- Associated Press - Friday, June 3, 2011

EDMONTON, ALBERTA (AP) - This was one nifty assist by an NHL player.

Edmonton Oilers center Gilbert Brule stopped this week to pick up a most unlikely hitchhiker _ rock star Bono.

The U2 frontman and his assistant were walking in West Vancouver, British Columbia, on Tuesday when they got caught in the rain. Fortunately for them, Brule and his girlfriend were driving by, taking their German shepherd to a park.

Bono hopped in for a ride. To thank them, he offered Brule and his girlfriend backstage passes for the U2 concert Wednesday night at Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium. The couple sold their tickets to Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals between Boston and Vancouver, took a flight back to Edmonton and went to the show with Brule’s mom.


“I like people who play ice hockey _ they stop for hitchhikers. I know this from experience,” Bono told the concert crowd.

“I was hitchhiking in Vancouver yesterday, actually I was! And this guy and his girlfriend picked me up. He was cool, an ice hockey player, his name was Gilbert Brule as it happens, I’m so grateful I’ve decided I want to be Gilbert Brule.”

With hockey on his mind, Bono compared his bandmates to former Oiler greats, calling The Edge, “The Wayne Gretzky of U2.”

“We go to walk our dog and Bono ends up in our car,” Brule told the Edmonton Journal.

The 24-year-old Brule missed half of this season because of illnesses, intestinal problems, a sprained ankle and a concussion.