Vancouver Canucks: A Team Like That

“A team like that.” The quote that has been heard loud and clear all around town following the Canucks victory in their home opener over the LA Kings. A quote that seemed to spark a team and inspire a t-shirt campaign

It’s no secret that the Canucks have had their share of struggles the past few seasons and that in turn meant there were long stretches of hockey that were difficult to watch. It doesn’t mean that there weren’t some high lights or stand out moments BUT there were definitely some games and years that were down right painful.

YES, it’s early. YES, we should tamper our expectations as it’s merely November and they’ve been going through a bit of a tough stretch but have ended the slump with a big win versus Nashville! There’s no denying that this team feels different than teams in recent years. I’m not saying they’re going to win it all, it’s way TOO early for that type of prediction. I am saying that IF they continue to play the way they’ve started this season, they will get back to the post-season where anything can happen. Or maybe they just get close to the playoffs, whichever way this season goes, it’s been a very LONG time since watching the Canucks, even during tough their stretches was as fun as it has been so far this season.

Through 19-games(10-6-3), they’re playing in such a different way than in recent years. They’re playing as a team with all 4 lines plus the blue line contributing on a nightly basis. Goal-tending is giving them opportunities every single game. Special teams have been fantastic. In 19-games, they have scored 5 or more goals EIGHT times.Their goal differential is near the top of the league. Who knows if that stat will last but it sure is fun to see them in that discussion. The current top three teams in the Pacific(Edmonton, Arizona, and Vancouver) are all teams that were on the outside looking in at the end of the last season, how fun is that to see?

Good stretches will come and go and November will be a good test for them moving forward. Just two more home games before they head on the road for 6-games to close out the rest of November.

Can’t wait to see how the month closes out, and what rest of the season holds!

A team like that, indeed.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

Vancouver Canucks: Bo Captain, My Captain!

Bo captain, my captain! It’s a BO time! The best worst kept secret around town became OFFICIAL when the Canucks dropped the puck for their home opener on October 9th. Bo Horvat was named the 14th captain in franchise history.

And yes, I know this isn’t brand new information BUT between work and getting sick, it has taken me some time to process all that happened when this “secret” was announced.

I’ve said for the (AT LEAST) the last two years, that it would be Bo Horvat who would be the next captain after Henrik. Just ask my family, I constantly said it and I never wavered despite being told I shouldn’t be so confident in a decision that was a ways down the road. I can’t explain precisely why I was so certain it would be Bo, it was just a something I couldn’t shake. And when I would think about Bo eventually getting named captain, I just KNEW that somehow Henrik had to be involved in the moment. Again, I can’t explain why I felt that would happen, but again I couldn’t shake the feeling that’s how it was going to happen. And when it DID, it was everything that I hoped it would be!

It was a moment that was 6 years in the making. Before Henrik and Daniel retired, there were a lot of rumours swirling as to who could possibly follow in their footsteps. Bo Horvat was the natural choice. It was one of the few times that almost the entirety of Canucks fans was in agreement on something.

From the moment he made his debut 6 years ago, to his steady development both on and off of the ice over the years that followed, including last year when he was named to the leadership group, he has shown that he’s more than ready for this challenge. His first four years were spent under the leadership of Henrik and Daniel.

Last season, it was the right choice to not have a captain but rather a leadership group that would work together during a transition year. A year that would see the growth of the young core. This year is time for that young group to take a step forward towards the future, a new era.

WHAT A MOMENT IT WAS:

OH THE SYMMETRY.

October 9, 1970: Vancouver Canucks play their first NHL game.

October 9, 2010: Henrik Sedin named the 13th Captain in franchise history.

October 9, 2019: Bo Horvat officially named the 14th Captain in franchise history.

And in case, you wanted a deeper look into the official moment he was given the captaincy:

I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect way for the captaincy to be passed onto Bo. Since being named captain, the Canucks have a 5-1-0 record. Not too shabby, not too shabby at all. And can we talk about his PPG versus the Rangers?!l

Here’s to the rest of the season and a bright future!

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

Canucks Round Table (Vol.4)

Welcome to the latest edition of the official Nucksaid: Canucks Round Table! As you know, if you’ve followed my blog for awhile, one of my absolute favourite things is to connect with fellow hockey fans and to share our stories together. This new series will be bringing Canucks fans together from near and far to discuss all things Canucks as the season progresses. There’s a lot to be said about the team, personally, I love to also hear other fans perspectives, it helps me to see the team and the game in new ways.Hopefully you enjoy the ride with all of us! Shall we begin? Without further ado, I present to you the 4th edition of the Canucks Round Table feature on Nucksaid.

1)The Canucks are officially celebrating their 50th anniversary this season, which moment are you most looking forward to seeing celebrated?

Michael Coleman(@1MichaelColeman): All of them. It’s been a tough rebuild but we’ve slowly added the right pieces where I am finally comfortable having “expectations”. I feel we have upgraded every aspect of the game and the guys could really put something together if they gel and decide to play for one another. I feel like we have a chance to finally roll out three lines who can score and have pieces for a solid shut down line on the 4th.

(@tams3333): I am definitely most looking forward to Sedins’ retirement night!

Jenny Canuck(@getthepuckuout): It’s pretty hard to pick just ONE moment that I’m looking forward to. I am split between Burrows being inducted into the Ring of Honour or the Sedin jersey retirement night, but my heart’s leaning to the Dragon Slayer. Burrow’s grit and determination made him a fave for me. But ask me after the season ends, and my answer will be Pettersson leading us to the playoffs!

Eric Bailey(@EBailey16): The Sedin number retirement is the most exciting part. There have been many great players over the 50 years. Many players have wowed me with skill or determination but these two players were truly unique. I used to consider them each half a star until Henrik lead the league in points. Daniel repeating the feat, the next year, cemented that each was star player. The Canucks honour them this year and soon the league will too.

Brieann Knorr(@ItsBrieann): I’m very excited to see the Sedins jersey retirement! I think everyone is. It’s gonna be an emotional night as we honour the two greatest to play in a Canucks uniform. As well, I’m excited for Alex Burrows night! Can’t wait to see the Dragon Slayer get a place in Canucks history!

Suleiman Damji(@Suleiman Damji): I’m looking forward to the Sedins week, including their jersey retirement.

Marc Josef(@marc_josef): Watching Alex Burrows be inducted into the Ring of Honour. Burr is my all-time favourite Canuck. Played with his heart and soul for the city of Vancouver. 2011 playoffs…Dragon slaying goal is my all-time Canucks memory. Met him in person and he is a super nice, humble guy. I’ll be wearing my signed Burrows jersey that night!

Gabriella Smith(@wildestdreams_3): Definitely Sedin week. I also love that they’re honouring Bure, since he’s a big part of why I started following the Canucks in the first place!

Me(@nucksaid): Bo officially be awarded the captaincy(THAT WAS A MOMENT!). Pettersson, Boeser, Hughes & company continuing to grow together as a core. BURROWS night. SEDIN WEEK. Seeing a consistent swagger in the Canucks game play on a nightly basis, that could potentially get them back to the post-season.

2) The new season IS here, what are your expectations for the new season?

Michael Coleman(@1MichaelColeman): Anything less than the playoffs will be a bust. I anticipate winning at least one round in the post-season and having everyone whiplashed with “where did these guys come from?”

(@tams3333): I’m hoping fighting for a playoff spot, and clearing out some players to make space for the young guys.

Jenny Canuck(@getthepuckuout): The announcement of Bo Horvat as our next captain is something we’re all ready for. It symbolizes a new era for the Canucks and I couldn’t be more optimistic. Pettersson is elite and will grow even more. We have goal-tending, we have scoring, speed, attitude(Roussel and Ferland are two faves), and defence. We’ll just get better and better and better. I expect this to be the most exciting year since 2011 and don’t doubt it’ll be a great trip.

Eric Bailey(@EBailey16): I’ve watched videos, I’ve read articles that tell me the team is improved but not enough to make the playoffs. I am hoping for a playoff birth. While the season has started slow, I’m still optimistic, I’m expecting some overachieving – the playoffs.

Brieann Knorr(@ItsBrieann): I am expecting a better season than last year. I think playoffs are a big possibility with this team. I like the new additions to the blue line and Michael Ferland is gonna be a key piece for the grit and the goal scoring. I’m fairly optimistic that this season will be an exciting and a memorable one.

Suleiman Damji(@SuleimanDamji): The Canucks are going to have a great season this year and I could see them back in the playoffs.

Marc Josef(@marc_josef): I truly believe the Canucks will make the playoffs and end the 5-year drought. Pettersson hitting the 80 points mark. Boeser hitting 30 goals. Horvat taking the torch from Henrik as the Captain, officially ushering in the new era of Canucks hockey. Hughes showing us high end skating, intelligence and compete level on a nightly basis. Markstrom proving himself to be a Top 10 goalie in the NHL.

Gabriella Smith(@wildestdreams_3): I really thtink that the playoffs could happen this year. My current thoughts are that we make it to the first round, which would be a great experience to get our feet wet. I also look forward to seeing the young guys continue to grow! My expectation for myself are to go to at least 2 home and 1 away games, and watch as many as I can :).

Me(@nucksaid): My expectations for the season is the young players thriving together, the entire team finding a special chemistry together under the leadership of Bo. Pettersson finding yet another level as the season moves further along. Boeser hits 30 goals. Markstrom and Demko have a rock solid season together.

3) Pettersson lit up the l​eague last season, what do you think he does this season to follow up his memorable rookie season?

Michael Coleman(@1MichaelColeman): He’s a smart player. Reminds me of H.Sedin. I anticipate a steady increase over the next couple of years. If Ferland can find a groove on this top line, it will create space and confidence like Boeser and Petey have never had before in a Vancouver Uniform.

(@tams3333): I think people are going to be all over Petey this season and he is going to learn to fight through it. I’d predict a 70 point range.

Jenny Canuck(@getthepuckuout): Pettersson is so driven that he will always push himself to improve no matter what. He’s not only going to light it up but will play a game that most won’t believe. His vision, his accuracy…we have an elite player that will make us contenders for years.

Eric Bailey(@EBailey16): I’m looking for Pettersson to continue. All the projections I read suggested 30+ goals and 70-80 points. That sounds good to me. The real achievement is doing this while teams are matching against him.

Brieann Knorr(@ItsBrieann): I think Pettersson will have a good season. I don’t want to place any expectations on him as he’s got a lot on his plate already.

Suleiman Damji(@SuleimanDamji): I think that Pettersson is going to have an even better year than he did last season.

Marc Josef(@marc_josef): 30 goals, 50 assists. Lead by example on a nightly basis with his compete level, tenacity and hunger to get better.

Gabriella Smith(@wildestdreams_3): I’m looking forward to seeing what he can with a (fingers crossed) healthy season, since he did have the knee injury and concussion last year. I think he’ll continue to have steady and solid production while dazzling us as only he can.

Me(@nucksaid): Pettersson is a special player. Every time I get the chance to see him play, his skill takes my breath away. It’s unbelievable what he can do at this early stage of his career. We’ve just begun to see what he can do, as he continues to push himself, I think we see him hit many milestones over the years as his career progresses. How lucky are we to get to witness it?

4)Quinn Hughes gave us a glimpse of what he could do in the final 5 games last season. Will he challenge his brother Jack for the Calder?

Michael Coleman(@1MichaelColeman): When Boeser had his first season, we were warned, “Don’t expect too much! He may not even make the team.” When Petey joined the team, we were told once again, “Don’t expect too much. He’ll be a winger at best but won’t see any real centre minutes for some time.” I am starting to think the experts are guessers. I, not unlike what I predicted with the other two mentioned on this one, expect Hughes to be a world class talent and turn heads right away. I also anticipate a rejuvenated Tanev who will play like we haven’t seen in some time.

(@tams3333): I think that Quinn will do well offensively but need some time to figure out how to be in the dirty areas defensively and it will be an adjustment. I think he will need some time and patience.

Jenny Canuck(@getthepuckuout): Hughes’ moves…that man has the fanciest feet. Man, can he skate! He might just challenge Jack as he’s got experience Jack doesn’t even though it is only a handful of games. I think he’ll have more confidence because of his teammates too. I think I’d even bet money on it.

Eric Bailey(@EBailey16): Quinn is getting his minutes and the points will come as the team starts scoring. He will do well and get hype. I expect him to be in the conversation but it is rare for defenders to win. His competition is really high, so I have my doubts about him winning. If he can just get nominated, that will be an amazing run of draft picks.

Brieann Knorr(@ItsBrieann): I honestly think so! I think that storyline will be amazing to follow. Even if he doesn’t win it, it would be nice to have a Canuck as a finalist for 3 years in a row.

Suleiman Damji(@SuleimanDamji): Yes, I could definitely see Quinn Hughes challenge his brother for the Calder trophy.

Marc Josef(@marc_josef): Yes, absolutely, Quinn should be in the conversation for the Calder by the end of the season. Defensemen are always at a disadvantage for winning this trophy compared to fowards/centres because goals are always valued higher than assists.

Gabriella Smith(@wildestdreams_3): I believe Quinn will definitely be in the running for the Calder. He’s so very talented, but I’ve also gotta think that there’s some element of brotherly rivalry and competition with Jack going on as well!

Me(@nucksaid): Quinn Hughes. Another special player. The kid CAN SKATE…his puck handling skills are fun to watch, he’s got incredible confidence, and how about that rocket of a shot from the point? WHAT A GOAL for his first ever in the league! I think it’ll be a fun back and forth to watch between him and Jack as well as the rest of this season’s rookie class. It’d be quite something to see a Canuck nominated for the third year in a row IF it happens!

5) Henrik and Daniel will further cement their place in Canucks history books, when they have their jerseys retired during Sedin week in February. What was/is your favourite Sedin memory? Why?

Michael Coleman(@1MichaelColeman): Their entire journey as Canucks. I’ve been a fan from day one. Their “dancer” commercial may stand out as my favourite moment however when the other NHLers ordered “twins”. LOL.

(@tams3333): The Viking clap was very special and their last home game. It could not have been any better.

Jenny Canuck(@getthepuckuout): Haha, my fave fun moment was Henrik Sedin and Dustin Brown getting tangled up, Brown’s face right at Henrik’s butt…it still makes immature me laugh! BUT my ultimate fave moment was the last game. I cried. The Sedins were ours for their entire career. They are gentlemen, kind and community driven. There is so much to love and respect about them, I picked the last game for all those Sedin things that happened during it. 22 and 33 could not have shown up more on the board or the clock. And the cycling for the overtime goal from Daniel…excuse me a minute…tearing up again.

Eric Bailey(@EBailey16): My favourite moment was the game when Henrik took the scoring title. An amazing touch/pass/redirect to Daniel who does an amazing between the legs shot! This accomplished something that no Canuck ever did before. This marked for the league that the twins were themselves, stars. This play is just a magical sequence for me.

Brieann Knorr(@ItsBrieann): My favourite moment is between two moments. The game when Hank sealed his Art Ross trophy and the Sedins final home game. Both stand out as amazing moments in their careers and highlights for the fans.

Suleiman Damji(@SuleimanDamji): My favourite Sedin moment was when Henrik reached the 1000 career points milestone.

Marc Josef(@marc_josef): Henrik Sedin’s quadruple OT goal against the Dallas Stars in the 2007 playoffs. I wanted to go to bed. lol

A very close second is Daniel Sedin’s OT winner against the Arizona Coyotes for their final Canucks home game because my family and I witnessed it live. I imagine that’s a pretty close feeling to winning the Stanley Cup based on the fan’s reactions of joy at Rogers Arena.

Gabriella Smith(@wildestdreams_3): I think it’s just the legacy that they have already, rather than one memory in particular. In my mind they’re still very much the heart and soul of the team and I’m glad that the jersey retirement is happening to be a tangible reminder of this.

Me(@nucksaid): OI VEY. How do I simply pick JUST one moment? The Sedins have defined SO many of my years as a fan but I’ll say a few. Henrik’s quadruple OT goal vs. Dallas in 2007. Daniel’s between the legs goal vs. Calgary that sealed Henrik’s Art Ross in 2010. Henrik Sedin penalty shot goal on MY birthday in 2013. Henrik scoring his 1000th career point vs. LU(that was all kinds of special to see LIVE). But perhaps my most favourite is torn between when I finally MET them AND when my sister and I had our seats upgraded for their FINAL home game and were able to witness that FINAL act of Sedinery from right behind the class. BEST seats I’ve ever had and a moment that I’ll remember every second of, for always. (***Their jersey retirement will definitely be added to this list when it happens).

6) Any bold predictions for this next season for the Canucks or the league in general?

Michael Coleman(@1MichaelColeman): Canucks win at least one round in the post-season, possibly two!.

(@tams3333): I think our boys will be a bubble team for the playoffs and once they have a taste, there will be no looking back.

Jenny Canuck(@getthepuckuout): Yes. We are going to gel and improve in leaps and bounds by Christmas and make it into the playoffs. We all know once that happens, ANYTHING can happen!

Eric Bailey(@EBailey16): My hopeful optimistic take that the Canucks will be a playoff team is as bold as I get. As I learn more about advanced stats and read different evaluations, I mostly stop expecting the unlikely things to happen, I understand better why my team struggles but I have learned to hope for a season of anomalies, to over achieve. I hope for a PDO that is unsustainable to last a season. #GLCPC #gocanucksgo

Brieann Knorr(@ItsBrieann): Canucks make the post-season.

Suleiman Damji(@SuleimanDamji): The Canucks make it back into the playoffs.

Marc Josef(@marc_josef): The Canucks will qualify for the playoffs and have TWO All-Stars(Pettersson and Boeser) be voted for the All-Star Game. General league prediction would be…the Maple Leafs missing the playoffs!

Gabriella Smith(@wildestdreams_3): I’m not that good with predictions to be honest! I’m definitely #teamplayoffs thougth, so I’m just going to say we can and hopefully will make it this year. AND it that happens, I predict a home game ticket purchase on my part ;).

Me(@nucksaid): The Canucks make the post-season along with another team or two that make a return to the post-season.

That’s it for this edition of the Canucks Round Table! If you’d like to take part next time or down the road as we work our way through the off season, OR if you have a question that you’d like included in the NEXT round table; find me on twitter(@nucksaid) or send me an e-mail(nucksaid@gmail.com). Special THANK-YOU to each and every person that took the time to be a part of this Round Table! [And if you’re not already following this group on twitter, please find their twitter handles above!]

As always, until next time nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

Are You Ready to BROCK and Roll?

Now that the deal is officially signed and Brock Boeser is officially returned to the Canucks, it’s time to take a different approach as I often do, than what I’ve seen making the rounds on social media the last few days.

Where do I begin? Here goes:

Dear Brock,

First, things first, let me say: congratulations on the new contract extension and welcome back!

I can still recall the 2015 NHL Draft and remember thinking there was no way the Canucks would be lucky enough to draft you at 23rd BUT then it happened! Shortly after the draft that year, the Canucks hosted a summer event where you and many of their prospects were in attendance and meeting the fans. You probably don’t remember this BUT when we met, first thing I said was “Welcome to the NHL”, and you told me “Thank-you, but I haven’t made it just yet.”, to which I said, “Well, I have a feeling that it won’t be long before you’re in the league FULL TIME.”

And here we are 4 years later, and you’re heading into your THIRD full season in the league. From a kid who didn’t know the kind of impact he could have to a Calder finalist, to a sensational player on the ice to an even better person off of the ice.

Maybe you didn’t realize the impact you would have or could have when you made it to the NHL but it’s been incredible to watch from the sidelines. There was a lot of anticipation among Canucks fans when you made your debut as we all waited to see how your game would translate to the league. Translate it did, scoring in your debut and then taking it up a notch in your rookie year giving fans a HUGE surge of hope with the ease of which you carry with you on the ice. (That hat trick against Pittsburgh on home ice was absolutely incredible to witness). And can we mention your NHL All-Star MVP status?!

It’s one thing to have favourite players who are great players but it’s something incredibly special when that talent is combined with an even bigger heart that sees beyond the game. Canucks fans are incredibly lucky to be able to witness your career from the beginning. So much more is yet to come.

It couldn’t have been easy to not only be waiting on your contract this summer but to also be worried about your dad’s health. Please know that as much as fans wanted you to come back to the team, we are ALL rooting for Duke, he’s a warrior and definitely deserved to be your priority. Some things are bigger than hockey.

Re-signing with the Canucks is a great moment for the franchise. Playing in this league is no easy feat but you’ve endured a lot along the way to get here, but there’s a place for you to leave an indelible mark and inspire so many more to follow your footsteps. From a top ranked prospect to a rookie taking the league by storm to hitting another stride with Pettersson to becoming an ambassador within the community.

If I could give you one bit of advice, it would be to not let the negative narratives bring you down, instead allow them to push you to prove them wrong. Over the course of your career, there will be good days and there will be tough days, but over the course of your career up to this point, you’ve already proven you can handle all of it. If you ever need an example of who to look to, look no further than Bo Horvat who is walking the path along side you, but also look back to the careers of Henrik and Daniel who defined the epitome of what it takes to endure in the NHL through the highs and the lows.

You came into this league, a kid from Minnesota living his dream and made this city that was beginning to spark again and ignited their hope with BROCK-star moves.

Here’s to the upcoming season about to start that will feature many BROCK this way moments and the continuation of a very promising future for you and the Vancouver Canucks!

Sarah E.L.

True Blue 2019 (Vol.4)

It’s that time of year again at NUCK SAID. Even as the off-season winds down, there’s still time for another edition of True Blue 2019. As has become an annual tradition that began in summer 2014, it’s time to put the spot light on YOU the fans and YOUR hockey stories! This is open to ALL Vancouver Canucks AND Utica Comets fans!

What does that mean? It means featuring YOU, the fans. As we count down to the new season around the corner, it is a time to share your Canucks/hockey stories and how you became a fan of this team, the game and what keeps drawing you in with no looking back.

Whether you’ve been fan your whole life, or only a little while, whether you grew up in British Columbia or across the country or in the USA or across the globe, I would love to feature YOU and YOUR story as a part of this year’s series. We all have a different story as to how this game and the team captured us, but through it all we are all connected. Fan stories and experiences are some of my favourite hockey stories to share with you and since I asked for your stories, I also shared a part of my story.

If you’d like more details on how YOU can be featured in True Blue 2019, simply send me a message on twitter (@nucksaid) OR send me an e-mail to: nucksaid@gmail.com with the subject line: TRUE BLUE 2019.

Without further ado, I present to you the 4th edition of True Blue 2019.

This is Gabriella’s True Blue story in her own words:

I’m going to start this with a kind of sappy quote from ‘The Fault in Our Stars’; “I fell in love the way you fall asleep, first slowly, then all at once.”

When I first got into hockey, Bure was my hero(despite the fact that he was already retired at that point). Yep, I was the girl who tried to teach herself Russian, partly because of him. Cool, да?

I watched with pride as the Canucks retired his jersey, and kept an eye on the team because of him. My first NHL game was at Rogers Arena in February 2016. Even though at that point, I wasn’t yet there as a Canucks fan, I was in absolute awe of the arena, the atmosphere…to the point that I got lost looking for my seat because I was giddy with joy.

I took a few more trips to Vancouver to watch the Wild play, (they are my other love). And gradually, something was happening at this point.

And then…I got a new job. And at this job, I bonded with a coworker, a native Minnesotan. This coworker would tell me about growing up playing high school hockey coached by Boeser’s late grandfather. He’d be so proud of him, he said. At lunch breaks, I’d show him the latest Boeser highlights. I became a fan of The Flow.

My next trip to Vancouver was ill-timed. Just 3 days before I left for Vancouver, Brock’s season was ended by a horrifying clash with the boards.

Sometime during the summer, I ended up with a Boeser jersey. I still didn’t consider myself a Canucks fan per se…or at least I didn’t yet know it.

In October 2018, I traveled to Vancouver yet again, Boeser jersey in tow. My first game saw both him and Petey return from injury. I proudly wore my jersey, despite a shutout and something started to click.

And then, I met Ben Hutton, It was the most random of occurrences…I was shopping in the team store(man, that place has gotten a TON of my money) and lo and behold, there he was. I went and asked him for a selfie. He took pity on my struggle to reach high enough(the guy is 14 inches taller than me) and asked a friend who was with him to take the picture. His kindness captured my heart. Canuck or not, I will always be a fan.

From then on, I considered myself a fan. I started passionately following games and planning more trips. I’ll never forget meeting Brock Boeser outside of Staples Centre before the Valetine’s Day game. He was kind and genuine. My selfie is blurry from my shaky hands. It took awhile to calm down, only for my heart rate to go back up during a thrilling shootout victory, in which Brock scored the winner. A few weeks later, I again ran into him in the team store(it is truly “where the players shop!”).

My Canucks journey has intertwined with my endeavor of playing hockey myself. I began to consider playing goalie right about the time that Thatcher Demko was called up. He inspired and continues to inspire me as I to stop pucks. When I finally got to see him play in person, I wrote a sign telling him that he was my inspiration. I hoped he’d see it. He not only did but he grabbed a puck to toss to me. Sadly, it missed. He shrugged, I shrugged…hoping he knew I was thankful that he tried. But it didn’t end there…he picked another puck and this one hit its mark. I will forever remember this as one of the best birthdays I have ever experienced. The icing on the cake (no pun intended) was seeing the moment captured on the Canucks Twitter.

This team–and–city–has stolen my heart. I’m already planning several trips for this upcoming season, with training camp being the first highlight. Vancouver feels like a second home. I can’t wait to see where this journey takes me.

-Gabriella.

Special thanks to Gabriella for sharing your story with all of us! I look forward to hearing all about your adventures from Training Campand hopefully see you at the rink when the puck drops on the season!

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

 

Vancouver Canucks: Looking Ahead

Now that it’s September, that means it’s time to take a closer look at what’s coming up for the team as the season edges ever closer.

First things first: the Captaincy Conundrum. Will they or won’t they name a captain for the first time since Henrik Sedin retired in April 2018? It’s true that there are a few worthy candidate to follow in his footsteps, from Edler to Tanev to Horvat to Boeser to Pettersson. BUT there is ONE that stands out among the crowd: Bo Horvat. It’s one of a few things that the majority of Canucks fans agree on. It seems to be a matter of timing, so we will see what/when things unfold as the season nears. Mind you if they do name someone else the captain, I will still support the one who is chosen.

The Elias Pettersson factor. How will he perform in his sophomore season to follow up his Calder winning rookie season? From the work he has done to get himself ready over the summer, he looks poised to have a big year. Once the puck finally drops, we will get to see exactly how big of a next step he takes.

Quinn Hughes. We got a glimpse of what he can do over the final five games of the 2018-2019 season, and it was incredible to say the least. Can we talk about the OT shifts between him, Pettersson and Boeser? Think back on THAT magic vs LA and think about THAT for a FULL season. Are you ready?

Return of the dragon slayer. Need I say more? What a story Alexandre Burrows paved from a ball hockey player, to the QMJHL, to the AHL, to the NHL and a first line winger with the Sedins and knack for scoring timely goals. A versatile player who was able to play wherever he was asked and scored some of the biggest goals in franchise history. Pure determination and heart personified. Ring of Honour induction takes place on December 3, 2019.

SEDINERY will always be epic. It was never a question that Henrik and Daniel would be honoured with their jerseys being retired, it was merely a question of timing. A full week of celebration for two beyond deserving individuals. Class acts on and off of the ice. Legends that have forever left an indelible mark on the franchise. And in true Sedin fashion, as they have done everything in their careers, their jerseys being retired will be an honour that they receive together. #33 and #22 will go up to the rafters officially on February 12, 2020.

To think that this is only a taste of the excitement that’s to come this season. Lots to look forward to as every day gets us even closer to puck drop. Rookie camp followed by training camp and preseason AND then the fun BEGINS!

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

True Blue 2019(Vol.3)

It’s that time of year again at NUCK SAID. Now that it’s officially the Vancouver Canucks off-season: True Blue 2019 is here. As has become an annual tradition that began in summer 2014, it’s time to put the spot light on YOU the fans and YOUR hockey stories! This is open to ALL Vancouver Canucks AND Utica Comets fans!

What does that mean? It means featuring YOU, the fans on the blog ALL summer long.  As we count down to the new season around the corner, it is time to share your Canucks/hockey stories and how you became a fan of this team, the game and what keeps drawing you in with no looking back.

I’m calling out to ALL Vancouver Canucks AND Utica Comets fans to share their stories. Whether you’ve been fan your whole life, or only a little while, whether you grew up in British Columbia or across the country or in the USA or across the globe, I would love to feature YOU and YOUR story as a part of this year’s series. We all have a different story as to how this game and the team captured us, but through it all we are all connected. Fan stories and experiences are some of my favourite hockey stories to share with you and since I’m asking for your stories, I also shared a part of my story.

If you’d like more details on how YOU can be featured in True Blue 2019, simply send me a message on twitter (@nucksaid) OR send me an e-mail to: nucksaid@gmail.com with the subject line: TRUE BLUE 2019.

Without further ado, I present to you the 3RD edition of True Blue 2019.

This is Brieann’s True Blue story in her own words:

“So I guess you could say that I’ve been a Canucks fan my whole life. I don’t remember a time where I wasn’t watching hockey. I remember my love for the team started in 2003 at 8 years old. I got my first ever jersey and proudly wore it to the Canucks training camp in 2003. This was the first time that I have ever seen the Canucks in person and it was SO awesome! I met Dan Cloutier and many other Canucks. It was amazing to see many of the Canucks I have seen on TV, now play in front of me. The same thing happened in 2007, when the Canucks came back for their training camp! This time around it was even more special, as I got yo meet my favourite player in Markus Naslund. I remember he walked out the door, missed my sister and I, looked back, saw us and signed our stuff. I was beyond happy! I also got to meet LU as he was just traded to the team the year before. 

As the years went on, I loved hockey more, but had yet to go to a game. That all changed when I was 16 as my parents got me tickets for a game! It was the second home game back after the Olympics on March 14, 2010. The funniest part of this story is the creator of this blog, Sarah, was at this same game and we hadn’t met yet! I remember she had a really cool sign that she had made that I loved! The game was awesome! Henrik Sedin became the all-time assist leader during the game and it was so nice to see them beat Calgary. It made me love the game more and I wanted to see them play live again. 

I got to see the Canucks again before the 2010-11 season as they had their training camp near my hometown again. My dad and I got up at 4:00 in the morning to drive to the arena as it was about an hour and a half away. We were one of the first people at the arena when the doors opened. Again, it was an amazing experience getting to see the team again. I had gotten a few signatures from different players but I really wanted to get Henrik Sedin’s as I had his jersey and he was favourite player after Naslund retired. I ended up not getting his signature at the arena and I was crushed. I thought that was my one and only chance to meet him ever. I asked my dad if we could go to the hotel they were staying at and as were pulling in, I looked out and saw the Sedins standing there with Erhoff and Samuelsson! No one was with them! I ran over and got my autograph! You could not wipe the smile off of my face. 

2011 was the season that should have been us. It was the perfect season and you couldn’t have written it any differently heading into the playoffs. We all know what happened though and through it, I loved the team more. To see people come together to cheer for a single team, gave me so much excitement and I have a feeling that the tears we shed for 2011 will turn into tears of joy soon. 

I went to college and ended up in enemy territory. As we all know, being a Canucks fan anywhere is tough, but it was especially hard in Calgary. Luckily I made some friends online who loved the Canucks and could keep the passion alive for me. It was kind of fun being a fan there and I got to see the Canucks play while I was in college. I remember being decked out from head to toe in blue and green because I didn’t want anyone to think I was cheering for the Flames! 

When I moved back home, I continued to love the Canucks and watched them as much as I could. It wasn’t until I turned 23 that I went to Vancouver again and saw a game at Rogers Arena. It turned out to be Burrow’s last game as a Canuck. I always remember Burr as being a phenomenal player and he rightly deserves the Ring of Honour celebration he’s receiving. 

Over the years, the Canucks started doing the Young Stars tournament and I went to as many years as I could. My friends and I would always try to meet some of the players and to see who the young talent was on some of the other teams as well. One year, we had just finished watching the game and were getting ready to leave, there was an elderly man going up the stairs in front of me and he was having a bit of trouble. This kid, who was in a suit, was helping him up the stairs. I wanted to thank him for his knid gesture and I was looking at him and couldn’t figure our how I knew him, so no words came out. As we were walking away, my sister leaned over and said “was that Brock Boeser?!”

Years later, I finally to meet Brock Boeser as the Canucks had their pre-season game in Kelowna last year. It was a great moment as he signed MY jersey! I also got to meet a certain Swedish superstar by the name of Elias Pettersson! He was really nice and it was amazing to see his amazing season. 

The last incredible thing that I have done was attend the 2019 NHL Draft with Sarah! It was amazing to see the draft process and see the craziness of the draft floor. 

I’m excited to see what the future holds for this team. I think we could win a championship but only time will tell. We have a great core and we are getting some good pieces to play with them. Canucks fans should be very excited. 

Thanks for reading, 

Brieann.”

—-Thank-you, to both Brieann for sharing YOUR True Blue story with all of us! [I still think it’s funny how we were both at that game years ago before our paths ever crossed AND now you’re one of my BEST friends]. AND, if you’re not already following her on twitter, what are you waiting for: @BrieannKnorr.

Stay tuned as there are some more great stories lined up to be shared this year but there’s always room for more of you! If you’d like more details on how YOU can be featured in True Blue 2019, simply send me a message on twitter (@nucksaid) OR send me an e-mail to: nucksaid@gmail.com with the subject line: TRUE BLUE 2019.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.