THANK-YOU, HANK & DANNY.

Dear Henrik & Daniel,

Thank-you, hardly seems close to enough for what you have given this city for 17+ years, but I’m going to try. First things first, please know that neither one of you have ever once for a second ever let me or this city down.

Fans from around the league have never really understood just how lucky Vancouver Canucks fans have been to have witnessed the entirety of your NHL careers. The road to success wasn’t any easy one, but you both persevered through it all. From playing the Swedish Elite League, to the NHL draft, to a tough start in the NHL, to the 2004-05 lockout, to Olympic Gold medals to pure dominance of Sedinery that led to back to back Art Ross Trophies to accumulating endless franchise records. From rookies to seasoned veteran leaders, you have both exuded professionalism on and off the ice and you have done it with incredible grace.

More than 1200 games each over the last 17 years in Vancouver, you have embodied everything that it meant to have the heart of a Canuck. You were never meant to have success in the NHL, let alone play your entire careers together, lead the top line for an extended period or score many franchise goals or become inspiring pillars within the community or leaders on and off of the ice.

The 1999 NHL draft forever changed not just the league but the fate of the Vancouver Canucks franchise. That day, no one could have predicted that the next 18 years would unfold in such a whirlwind of memorable moments. At the beginning no one was sure of what kind of impact you could or would go on to have in an NHL lineup. There was the constantly mentioned potential but until you both started playing, no one really knew what to expect. Most saw the underlying skill sets that were there but as is the way with a hockey market, when there were growing pains in the early days, quick judgments and assumptions were made. For a while, it seemed like maybe they had all missed the bigger picture and to tell you the truth, in those early days, I had to stop reading the newspapers.

Most people wanted to see what I saw, the potential of what could be beyond those early days, but they also wanted to see the increased numbers and stats right away. It took some time, as is the case with any career, there were some growing pains as you navigated the waters on the way to success. It started slowly, and then suddenly all at once before all the “experts” could complete their critiques, the ever evolving Sedins were flourishing and leading the way.

Through 17+ years, you have seen your fair share of coaches come and go but there were two in particular who saw and helped shape you to be the players you’ve both become. Marc Crawford and Alain Vigneault. Crow & AV always recognized your full potential and yes even made some unconventional choices like putting a pesky Burrows on a line with you one fateful February day that spurred a shift that season and a inspired a few seasons worth of highlights. The critics never stopped with their critiques but you both always found a way to respond with grace and constantly prove them wrong.

You never let the negativity in. You always rose above it all, every step of the way. You have always done whatever was asked of you by the coaches and management. Every day, you were and are consummate professionals on and off of the ice. And when called upon to help within the community with Canucks For Kids, Canucks Autism Network, the BC Children’s Hospital or a myriad of other charities, you are always there. You give everything you have with every shift on the ice and every moment you are constantly giving to the community throughout your continued tenure with the Vancouver Canucks.

Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you and thank-you again for 17+ incredible years of defying the odds, the ever persistent pursuit of your dreams, and inspiring so many more to never give up. I wish you knew just how big of an impact you’ve made on the team, on the franchise, on this city, on this province, and on the fans. You made your coaches proud. You made your teammates proud. You made this city proud. And you’ve made Canucks fans around the globe proud.

IF this is it, IF this is the final hurrah, the final season of your career or IF you keep playing for another year or two, I am going to savour every single moment of Sedinery yet to come. And Henrik, when Daniel joins you, in the 1000 points club this season, we will cheer just as loud, or maybe louder because that means there are now TWO Canucks legends on the roster.

And to THIS fan, no matter what happens at the end of this season or when the day comes that you decide to hang up your skates, you will always and forever be Canucks. When things get tough, all I have had to do was think of how you both always kept pushing forward despite the odds and I am reminded that when you tune out the negative, anything is possible. Thank-you doesn’t seem even close to enough but it’s what I have to offer. Henrik, and Daniel, THANK-YOU, for everything.

Sarah E.L.

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You Better BO-lieve it…

Now that deal is officially signed and Bo Horvat is locked in long-term with the Canucks, it’s time to take a different approach than what I’ve seen making the rounds on social media today.

Where do I begin? Here goes:

Dear Bo,

First, let me say: congratulations on the new contract extension!

I can still remember the day that you were drafted, crystal clear and the slight uproar that followed. It was an unexpected move to hear that Vancouver had traded Cory Schneider for a top ten draft pick, and yes initially some people were upset with the trade. No one knew what to expect when your name was announced by Vancouver or how the future would unfold. Four years later and every one who was uncertain is now rooting for you, wearing your jersey and envisioning a long tenure for you with the Canucks.

Today was a great day for the franchise when they announced your extension. It shows that the team sees what you bring to the team both on and off of the ice now and in the future. Playing in the NHL is no easy feat but you’ve come a long way from the day you were drafted and days in the OHL. From a rookie finding his way developing into a 2-way forward with a knack for timely goals and defensive plays to a community ambassador.

If I could give you one piece of advice, it would be to ignore the negative narratives out there, don’t let them bring you down; instead use those voices to push you and prove all your critics wrong. There will be praise and good days and there will be critics and there will be hard days but from the short time you’ve already been in the league, you have proven that you are able to handle all of it. And if you ever need an example to look to, look no further than to Henrik and Daniel who have been through it all before.

You came into an unknown atmosphere across the country and made a city full of doubters into BO-lievers.

Here’s to the upcoming season about to start that will feature many BO-SCOREvat moments and the start of a very promising future for you and the Vancouver Canucks!

Sarah E.L.

Sedinery: The Beginning of the End?

The rumour mills are in full swing as the 2017-18 NHL season edges ever closer. The latest whispers getting louder out there right now being the possibility that THIS is the Sedins last season playing in the NHL. Is this the end, or perhaps the beginning of the end of the phenomenon that is Sedinery? Just writing and even considering the truth in those questions hurts to think about. The day the Sedins stop playing hockey will be a hard day.

What is Sedinery, you ask? It is the pure magic that has occurred when Henrik and Daniel Sedin have showcased their skill sets on the ice over the years throughout their careers. The Sedins have been a part of the fabric of the Vancouver Canucks since June 1999. In fact, it is impossible or very near impossible to envision the team when they are no longer on the roster.

IF this is in fact their last season, from the day they were drafted (2nd and 3rd overall in ’99) to their veteran days, they have left an indelible mark on the Vancouver Canucks.

From the outside, the Sedins are seen as “soft”, called “sisters”, and in general are viewed as players who are not elite. From the outside, because they have not won the Stanley Cup, often they are not considered worthy to be a part of that discussion. That’s the view from the outside.

From the inside, as a fan who has witnessed their entire career from the beginning, those on the outside do not understand just how elite these two players are.

In Vancouver, they are so much more that just two hockey players. They personify everything that it means to be a Canuck. They are brothers, they are leaders on the ice, they are leaders off the ice, they are resilient, they are well spoken, and they are pillars within the community. They didn’t have an easy path to success, they struggled early in their careers, and some wondered if they would ever make it. They have always been their own worst critics, and despite what so many on the outside have said or speculated, they always rose above it.

I cannot tell you how many times over the years, even when they had their record breaking seasons (including back to back Art Ross trophies), that I read reports from both sides of the hockey world, that often many “experts” missed the truth of who the Sedins are. Yes, they would talk about the facts but they never quite understood the awesome that is seeing the Sedins play the game. The way they read off one another during a game, from shift to shift, on and off the ice, it is beyond magic. They seem to anticipate where the other is, often without even looking up, and making a play that to the outside would seem odd, but if you’ve been paying attention, you knew that some how that puck would find the other Sedin. Just as they always have, they’ve reached record after record in Vancouver, one after the other.

It’s not often ONE player, let alone TWO on the same team will amass more than 1000 points. Only 86 NHL players including, Henrik have joined the 1000 points club. By season’s end, Daniel will once again follow his brother’s foot steps further into the Canucks history books when he scores his 1000th regular season point.

Is it fair that they do not want to be traded and desire to retire as Canucks? ABSOLUTELY, they have more than earned that right to that decision. They have played the entirety of their careers in Vancouver, a place that has been where they’ve played hockey and a place that has become their second home. They have been a part of the team since their draft day. They have seen Vancouver through all kinds of seasons on the spectrum from terrible to record breaking, never wavering on their loyalty to the team or the city.

Truthfully, in Vancouver, we do not deserve the Sedins, but we DO owe them the same loyalty and respect that they have always shown Vancouver. IF this is in fact their last season playing in the NHL, I plan on savouring every last moment of Sedinery as it plays out.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

Vancouver Canucks: Goalie Conundrum

Ah yes, the goalie conundrum, one of the oldest stories in the book. Great teams and the not so great teams are often defined in part by their goal-tending. And as the story goes, fans and the media are at times toughest on a team’s goalies. And as the story goes, Vancouver is often at the top of the list when it comes to critiquing goalies; even being labeled a “goalie graveyard” over the years.

Yes, it’s true that it’s their job to stop the puck, to keep games close and to close out games. Wins, and wins in tight games or games when the goalie absolutely steals the game are always met with praise. It is also true that when those close games swing in the other team’s favour or a game gets out of hand with a lop-sided score that the goalie is often the first one that is blamed for those losses.

And then there are the cautionary tales, those that become the ever dreaded “goalie controversy”. How well a goalie plays throughout the year, particularly down the stretch will define a team’s season as good, bad, great or terrible. And sometimes when your starter struggles or gets sidelined by an injury, that opens the door for a back up goalie to take the starter’s job. Let’s take a closer look at some of the goal-tenders from the Canucks most recent history:

Dan Cloutier. No, he didn’t win it all but he played a massive part in turning the team’s culture. Suddenly this team became one to watch with stand out seasons not just from Cloutier but players like Naslund, Bertuzzi, Morrison, and yes those ever humble Sedins. Yes, he didn’t do it on his own, he shared his successes with the team and when things did go wrong, it was often his faults that were highlighted and critics came out in droves.

Roberto Luongo. When he was winning, he could do no wrong and the city loved him; when he lost, everyone turned on him. It seems like everything was amplified when it came to Luongo, whether he was playing well or struggling. It still blows my mind how quickly an entire city will turn on one player. A player that took them to GAME 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals one day and the next was a scapegoat for all the mistakes made in that series and the following few seasons before his eventual trade. Never once did he place the blame on others, he was always the first one to take the blame even when it was not solely on him. How quickly it was forgotten all of the good things he did for the team and instead the focus became the loss of that one game and all the mistakes along the way. After game 7, the remainder of his time in Vancouver, he was almost never given the benefit of the doubt again and instead given a short leash with no room for mistakes. That shortened leash seemed to predict Schneider would be the next goalie in the line, BUT it was not so, and for a brief moment Luongo was back in the spotlight as the starter. The leash was once again cut short, leading coach to not start the “franchise goalie” in the outdoor game which became more of a spectacle than the actual game that took place that day. Cue to the deal that was impossible that suddenly happened in an instant, Luongo was headed back to Florida.

Cory Schneider. The one that got away or so some have thought since he was eventually traded to the New Jersey Devils. Initially many fans were angry that it was Schneider who was traded first and especially about getting a draft pick that became Bo Horvat(who had now become a fan favourite). It’s no secret that I was never Cory’s biggest fan but I’ve never denied his skill. He’s always had undeniable skill and he did make an impact in Vancouver. My only real frustration was the credit he was often given by the fans and media before it was ever earned. If Luongo ever faltered, it was almost always assumed that Schneider must be the answer, but if Schneider made a similar mistake, he was given the benefit of the doubt more often then critiqued.

Eddie Lack. Eddie was from the beginning a hit with the fans and the media. No, he didn’t always win but he ALWAYS had a sense of humour through it all. He always made time for the media and the fans. He can’t be blamed for the debacle that was the “Heritage Classic” when he was given the start over Luongo, that one is on Torts. It became again, a situation where no matter what Luongo had done, it was never enough and once again the back up was thrust into the spotlight by the coach and the fans.

Ryan Miller. Losing both of Schneider & Luongo to trades meant the Canucks needed to add another veteran goal-tender moving forward to help close the gaps. With Ryan Miller, he provided a stability in the crease that often went unappreciated during his tenure with the team. Yes, he had some tough nights as all goalies are prone to, but he also had some great moments that so often he was not credited for when they were happening. No matter the game, or the situation he always gave his best and always stood by his teammates. I’ll never forget him stepping up for Troy Stecher when havoc broke out. It wasn’t until his contract was over and he had signed with Anaheim, that many fans seemed to realize just how much Millsy did for the team.

Jacob Markstrom the goalie that could be, the one the Canucks received in the deal that sent Luongo back to Florida. It was a tough situation to come into, but he never complained, was simply grateful for the opportunity. With Lack and Miller set to be the duo in Vancouver, Markstrom spent his first full season with the Canucks in Utica having a season to remember. He led the Comets to AHL Calder Cup finals. The last two seasons, he has spent backing up/splitting games with Miller and being a pillar with the community. This upcoming season he will share the crease with Anders Nilsson as both get a chance to become bonafide NHL starters. The duo will also provide depth that allows Thatcher Demko another year further developing his game.

Thatcher Demko. A beacon of hope for the future. An impeccable college record, a solid first season in the pros with the Canucks affiliate team: the Utica Comets.

As the story goes, time always tells how each will prevail over their individual careers. As the story goes, the fans will love their goalies when things go well and be quick with honesty when things go south. Ah yes, the goalie conundrum, one of the oldest stories in the book.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

True Blue 2017 (Part Four)

It’s summer or more accurately the NHL’s off-season and you know what that means at NUCKSAID! It’s time once again, for True Blue and to put the spot light on you, Canucks fans. This year, it’ll be a little different than my past summer series. No questionnaire, but a more free form in which you can share whatever you’d like about your hockey/Canucks fandom, or focus on just one moment in particular in the team’s history(recent or from the past) that really shaped how you view this game or an experience with other fans that influence your view of the game now or really it’s up to you what you’d like to say. If you’d like to be featured/share the story of your hockey fandom or the moment that’s shaped how you view the game, send me an e-mail to: nucksaid@gmail.com & we will set it up!

Without further ado, this is Justin and HIS True Blue story:

“Chronicles of a Diehard Canucks Fanatic. Written by Justin Lai.

What makes me different from any other Canadian? Honestly not much, I love my Tim Hortons and I live and breathe hockey. My two favourite teams are my hometown Vancouver Canucks and the Pittsburgh Penguins. I’m far from a bandwagon fan though as I know my hockey pretty fluently. I like Pittsburgh as my secondary team because one of my favourite Vancouver Canucks players of all time was a Penguin before, that being Markus Naslund. That and I also like the legends who played for them including Jaromir Jagr, Mario Lemieux and now more recently Sidney Crosby but this story isn’t about them. This story is about my love for the Vancouver Canucks and how an average guy like me is living the dream working for the Canucks and my love for the game.

I don’t think there’s one particular moment in the Canucks history that I can pinpoint as my favourite because I enjoy every season cheering them on whether they have losing seasons or whether they make a run to within one win of a Stanley Cup Championship. For me, there’s no in between for my love for the Canucks. I own countless Canucks memorabilia and jerseys, and every year I’m rooting for them regardless of what others believe of my team. The Canucks are my team and I’m proud of that. I love them more than the number of wins they can put up on the ice in a season but my love for them extends to what they do in the community as well. They represent values I believe in which include giving back and the make that a living value day in and day out. 

Of course my fondest memory was the 1994 playoff run with heroes like Trevor Linden and Pavel Bure but also living through the 2011 magical season that came one win short of their first franchise championship. It was amazing how they captivated a city and brought people of all nations and cultures together during that run. Yes, there was the ugly aftermath in our beautiful city when they lost and that act made me absolutely disgusted and angry as a resident of our beautiful city, but to see the response of those who took part in to help bring those responsible to justice and clean up the damage restored my faith in my city and the true fans of the Vancouver Canucks. 

My excitement for the upcoming wave of future Canucks comes with mixed emotions. I’m excited to usher in the new wave of future Canucks to hopefully lead this team to success on the ice but to also maintain their commitment to the city and community off the ice. Being a Canuck means more than just an NHL player, it means having pride in being good people on and off the ice, role models to those who cheer you on and aspire to be like you, who look up to you. On the other hand of this excitement, to see our future young stars in the making, it’s also humbling and bit sad to potentially see the end of veteran players who have paved the way for these young guns, none more so than the Sedin twins. Daniel and Henrik Sedin are consummate professionals and excellent players but also world class leaders on and off the ice who I admire as people.

I’m living a dream working for the Canucks, heading into my 4th season because I get to be in the same environment, breathing in the excitement of hockey on game days and being a part of a team of outstanding co-workers and friends who make working for the team a dream come true. They preach and practices the Canuck values which I can put into practice not only on the job but also everyday which makes this organization one of my dream companies to work for. They also make it so fun to work there. 

Anyways my love for the team will never be diminished and whether we finish seasons as the the best team in the league or whether we finish last in the league, I’m always going to be team #TrueBlue and rooting for my Canucks because they’re so much more than just a hockey team to me. They represent the fabric of my beautiful city and living the Canucks values day in, day out is exactly worth being a Diehard fan for. Feel free to connect and talk hockey with my on my Twitter account: (@justinlai01)!

Go Canucks Go! – Justin.”

Special thank-you to Justin to sharing a piece of his True Blue story! I can relate on so many points! To me, the Canucks represent so much more than just hockey.

**If you’d also like to be featured/share the story of your hockey fandom or the moment that’s shaped how you view the game, send me an e-mail to: nucksaid@gmail.com & we will set it up!

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

True Blue 2017 (Part Three)

It’s summer or more accurately the NHL’s off-season and you know what that means at NUCKSAID! It’s time once again, for True Blue and to put the spot light on you, Canucks fans. This year, it’ll be a little different than my past summer series. No questionnaire, but a more free form in which you can share whatever you’d like about your hockey/Canucks fandom, or focus on just one moment in particular in the team’s history(recent or from the past) that really shaped how you view this game or an experience with other fans that influence your view of the game now or really it’s up to you what you’d like to say. If you’d like to be featured/share the story of your hockey fandom or the moment that’s shaped how you view the game, send me an e-mail to: nucksaid@gmail.com & we will set it up!

Today introduces you to, not one but two, Canucks fans.

Without further ado, this is Abi and HER True Blue story:

“Today, I’ll share a more recent memory. As a die hard Vancouver Canucks fan, my favourite memory from this off season was getting to attend the prospects game. It felt like a real game experience and there was such an energetic/positive vibe. It was so refreshing to sit wherever we wanted to and best of all, no rude fans. Watching the next generation of Canucks players was very exciting and I look forward to seeing these guys make it on the team in the near future. This felt like Christmas came in July for THIS Canucks fan.

Seeing Pettersson get two goals was amazing and thrilling to get a glimpse of what’s to come. Our future goalies made some great stops despite the high scoring nature of the game. I was quite pleased when a bonus team shoot out was announced. One of the few times that I will ever be excited to watch a shoot out. Each player was granted a chance and tried some interesting and comical moves in the added bonus overtime. I was so thankful that Rogers Arena introduced some new menu items in addition to free food and beverages for the evening.

Another added bonus for me was attending a behind the scenes tour at Rogers Arena. It was a wonderful experience to walk around my favourite place of all time. I really enjoyed seeing the wall of history featuring many of the Canucks legendary players, Trevor Linden’s locker stall with his old lucky sneakers, the Olympic victory mural, seeing the Great One’s signature on the elevator. Our tour guide was very informative and enthusiastic and equally heartbroken about the outcome of 2011. It was cool seeing the club 500 section and the view of the rink from those seats.

 

Is it Hocktober yet? I am counting down the days until hockey returns and looking forward in particular to two things: Daniel Sedin’s 1000th point milestone and seeing Brock Boeser play in a full season capacity.

Go Canucks Go! –Abi. “

Also, please meet Jeff, this is HIS True Blue story in his own words in video format:

*Note: Rock Tune by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Artist: http://audionautix.com/

-Jeff.”

Special thanks to both Abi & Jeff for sharing their True Blue stories! Once a part of Canucks nation, you’re always one of us! Here’s to hearing, seeing, sharing and learning a few more before the season begins in October!

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

 

True Blue 2017 (Part Two)

It’s summer or more accurately the NHL’s off-season and you know what that means at NUCKSAID! It’s time once again, for True Blue and to put the spot light on you, Canucks fans. This year, it’ll be a little different than my past summer series. No questionnaire, but a more free form in which you can share whatever you’d like about your hockey/Canucks fandom, or focus on just one moment in particular in the team’s history that really shaped how you view this game or an experience with other fans that influence your view of the game now or really it’s up to you what you’d like to say. If you’d like to be featured/share the story of your hockey fandom or the moment that’s shaped how you view the game, send me an e-mail to: nucksaid@gmail.com & we will set it up!

Without further ado, this is Chris and HIS True Blue story:

“Why do I support the Vancouver Canucks? Why as a British person, am I even into ice hockey at all?

True, it’s not in our nation’s DNA to take to the ice, we prefer grass sports with sports like Field Hockey, Cricket, Rugby, and most of all football (or Soccer, if you prefer); though Ice Hockey is the most popular indoor spectator sport within England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, even beating our Basketball despite the country producing a respectable number of NBA players! Even with it’s small slice of popularity, the British ice hockey scene is almost non-existent when compared to our reputation as a footballing country.

This hasn’t always been the case, however, back in the 1930’s the British national hockey team were one of the most formidable in the World! Often competing and beating the modern day powerhouses of: Canada, USA, Russia, Sweden etc., with the crowning achievement being winning the 1936 Olympics and World Championships as well as various continental titles. Even with this success, British ice hockey has very much fallen to the wayside, making it unlikely that you will ever run into another genuine hockey fan in day to day life.

This is why I am so grateful for things like Twitter and Facebook that have helped bring about the Canucks Nation. A collection of Canucks fans from all different backgrounds, nations, religions and cultures. The sport knows no creed, only what team you support. Fans of the Vancouver Canucks often get a bad name, whether it’s about them being fickle, rioters, bad losers…anything bad you can think of, the Canucks fan base has been accused of it.

Sure, we have our idiotic element, what sports team doesn’t? What people don’t tell you, is the good things our fan base achieves. For a few years from around 2009 to only last year, I suffered badly with depression and anxiety, and this was also at a time that I lost my Grandad and shortly after, my Grandma. I received messages from Canucks fans from all around the world, some in the UK, some in Canada, some in the US and some from as far afield as Australia and New Zealand. People that I had never met in person, who wanted to see if I was okay, not because they had to but because I’m a Canucks fan. That simple. When I was at my absolute worst, I always knew I had the backing of the Canucks Nation, whether it was them giving me an ear to moan into or whether they just sat up with me chatting all things hockey and life. The Canucks Nation are whiners, the Canucks Nation are idiots is what we hear. The Canucks Nation saved my life is something I don’t hear, the Canucks Nation made me feel like I wasn’t alone is something you don’t hear but they did just that for me.

The Canucks Nation aren’t just the best fans in the NHL, but some of the best people in the world.

When I was a child, I wasn’t massively into sports but I was into video games one of favourite games was NHL 99 on the PlayStation. And my favourite team was actually the Detroit Red Wings! I had no affiliation to the city of Detroit or the team, they were just really good! To say I supported them would be generous, I more just played as them on the game and said I supported them. In reality, I couldn’t tell you a single player who wasn’t on the starting line-up on the game.

In 2001, I went to BC for the first time and who else was in town? The Detroit Red Wings…and because of my slight fascination with them, my dad got us tickets to the game. That game was a 3-0 win for the Canucks but that wasn’t to be a disappointing result for me as little did I know, walking into GM Place that my life was about to change forever.

As I first walked out of the concourse into the stands, I was taken aback by the noise and colours all around me, the Dark Blue, Red and Silver, everywhere. The announcers enthusiasm and just the sheer numbers of people all stuck with me. It was unbelievable, I’d never seen such a mad crowd! I instantly fell in love the the home team and quickly dropped any “love” I may have held for the Red Wings. I was hooked.

Going forward, I have only been able to see a handful of games like due to a gap of roughly 7,300 km between me and Vancouver. Despite this, my love of the Canucks was born that cold December night at GM place. I’m from a town in England called Stockport, about 20 minutes away from Manchester. Within the neighbouring Manchester; I managed to quench my thirst for hockey with the Manchester Storm, following their dissolution, the Manchester Phoenix, and as much as I loved those nights at the Manchester Evening News Arena, nothing had ever come close to that night in Vancouver.

Back in the early, 2000’s, streaming live sports wasn’t easy, so I had to rely on a weekly TV show we had that would give a weekly round-up of the league’s main talking points and some short highlights. It sounds daft now but back then I would make sure that nothing got between me and my weekly hour-long hockey fix.

As the internet evolved, so did my love for the sport and the team. All of a sudden watching a game was easier than ever but more importantly, so was connecting with fellow fans from around the globe. Though as I transitioned into adulthood, I could no longer stay up all night watching games and sadly I was restricted to weekend games.

This changed in 2009, this is when I first started battling my own mind. I often couldn’t sleep and would find myself inadvertently staying up all night long with nothing to show for it except a headache and uncontrollable yawning. This is when I truly learned what it meant to be a part of a family other than my own, the Canucks family.

As I was up all night anyway, I would watch the games online and suddenly my online habits went from searching for the best way to fall asleep to searching about the next big prospect that “the Canucks HAVE to draft”. From dreading waking up the next day to actively being exciting for the day to come and go, just so I could watch the Canucks again.

The weirdest time in my life came in 2011, that is when I was at my lowest point; without trying to be too much of a bummer, that is when on another day, things could have gone terribly out of hand with how was I feeling. Who saved the day? Kevin Bieksa

The worst night of my life, quickly turned into the best. It was Game 5 of the 2011 Western Conference Finals: Canucks vs. Sharks. As I’m sure we all know, the Canucks went from a 1-0 lead early on to trailing 2-1 with just seconds left before Ryan Kesler snatched a goal at the death to send the game into OT and then into double OT. It was during the second overtime that “the goal” happened. The goal that defied physics and logic, the goal that sent the Canucks to the Stanely Cup Finals, the goal that saved my life.

Once the Bruins series came along, I had started receiving professional help, a step that I may never have taken if not for that night.  When we lost Game 7, I was devastated, but most importantly, I was here. Since that summer things haven’t  gone overly well for the Canucks but it was around this time I started socializing more with Canucks Nation. I’ve made some truly great friends, both online and in real life thanks to the boys in Blue and Green; sometimes we just moan about how badly the team is doing, sometimes we just like to talk. Whether you’re a diehard season ticket holder or a casual fans who’s only ever seen highlights, everyone is made welcome into the family that is Canucks fans.

I had managed to keep my mental health in check for the most part until 2015 when I lost my Grandad. I run a Canucks fan page on Twitter and I’ll generally just chat with other fans and sometimes live tweet games. I made a quick apology for an absence due to losing my Grandad. It wasn’t for any other reason than to let people who’d tweeted/messages me that I wasn’t ignoring them. Within an hour, I’d had nearly 100 messages from people all around the world; they didn’t know me personally, some didn’t even know my real name, all they knew is that I was a Canucks fan going through a hard time and it was literally overwhelming how nice everybody was about it.

It’s experiences like this that mean even when I can’t watch as many live games as I’d like to, the incredible community of Canucks fans is something that not only do I hold very dear to my heart, it’s something that is now and will always be a part of my life.

So to answer the initial question I posed myself, why am I a Canucks fan? Because the Vancouver Canucks saved my life. – Chris.”

Thank-you for your bravery and for sharing your story with all of us, Chris! It’s not an easy task speaking up but it ALWAYS makes a difference. Once a part of Canuck Nation, you are always be a part of the Canucks family!

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.