don’t know this person

A new poll published this week puts two prominent hockey names among Canada’s least not-known personalities.

Angus Reid prodded 1,017 people across the country between October 9 and 17 for a poll that the public opinion firm says is the first in a series of studies intended to take the temperature of perceptions towards notable Canadians.

On a list glinting with names like Trudeau, Suzuki, Mansbridge, and Duffy, a mere 8% of those harried said that the name of CBC Hockey Night in Canada’s resident curmudgeon Don Cherry meant nothing to them. Hockey-book writer Stephen Harper fared better still: just 1% of respondents put him in the “Don’t Know This Person” column.

While other prominent hockey commentators — everyone from Darren Dreger and Roy MacGregor to Mike Milbury and Bobby Orr — didn’t make the list, Harper’s huh?-number was significantly small to make a lot of prominent people outside the game look fairly ridiculous. Former UN ambassador and anti-AIDS hero Stephen Lewis, for instance: a whopping 51% shrugged their shoulders in his direction. Non-hockey novelist Margaret Atwood bewildered 28%, with Trudeau (4%), Suzuki (7%) blanking their share of us, too. Mansbridge and Duffy were both at 22%.

Harper’s new book is A Great Game: The Forgotten Leafs & The Rise of Professional Hockey (Simon & Schuster). It’s due in bookstores November 5. Cherry, who recently told folks not to let the d-man walk out of his zone without pressuring him — “Piece a cake,” he said — will have something else to say tomorrow night, on Coach’s Corner.