Canucks winger Jake Virtanen and Justin Bieber have had very similar career arcs. Both were fast-tracked to stardom as teenagers, with Bieber releasing his platinum debut EP, My World, in 2009 at the age of 15, and Virtanen cracking the Vancouver Canucks roster as a 19-year-old.
Both have been known to palled around with popular actresses of a similar age: Bieber had that thing with Selena Gomez. Virtanen's been spotted with actress Chloe Grace Moretz. Both have J-names, and terrible nicknames: The Biebs, Big Country. Both work with killer duos: Bieber with Skrillex and Diplo, Virtanen with the Sedins. Both deliver big hits. Both bombed hard in Scandinavia last year. Both have woefully immature fanbases.
And then there were the rocky periods during which both were briefly despised by their country: Bieber, for being a total wiener-kid with his fame, and Virtanen, whose struggles with Team Canada at the World Juniors earned him the goat label when his country was eliminated.
But both have rediscovered their games of late, and are killing it in their respective clubs. Bieber's a hit in da club, where the public can't get enough of his music, in large part due to his label's clever new strategy of barely using him to make it; Virtanen has been excellent ever since returning to his club -- he leads the Canucks in corsi.
They have so much in common. Plus they both like hockey, so no wonder they hung out this weekend.
At the risk of sounding like an old man, both of these kids should think about a shave.
Bieber was in town Friday for the second stop on his Purpose World Tour, which purports to present a rehabilitated, more mature version of the pop star. I'm not convinced, especially after watching this video of him bouncing around on a trampoline while his track plays. Yeah, he's not singing a note there. He's just doing backflips on a trampoline. One assumes Bieber followed this up by eating a dilly bar while the DJ loaded up his next MP3. Pop stardom seems like such a chore.
Fortunately, after all that hard work, Virtanen offered Bieber a place to kick back:
And lest you think that an encounter with Bieber might be bad luck for the Canucks or Virtanen, consider: NHL teams are 13-4-3 after Bieber rolls through their arena, and that includes the win Vancouver picked up Saturday.