PHPA Feature: Ben Harpur
I am very excited to announce that the Professional Hockey Players’ Association (US National Labor Relations Board collective bargaining representative for all professional hockey players within the AHL and ECHL) has given me the opportunity to interview players from the AHL and ECHL for the purposes of writing featured articles for their website. To say that this new opportunity excites me to no end is a huge understatement.
I’d like to thank Ben for being an awesome interview. For me to say that I was nervous for my first “professional” interview is putting it lightly. The fact that Ben was such a good sport to sit through an interview with some nervous, bumbling nobody definitely speaks to his character. It was pretty cool that my first feature was on a former Guelph Storm player. It is kind of surreal considering I have closely followed the team since I was 11 years old. A couple of times in our interview he eluded to the 2013-14 Memorial Cup finalist team. This took me back to their tough series win over Erie, when I got to watch the Storm win the Wayne Gretzky Trophy (OHL Western Conference Champions) live from a “standing room only seat” at the Sleeman Center. That feels like ages ago. Time flies way too quickly.
Rapid Fire Questions with Ben Harpur
1. Your favourite team when you were growing up?
2. Your favourite athletes when you were growing up?
“That’s a tough one. I never got to watch him myself, but my Dad was a huge Bobby Orr fan growing up, hearing stories from him. I am actually represented by the Orr Group now so that’s really cool”
3. What’s the weirdest thing a coach has ever said to you?
“I don’t know if I can repeat it. No comment”
4. Street hockey or pond hockey?
“I played a lot of street hockey with my brother when I was growing up”
5. What’s your go-to pump up song?
“We always used to go out to “Thunderstruck” in minor hockey. We were the Niagara Falls Thunder and then going to the Guelph Storm, that was always included in the warm-up song”
6. Favourite offseason cheat-day meal?
“I wouldn’t say I cheat too often but I love burrito’s”
7. What’s your favourite road city?
“St. John’s Newfoundland”
8. What’s your favourite show to binge-watch?
“Game of Thrones”
9. Who is the best player you’ve fought
“I fought Josh Anderson back in junior. He played a couple games with Columbus this year”
10. Who is your toughest defensive assignment
“Probably being on the ice against Crosby. Or even playing in the Western Conference Finals a year ago, our line had to go up against McDavid”
Excerpt from PHPA Feature
On April 5, 2016, the Ottawa Senators were in the midst of a 5-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, the eventual Stanley Cup champions. A 21-year old defenseman from Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Ben Harpur, showed a glimmer of the same potential that had enticed the Senators to make him their fourth round draft pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. He picked up his first career NHL point as he assisted on Mike Hoffman’s goal in the second period. It was just Harpur’s third career NHL game and he had skated 18 hard shifts. On one of the night’s longest shifts, he and his Senators line mates got caught on an icing call. Already exhausted, Harpur was absolutely taken aback when he witnessed number 87 from Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia hop over the boards.
“I got stuck out on the ice after an icing and Crosby’s line came on. I remember gasping for breath and watching Crosby line up for a faceoff. It was kind of crazy. One of the best players in the world and I’m on the same ice surface as him. It was really cool and it was extra motivation for me to not get scored on.”