Greg WochinskyESPN2 minutes to read
NASHVILLE, Tennessee — An interview with a man on the street during the NHL draft in Nashville went viral when the man turned out to be Chicago Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson, unbeknownst to a movie crew who thought he was a random fan.
Davidson was already going to have a memorable week in Nashville as the Blackhawks drafted phenomenon Conor Bedard with the first overall pick. But before that happened, he created an instant sensation in the hockey world playing with the Penalty Box Radio podcast, covering the Nashville Predators.
Davidson was out for a morning walk in downtown Nashville with Associate General Manager Jeff Greenberg, wearing a running T-shirt and cap.
“I was walking down Broadway. It was very early in the morning so there weren’t a lot of people. I was just walking around, trying to get out of the hotel, out of these four walls we’ve been kind of confined in the last few days,” he said.
He was asked to be interviewed by a podcast camera crew, who thought he was a fan. At first Davidson refused. But then he mentioned to Greenberg that it would be funny if he agreed.
“They have no idea who we are, what we do,” Davidson recalled. “You know what? I’ll be back.”
Davidson had to wait for two real Blackhawks fans to complete their interviews – one wearing a Patrick Kane jersey and the other wearing a Brandon Saad jersey.
“They didn’t know me either,” Davidson said. “Maybe it was the back hat and the freshly shaven face. I don’t know, I looked a little younger.”
Davidson introduced himself as “Kyle from Chicago”, who had previously been to Nashville for a Blackhawks game.
The interviewer asked him what he knew about hockey on a scale of 1 to 10. “I haven’t played professionally or anything, so I’ll say about a 4,” said Davidson. “I don’t know, some people say I don’t know much.”
He was challenged to name as many hockey players as possible in 20 seconds. He hired 18 people, mostly from the Blackhawks, the 2013 Stanley Cup champions, and a few from the current roster. “It was the most nervous thing when I got the question,” he said. “If it turns out they realize what I’m doing and I stumble and I can’t name the players, then I’m in big trouble. So the pressure is strong.”
As the interview continued, Penalty Box Radio asked Davidson if the NHL rigged the draft lottery so the Blackhawks could pick first overall.
“No,” he said, before breaking the fourth wall and looking directly into the camera. “I am very confident.”
After completing the recording, Davidson told the interviewer that he was, in fact, the general manager of the Blackhawks.
“I think he gave me a sideways look — ‘Never mind, buddy.’ So maybe they looked at me afterward and realized it was me. I wasn’t lying.”