Behind the Mask: Kane Van Gate
Kane Van Gate broke onto the hockey scene six years ago with his BHL36, a YouTube spoof of the NHL36 docuseries that followed NHL players for 36 hours.
A goalie spiritually his whole life, but on the ice since he was nine, Kane saw the NHL36 series and though he should do a video, and such was the birth of his YouTube channel.
If you’ve followed Kane for more than three minutes, you’ll discover quickly he is a fan of the NHL and the St. Louis Blues, probably because he grew up in that city of terrible sports teams. I say this having grown up in Chicago, and am a Blackhawks fan. All joking aside, Kane says his favorite goalie as a kid was none other than Curtis Joseph. He was lucky enough to have front row seats to a Blues game and see Joseph play.
Me being a native of Chicago I had (and still have) a strong dislike for anything to do with the blue note, this included Joseph. I marveled at his play, but didn’t truly appreciate his talent until he was in Edmonton. With that in mind, I had to ask KVG who his favorite Blackhawks goalie was/is, and who he most hated. Much like my feelings for Joseph, KVG has the same for my favorite goalie of the day – Ed Belfour. Some of those Belfour-Joseph duels in the early to mid ‘90’s made for great hockey.
These days KVG and I have a similar view on the current crop of goalies in that there are so many of them that are so good it’s hard to pick a favorite.
KVG says he skates once a week most weeks, but he is on the ice more as he coaches quote a bit, molding the minds of young keepers in the St. Louis area. When not on the ice his mind is always on hockey, watching the NHL Network, doing hand-eye drills, reading hockey books and spending time on Instagram.
KVGs YouTube Channel
It’s easy to place a GoPro behind the net like I do, but KVG has some serious production value to his videos, and at times scripting that goes into the videos. This means he isn’t the only one involved in his videos. He says he’s made some friends along the way who pitch in when needed as he always needs help shooting and editing his videos, but for the most part it is just him “living this wonderful BHL life.”
That wonderful BHL life has afforded KVG some memorable moments and opportunities. Of those opportunities, KVG says the ability to play in the Frozen Cup at Busch Stadium. Can you believe he forgot his eye black for an outdoor game? He can’t.
KVG says he’d like to shoot more outdoor hockey content up north in the mountains (what about on the ponds of Minnesota with a washed up goalie?), and keep traveling the world to discover awesome hockey places, sited and games.
If you’ve followed KVG for any period of time, you’ll know he has been working on a movie – Hockey Journey. The movie chronicles a trip he took to Vancouver, British Columbia and hung out with hockey personalities Pavel Barber, Greg Beaudin and the Ultimate Fan Cave fellas. He hopes to have the move out sometimes in 2019, but has learned making a movie is a little more work than a YouTube video. If you want to support the movie, visit the movie’s Kickstarter page.
“If you’re a fan of my videos, Pavel Barber’s videos, or just a fan of hockey, I think you’ll like it,” KVG said.
KVG has made the BHL life look so glamorous, that beer leagues across the globe wanted to be a part of it. Since the BHL is pretty exclusive, the BHL Cup was put together instead. Think of it as a weekend BHL fantasy camp in Arizona that includes golf, sunshine and live music. The tournament was the brainchild of KVG’s friend Eric Kleineck, and the two thought branding it the BHLPA’s BHL Cup seemed like a perfect fit.
There are other destination weekend tournaments out there, most notably the Draft Tournaments that host tournaments in different cities across North America. The thought of hosting the BHL Cup in different cities has been discussed, KVG and Kleineck think they have a good thing going in Arizona, so they don’t want to mess with it for now.
“Someday if I have more money we’ve got some cool ideas to expand, but it’s wishful thinking at this point,” KVG said.