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The one about…making minimum wage

“She was always on my case,” laughed Chris Tanev, as we zoomed down the highway on our way to an early afternoon skate Thursday, “and rightfully so, I guess.”

The She Tanev was referring to is his mom, Sophie. She was on his case a lot when he was playing junior hockey because, as he put it, “I was just playing hockey and being a bum. I didn’t work much.”

When Tanev was a young, wondering teenager – you know, the good old days of three years ago – he didn’t take life too seriously in the summer, as a teenager shouldn’t. Sleep in. Open the fridge. Nap. Open the fridge. Play hockey. Nap. Open the fridge. Hang out with buddies. And repeat.

Sophie, who separated from Chris’ dad Mike when Chris started high school, would call up her ex-husband frequently with detailed stories of their son’s laziness.

“So I decided to get a job,” laughed Tanev. “Actually my first job was when I was really little, I worked as a camp counsellor at a sports camp from probably when I was 13 to 15. That was a lot of fun.”

Tanev was not serious, it was not fun.

And it got worse.

“Then I worked at a pizza place when I was 17 or 18. I wasn’t in a store, I was at Ontario Place and places like that, Air Canada Centre, doing events, making pizza. When it’s like 100 degrees out and there’s an oven going right beside you, it’s the best.”

Tanev was not serious, it was not the best.

“Then I was working at a meat counter at a grocery store. That was pretty bad, it was a lot of cleaning up, gross meat, old meat and definitely not fun.

“That’s what I’d do in the summer. I’d probably work for a month and a half, save up, and then quit because I was lazy. Then I’d just hang out and go back to school.”

From that, to playing in the NHL.

“Mom is off my case now,” he laughed.

If Tanev wasn’t playing hockey, however, he said his mom would still be off his case because he’d have a well paying job, likely something to do with numbers.

“I would probably be doing something in business, I was studying finance before I left school. I don’t know, maybe something in accounting or investment banking. I’d probably be a terrible salesman, so maybe not investment banking actually. I could sit there and crunch numbers, I’m good with numbers.”