Gotta be the 'Stache'

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:36 AM ET

On Mondays a Sun staffer gets to know a sports figure a little better in Up Close. This week, Kirk Penton travels to Steinbach to chat with hometown hero Ian White, the Toronto Maple Leaf s forward who will represent Canada later this month at the world men's hockey championship in Switzerland.

The Sun: How's life?

Ian White: Life's great, man. I'm having my first child with beautiful wife Tess, and obviously hockey season went well, too. Things couldn't be better.

Sun: How did the moustache come about?

IW: I started growing it in silent protest of being sat out (at the start of this NHL season). I figured they didn't know I was there, so I figured I'd grow this ridiculous looking thing on my face and people started to like it. I enjoy it as well.

Sun: What do people say about it? Do they like it? Have they named it?

IW: It's just usually 'The Stache.' It's got some pretty good recognition, so I'm glad I grew it.

Sun: How cool is it to be representing your country again?

IW: Any time you can put on a Team Canada jersey, you're playing for pride and you're playing for the whole nation. I'm really looking forward to it.

Sun: Considering how the year started, with you being a healthy scratch for the month of October, how gratifying was it overall?

IW: Obviously I never saw this coming, the way it ended. It was a real tough start, probably the lowest part of my career, but I kept hanging in there and the rest of the season went terrific and it just seemed to get better.

Sun: What question do you hear most on the streets of Toronto?

IW: Seriously, they just love the duster. No questions. Just comments.

Sun: How cool was it to have Ian White Day [last Friday in Steinbach]?

IW: Oh, what a thrill. It's great to be recognized, and I owe this city everything. It's so nice of them to give me a day like this. It's something I'll cherish forever.

Sun: What's your favourite road trip?

IW: I love going to Florida, obviously to get out of the snow and get onto the beach. It's great going out west. Some of the cities out west are phenomenal.

Sun: What's the best thing about living in Toronto?

IW: All the great restaurants, people love their hockey, and it's kind of easy to blend in with everyone.

Sun: What's the worst thing about living in Toronto?

IW: The amount of people and the traffic.

Sun: What are your plans for the summer?

IW: I'm going to fish, I'm going to golf, and I'm going to do a little work on my cottage, and then in July I'm going to have a son.

Sun: Have you been practising changing diapers?

IW: I haven't yet. I figure I'll just go with the flow and learn everything on my own. Do it the hard way.

Sun: What's your handicap?

IW: I'm shooting in the mid-70s, but I don't have as much time to work on it as I'd like.

Sun: Who's going to win the Stanley Cup?

IW: I'm going to say San Jose. They've been shut out so many years, I think they're due.

Sun: You told the crowd on Ian White Day that you're going to bring the Stanley Cup back to Steinbach. Can you tell me when that's going to happen?

IW: I can't say when, but it's going to happen during my career at some point.

Sun: Finally, what's the future of The Stache?

IW: It might just be an annual hockey thing. I'll keep it when I'm playing hockey, and I might get rid of it for the summer. It'll be something maybe to be remembered by or have somewhat of a legacy, if nothing else.


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