The Bakersfield Condors of the ECHL are in the market for some hits so they have offered Justin Bieber a professional tryout.
Really, that's the truth. The 18-year-old pop star fits the criteria for a hockey player: Bieber is from Canada, he can skate and has played hockey. So the Condors decided that giving the mega-star a tryout was worth a shot.
Actually, according to the team's website it's more than just a shot in the dark.
"Very rarely do you see this combination of skill and toughness," said [head coach/Director of Hockey Operations, Matt] O'Dette. "We share a common Canadian heritage since we both hail from Ontario. I've scouted some video of him online skating with my hometown team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, and I think he could provide some elusive speed up front for us. Plus, he's a right-handed shot which we've been looking to add. I think if we paired him on a line with [Robby] Dee and [Peter] Boyd we'd be tough to beat."
According to scouts, he possesses soft hands, a good skating stride, and a devastating wrist shot capable of beating NHL caliber goaltenders. He appears to be strong in shootouts as well.
I double-checked and nope, this story wasn't posted on The Onion. This really is from the Condors' official team site.
Very clearly the driving force behind this is exposure for the team. Bieber is one of the biggest names in music these days and is a teeny-bob heartthrob. It helps that Bieber has at least worn skates and shown some level of ability on the ice, even if it was in a casual skate with the Leafs.
Although he might have to do something about that 5-foot-7 frame. There aren't many guys who find a lot of success in hockey at that size. Then again, who knows if he really does has a "devastating wrist shot."
I admit it would be entertaining to see Bieber actually give this a shot and see where it goes. He's Canadian so hockey flows through his blood. It would be more entertaining for me than any of his performances or songs. Titles like Baby, Boyfriend and As Long As You Love Me aren't exactly my cup of tea.
The hidden bonus in all of this? The Condors could get some free intermission entertainment. Let Bieber skip the between-periods pep talks and play a little pop -- probably would get more screams from the girls in the crowd than the game itself.