VANCOUVER – On the ice, Kevin Bieksa knows how to hold a grudge.
But the Vancouver Canucks defenceman is willing to forgive and forget Don Cherry’s mispronunciation of his name.
During Saturday’s segment of Coach’s Corner on Hockey Night in Canada, Cherry referred to Bieksa—pronounced be-ECK-sah—as “Bieska,” or bee-ET-ska.
According to Bieksa, Grapes has made the same mistake on more than one occasion.
“I don’t think he wants to get it right,” said Bieksa. “That’s the thing.”
The 30-year-old Grimsby, Ont., native is one of Cherry’s favourites and often singled out for praise. So Bieksa, who is currently riding a six-game points streak and playing some of the best hockey of his career, does not mind Cherry’s faux pas.
“It’s a common mistake, but he can call me whatever he wants,” said Bieksa.
Known for lively retorts with reporters, Bieksa is even willing to forgive journalists who get his name wrong.
“Some of our great writers in Vancouver still make a spelling mistake in an article in the paper, believe it or not,” he said. “It happened last week, too, on the title of the article. So everybody makes mistakes.”
Bieksa said he has been hearing people mispronounce his surname the same way since he was a kid.
“I’ve heard a lot worse,” said Bieksa.