Tag Archives: Ken-Danby

Not much of an investigation

CanWest News Service’s Randy Boswell has a story about the man behind the mask of artist Ken Danby‘s famous painting of a hockey goalie, now that Danby has died.

What’s interesting about the story is how seriously it takes itself, compared to the amount of journalism behind it.

The lead:

“The goalie depicted in At the Crease, the iconic painting by late Canadian artist Ken Danby, has finally been unmasked.”

It seems groundbreaking. Like Woodward and Bernstein, an epic feat of investigative journalism.

“Now, with an assist from none other than hockey great Wayne Gretzky, CanWest News Service has unlocked the secret.”

This sentence is misleading: Gretzky didn’t assist, he told Boswell who it is:

This week, following Danby’s death, CanWest News Service asked Gretzky, now the coach of the Phoenix Coyotes, if he would reveal the model’s identity.

“Dennis Kemp is the name of the goalie,” came the reply from a Coyotes spokesman.

In other words, now that Danby is dead, Boswell called Gretzky up (err… called his spokesperson up) and asked if he would reveal the name, and he did.

Is this supposed to be what investigative journalism is nowadays? Well, perhaps I’m being too tough. After all, identifying someone is the easy part. But getting his story is another matter entirely.

Oh wait:

“One mystery about the painting still lingers. Despite scores of phone calls to Kemp families across Ontario, CanWest News Service has been unable, so far, to locate Dennis Kemp.”

So much for that. The goalie has been unmasked, but nobody can find him.

UPDATE (Oct. 13): The Guelph Mercury tracked him down in Lethbridge. Meanwhile, Danby’s son insists there wasn’t a single model for the painting.