Dennis Kearns has had a great influence on the career of his son Bracken, who plays with the San Jose Sharks now after a very long slog in the minors, but not in ways you might expect.
The former Vancouver Canuck butted out of the coaching of all three of his sons — Bracken, Shea and Brook — very early in their days at the Hollyburn Country Club in West Van, but there was something about the ol’ man that deeply affected Bracken in a very practical, positive sense. And it wasn’t Dennis’s ability to lay a perfect pass on any stick he chose — his trademark as a 10-year NHL defenceman.
Rather, it was his age when he made the Canucks in 1971.
“In the back of my mind I’ve always had it that the first year of my dad’s NHL career was when he was 26 years old, so he wasn’t a kid by any means,” Bracken said from...