A quick story before you check the video out:

Chad Brownlee, myself, Matt Waddell and Mark Nelson showed up to Vernon Vipers’ training camp having “signed” to be a part of their Junior A (BCHL) team in 2001. A dozen others had as well, but two years later, it was just the four of us left standing, holding a trophy. We got along well from the very beginning.

Chad Brownlee was just about the most mature, responsible, intense dude you’ve ever met at that age. He did things the right way. He was the captain of our team the year we won the league (2002-03), and he was the captain of his NCAA Div. 1 team in the WCHA (Minnesota State @ Mankato) after that. …Co-captain with David Backes of the St. Louis Blues, actually.

He got drafted by the Vancouver Canucks (his favourite team as a BC boy) in the eighth round, but ran into a rough patch of injury luck after that. Shoulder surgery. The shoulder surgery. Then shoulder surgery on the other side. You have no control over things like that.

But going back to junior, his parents inflicted a curse on the team. They got him a guitar for Christmas, and he was learning to play it (so we had to listen to him painfully plink-a-plunk on the bus - thanks a lot, Brownlee parents). He could always sing – him and our teammate Chad Clower used to sing the hell out of whatever they wanted – but the guitar thing took awhile.

But he got better. Then good. Then great.

Now, it’s pretty safe to say Chad’s going to be a country star (if he doesn’t qualify as one already). That’s not a biased observation – he recently won the “Rising Star” award at the CCMAs (Canadian Country Music Awards). I didn’t go to school for marketing, but I’m pretty sure looking like he does and singing like he does are a good combo.

When hockey ended for Chad, he got a voice coach, he worked on everything possible like a player staying out after practice, and now he’s now won awards, opened for Dierks Bentley, and just done awesome for himself.

Anyway, that’s Chad’s story. In the end, he’s still a huge Canucks fan, so here’s him on the webcam (using the tune of Toby Keith’s “Red Solo Cup” - Chad’s little ditty will make more sense if you’ve heard it), not even really trying, casually busting out a defense of his team.

He’s simply Good People, so if you like country music, you should give his album a go here.

I love Canucks’ fans love of Corey Schneider.

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While I’m being shamelessly promotional for a friend, here’s him with some production value:

ChadBrownlee.com

(BTW, Brett Kissel’s “Canucks” song is here)