“Give me something sweet to draw,” Kass said, midway through the first flight of Vancouver’s current four-game road trip.
Volpatti, riding on an airplane, suggested Kassian draw just that, an airplane.
“I don’t want to draw in 3D,” replied Kass.
Searching for inspiration as if playing I Spy with his nephew, Volpatti zeroed in on Kevin Bieksa, seated across the aisle.
The questions began flowing out of Kassian over to Bieksa moments later.
“Where’d you go to university? What number were you? What was your team name? What kind of logo did you have?”
Then Kassian, the gruff gap-toothed, savage-haired brute we all adore, went to work. He put pen to paper and drew Bieksa a picture.
As you can see, it’s a work of art.
“No one has ever drawn me a picture before, well, other than fans,” laughed Bieksa, pointing out the meticulous shading, outstanding attention to detail and the rink board that reads If you want a business degree, come to Bowling Green.
“Seriously though, it was really good.”
It was really good?
“I lost it in all the turbulence while we were landing in Chicago.”
Turbulence is an understatement. With 25 minutes until Air Canucks hit the runway in Chicago, one of the members of the in-flight crew announced that we should buckle up for “some major turbulence.”
She wasn’t lying.
With the ground in sight I would have bet money Denzel Washington was about to flip the plane upside down in order to ensure a safe landing.
Have I mentioned how much I dislike turbulence?
“I’m not a fan of it either,” said Bieksa. “Especially since I lost the picture.”
When the Canucks boarded the plane post-game Tuesday night Bieksa was a man on a mission to find the drawing, but, sadly, it had been tossed.
Luckily Kassian will be back at it before long, according to numerous teammates.
He’s likely doodling right now.
“Once a day he says to me ‘give me something sweet to draw,’” laughed Volpatti. “He really likes the challenge of seeing what he can do with just three lines. He’s really creative.”
Kassian’s BIEKSA, as the piece has become known, sits somewhere between Edvard Munch’s The Scream, Cosmo Kramer’s The Kramer and Napoleon Dynamite’s Liger (It's like a lion and a tiger mixed, bred for its skills in magic…), and while it can now never be appraised, other Canucks are green with envy.
Chris Higgins and Dan Hamhuis couldn’t believe BIEKSA was Kassian’s creation when I showed them Tuesday morning.
The next time Kassian needs something sweet to draw, there’ll be a line-up.