HMCS MONTRÉAL at sea—In this series, we will focus on hockey and its ability to unify Canadians everywhere, especially those who serve in our Armed Forces while overseas. To show this, sailors on the HMCS Montreal will be profiled so that they can provide that unique perspective.
The subject of this profile is Ordinary Seaman (OS) Darren Mullins. Despite being a relatively new Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Member, he understands the sacrifice and effort needed for a career in the military, as he is the son of a long-serving Veteran. He also displays his passion for the game of hockey and for his beloved Ottawa Senators on a daily basis.
Darren joined the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) only 18 months ago. In that time, he has been able to complete his QL3’s (Qualification Level 3), which is an initial trade certification that entails completing academic and applications training. Thus far, completing that qualification is the highlight of his career.
Why did you choose to join the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN)?
To travel the world and to continue my family’s military tradition.
How long have you been a hockey fan?
Since I was around the age of 4.
Who is your favourite NHL team?
The Ottawa Senators.
Who is the one team you feel is your team’s biggest rival, and why?
The Boston Bruins because in the more recent years, they have been very close in standings allowing for very high intensity hockey games to try and knock each other out of the playoff spot they are gunning for.
While aboard HMCS MONTRÉAL are you able to watch your team?
Yes, I have been able to watch a few of their games.
What lengths do you go to see them while deployed?
I stay up a few hours after my shift so that I can catch the end of their games.
How do you keep up to date on the team?
I check nhl.com as often as I can. When I’m alongside, I have an app on my phone that sends me updates for anything that happens with them.
What is your favorite hockey memory?
Being named captain of my high school hockey team and scoring the game winning goal in my grade 12 home opener. After having to hype up the game around the community for support, it was an awesome feeling to be able help win the game!
Why is hockey an important part of your life on the ship?
It allows for an escape from stress and helps to feel more at home while away.
Does hockey help you to feel more connected to family, friends, country while on missions/out to sea?
Yes, it is a great stress reliever and gives us something other than work to talk about
Do you ever engage in video game hockey tournaments or other such activities on board?
Yes, when I have free time I will play some of the older NHL games (NHL 94, NHL 95) for the Super Nintendo that we have on board. This is a great way to bond with fellow shipmates with a little bit of friendly rivalry.
Why do you believe hockey is the greatest sport?
Hockey is hands down the greatest sport ever. I believe this because I have seen how much hockey is more of a community than a sport. I have played lots of hockey and have seen how if one player on the team or a player’s family member is having a rough time, the team and the community gets behind the player and family and helps overcome whatever obstacle is in their way.
For anyone making a trek to Montréal to experience the city during the NHL playoffs and wishing to visit a Canadian Warship, the HMCS Montréal will be visiting the old port of Montréal between May 12 – 21, 2017 as part of the city’s 375th Anniversary Celebrations.
If you missed any parts of our series on the HMCS Montreal, you can link to them here:
FEATURE | The HMCS Montréal Canadiens
FAN FOCUS | Sailors Aboard HMCS Montréal: David Gagnon
FAN FOCUS | Sailors Aboard HMCS Montreal: Stan Ryan
FAN FOCUS | Sailors Aboard HMCS Montreal: Gillian Good
Edited by Donna Sim