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He admits that he can’t carry a tune in a bucket but Jordin Tootoo, who plays right wing for the Nashville Predators in the NHL, does have a couple of things in common with his buddies in Emerson Drive—he’s from Canada and grew up playing hockey. At the Predators’ practice facility—Nashville’s Centennial Sportsplex—CW asked Jordin and Emerson Drive about Canada, their mutual admiration and, of course . . . hockey! Here’s some of what they had to say.
CW: I went online and checked out your hometown of Rankin Inlet [a town of about 2,000 on the west coast of Canada's Hudson Bay]. I’m guessing it’s not a country music hotbed.
Jordin: Where I come from is a very isolated community—you’ve gotta fly in and fly out. But it’s as country as you can get. I grew up living out on the land, hunting and fishing. [Jordin is the first player of Inuit descent to skate in an NHL game. And he’s not kidding about loving the outdoors. On the Predators’ website, he’s said to enjoy such traditional foods as “raw caribou, seals, whale and fish.”]
CW: It’s nice that you guys are all friends and can enjoy each other’s success. The Predators were in the playoffs this year, and you guys have a huge hit with “Moments,” so it’s cool that you’re all friends and can watch each other do well.
Brad Mates: Yeah, it really is. We met each other a few years ago, and from that point we’ve been just getting to know each other. And, as Jordin was saying, your careers are obviously different, but very similar in a lot of ways. And to see how well the Predators have done in the last few years, taking Nashville another step toward being a real hockey town. It’s been great to see.
CW: How far did you get playing hockey? It’s obvious you competed at some level.
Brad: I made it all the way to the top—the Nashville Beer League! No, seriously, I played right up until junior hockey, and that’s when the band got quite busy. So I put everything on hold.
For more of Jordin and Emerson Drive, see the July 2 issue of Country Weekly.
[Photo by Harrison McClary]