Some eagle eyed observers have caught a rather hilarious inclusion on the Hockey Night in Canada broadcast on Saturday night, and part of me wonders if there may have been some kind of bet or prank involved in all of this.
As many of you will already know, former National Hockey League defenseman Kevin Bieksa has successfully transitioned from his career on the ice to a career in front of the camera and is now featured prominently on the NHL broadcast. Well Bieksa was once again front and center this evening but above him was an unusual picture that caught the attention of a few sleuths, including sportsnet's own Danielle Michaud.
Michaud published a close up of the picture and sure enough, behind Bieksa was another former NHL player in Ryan Kesler. Kesler was of course a long time teammate of Bieksa's when both men played together for several years as members of the Vancouver Canucks and Anaheim Ducks, but this was no normal photo of Kesler. Instead the picture was one from the ESPN Body issue that he had featured in, a special issue each year in which professional athletes are featured naked in poses that show off their strong athletic bodies.
Of course Bieksa can keep whatever pictures he wants in his personal space, but I couldn't help but chuckle at the fact that he had gone ahead and gotten the picture framed. I must admit that the fact that it was directly above his head during the broadcast makes me think that this may have been done intentionally, either by Bieksa himself or by someone else, but that is purely just speculation on my part.
There is one additional factor that makes me believe this may have been some kind of stunt. Bieksa was featured once again during the broadcast, this after the picture had caught the attention of many on social media, and by the time he made another appearance the picture had been moved out of the frame to a new location. If it was just his usual mantle piece, why bother moving it?
What do you think? Was Bieksa the victim of a prank? Was he having a laugh of his own? Let us know what you think in the comments.