“V” For Variety: Canucks Garb Runs The Gamut

GUEST POST from “Pro Stock Hockey”.

“V” For Variety: Canucks Garb Runs The Gamut

Those Vancouver hockey guys, what a bunch of Canuckleheads.

The franchise is 0-for-3 in the Stanley Cup Final, but is widely credited with inflicting the ugliest sweater in hockey history upon the NHL. Additionally, among a garish group that launched the third jersey craze, the Canucks’ alternate might have committed the greatest sartorial sin.

Yet, when Vancouver joined the league in 1970, it did so with one of the most sublime logos ever rendered, and after draping a couple of crummy crests over some putrid palettes, are again among the sharpest dressers on ice.

In the Beginning…

Joe Borovich was a young graphic designer living in a basement apartment down the street from the Pacific Coliseum when he entered a contest to design the uniform for the stadium’s new tenants. Other tenants from Europe, the United States and Canada failed to top his design.

He chose blue for the Pacific Ocean, green for the forests of British Columbia and white for its mountain peaks. The color palette, freshly abandoned by the Oakland Seals (who under new owner Charles Finley transitioned to the green and gold of his baseball team), was otherwise unused in the league — but that wasn’t the best part.

Borovich’s logo, a hockey stick laid horizontally into a rink and overlapping the boards on the right to create a “C”, was simple perfection. It lasted eight seasons, and gave way to …

Halloween Horror

How to describe it? A V-neck smock from a forgotten fast food franchise? An inverted traffic cone trimmed in baby-puke yellow and black? A Duraflame log?

Whatever. A San Francisco-based design firm coughed up this orange, yellow and black cacophony, the striping creating “Vs” on the chest, neck and sleeves (and socks, and pants). Supposedly, some people like it. But then, some people like candy corn.

For seven seasons, Canucks players got heckled with “Trick or treat!”

The Road Back to Borovich

In ensuing seasons, the Canucks have made changes large and small to their look, eventually arriving back at blue, green and white. Here are some of the more notable looks along the way:

1985: The “spaghetti bowl” or “flying skate” logo introduced as a sleeve patch on the “V” jersey is moved front and center. The logo is pretty busy, with more than a dozen parallel stripes forming a skate, above a blade spelling “Canucks.” Otherwise, this retains most of the unfortunate elements of the “V” design.

1989: The home jersey goes from yellow to white, and the last “V” elements — on the shoulders and pants — disappear.

1995: Five teams (Anaheim, Boston, Los Angeles, and Pittsburgh in addition to Vancouver) launch the third jersey program. The Canucks drop their spaghetti plate into an off-center, yellow “V” that starts at the right cuff and fades into a field of marroon. There’s a lot going on here, not much of it good.

1997: New colors – navy blue, sky blue, maroon and silver — arrive along with a new logo. That crest creates a “C” from a killer whale — a nod to the Canucks’ parent company at the time, Orca Bay Sports and Entertainment — emerging from the sea.

2001: A new alternate ditches any white trim and features a torso that starts blue at the shoulders and fades into maroon at the chest.

2003: The “stick-in-rink” original logo returns as a shoulder patch.

2006: The 2001 alternate goes away in favor of a throwback to the original blue road jersey.

2007: Reebok takes over as the NHL’s jersey supplier, returns the Canucks to their original colors but uses a new variation on the orca logo.

2008: A modern take on the original logo — the stick is more pronounced, the “C” more obvious — is featured on the new blue alternate.

2017: With Adidas in its first season as jersey suppliers, the alternate goes away. But the guess is here, not for long.

Author bio: AJ Lee is Marketing Coordinator for Pro Stock Hockey, an online resource for pro stock hockey equipment. He was born and raised in the southwest suburbs of Chicago, and has been a huge Blackhawks fan his entire life. AJ picked up his first hockey stick at age 3, and hasn’t put it down yet.


Vancouver Canucks: No Tank You…

Here we go into the final stretch drive of the 2017-18 season. And those voices from team tank on the outside and even on the inside are getting ever louder every day. To tank or not to tank? (Am I crazy for not being on board with the tank? According to some, yes.)

It’s no secret that this season has been a long way from perfect and a bit of a free fall since Brock Boeser went down with an injury. It’s also no secret that while the team has struggled many have suggested or begged for the team to start tanking in order to increase their draft lottery odds. I understand the desire for the team to finally have some luck when it comes to the draft lottery after having dropped to 5th in the last few seasons BUT I CANNOT fathom rooting against them.

Most concerning to me is not so much everyone hoping for a complete tank on the season but the lack of support for the team that I’ve seen increase over the last few weeks or the judgement/condescension directed at those who decide to support the team. I’m all for the team finally having a little luck when it comes to the draft lottery BUT I will not purposely root against the team.

And I know that opinion often puts me in the minority of Canucks nation. And yes, I know to some that rooting for them even against all the odds makes some see me as naive or “overly hyped”. I assure you, I am not naive or unaware of the team’s reality. I know their stats inside and out but I choose to have a perspective that is different. Choosing to see the silver lining, hope for the future or positives amidst all those negatives isn’t a bad thing and definitely doesn’t make me a terrible fan. If some are allowed to cheer for a tank mentality, certainly I should be allowed to have my view too?

Will I be ecstatic if they do somehow end up being able to draft Dahlin? Absolutely. BUT if they somehow end up NOT winning that draft lottery or dropping to 5th, I will still be among the loudest supporters of the team. How they finish the season, or where they end up in the draft order will not now or ever influence my support of the team. Maybe that makes me a little crazy, but I’m okay with that. We don’t all have to support the team in the same way or even view the game in the same way to love this crazy heart stealing game called hockey.

Draft lottery win or not, win another game this season or not, I was a Vancouver Canucks fan yesterday, am one today, will still be one tomorrow and beyond. I know that these last few seasons have been hard but they’ve also had some incredible moments along the way. Did you ever think it possible that the Canucks would have not one BUT TWO players with 1000+ points? Or that another rookie could steal hearts with a Bure type shot before Boeser came along?

First place or last place will not determine when I support this team. No one ever said that the 82-game journey that each team embarks on each season would be easy with no mistakes. For me, the Vancouver Canucks have my heart through the good, the bad, and everything in between, they’re stuck with me: 24/7/365.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

Vancouver Canucks: For Brock

Sometimes, this game that can take your breath away in the best possible way, can be heartbreaking in the cruelest of ways. That happened last night as all of Canucks nation held their collective breath after seeing Brock Boeser sustain an injury late in their game versus the New York Islanders. Today, the Vancouver Canucks announced that Brock Boeser is likely out for the remainder of the season (4-6 weeks). And it’s no secret that prior to the injury, Brock Boeser was having a Canucks rookie season to remember with 29 goals, 26 assists (55 points) in 62 games.

It’s absolutely heartbreaking to see a player that’s been having a memorable season be forced to the sidelines due to injury. And while the season may not end in a Calder trophy for the rookie phenom, there are more important things than a trophy. As tough as this news is, it could be worse, and it’s absolutely the right decision that Boeser takes this time to recover fully so that he can come back to the game he loves for years to come The good news is that he will make a full recovery.

This post is for Brock.


I can still remember the anticipation that followed when the Vancouver Canucks drafted you and excitement that stemmed when the team announced you made this season’s roster. This is not the ending that your rookie season was supposed to have. You were well on your way to setting a new Vancouver Canucks rookie season record. Today, having this news shared with the rest of the world must be one of the most difficult things you’ve been faced with early in your career, but taking this time to heal properly was the right decision. Some things are bigger than the game.

I hate that we were robbed of your 30th goal (some will point out you should proably be credited with 1 or 2 more in recent weeks!) and that we don’t a get a chance to see you surpass Pavel Bure’s rookie record. I hate that this season, we will not get to see any more of your signature snipes or impossible angle goals that often took opponents by surprise with their accuracy. I hate that we will not get to see you find that chemistry with no matter who you played with until next season. I hate that this is how the season most likely ends for you this season. I hate the unfairness of this outcome. I hate that after all the work you put in and that the rookie season that you were on pace for, that this is the ending. I hate that many on the outside don’t always see the value that you bring to the Canucks every single game.

As much as I hate this end to your incredible rookie season, I understand that this decision was about more than the game. Life is about much more than hockey and you put your health first. Not an easy decision, but absolutely the correct one. You are taking the time to heal properly and not risk further injury and allowing yourself a long-term future in the game. It may have only been your first full time season in the NHL and with the Vancouver Canucks, but you’ve already left an indelible mark on the franchise.

The ending to the season may have come much earlier than you desired but you DID IT. You’re living a dream come true in the NHL that while only one year in, is full of highlight reel moments: back to back rookie of the month honours, first career hat trick, goals that made many opponents ask “HOW?”, a possible Calder trophy candidate, NHL All-Star, All-Star MVP, Canucks All-Star. Those are some awesome early career moments. You are the type of player that fans hope their team drafts and love to see succeed when they make the big league.

It’s not the ending that your rookie season deserved. You gave this team, the fans and the league everything you had every single time you were on the ice. Never doubt for a second what you’ve accomplished this season. You gave it your all every single shift, playing with whoever coach put with you in the lineup. You always found a way to keep your game consistent. You may be one of the youngest players on the team, but I promise that you inspired your teammates, the fans and even opponents around the league. Your heart, determination, dedication and perseverance every game are something to be admired. Your tenacity will be missed by the team, opponents, and fans league wide down this final stretch.

Thank-you for one heck of a memorable rookie season with the team. You’ve brought an excitement to the team and united Canucks fans far and wide while we all rooted for the next FLOW highlight! Your season may have come to an abrupt end, but I hope you know that NO ONE and I mean NO ONE is disappointed in you. You’ve done nothing but make Canucks fans proud every single time you hit the ice. I hope that while you recover, you stay close to the team, you may not realize it yet what an inspiration your season has been to them. And maybe today, that seems impossible to comprehend, but it’s 100% true. Canucks nation is sending you all the best as you focus on your recovery! Take all the time you need, your health is the #1 priority.

Your season might have come to an early end but you took the pressure of an entire city and ignited a spark of hope for the season and the future as we all witnessed the initiation of the Brock star. One thing is certain, your teammates, fans, even your opponents are all rooting for you as you recover and look forward to your eventual return when you a ready. You have accomplished a lot in a short time this season. Remember this moment, a rookie season to remember that stole the hearts of Canucks fans far and wide, this is only the beginning and the best is still yet to come.

-Sarah E.L.


Vancouver Canucks: GM Benning Part 2

Hello mid-February. And oh those negative echoes are getting louder along with those ever swirling rumour mills. Sell. Trade. Change. Sell. Trade. Change. Sell. Trade. Change. Let him go. Re-sign him. Waiver drops and waiver pick ups. Roster moves.  Oh yes, it’s that ever active time of the NHL season leading up to the trade deadline. Buyers and sellers. Over payment. Under valued. Oh the moves that will be made in the coming days as rosters get locked into post-season mode versus building for future.

One rumour mill can finally stop spinning. The Vancouver Canucks made their first official announcement ahead of the deadline by re-signing GM Jim Benning.

It’s no secret that many Canucks fans are split on the decision to bring back Jim Benning. There are those who say, it may have been better to let Benning go and move into a new direction. And there are those who say bring him back and allow him to keep growing the depth within the organization.

Was bringing him back the right decision? Time will tell, everyone is entitled to have whichever opinion they choose but I think he has more than earned his shot. Is Jim Benning perfect? No, absolutely not but neither is any team’s GM. Has he made mistakes? Sure, but so have most people in his position.

When Benning came to the Canucks in 2014, their prospect pool was not very deep, youth was not a part of the equation on the main team, an organization that needed to take some time.The organization needed to rebuild from the bottom up. No, it didn’t happen over night and they are still in the thick of it but that doesn’t mean it’s not starting to move up throughout the organization. Depth begins with the prospects and development of the young players as a new core emerges. Moves were made sending some veteran players to new teams while bringing in some new players to the team, youth was injected into the lineup, and draft picks acquired.

Was every move a hit out of the park? No, but that’s the nature of the game. Sometimes you gamble and win, sometimes you make the gamble and people call it a bust. It’s not a perfect formula but all GMs fall into the risk of the gamble when they make any trade.

People screamed for the team to get younger and veteran players moved. They started this process and yet still it was not good enough. The thing that is so often forgotten is that while everyone wants the team to play all the young players, they can’t just drop a full line of young inexperienced players without a few veterans to help guide them. Progress doesn’t always happen over night much as many wish it would, it takes time to draft depth and develop that depth properly. Veterans like Henrik and Daniel are a huge part of that process despite what so many on the outside will say.

Four years later, the Canucks have one of the strongest prospect pools in the league: Thatcher Demko, Brock Boeser, Adam Gaudette, Olli Juolevi, Elias Pettersson, Jonathan Dahlen, Kole Lind, Jonah Gadjovich, Michael Dipietro, Petrus Palmu. That’s just part of the list, and there’s a whole lot to be excited about these young players moving their way up the systems.

Looking at this particular season, has this season been anywhere near perfect? No, I acknowledge that truth but there have definitely been some standout moments. Brock Boeser’s having a rookie season for the Canucks record books and that has been all kinds of awesome to witness. It doesn’t matter who he is lined up with, he brings that consistent edge to his game every single game. Daniel Sedin became the 2nd player in Canucks history to surpass 1000 NHL points. Bo Horvat despite missing a significant chunk of time due to an injury, has found another gear to his game continuing to learn to lead by example on and off of the ice. And yes, I know those small moments don’t make a season, but those are the ones I’ll long remember when the final buzzer goes out on the season not the negative headlines.

Who’s to say a new GM won’t come in and trade away some of the those highly touted prospects or someone like Bo Horvat and the process of building up organizational depth would have to start all over again? The reality is that despite the split of who should be the GM, Jim Benning is still at the helm and the process continues. So, no while I understand that many don’t view him as perfect, he doesn’t get enough credit for the good that he has brought to the organization.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

Vancouver Canucks: A Case For Sedinery.

**I apologize in advance for the length of this post, but there was a lot to say.

Henrik and Daniel Sedin deserve better, VANCOUVER. There is one thing that all of Vancouver fans owe to the Sedins, and that is RESPECT. It’s true that they often do not get the credit they deserve from the East Coast, but lately that disrespect has started to creep over to the West Coast and the city itself. They have given everything they have and more to the team, the fans, and this city.

No matter how great a season they or the team had, it’s never considered enough. When the team is playing well, somehow they aren’t responsible for the good luck but when things go south, the weight is put on their shoulders. All of the blame is often thrown at them. Winning or losing, somehow it is never enough. Have they had stretches where they’ve struggled? Yes, but so has every single player to ever play the game. Every game, every practice, every season, they have taken on the weight of the city that is laid upon them. One day it’s praise for their Swedish scoring finesse or community work, the next it’s non-stop critiques and tearing them down, with the fan base often following suit of the media directed opinion. One day, everyone loves them, the next people are calling them out for reduced point production or begging for the team to move on from them. Oh how quick we are to forget all that they have done for this team and this city. It is most recently forgotten with the emergence of Bo Horvat and the rise of Brock Boeser, that the Sedins are destined to not only have their jerseys retired by the team but to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

So let me help you out. I’m going to tell you a part of the tale featuring: TWO future hall of famers named HENRIK & DANIEL. So take a seat, and prepare to listen the whole way through.

Picture it: it was the 1999 NHL draft and somehow Brian Burke managed the impossible of drafting not one, but BOTH of the Sedin twins. There had been some dark days after the Canucks 1994 run…(Ahem the Messier experiment…) and that fateful day at the draft in 1999 was the beginning of a new era: SEDINERY.

NHL Draft day 1999: The beginning of the #Sedinery journey.

Henrik and Daniel would not make their NHL debut until October 2000. Even in the early days of their career, there was a massive pressure on their shoulders because of all the hype. Everyone expected them instantly to be successful and showcase their finesse with the puck and they did at times. Those early days they showed flashes of what was to come but it was not yet at their best level and everyone from the media to the fans made sure that the twins heard how they could and should do better.

It couldn’t have been easy to come into a city and league with massive expectations already on their shoulders before they even stepped onto the ice. Every game, every season the pressure seemed to amp up around them and the team. Those first few years when the struggles of  the team and their individual games, the rumours swirled faster day by day that perhaps the Sedins were not meant for success and perhaps the team should cut their losses and move on.

Oh what a mistake that would have been! Yes, it’s true that it took the Sedins a few years to hit their stride, but when they did, what a journey it has been to witness as a Canucks fan. Those first few years were not easy, and then the lock out happened which forced many players into playing overseas for a season. Perhaps that lockout year in 2004-05 was a blessing in disguise, the twins played for MODO back in Sweden, and it helped spark the turn around for them.

The puck dropped on the 2005-2006 season and the Sedins came back to the Canucks setting career highs in points behind captain Markus Naslund. That season was also when Anson Carter became the first “third” Sedin, as a line mate that consistently was able to get the twins the puck and anticipate where he needed to be. It was an exciting line to watch that season. Cue the following season, when Roberto Luongo helped back stop the team to the 2007 NW Division title heading into the playoffs and HENRIK scoring the game winner in quadruple overtime of game one versus Dallas. I still remember so vividly that never-ending overtime and the pure elation when that puck crossed the goal line. No, it wasn’t a series winner, but any game winner in quadruple overtime is a memorable goal.  The 2nd round was not our forte….but there were some great moments despite the loss and the blame cannot all be placed on ONE player so do NOT go there.

The following season wasn’t perfect but the Sedins were still consistent, Trevor Linden played his final game and the team showed flashes of what they could be with a promise that they would be better the following season. The[ 2008-2009] season opened with the Canucks beating the Flames 6-0….that was certainly an amazing opening act. And yes, I recall that tough 11-game losing drought that came in January…and how everyone wrote the Canucks off from playoff contention. Once again the team looked like it would be on the outside looking in, once again all of the rumours became everyday vernacular. And then came one fateful February game where it looked like the streak would stretch to 12-games, out of desperation for something to change the course, a pesky Alex Burrows who no one would’ve suspected to be a game changer, scored the goal that ended the streak. It was not long before Burrows was dubbed the official “Third Sedin” or a triplet, they played unbelievable down the stretch to win their 2nd NW Division title in 3 years and just like that the city became crazed in playoff dreams. The first round brought the St.Louis Blues and 2-0 series lead gained at home…including a shutout in game 2. ***let me just say that going to a playoff game is even more incredible than during the regular season…! The Canucks would go on to gain a 3-0 series lead with a chance to sweep..something they had never done before EVER and of course it came down to less than 20 seconds of OT[looking certain to go into a 2nd overtime] but who else but BURR gets to goal for the SWEEP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Great goal-tending & an excellent PK won the series hands down….the next round brought out the Chicago Blackhawks….and well it started out great….1-0 series lead….2-1 series lead….a back & forth game 6 that looked briefly as thought the Canucks would win….but of course we all know what happened…they didn’t and this was the 1st heart-ache the Blackhawks caused me and also ignited a deep loathing of all things Chicago Blackhawk related.

The [2009-2010 season] brought out special circumstances with the Winter Olympics being smack dab in the middle of February and requiring the NHL to pause their season for 2 1/2 weeks while many players represented their countries in the event. The Sedins  who had previously won an Olympic gold medal with Sweden in 2006, had a special opportunity to represent Sweden on their regular season home ice. No medal for them in 2010, but that must have been some kind of incredible experience to see the Olympic games take place in their arena.

Daniel & Henrik Sedin.

Upon returning to the regular season, Henrik and Daniel returned to the lineup and helped the team win their 3rd NW Division title in 4 years and HENRIK won the Art Ross Trophy with 112 points! The 2010 playoffs once more brought excitement to the city still high off of Team Canada winning gold on home ice at the Olympics. Round one went back and forth with the Kings[some great glove saves on both sides..particularly that one LOU had on Smyth!]…but it was the lack of penalty kills and WAY too many penalties being taken that nearly cost this series…..I remember thinking just kill ONE penalty and stop taking more….and finally they killed one and then another and then a few big saves…and a game 4 won to tie the series..and suddenly they were in control of game 5…and game 6 WON! Round 2 once more brought the Blackhawks from the windy city…and once more it started out great…1-0 series lead….but then down 3-1…….and then game 5 WON…..and hope once more….but we all know what happened in game 6…..it wasn’t pretty. 2 years in a row….twice in 6 games the Canucks were eliminated by Chicago…twice they were the better team. It ignited an even greater dislike of all things Chicago Blackhawk related.

Perhaps, one of my favourite goals from that time:

The [2010-2011 season] was all kinds of awesome. The Sedins continued their dominance and helped to lead the Canucks to their BEST franchise record EVER…[54-19-9…earning 117 points to earn the Presidents trophy securing home ice for the entire playoffs] in which they led in all the important categories : #1 powerplay #1 penalty kill(*3rd by playoffs, still amazing), #1 in goals scored and #1in least goals allowed. The Sedins continued their dominance league wide. They won the NW Division title for the 4th time in 5 years and won the entire regular season in the West & the East….the next best team had 109 points. This time it was DANNY that won the Art Ross. The Canucks opened the playoffs against their playoff nemesis Chicago Blackhawks…yes I know..3 years in a row…how is that even possible?! The Blackhawks were lucky to make the playoffs in 2011…but still they had a talented team. The Canucks knowing that if they were to go a long way MUST beat the previous Stanley Cup champion team. It was a fantastic 1st 3 games…the Canucks led the series 3-0!! Seemed just right.but we should all know to never count Chicago out, the Blackhawks started playing the way they always do…and got themselves right back into the series…tying it 3-3….leading to the inevitable game 7…do or die. There were so many implications going into that game….and then it started…LU opened with some great saves and then KES to BURROWS…SCORES!!!!!!!!! and the score remained 1-0 for nearly the entire game…a missed penalty shot….then there was a last minute powerplay which ended up with the Blackhawks tying it shorthanded rather than 2-0 it became 1-1. Overtime for all the marbles….Canucks take a bad penalty….SHARP goes for the goal…but STOPPED BY LUONGO….and suddenly the penalty is over. Campoli misses the clearing attempt BURROWS steals and SCORES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The dragon had been slayed…or as Jim Hughson said it: “it’s a great day for an exorcisim, Vancouver!”.

SHARP shoots…GREAT SAVE LUONGO!!! Campoli misses the clear, BURROWS steals…shoots SCORES!!!!!!!!!! THE CANUCKS SLAY THE DRAGON!! BLACKHAWK DOWN! The games that followed were an amazing run….and one of these days the Canucks will win the cup[every team will have their day]. It was a heck of a run, the entire city was transfixed from beginning to the end.

That season that followed…maybe it wasn’t as amazing as the 2010/2011 season…but it was still a great one…that ended in a 2nd President’s trophy. BURR scoring & LOU stood tall to end the streak in Detroit….these two teams always play great against one another. And maybe there was no magical playoff run this time…but DO NOT place all the blame on Luongo or any one individual player. That is illogical. It breaks my heart to think of how quick when things go wrong that the local media(The Province & The Vancouver Sun in particular) followed by the fans are to solely blame the goalie, the Sedins,…even if the entire team struggled…but all the media focused on the Luongo’s mistakes, and the Sedin’s lack of scoring. I’m sick of it. There were so many factors that led to the end of the team’s season, so many “what ifs”.

And yes, the years that have followed haven’t been easy for the team. Many of the players that were a part of that 2011 run have moved on to other teams or other leagues. The Canucks as a team have only made the playoffs twice since then and according to many seem destined to be out of the playoff picture for years to come. The last few years, many media and fans on social media have been taken with the notion of tanking in order to ensure a top 3 draft pick(which as we’ve all seen is NO guarantee).

And yes, the Sedins aren’t exactly in their prime but they still bring consistency night and night out when they are in the lineup. The Sedins have continued to hit milestone after milestone in this league and with this franchise, most recently both surpassing 1000 points in the NHL. During this most recent stretch when the team was missing some key players for more than 20+ games, it was Henrik and Daniel leading the way quietly with a combined 45 points.

Henrik Sedin 1000th point:

Daniel Sedin 1000th point:

Why after everything they’ve endured the last 20 years, would they want to come back? For the money? No, it’s never been about the money for the Sedins. They are leaders on this team, on and off of the ice. With an influx on young players, it would be all kinds of incredible They love this game, they aren’t done yet and no matter what the media from the East coast, or the West Coast, no one can take that away. And if we let them, they will keep giving it all to this city and this team. And if they choose to hang up the skates after this season or come back for another year, they deserve our utmost respect every step of the way. The Sedins have more than earned that, and as a whole, Vancouver, we can DO BETTER. Let’s DO BETTER.

So the next time you think about following the media’s standpoint on criticizing a player..just think back to what they have done for the team, the city, and the fans…do not just adopt their attitude presented in their article because it is not always true.The fans should not be taken in by the media’s tirade on the team or their players. I would hope that the local media would report the accurate facts not just when things are going well but also when things aren’t going well for the team. Instead during the difficult stretches, it becomes an attack on the players and coaches. Just once, it’d be nice if they would encourage the fans and the city to still cheer loud because that positive perspective can go a long way.  I will never understand how the local media when things go bad can never find one decent thing to say about the team…but only the negatives…and if that is all the fans are reading…suddenly those become the thoughts they are thinking when a similar spiral begins and they too start sharing the same negative blame placing attitude. It is unacceptable and hopefully in the coming season things will change. How would you feel if every time you opened the paper there was a new article about how everything that is going wrong is yet again somehow YOUR fault….it would be ridiculous. Hockey is a TEAM sport…a TEAM game…and like any TEAM game…TEAMS win or lose TOGETHER.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

A piece, I wrote for the Sedins at the start of the 2017-18 season: Thank-you, Hank & Danny.

Sarah E.L.

Memo to the Media (part 2)

Here we go again. New year, same thinking from the local sports media.

To Whom it may concern in the Vancouver Hockey Media,

“Vancouver Canucks fans do not know how to feel…”. “Vancouver Canucks fans only reason to be excited about is Brock Boeser…”.  Vancouver Canucks fans should brace themselves for a terrible season and few years ahead…”. Stop. Please, just STOP. I get it, the Canucks are currently near the bottom of the NHL standings at the mid-season mark and you are all on board with the notion that is “tanking”. If you’ve learned ANYTHING in recent years, TANKING does not work, the draft lottery is PURE luck and despite ending up with the 5th overall pick the last two seasons, the Canucks acquired two players with tons of potential. So, for the love of all that is holy, please stop telling me how I feel about my team. Stop telling me how you think I should feel or when I should feel it about them. If anyone knows how I feel, it is me, not you. And believe me, I know how I feel about this team and not one of your headlines or articles this season has covered it anywhere near accurately.

I used to LOVE reading the sports section in the local papers and listening to local sports radio BUT in the last few years, that has been destroyed. And no, it’s not because I’m naive or in denial about the team’s performance the last few seasons. It’s the fact that one person can only take hearing a nonstop barrage of negativity for so long before it becomes unbearable. You have taken what was one of my favourite daily routines and made me cringe just hearing about the things you write and talk about.

Since the start of the season as has been the case for the last few seasons, you have told me that I have nothing to be excited about this team or even this season and if we were going by your headlines, you would be right. Yes, the numbers that make a season tell a part of the story BUT they do not define the whole story. The numbers do NOT define when or how I am a fan of my team. No game results or season’s results will define when or how I am a fan of my team.

If anything when you write your constant negative headlines or start telling me how Canucks fans are supposed to feel or even when the team struggles, it only makes me support them even more. I know that choosing to be optimistic most likely puts me in the minority of Canucks fans, but if you ask me, a team can always use support, especially during the difficult times.

Yes, you are right that there have been a lot of ups and downs along this regular season journey BUT that does not mean it has all been down hill. And before you tell me that perhaps I am uninformed about the team or detached from the reality that is their current situation…STOP. Please know that I am completely aware of the team’s current state.I can spout their stats forwards and backwards, I know their reality. Or perhaps you think that I am delusional for remaining optimistic rather than joining in with all of the negative voices? Or perhaps you think I am against the team making moves at the deadline? STOP. I don’t need the game, the season or the team’s history explained to me in condescending tones. I understand these things as much as any other Canucks fan but I choose to have a different perspective.

I choose to recognize the absolute rarity it is to have witnessed TWO players amass 1000+ points each, all with the franchise. I choose to enjoy that the Canucks roster currently boasts a league leading rookie with a shot that rivals Bure and Naslund, on his way to breaking and setting new records in the Canucks books as well represent the team at the 2018 All-Star game. I choose to be optimistic about the team’s future and excited about their increased prospect depth including players like: Demko, Juolevi, Lockwood, Gaudette, Pettersson, Dahlen, Lind, Gadjovich.

And yes there may be some fans and many of you that are still all aboard #teamtank but that will never include me. As we all know, tanking does not and will not guarantee a top 3 draft pick. It goes completely against my nature to purposely cheer against my team. I know that this season has been less than ideal and very much a struggle for them at times but that does NOT mean that I will stop supporting the team. Just because I choose to look past the negatives and see the positives that DO exist does NOT mean that I am naive or misunderstand the game. All it means is that regardless of ANY stat, I will support my team through the good and the bad.

Win or lose, good or bad, the Vancouver Canucks are my team, ALWAYS. End of story.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

Vancouver Canucks: 2017 in Review

And just like that, as quick as it began, 2017 is nearly over. For the Vancouver Canucks, it wasn’t a perfect year or anywhere near close to it and if I was to listen to the way the media spins it, it was an absolutely terrible year for the team. IF, I was to listen to the media, I would believe that the team is going no where.

If I was to really take a closer look at what actually happened, there were some pretty incredible moments within that supposedly terrible year.

TWIN MILESTONES. Just as they have always done, in 2017, the Sedins have further cemented their place in the Vancouver Canucks history books. Amassing 1000 points is an incredible feat and one that many players will never reach. Even more rare is seeing a player reach that milestone with the same team over the entirety of their career. Seeing two players on the same team accomplish that feat is even more incredible.

JANUARY 20,  2017. They said it was an impossible feat and yet somehow, the ever consistent Henrik Sedin, hit yet another milestone when he scored his 1000th NHL point. Against his former teammate, on a goal assisted by his brother, Henrik Sedin brought the arena off their feet scoring the milestone point on home ice. I still get chills when I remember what that moment felt like in the arena with 19,000 other fans, it was a moment that I’ll always remember.

NOVEMBER 30, 2017. Daniel Sedin followed in his brother’s footsteps once more. On the road, against a tough Predators team, on a goal assisted by yes, his brother AND Brock Boeser, Daniel scored his milestone point to tie the game and help lead the comeback.

PROSPECT DEPTH. The 2017 Draft was a win for Vancouver despite falling to 5th overall in the draft lottery. With the 5th pick, Jim Benning selected Elias Pettersson who is currently having a season for the record books in the Swedish league and currently making his mark in the World Juniors. Along with Elias, Benning made some other strong picks: Kole Lind, Jonah Gadjovich, Michael Dipietro, Jack Rathbone, Matt Brassard, Petrus Palmu and Kristoffer Gunnarsson; adding to a growing pool of Canucks prospects. For the first time in a long time, the Canucks have a deep wealth of prospects. (**Jim Benning deserves a lot more credit than he is given for the depth of the Canucks current crop of prospects).

JAKE VIRTANEN. Everyone said he was a bust, some probably still do. The truth is, last season, he really struggled and it would’ve been easy to write him off after spending the majority of the season in Utica. Heading into the training camp this year, he had to take all the lessons he’d learned in Utica, put in a lot of hard work and still earning a roster spot, no guarantee. He put the work in, had a strong showing in the pre-season, and over the course of the first half of the season has begun to show a complete level to all areas of his game. It started slowly, but more and more his game is progressing to show the player that management hoped he could be and will be. (**Anyone else notice a little more step in his game since he switched to the same stick as Boeser?).

BO-LIEVE it or not. Bo Horvat came into his own in 2017. Bo and the Canucks seemed destined to make a deal as last season wound down, but the summer passed and still no deal was signed. As training camp edged ever closer, fans got nervous and media speculated that maybe it wasn’t such a sure thing after all. The Canucks said all along they were determined to make the right deal, Bo kept saying all the right things and wouldn’t you know it, both sides found that perfect middle ground. Horvat signed his 6-year extension and put in the work on the ice, immediately finding a chemistry with Boeser and Baertschi, aka the “killer-B” line.

BROCK BOESER MANIA. I’m not sure what’s more unbelievable, the fact that Brock Boeser dropped to 23rd in the 2015 draft or looking back knowing that so many were against the pick and uncertain about the player that Brock could be when Jim Benning drafted him. In the two years that followed, Canucks fans watched as he succeeded with college hockey at UND ever hopeful that this was a glimpse of what was to come.

MARCH 25, 2017. Brock Boeser made his NHL debut in his home state of Minnesota while casually scoring his FIRST NHL goal which ended up being the game winner.

NOVEMBER 2017. First career hat trick on home ice against the defending Stanley Cup champions, followed up by picking up another two goals against the Penguins in Pittsburgh. Named the rookie of the month.

DECEMBER 2017. FASTEST rookie in Vancouver Canucks history to notch 20 goals in 34 games. (**Heading into the Christmas break, Boeser had 34 points [20 goals, 14 assists] in 34 games. Currently on pace to surpass Pavel Bure’s rookie record of 60 points in 65 games). Are you ready to see how the rest of the story goes, Vancouver? Stay tuned, this is JUST the beginning.

Safe to say that among Canucks fans, Brock Boeser mania is in full force. Yes, it’s still very early in the season and there’s a ways to go with some great competition with other rookies like Barzal and Keller, but Boeser is definitely a serious Calder contender. No, Canucks fans do not want Boeser awarded the Calder trophy in December, we just want it acknowledged across the board that he’s having a heck of a season and deserves to be in that conversation.

DORSETT STRONG. No one was sure if he’d even be able to make a comeback after his injury last season. Derek Dorsett put in the rehab, and worked harder than ever to find his way back to the game. And come back he did, he was having one heck of a season, possibly on his way to career highs before being sidelined by symptoms of the injury that sidelined him for most of last season. Tests and second opinions, led to Derek making the tough choice to put his health and future first, meaning that life after hockey came much faster than originally planned. Inspiring, persevering, and determined.

A few words, I wrote for Derek after his retirement announcement: Vancouver Canucks: For Derek. 

Good-bye, 2017, thanks for the memories. Here’s to 2018 and all that is to come!

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.