January 30, 2018

Unknown Canadians: Ben Scrivens

By this team's standards, Ben Scrivens is perhaps the best known player on the 2018 Canadian Olympian team. The veteran goalie played in 144 NHL games from 2011 to 2016, including in the bright spotlights of Toronto, Edmonton and Montreal. He also played with Los Angeles.

The Spruce Grove, born and raised puck stopper could never emerge as a starting goalie in the NHL. He, like so many goalies it seems, was capable of putting together a couple of fantastic weeks where he looked like the best goalie in the league, but then follow that up with a couple of weeks where you wonder how's the goalie on the farm team doing.

Hockey Canada is clearly hoping to see more of the former scenario than the latter in Scrivens, or at least one their selected goalies.

Once you separate the top 15 or 20 goalies in the world, the next 40 or 60 NHL back ups, minor league scrubs and Euro league castoffs are very similar and very interchangeable.

The Cornell educated Scrivens (he studied hotel management, an interesting choice for a vagabond hockey player) has been playing in the KHL with Minsk the last couple of seasons. 

"I had the opportunity to come back into North America, not as a full-time NHL guy, but to come back, compete in an NHL organization probably in a number three role. Maybe be a mentor for a younger guy coming up, but also be a guy that can be trusted to play some games if there was some injury trouble. But you factor in some money, and it sounds bad to say that money makes these decisions for you, but the way I see, you can make double the money and set up for your family for later in life. Not just you, but your next generation. It’s definitely a motivating factor. You combine the money with the opportunity to play more games in the KHL."

And now he gets the chance to represent his home and native land.

One thing is for certain - the pressure won't get to Scrivens. Stopping pucks in Korea will be easy to his many (and often outspoken) political stances on social issues.

"I have to take a back seat with any personal agenda I have. I can park that for two weeks and make sure that I can represent every Canadian that I can in a way that I would be happy with. In terms of my political outspokenness, it’s a matter of trying to represent that aren’t just like-minded but also Canadians who I disagree with. I want them to be proud of the way I represent them. It’s a bit out of my character to hold my tongue and to not comment on things deeply and passionately, especially where injustice is involved. In a case where you’re representing your country on a stage like the Olympics, it calls for some humility and some understanding that that probably isn’t the time and place."

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