Chris Cuthbert is far from an absentee co-owner of the Guelph Storm hockey club.
Even when the TSN play-by-play broadcaster's job takes him far from the Royal City, he still keeps tabs on the OHL team he bought into last year as part of an Elliott Kerr-led ownership group that includes John Heeley and Mississauga businessmen Rick Gaetz, Rick Hoyle and David Livingston.
"When I'm travelling or (calling) an NHL game, my BlackBerry gets a workout with me checking for Storm updates all the time," Cuthbert said. "I'm always telling the guys in the (TSN) truck the score of the Storm games. The other night, we beat Kitchener and I was tempted (to announce the score on-air during an NHL game he was working)."
Cuthbert plans on being at the Guelph Sports and Entertainment Centre tonight to watch his Storm take on the visiting London Knights. He was also at the John Labatt Centre for last Thursday's Guelph-London game.
"I was on my way to Detroit to do a Red Wings game on Friday and drove down (to London) on Thursday to watch the game," Cuthbert said. "It was a great game, although the result (a 7-6 London win) wasn't what we would've liked. I have seats in Guelph and try to get to as many games as I can. I've even been on a road trip to Erie."
A Brampton resident, Cuthbert comes by a love for junior hockey honestly and had been looking at participating in OHL ownership for several years.
"I actually was interested in Brampton before they got a team but Scott Abbott came along and he has a lot more money than I do," Cuthbert said. "After buying into Guelph, my son called me a traitor, but we wanted to be involved with something close (Guelph is 40 kilometres from Brampton) and being part of this franchise has been a wonderful experience."
Cuthbert has met most of the players on the team and is a big fan of Storm GM and head coach Dave Barr.
"I was bugging Dave the other day that if he keeps this (winning) up, he's going to have to work on another (OHL) coach-of-the-year speech," Cuthbert said. "As an ownership group, we were lucky to come into a stable franchise and 99 per cent of that is due to Dave Barr. I know we don't corner the market on great kids but we have a lot of great ones on the team."
"I always tell people to come out and see (Londoner) Drew Doughty because he's going to be a star and watch him as he improves every night. You have to mention (goalie) Thomas McCollum. And (Londoner) Leigh Salters, I'm going to be so happy when he finally gets one (a goal).