The world lost a wonderful man on Sunday when it was announced that legendary game show host Alex Trebek had passed away. The long time host of Jeopardy, a show that has reached millions upon millions of eyeballs from around the world in countries like Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, Russia, Denmark, Israel, Australia and more, lost his years long battle with pancreatic cancer on Sunday and as you would expect the whole world is mourning his passing.
For fans in Canada it hits especially hard given that Trebek was a true Canadian icon, born and raised in Sudbury, Ontario and was one of the few Canadian personalities you would regularly see on American television in the days before the age of the internet. His grace, politeness, and kindness all served to make him the perfect avatar of the Canadian stereotype, just a nice and thoughtful man. You would be hard pressed to find anyone that ever had a bad word to say about Trebek.
For fans of the National Hockey League the last time we will ever see a Trebek/NHL collaboration will have been at this year's NHL Entry Draft. Although the draft was in many ways a lackluster event due to the pandemic, Trebek actually helped make things interesting by agreeing to perform a short skit in which he selected the 3rd overall pick in the draft instead of the Ottawa Senators. Trebek, who was of course already very sick due to his cancer at the time, did an incredible job for his part of the performance and would on to select German born Tim Stutzle with the pick on behalf of the Senators.
It was a really fun moment for fans who had tuned in to the draft despite some of the limitations imposed by the pandemic, but I think it may have been a moment that was even more special for members of the hockey media. Many of them are older and have, like myself, grown up watching Trebek on television and were fully aware of his ongoing battle with cancer at the time. To see him perform so well and so bravely at such a difficult time will be an excellent way for us to remember him.
Here's the video: