Every summer (aka the NHL off-season) is full of news that pertains to the ever changing rosters of the 30 teams and all of the chaos that surrounds preparing for the season to begin when the leaves change and October finally arrives. I will still be posting any news items that are MUST now and help keep you all in the loop on the Vancouver Canucks front but I am also going to do something new.
THIS summer, I decided to do something a little different on the blog, in counting down to the Vancouver Canucks 2014-2015 regular season! THIS summer I will introduce you, to my favourite part of the Vancouver Canucks: THE FANS!
What am I asking YOU, the fans for? Simply to share your Canucks story and what makes YOU a Canucks fan through and through. The rules are simple, to answer the following questions however you choose whether it be to simply answer the questions individually in whatever order you choose or by incorporating your answers into YOUR very own Canuck story. The idea is to give YOU, the spot light. (Remember there is no right OR wrong way to tell your story!)
Here are the questions(to help inspire those stories!):
2) Who is your all-time favourite Canuck (current/retired/no longer a Canuck) and why?
3) What is your all-time favourite Canucks moment?
4) What is your favourite and your least favourite part of hockey?
Each TRUE BLUE post will introduce us, to TWO Canucks fans from around the globe. Would you like to meet the first round of fans? Do any of the following tales sound like you? Would you like to be featured in an upcoming TRUE BLUE profile? Simply send me an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: TRUE BLUE.
Let’s meet some of YOU, shall we?
Meet Anthony Alves, pictured below catching a puck AT a Canucks game! (picture provided by Anthony)
Here is Anthony’s TRUE BLUE Canucks story in his own words:
“Well I first started noticing hockey in 2001 when I was in grade eight. I’d go to my best friend’s house after school and his parents would be watching Canucks games. I had no knowledge or anything at the time so I’d just ask who’s winning etc etc. It wasn’t until 2006 when I really started to like and watch the Canucks. My girlfriend at the time, her parents mainly her dad, were huge Canuck fans. Every time I went over, he would be watching a game so I got more curious about it, asking him questions (which I know probably annoyed the hell out of him) but it got me more and more into the Canucks, and made me the fan I am today!
My favourite Canuck, without a doubt was Rick Rypien. Being a shorter guy like myself, I looked up to him, as he did not take any crap from anyone, no matter how much bigger they were than him. Rypien was not the best player, or the most popular, but to me, he inspired me to never give up! When I heard he had passed away my heart sank, but to this day he’s still my inspiration and all time favourite Canuck!
My all time favourite Canuck moment would have to be when we broke past the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2011 playoffs in overtime! Alex Burrows scoring the intense overtime goal to beat the Blackhawks in the first round! I have never screamed that loud in my life.
My favourite part about hockey is that it happens from September to June, and my least favourite part is that it does not happen from July to September.
As for game day or pre-game rituals? Well sometimes if I’m really excited about a certain game, I will play NHL on my PS3 for a few hours just to get the adrenaline pumping!
I feel great about the upcoming season! I love the changes that have happened so far, (particularly getting rid of Mike Gillis was the best by far). I liked Torts but I understand he was not fitting in and I have nothing but positive feelings about how we will do in 2014-15! -Anthony Alves”
I can confirm that you are NOT alone in screaming LOUD when Burrows scored that goal that sent the Canucks past the Chicago Blackhawks for the first time in three years! IT felt like you could hear the ENTIRE city scream with joy when that goal crossed the line and everyone exhaled with a FINALLY! Definitely, that was a moment that will not be forgotten.
Next, I’d like to introduce to you to Gary Powell [pictured below], who represents the Vancouver Canucks all the way from Melbourne, Australia! (picture provided by Gary.)
Here is Gary’s TRUE BLUE story about being a Canucks fan in OZ, in his own words:
“Greetings from sunny Melbourne, Australia. Ice Hockey is alive and well downunder. There are many expat Canadians (most from BC) enjoying the surf & cold beer. We tune into Canuck games via Apple TV, or by listening on TEAM 1040. Most games are on between 11am & 4pm so it is tricky trying to work & keep an eye on the games. During the Boston series a few years ago we had over 300 Canuck fans watching the games live from the Imperial Hotel in downtown. Strange seeing so many Canucks sweaters in Melbourne. The Imperial Hotel is also the venue for weekly HOCKEY NIGHT IN MELBOURNE, where NHL fans in Melbourne gather to watch the game of the week.
Canucks sweaters are also seen at the Melbourne ICE HOUSE, a twin rink facility that is home to the MELBOURE ICE, and the MELBOURNE MUSTANGS. Both teams play in front of approx. 1200 – 1500 fans in the 8 TEAM Australian Ice Hockey League. The season goes from April to September which means we get 12 months of Ice Hockey. Each team is allowed 6 Imports, mainly from Canada & Sweden. At the recent NHL Draft the first Aussie to be selected was NATHAN WALKER in the 3rd Round to the Washington Capitals.
I grew up in Powell River, BC playing minor hockey. My heroes were Gordie Howe & Bobby Orr. Powell River has had a rich Hockey History. NHL players include Gary Lupul (dec) and Brad Bombardir. Canuck fans in the 80’s will remember calling out LUUP LUUP when No. 7 had the puck. The most exciting Canuck player I have seen is Pavel Bure. He was a magical skater and a pure goal scorer. He was able to score hat tricks in playoff games including the winner in OT. I hope our talent scouts are able to find the next Pavel Bure soon. The greatest game ever played at the Pacific Coliseum included Pavel, and was played on the 11th June, 1994. This was Game 6 vs NEW YORK Rangers and we won 6 -3. After the game there were 60,000 Canuck fans celebrating downtown.
The game that blew the roof off the Rogers Arena was 19th April, 2004. GAME 7 vs Calgary. Matt Cooke sent the game into overtime scoring a rebound goal off a Markus Naslund shot with 5.7 seconds left in regulation. I will never forget the ROAR from 18,000 very happy fans.
For the 2014/15 season I predict another run in the playoffs. We all love to win, and hate losing games. Let’s hope with Radim Vrbata we can win more shootout games. I hope we can take the opportunity while we have the twins, Miller in goal, and loads of young talent coming on, to raise the Stanley Cup in Vancouver. -Gary Powell.”
Wow…sounds like quite a sight to have Canucks fans united all the way in OZ! Hockey 12 months of the year sounds like absolute bliss! I’ve only started to catch glimpses of Melbourne Mustangs this last year and I am so excited for Nathan Walker to have been drafted into the NHL! He’s going to have a career that will be fun to see develop!
Special thank-you, to BOTH Anthony and Gary for participating in the TRUE BLUE series and sharing their Canuck stories!
I have really enjoyed seeing the game I love, through the eyes of others who love the game as much as I do! My favourite part of being a Vancouver Canucks fan is sharing the experience with other fans and the camaraderie that develops through watching a great game, series or playoff run. I hope all of you have enjoyed the first edition of TRUE BLUE 2014 and that you are looking forward to rest of the Canucks stories(mine included!) that will be coming your way as we count down until the regular season begins!
As always, until next time, nuck said.