Too strange to be fake? Oilers forward Gilbert Brule picked up hitchhiking U2 singer Bono


Every once in a while, you hear a story about different celebrities/pseudo-celebrities crossing paths in the strangest of ways. That’s exactly what happened when Edmonton Oilers forward Gilbert Brule picked up a hitchhiking man who looked like U2 megastar Bono … because he was U2 megastar Bono.

(Out of respect to your eye-rolling instincts, all conscious references to “Joshua Tree” and wearing sunglasses while indoors will be curbed despite natural urges to indulge.)

Ben Gelinas of The Edmonton Journal passes along the story, which seems so random and specific that it’s hard to imagine the situation being fabricated. Gelinas reports that Brule and his girlfriend Kelsey Nichols were getting ready to walk their dog while they were driving around West Vancouver when they saw a few hitchhikers. Brule’s girlfriend refused to believe Brule’s claims that one of those hitchhikers was Bono. After all, why would a millionaire rock star need to hitchhike, right?*

Brule reportedly yelled “Bono” and the singer acknowledged his call. It didn’t take long before Bono and his assistant were in the back seat of Brule’s car, discussing their hockey and music careers. Gelinas reports that Bono offered them backstage passes to an Edmonton show as a gesture of gratitude for the ride, prompting Brule to sell his tickets to Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals.

On Nichols’s pass, he wrote: “Thanks for the ride.”

On Brule’s pass, he wrote: “My hero Gilbert.”

It was the strangest thing.

“We go to walk our dog and Bono ends up in our car,” Brule said.

Bono paid tribute to the favour onstage during Wednesday’s concert.

“I like ice hockey because people who play ice hockey are the kind of people who pick up hitchhikers,” Bono told the crowd.

“I’m ever so grateful. I’ve decided that I want to be Gilbert Brule.”

On face value, the hockey player and musician might seem like very different people. Then again, they have plenty in common. Each of them are paid handsomely for their talents and must perform for thousands of fans in arenas all across North America. Judging from Brule’s inspiring charitable efforts, they have that much in common too.

It’s an odd story indeed, but then again, these kind of moments just seem to follow Bono around … and maybe Brule too. You can watch the video of Bono singing Brule’s praises in this clip from TSN.

* – A less scrupulous writer would make a joke about the effects of pirated music on Bono’s bank account, but thankfully you’re in better hands. Maybe.

Campbell’s perfect snipe sinks Wings in OT

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Brian Campbell doesn’t score as many points as he used to, but he came up with a huge goal against the Red Wings on Sunday afternoon.

With the game tied, 1-1, in overtime, Campbell skated into the slot and beat Petr Mrazek with a perfect wrister to end the game.

It was also a pretty nice passing play between Jussi Jokinen, Jonathan Huberdeau and Campbell.

Dylan Larkin opened the scoring in the second period before Reilly Smith leveled the score with just over five minutes remaining.

The Wings have blown a lead in three straight games.

Detroit was up 2-0 and 3-2 in their last game, against Edmonton, before they finally closed the game out with an overtime goal by Niklas Kronwall.

They weren’t so fortunate against the Bruins on Wednesday, as they lost 3-2 in OT after leading 2-1 with under two minutes remaining in regulation.

This was the first meeting of the season between Detroit and Florida, but they’ll see each other three times between Feb. 4 and Mar. 19.

With Jonathan Bernier sputtering, we’ll meet Garret Sparks

Garett Sparks
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You can’t blame Mike Babcock for siding with the relatively unknown when the other option is Jonathan Bernier, a goalie who’s 0-8-1 so far in 2015-16.

With that in mind, meet Garret Sparks, the Toronto Maple Leafs’ expected starter for Monday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers.

Sparks was a seventh-round pick (190th overall) in 2011, a guy who was off to a great start in the AHL. That much wasn’t lost on Babcock.

Let’s face it, though; this is as much about the Leafs’ other two goalies as it is about Sparks (whose name inspired a very obscure reference in this post’s headline).

In Bernier’s case, there’s an “enough’s enough” feel:

Meanwhile, James Reimer‘s not quite healthy enough to play yet, so the window of opportunity is open for Sparks … a little bit.

Sparks will get a chance to make an impression, even if it’s just a small one.

Video: Dylan Larkin adds to his rookie goals lead

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So far, the 2015-16 crop of rookies is living up to the hype, if not exceeding it. Connor McDavid‘s unfortunate injury hasn’t even derailed this year’s crop.

The Detroit Red Wings are watching their own blue chip blossom, as Dylan Larkin is making an instant impact.

No. 71 scored his 10th goal of the season against the Florida Panthers on Sunday, fattening his rookie goals lead.

He still needs five points to match rookie points leader Artemi Panarin, though.

Latest report leaves Carey Price’s injury timeline fuzzy

Carey Price
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There’s one thing we seem to know about Carey Price‘s injury situation: he first got hurt stepping on a puck on Oct. 29, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.

Contrary to earlier reports about him missing about a month, it sounds like his window of recovery is still up in the air (which, to be fair, could mean that he’ll still miss about a month when it’s all said and done).

ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reports that Price underwent testing with Montreal’s team doctor on Saturday and is expected to go through more; we may not know more about his expected injury timeline until early this coming week.

So, basically, Price’s situation is fuzzier than his mustache right now.

Leg injuries can be tricky anyway, so we shouldn’t be too surprised that there are mixed signals regarding Price, and this may remain a fluid situation for some time.

(But we’ll hopefully know more soon enough.)