NEW GLASGOW – Ken Reid doesn’t get home very often.
“I was driving with my mom today on the (Pictou) causeway, singing The Carpenters together, and I said, ‘mom, I haven’t seen Pictou County without leaves on the trees in a long time, because usually I just come home in the summer,’” he says. “It’s always nice to be back home, I wish I could be here more often.”
Reid graduated from Pictou Academy in 1992, studied broadcasting at the University of Maine, (graduating in 1996) and worked for a couple of years in Dartmouth with Access Cable, then had career stops in Calgary, Ottawa and Edmonton, before arriving in Toronto nine years ago to work at Sportsnet, where he is co-anchor with Evanka Osmak on that network’s prime time package.
“I love it – it’s awesome, and it doesn’t get old,” says Reid, who lives in the GTA with his wife Ash and their sons Jacoby and Langdon (ages 4 and 6).
“You just sit there, watching games every night and it’s kind of cool. They send you to different events once in a while, they don’t work you to death; they keep you fresh, so it’s nice,” he adds, prior to giving a speech at the DEANS (Destination Eastern and Northumberland Shores), awards gala on April 7, where he spoke of his career and touched upon sports tourism.
“Sports tourism brings in a lot of bucks, the Grand Slam of Curling is coming down here in November (to the Pictou County Wellness Centre). Sportsnet is pumped about that, so you’re going to have the best curlers in the world here.”
Reid is supposed to be an impartial sports journalist, even if that means keeping his fandom close to his chest.
“I grew up a huge Montreal Canadiens fan, but, I like Pittsburgh, too – I like the fact that somebody from Pittsburgh brings the Stanley Cup back to Nova Scotia every few years.”
The NHL playoffs are at hand, and there is a lot of parity in the NHL, so winning the Cup is harder than ever, he says.
“There are no easy matchups, even if it’s the Flames against Dallas or Colorado. Big is good, size is something we don’t talk about anymore, but size matters in the playoffs. I really like Boston in the playoffs, but they could lose in the first round, there’s no safe pick anymore.”
Reid released his fourth book last October; Hockey Card Stories 2 followed up his national best-selling Hockey Card Stories.
“It’s harmless fun, I got to talk to Wayne Gretzky about his hockey cards, Guy Lafleur was one, (Thorburn native) Lowell MacDonald was another one. There’s a lot of cool stories in that book.”
Reid has met a lot of big names in sports, but some stand out more than others.
“The biggest thrill I ever had was the first time I interviewed Wayne Gretzky,” Reid says.
“But honestly, right up there was when (Jon) Sim, (Derrick) Walser, Joey MacDonald and Colin (White) made the NHL, and I’d get to interview them and stick a mic in their faces. It was cool, going from cheering them on in peewee and bantam and you go to the NHL and get to interview them in a Devils or (Atlanta) Thrashers uniform.”