how you got your start in the game.
Darcy Hordichuk: You know what? Just like any kid growing up in a small town you just ... There's two hockey rinks in a town of 2, 000 people and you're playing road hockey all the time, your best friend at school's playing hockey. My gym teacher, who was Jim Wright, was coaching. His older son was Tyler Wright who was drafted by the Edmonton Oilers, who's now the head scout for the Edmonton Oilers. Watching older players and watching him with the Swift Current Broncos, and just seeing that whole path that he took, it just kind of inspired me. As a kid you love it, right? It's just a way for you to play all these small towns, come together with your buddies. What else do you do in a town of 2, 000, besides play hockey and work on a farm or get in trouble. So that was kind of what kept me out of trouble.
Yeah, Tyler came back I think when he was 20 years old. He was drafted in the first round of the Oilers. We were lifting weights and I was like, " Geez, why am I lifting more than him? I'm like six years younger than him." We started boxing. My dad's like, " Hey, try to fight Darce." Because here I am fighting everybody in juniors. I kind of popped him one and kind of stunned him. He's like, " Okay, no, no. We're done." So right away I had this whole mindset, " I could play in the NHL. Tyler's a first rounder." Little did I know that it would take a little bit more than that but it's crazy when you get something in your mind and you start to set a goal.
Brad McCrimmon was a huge part of my career. He called me when I was 18 years old, after I got drafted from the Hitmen, when that whole scandal took place with Graham James. Graham actually drafted me and I was just going to get ready to play that year and the whole scandal came out. Then when he got cut, thank god, I got cut. I ended up getting a call from Brad McCrimmon and Tim Cheveldae who said, " Hey listen, you got one spot in the team. There's three guys you got to fight if you want to make the team. One of them is Steve MacIntyre." I don't know if you guys remember Big Mac but-
Matt Sekeres: Yes. Yeah.
Blake Price: Yeah.
Darcy Hordichuk: So literally in preseason I fought him three times. The scouts and everybody at the top was yelling, " Stop. No more, no more." So they ended up keeping both of us. Then I was kind of just trying to fight everybody. I don't think ... Not too many guys wanted to fight Big Mac anymore, so they traded him and put him in Prince Albert, so I got to fight him even more. A funny story, a buddy of mine Justin (Helegard) calls me up and he's like, " Hey, I'm playing in Jacksonville for ..." What's the guy's name? Anyways, with the (Reindeer) . Ron Duguay. " Ron brought this guy named MacIntyre. He's destroying everybody Darce. This guy's incredible." I'm like, " Oh yeah, yeah. What's his name?" Didn't think anything of it. Then all of a sudden my buddy calls me in the minors he's like, " You got to watch out. This kid is in Pittsburgh. He's knocking everybody out. Look out for this guy." I'm like, " Oh what's his name?" They're like, "Steve MacIntyre." Sort of putting this together.
I'm like, " This guy was two years ago playing in the worst league." You wouldn't even describe what kind of hockey it was. My kid would probably get 20 goals in that league. Now he's all of a sudden in the NHL and here we go again where I took his job in Edmonton, was getting ready to fight him first game back in Pittsburgh. Didn't sleep all afternoon. Macker ... I don't know if you guys remember that fight with IvanÄns? You remember the fight where he just basically knocked out IvanÄns?
Blake Price: No.
Matt Sekeres: I don't remember that one, no. No.
Blake Price: No.
Darcy Hordichuk: Okay, you got to Google. You got to Google it. He just knocks him out. Then he's coming to town and I know he wants to show all the fans that he's going to kill me. He probably would. Honestly Macker was that tough. He was one of those guys that ... Him and Boogaard kind of keep me up at night. Laraque not so much because I knew he wouldn't hurt you with those punches, but still a strong guy and still would beat you in hockey fights. So I'm on the bench, jump on the ice, go track him down, " Let's go." Whistle goes, too many men. They ended up scoring on the power play. Coach sits me the whole game. I didn't play another shift the whole game. I was like, " Oh thank you god. Thank you somebody just saved my career." So me and Macker never fought but ...
Matt Sekeres: You winded up getting drafted at age 20 by the Atlanta Thrashers. You mentioned Orlando. 369 penalty minutes in 69 games in 2000.
Blake Price: You're skipping right over the seven goals man. He had seven goals that year.
Darcy Hordichuk: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Exactly. Hey but look at the power play goals. Look at those stats. I think I led the team in power play goals. That was a career I think I had three game winners in playoffs. So here's a funny story, do you guys remember Chris Neil?
Blake Price: Yeah.
Matt Sekeres: Oh of course.
Darcy Hordichuk: So Chris Neil's got 40 more PIMs than me and it's coming down to the last game we play each other. I'm like, " Okay, I got to ... If I'm going to do it I got to get number one in the PIMs. I got to ... This is my year to get drafted." All these guys, I'm fighting Fedoruk, I'm fighting Steve and Pete. Anybody that's been drafted. So I ended up like, " Okay, I got to set my ..." Set the tone. Atlanta picked me at the time. They made the right choice. I undo my tie down because I know right off the bat it's 10 minutes, so there's my tie down. I just got to get it pulled over my head. Then I jump in their bench and just start road rage, just punching everybody. After the game they're like, "What the hell did you do?" I think I got 40 penalty minutes my last game and took number one. I think Mueller was pissed off at me because he wanted to be number one and I wanted to be.
Blake Price: Oh my god.
Darcy Hordichuk: But yeah, he went on to have a great career-
Matt Sekeres: (crosstalk) Darcy you're describing a different world from where we're at now with the game of hockey. I think everyone ... It had to change somewhat but I'd love your take on it because you're talking about being 16, 17 years old and being told, " You have to go fight and beat up three guys to make our team." It's like, " Take me to your leader," stuff 25 years later here huh?
Darcy Hordichuk: Yeah. I mean, it's so different. What's kind of funny that right at the end of my career where it was like me left, and Parros left, and Eric Boulton left. There was only a few guys ... Luke Gazdic was coming up. Kassian. So there wasn't a lot of guys left anymore, so every time we played each other we would try to fight. But the other teams were trying to all of a sudden put their best players when we were on the ice and try to hem us in our end. We were hoping to try to run one of these guys over. It was kind of this cat and mouse game where, " Okay, we got scored on, we're done the rest of the game." Then Detroit would have that tough guy. So whoever was winning in playoffs they kind of shifted.
But basically when those lawsuits came out and when we lost Rypien and Boogaard, and Belak, the whole game shifted. They knew that there was probably going to be a lawsuit coming against the NHL at some point with different people, concussions. So they had to, like you said, make a change. All these young guys coming up had to wear a visor, so it was impossible. I kind of wish there was at least more Derek Dorsetts and guys like that in the league that can still run around, and hold people accountable, that can still play the game really well but it's just tough man.
I was talking to Jimmy Hughes about one of his kids in New Jersey where they brought a kid into send a message after, I think, his son got run or somebody else. He was telling his son in Michigan, he was like, " See Darce, he would have responded. He would have went after the guy. He would have did his job." He's like, " It's just tough this generation of guys." Sometimes people don't do as much as they're supposed to or they don't want to do it. Like if I didn't do my job back then there was somebody else in the minors that would take my job. I think people maybe get in trouble now if they respond or ... It's just a different mindset. But, I mean, if I could do it all over again I would do the exact same thing and not change, and just hope that the league continued to at least have ... Maybe not two guys or three guys, you got to have one guy.
Blake Price: You brought up Rypien and you brought up Boogaard. It's great that you have the awareness of all that. You don't try to squash those stories because of your role in the league. You ever have a moment, in the wake of either of those tragedies, and think, " Geez, I'm worried about where I'm going. I'm worried about my mental health"? What was your reaction to both of those events?
Darcy Hordichuk: You know what? It's like when you get on a plane every day and one crashes, and you're like, " Do I get on a plane again?" You just ... I think we're all on this journey and we're all trying to do the right thing. If it's meant to be in the end it's meant to be. I did everything I could to take care of myself. I would get massages after the game. I'd keep my neck loose. I think that's the big thing, right? If you get your bell rung it's that second, third time when your neck's tight, and you're not taking care of yourself where all of a sudden it effects you a little bit more and more. Everybody's different.
I mean, I got hit with 1, 000 punches and people say, " Have you ever had a concussion?" Honestly, I think I had a couple in junior but really the only one, maybe, was Brian McGrattan at the end of my career where I thought I had the better of him early in the fight until I realized he was just trying to string me out, and hold me out, and tire out. Then he threw one through my helmet and put me on a knee where I was kind of like, " How did I go down? I've never really been down before like that." But I tried to fight him next shift and he basically said, " Are you stupid? I think you have a concussion." I go, " Dude we're going next shift." He just said, " Calm down. Just take your breath. I think you have a concussion."
Matt Sekeres: I mean, that's-
Darcy Hordichuk: He diagnosed me.
Matt Sekeres: ... (crosstalk) honor, right?
Darcy Hordichuk: Oh yeah.
Matt Sekeres: (crosstalk) honor, right?
Blake Price: There was an honor code back then though.
Darcy Hordichuk: Totally. Exactly. You know what? I have respect for guys like that. We all had honor code. I mean, Shelley I fought 10 times. Parros. If you didn't have that honor code you would make sure that you had earned that. Stortini never had the honor code. Stortini was great. I'm like right dead at the end of my shift, he comes back to Edmonton, I can't even talk, can't even breath. He comes out fresh, just two hands me about 14 times in the pads, shakes my gloves. Everybody's booing because I'm not fighting, so I was like, " Okay, I see what you're trying to do. Let me go do the same thing for you next shift and let's see if you want to go." Unfortunately he ended up going with me and I think I pumped him in that fight.
Matt Sekeres: Wow.
Darcy Hordichuk: And pretty much every other fight that I fought him.
Matt Sekeres: We could talk fighting stories with you all day but let's move on to your time as a Vancouver Canuck. You had already played for Atlanta, Phoenix, Florida, and Nashville. Then on July 1st, 2008 a new regime here in Vancouver with Mike Gillis makes you a ... They sign you as a July 1 free agent Darcy. What did that mean to you, for a new regime to make you a priority in free agency and bring you aboard here?
Darcy Hordichuk: You know what? It was incredible. I mean, it was one of those things where ... Remember you guys were having the Olympics that year? It was a first- class organization. I've always wanted to play in Canada. If you look at my career before that I was in these hockey markets like Arizona, Atlanta, Nashville, Phoenix. So I never really got a chance to say, " Okay, what is hockey all about?" I really ... Not knowing if it was going to ever be my last game I wanted to play in Canada. Carolina traded for my rights that year. I think they gave up a 5th round pick before I became a free agent. My agent had a three- year deal done. Then I said, " No, I'm not signing. I'm not going to do the deal." I waited to the deadline. There was rumors that Edmonton was interested and Vancouver. I ended up going with Vancouver. It was probably the best decision of my career I made.
Matt Sekeres: Well-
Blake Price: They played you in 10 playoff games in your first year. They trusted you to that point. I mean, did that surprise you, the fact that they played you in 10 playoff games?
Darcy Hordichuk: Are you kidding me? If you ask the guys stories about what I played it was hilarious. Like Alain would put me in the PK or the power play. I mean, listen I played in the NHL. I didn't get those four years in the minors to kill penalties. In juniors I didn't get those three years in juniors. I mean, I was a fourth line you get your job done. So it kind of hurt me early on not develop ... Then coming to Vancouver all of a sudden I'm in one of the top teams in the league. The best thing that ever happened is we play Chicago and you can see previously Ben Eager ... Ironically just stayed in my condo a week ago, and went and had some beers with him. But Ben Eager goes and runs around, and I think beats up one of our guys. So there was this whole hoopla that the whole media had said, " Oh my god, we got to go in there and just start beating them up."
Me, and Rypien, and Johnson started the game and got a ton of ice time. I ended up getting that one playoff goal, my only playoff goal in my career. Really had some momentum going. We're playing well as a line. It was just great physical hockey. What a great experience. I mean, that team was incredible with the twins, and (BX) , and Burroughs, and Raymond. Just a fun group to be a part of.
Blake Price: Well here's the thing though, because as you well know Darcy, Mike Gillis was the furthest thing from being a proponent of fighting in the NHL. We would ask him on a number of occasions, " Mike if you're against fighting in the NHL why are you carrying Darcy Hordichuk?" He would forever say, " Darcy can skate. Do not prejudge Darcy as just an enforcer. He can skate out there, he can kill ... He can do more than just fight out there." That's why you lasted until 2013 don't you think Darcy, is that you could skate? And you could skate back in junior and you carried that through.
Darcy Hordichuk: You know what? Every shift I hit a guy, so every shift I was on the ice that was my whole goal was to hit somebody. On my score sheet I'd get credit for three hits but I finished every check. I knew some games I'd get five minutes, some games I'd get nine minutes. So it was if I didn't do that every shift then I never got a chance to maybe get that second period. By the time the third period came we knew if it was a close game. I had to play like that. For sure, I mean a guy like me should never have lasted more than two years in the league. I mean, I got to give myself some credit but I just worked my tail off and I did every game what I was supposed to do.
I mean, I would have probably had another 400 fights if I could have got guys to drop the gloves. Every game I asked somebody to fight. Every game I, before warmups, would start calling guys out and say, " We're going for a shift." They're like, " Darce, what's wrong with you dude?" People thought I was on drugs because I would get in this whole mindset and I would just ... Because I wanted to ... I didn't want to fight but I wanted to know if I could play hockey that game. It was just almost like bluffing them to say, " We're going for a shift." Then the guys would be like, "No, no, no. Dude we're not fighting today. My hand's messed up." Then I could play the game. I knew mentally. I think I acted crazy the whole time and I kind of let other guys be able to play the game.
When I was in Edmonton Taylor Hall would come, he's like, "Darce this guy keeps slashing me." Every day guys would give me a list of guys and I would make sure that they knew every shift, " Hey, just so you know I'm going to go punch Mike Modano in the head." They're like ... I'd go by the bench, " Mike, you're going to get punched right now or I'm going to run you over tonight." He's like, " Why?" I'm like, " Well because Ott over here is telling everybody and running around like an idiot, or Avery, so you're going to get it. He's like-
Matt Sekeres: It's like a soap opera. Nice.
Darcy Hordichuk: Oh yeah. Oh yeah. So he would go tell Ott or Avery, " You better ..." I'd just like ... It was unbelievable. I mean, the one game it was the goalie there. I tried to run him on the boards for Dallas. You can look at the video if you Google it. Anyways, Avery wouldn't fight me and every shift I'm like, " I'm going to run you. As soon as you leave the net I'm going to run you." I almost took his head off. Going across the boards you could see I tried to take ... It would have probably been the biggest hit of all time on a goalie, and it still was probably the biggest one.
Blake Price: Darcy I think one of the reasons why ... I covered you in junior, I don't know if you remember me back in the Saskatoon days but-
Darcy Hordichuk: Yeah.
Blake Price: ... you were a great teammate then. I think you just continued to be a great ... Do you think that kept getting you resigned too, the fact that ... Not only in the sense that you're talking there, in that you would have the backs of your ... But you were an easy guy in the room. You weren't a high maintenance guy in the room.
Matt Sekeres: Everybody loved you Darcy.
Blake Price: Everybody loved Darcy Hordichuk. (crosstalk) Do you think that helped you honestly?
Darcy Hordichuk: You know what? I was in such a different role. I didn't have ego. I didn't care if I played that game. Like I pinched myself I couldn't believe that I was in the NHL. I still can't believe, looking back, that I played in the NHL. I had the best seat in the house. I was just so grateful to be able to be in that locker room and to have these guys. I was a small town kid from Saskatchewan. Are you kidding me? If I got to have McDonald's I was happy. I just took that mentality through my whole life. There's too many things in this world to get upset about. I think it's all a mindset. It's all your perspective. Guys, I think, kind of appreciated that. I was always trying to get the team better and trying to help the guys, and say, " Hey listen, here's my ART guy in Toronto. Here's my massage therapist here. Here's this doctor." Because we're all trying to rally and we all want to do the same thing.
I mean, look at McNeill, he was trying to take my job. Everybody was trying to take my job. Just like I was trying to take guys like [Duff Audrey's 00:23:29] job. These mentors were so good to me. Kelly Buchberger. All these guys were great to me. When you have good guys like that, that teach you the ropes at a young age ... Mike Sillinger. Then it just ... Shane Doan. You kind of learn what it takes to be a pro. Yeah, I think the last seven years I hung on was because everybody knew what kind of guy I was in the locker room. And to be a tough guy and not have too many off ice issues, and to be hooked on this and that, it was tough to find because it kind of wore guys out knowing you had to fight every night.
Blake Price: Okay, we need the real story finally here. In January 2010 Derek Boogaard, the late Derek Boogaard and may he rest easy, tells us all after a game, " Yeah, Hordichuk told us the coach is forcing them all to fight us." I do remember that next day and the scrum at your locker, Darcy, when the entirety of the Vancouver media wanted to know if AV had sent you out there to fight. I do remember Alain saying, " I didn't say that to him but I don't doubt that Darcy told Derek that."
Darcy Hordichuk: I did. Yeah. I did-
Blake Price: What was the story?
Darcy Hordichuk: So here's the thing everybody wanted me to ... I don't know, people wanted me to fight Boogaard, right? They wanted me to break my face. Well he just destroyed Todd Fedoruk. So I made the comment, I don't know if you guys remember, I'm like, " Why would I fight Boogaard?" Exactly what people said about me. I'm like, " The guy can't skate. He can't hit. He's useless out there. I mean, maybe if he runs somebody." Sure enough what does he do? He crushes Kesler, the first hit of his career I think. Kesler goes flying down. I'm like, " Oh my god." Boogaard was destroying everybody. He wasn't doing like ChÃ¡ra did where he threw the big punch, loops, misses, you hit him, he falls down. He would throw this right up the pipe at your chin, try to break your chin, pull back, hold you out, ragdoll you. I kind of got the better ... Or not the better-
Blake Price: Like a grizzly bear.
Darcy Hordichuk: Yeah. I kind of jumped him then. Then I'm like, " You know what? I think I don't need to jump him this time." It was kind of like I made (inaudible) , " I don't want to fight him again." But I wanted him to have a little bit of mercy on me a little bit, so I was like, " Hey, coach wants me to fight. We got to go." I made up something just so he would fight me first of all, which he knew he'd destroy me. Maybe like, " Okay, this guy's in a tough position. Listen, I'm not going to try to put my hand through his ..." I don't really exactly remember how it all went down but AV was the last guy to send me out to fight.
Blake Price: That was a cagey move by you. That was self- preservation.
Darcy Hordichuk: I know.
Matt Sekeres: Yeah.
Darcy Hordichuk: Oh yeah. You pull out all the tricks in the book when you know-
Matt Sekeres: (crosstalk) He's got every single one. Darcy you got every single trick in the bag, huh?
Darcy Hordichuk: When you got 15,000 or 17,000 fans in the stand and you're one punch away from your career ending you got to kind of get that mental edge. Every night was ... People are like, " Dude, don't you miss hockey? Don't you just want to get out there?" I go, " Men's league is perfect dude. I get to play all three periods. I don't have to worry about fighting." I'm like, " If I had that kind of career yes I would miss it but imagine going in the parking lot, 17,000 people are waiting for you to fight some Hells Angel dude, and you got to do it." You're like, " Oh this is awesome." Then all of a sudden you get knocked out and you're done. So I don't miss that.
Matt Sekeres: Well I know we're running tight on time. I don't want to gloss over though, he did score a playoff goal in 2009 Blake.
Blake Price: He did.
Matt Sekeres: He was mentioned in a name of How I Met Your Mother, Cobie Smulders.
Blake Price: Cobie, yeah.
Matt Sekeres: Mason Raymond and Darcy Hordichuk were her guys.
Blake Price: I wanted to ask you one more-
Darcy Hordichuk: Kenny, I think I was in Letterkenny too. Give me a little credit here.
Blake Price: Were you?
Matt Sekeres: (crosstalk) Oh okay, that would stand out.
Blake Price: That would stand to reason. That would stand to ... Have you seen that the Danbury Trashers Netflix documentary about the fighting in the United Hockey League? Have you seen that one yet?
Darcy Hordichuk: I watched it about a month and a half ago. Unbelievable story. I mean-
Blake Price: Do you ever think that if you weren't as good a skater as you were that could have been your path?
Matt Sekeres: That could have been you. Yeah.
Darcy Hordichuk: Dude. Even if I knew about that team I would have went and played there. I would have been like ... I mean, what an experience. I would have been like, " Hey ..." I would have been trying to own the garbage business or trying to do ... Obviously now you know the story I wouldn't have done that but, I mean, what a crazy story. That Garrett Burnett, the guy that looks like he's Hulk that is all juiced up, I fought him when Ric Flair dropped the hockey puck in Cleveland and we went at it toe to toe. He points off the ice, he chases me around the ice. He meets me in the hallway. We end up fighting in the hallway. I'm watching this movie and I'm like, " I know him. I know this guy." I'm like, " Holy cripe." Yeah. I mean, what a crazy story. Yeah.
Blake Price: You were always the baby face in Vancouver. We remember when you moved onto Edmonton and talked about how you were going to abuse the Sedins, right?
Darcy Hordichuk: Dude ...
Blake Price: You became the heel there.
Darcy Hordichuk: Gosh, until Ballard did the old hip check and ...
Matt Sekeres: Yeah. You got Ballard-
Darcy Hordichuk: Totally.
Matt Sekeres: You got Ballard.
Darcy Hordichuk: Yeah. No, I totally did.
Matt Sekeres: Darcy this has been great fun. Catch us up what you're up to now my friend.
Darcy Hordichuk: Yeah. Just we have a company for Canadians called Canada T- O USA. Yeah, I said during COVID ... Actually I was talking to you guys in a break, I mean our traffic went from, I think, 50,000 people a month to like 70, 000 a month of people trying to figure out how to move to the US. We just partnered up with the best of the best. We flew to Chicago, created a partnership with BEMO Bank helping Canadians get loans. So they're not stuck on the phone dealing with Joe Schmo, we have relationships where we're helping Canadians get approved to buy homes. Then we have a great team all over the country that keeps getting referred and referred from other clients saying, " Hey, you need to have this person in your arsenal," when people move to Florida or to Phoenix.
So we're really just starting to focus just on the real estate. We do do travel insurance right now. We do vehicle shipping. We have a lot of other things but with all the Canadians now trying to come back into the US we are just absolutely slammed and can't hire enough people. Yeah, just a way for Canadians to experience the US, so it's been a lot of fun. That's what life's about is trying to have as much fun as you can while you're here.
Matt Sekeres: What's the URL again? Canada to the US?
Darcy Hordichuk: Yeah. Canada T- O USA. We also own the names Canada T- O Arizona, Canada T- O Florida. But yeah, excited to continue helping Canadians move to the US. Now it's turned into now all of a sudden Canadians are like, " Listen, I'm not going to be there all the time. Can you help us turn this into a vacation rental?" Right now I have 17 myself, six that I own. But it's a crazy market when you can have a place down here, get it rented, it pays for itself, and it's only $ 400, 000 or $500,000 and you get to have eight months of sun.
Matt Sekeres: Well I may be a client one day. But it was fantastic catching up Darcy. Great to hear your voice again. Thanks for the time and sharing the stories. Happy holidays my man.
Darcy Hordichuk: Thanks, as always, for having me.
Matt Sekeres: Sekeres & Price from the Wall Centre, a presentation of Audi Downtown Vancouver.
Blake Price: I'm just booking my flight to Arizona. I would love to spend a day golfing with Darcy Hordichuk.
Matt Sekeres: Honest to goodness would he not be the best company over 18 holes? Tons to unpack here but first of all the enthusiasm and the joy, and the personality, everything that I remember covering with the Vancouver Canucks-
Blake Price: Yep. Still there.
Matt Sekeres: ... more than a decade ago is all still there. Hasn't changed a lick. How about he used the word gratitude? Just there are some guys who act as though, " Well okay, I had the talents and I had every rights to play in the National Hockey League." But the gratitude to be able to live the life he lived and play all those hockey games in the National Hockey League he has-
Blake Price: I mean, he played a lot of hockey games and yet because of the nature of the job, I mean, he didn't make scads of money.
Matt Sekeres: Yeah. No.
Blake Price: He's a guy that's going to have to work the rest of his life. So he can just look back at his NHL career as gratitude for the life that it gave him. For the life ... I wouldn't even say the lifestyle because that, again, sort of denotes he made millions and-
Matt Sekeres: Springboard. But it was a good springboard for him.
Blake Price: No, but just the life in that moment. The present moment that he ... He lived every moment in the present it sounds like. Yeah. Just had fun with it.
Matt Sekeres: Well as he said he never should have lasted more than a couple of years in the National Hockey League and yet there he was. I think it was 12 years? He went parts of 12 seasons-
Blake Price: Yeah.
Matt Sekeres: ... that he played in. Great question on the Danbury Trashers, which elicited a fantastic answer as you might expect.
Blake Price: I mean, right up his alley. I thought of guys like that. As I watched that documentary I thought of guys like Darcy Hordichuk because he's just such a character. It's just fun to listen to those stories. They're often great storytellers, as we just heard. A lot of hockey players are but the enforcers generally are even more so.
Matt Sekeres: And why am I not surprised that he fought the Danbury Trasher's enforcer at some point in his career. In Cleveland-
Blake Price: In the hall.
Matt Sekeres: ... and they ran around the rink, and found themselves fighting in the hallway. I hope you enjoyed our conversation with Darcy Hordichuk.