Legends of Team Canada: Joe Grant
You probably never heard of him. If he was ever in a NHL rink it was because he bought a ticket just like you or me. He played junior in St. Catherine's and Kitchener before heading to the University of Toronto, graduating in 1983.
Grant took a bit of time off from his studies. In 1979-80 he joined the Canadian national team program and was selected to patrol the blue line for Canada at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics.
Following his Olympic journey Grant chose to pursue to travel the world with his hockey stick and skates.
First he went to Sweden where he played with Modo. His teammates there included future NHLers Lars Molin and Tomas Jonsson.
The next season he travelled to Japan. Yes, they play hockey in Japan. In fact a couple of the 1980 Canadian Olympians played there, including Randy Gregg.
Grant played with Seibu Tetsudo Toyko - better known as the Bunnies to western hockey fans. Obviously the photo above is of him in a Bunnies uniform.
You would assume the culture shock for a young Canadian in Japan would be pretty significant. But Grant had a couple of former NHLers to keep him company in Ted McAneely and Garry Monohan.
Grant returned to Toronto to finish his schooling in 1982-83 and skated with the Canadian National team until 1985 before hanging up his well-travelled skates.
Unfortunately Joe Grant passed away young - just 53 - because of brain cancer in 2011.