D-man caught on cam

STEVE MACFARLANE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:29 AM ET

Thanks to an accidental butt end from teammate Jakub Voracek last week, Mike Commodore has a visible black eye to go with the virtual one his character suffered when a less than flattering picture of him hit the Internet earlier this year.

It's hard to say which hurt more.

"It's not exactly a flattering picture of me," Commodore said of the snapshot that shows him in bed rolling in $3,000 cash he won at a Super Bowl block party, wearing only a pair of boxer briefs and a goofy look on his face.

Innocent enough, except for the fact it surfaced well after Commodore signed a hefty five-year, $18.75-million free-agent deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets this summer.

That led some to believe the 28-year-old defenceman was taking his big-money contract lightly. The timing couldn't have been worse.

"I was just clowning around at home," said the former Calgary Flames blueliner before taking on his former team last night.

"I would have preferred it didn't come out. Once it did, I don't really care. It's just the timing of it was a little tough. It made it look like I'm in Columbus, and that's what I'm doing after signing a contract."

In an ironic twist, the timing of the picture's appearance made it an important learning tool for the NHL's media training, which happened to be in Columbus when it made its big splash.

"It really took off that day," Commodore said with a laugh. "It was actually really nice timing to show the guys what not to do, I guess."

He's had to explain the glamour shot over and over.

No audience was tougher than his parents.

The Fort Saskatchewan product knew they'd assume the worst when they saw it.

"My parents weren't too happy for a bit," he said. "They always assume the worst. Especially my old man. He was rattled."

His teammates were amused.

They continue to get a laugh any time they want, and they don't have to dive long into the World Wide Web to get it, either.

"It's actually up on the wall still," said Commodore, gesturing toward the Blue Jackets dressing room. "I'm sure it's going to be there all year.

"You live and learn."

The actual black eye he sports on his face taught him another lesson -- keep your head up, even coming off the bench on a line change.

"Just as my feet hit the ice to go across, Jake Voracek was coming off. It all happened so fast I'm not sure (what happened)," said Commodore, his bruised right eye glowing purple almost a week later. "The butt end came swinging around and just levelled me.

"It hit me really hard. It knocked me right off my feet. I got up, my eyes were a little out of focus and I had to take a rush right away from Chicago."

The shiner is fading, but a picture of it could show up online -- any day now.


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