The summer of TRUE BLUE featuring my favourite part of Vancouver Canucks hockey: YOU the fans, continues at Nucksaid! If you read these fan stories and would also like to take part in my series, simply send me an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: TRUE BLUE, and I will send you the details!
In TRUE BLUE Part Four I introduced you to Jason and Beck. (click the link below if you missed it!)
Are you ready for the next round of True Blue? Here, we go!
First up, please meet Melanie Boucher from Bourges, FRANCE! (pictures provided by Melanie).
“How did I become a Vancouver Canucks fan? Long story! About three years ago, it was times for me, I met depression that was hell. You have to know that I am French (from Bourges, France), and in my country we don’t know a lot about Hockey because it’s not hugely covered by the media here. I don’t sleep a lot during the nights and I knew that I needed something NEW to feel better, a new passion. I literally fell on a hockey game: Vancouver Canucks vs the Columbus Blue Jackets. It was the second period, and I saw a goal, coast to coast from Alex Edler after maybe two minutes of watching…and I fell in love with the game and the team. To see the joy of the team, this Swede score and the crowd yelling…I don’t know exactly why but I suddenly felt better because of the positive energy. Since then, I follow this team.
Favourite Canuck? It’s not difficult to guess who is my favourite right? Alex Edler. I consider him, my hero. He was the guy who woke me up from my depression. I love Swedish players, BUT Edler especially because of that. And soon I’ll get a new tattoo(an eagle with a hockey stick) to remember the influence he has had on me.
Favourite moment? Well, there are a lot of them! I can say the moment that I already told you above…but I will add the line brawl from this last season. I laughed so hard! Or maybe all the Green Men appearances! But I’m sure a lot of you will say the last round of the playoffs in 2011. But hey, I didn’t know the team…yet!
My favourite part of hockey? The game itself, especially when it ends in a WIN.
Least favourite part of hockey? The trades. You cannot get too attached to players because when they are traded, it can feel like your heart was ripped out! Awful feeling!
Any pre-game rituals? Mine are ridiculous! haha! I have a Canucks puck, so all day, I keep it in my pocket and kiss it sometimes, wishing the team good luck. When it is against a big team, I wear one of my jerseys during the game. And even more embarrassing, I kiss my fingers and tap my favourite players on my laptop screen because I want them to score a goal.
My feelings about the new season? Well, with all the trades (players, manager, president and coach), they did it well in my opinion and I hope there will be a new cohesiveness with the team! I think they can reach the playoffs this year and I am so glad there is Ryan Miller in the net. No more big pressure on Eddie Lack’s shoulders! Maybe the best thing they did was hiring Trevor Linden!
All I can say is: I believe in Blue and Green, because we are all Canucks! -Melanie.”
Melanie, I agree that with Ryan Miller, it will allow Lack to play pressure free, simply focusing on his on-ice play! I think with Miller, it only helps bolster the net and he could be a great mentor to Lack! I also will admit that I absolutely LOVE the Green Men!
Next up, let me introduce you to, Dani Hagi from SWITZERLAND, pictured below with some VERY recognizable Vancouver Canucks! (Pictures provided by Dani).
“When/how did you become Vancouver Canucks/hockey fan? If you live outside of British Columbia, what drew you to the Canucks as your team?
This is a complicated story to tell because I don’t really know why I chose the Vancouver Canucks. My heart just pulled me in their direction. I started watching hockey when I was sixteen back in 2004/2005 and as you might know, that was a lockout season. I live in Switzerland, and we had a LOT of great NHL players here during that season. My favourite team here is the hockey club DAVOS, where Joe Thornton, Rick Nash and Niklas Hagman played during the 2004-05 lockout. Being part of that incredible season and seeing them win the Swiss Championship that year was just amazing. After that season, I started to follow the NHL, a little bit closer but not as much as I wanted because I was in the middle of my apprenticeship.
Then I had a few years where I didn’t feel that good and I was a bit depressed. Hockey was the ONLY thing that could get me out of my shell. I kind of lost track of the NHL during that time BUT the summer of 2012 brought change. I started seeing my best friend again and she invited me to a player card event. After that, I started collecting cards and what team did I pick? Yes, my Canucks! That’s when my obsession with them really started. Unfortunately, I had to wait a bit longer to start watching them due to the 2012 NHL lockout but that brought another opportunity for me. I had the chance to meet Cory Schneider and I did that in December 2012. When they started the 2013 shortened season, I started to watch the games on NHL GameCenter! I love watching the games and being on twitter at the same time, it feels like I am not alone in my apartment but like we are all in one place, watching the game and reacting to the same moments together. I love you all, Canucks nation! As you can see/read, this is not a typical story and I still don’t really know why I picked the Canucks, but they now have a big part in my heart.
Who is your all-time favourite Canuck (current/retired/no longer a Canuck) and why?
Cory Schneider because he is such a kind and funny guy and of course really talented. My first Canucks jersey has his name on it.
Kevin Bieksa because he is a Canuck at heart, doing everything for the team. Great team player! I love his passion!
What is your all-time favourite Canucks moment?
This one might sound a bit selfish but my favourite TWO moments were meeting Schneids and Burr/Juice/Garrison.
What is your favourite and your least favourite part of hockey?
I’d say my favourite part is the team spirit. I love how the guys hug each other after a goal or how they stick together and push on another even if it isn’t going well. Hockey is a hard and fast sport, I just love it. My whole life is filled with hockey and I can’t imagine how it would be without it.
My least favourite part…that’s hard. I’d say (especially in the NHL) it is the trading. I hate how those guys are treated like they are just an object without feelings. I know it is business and it is all about the money BUT sometimes, I wish they could think about those guys like they are human beings!
Do you have any game day/pre-game rituals?
I’d say…my pre-game nap. As I live in Switzerland, most of the games are on at 3:00AM and I go to bed really early (like 8:00 PM) in order to wake up for the game and go straight to work afterwards.
How do you feel about the upcoming 2014-2015 season?
I am really excited! I love all the changes that happening. It is a bit scary, BUT I see the changes made as a positive thing, as a new beginning. I am aware that next season might not be what we all hope for, and it might take a while to rebuild this team but I am sure we will get there and someday call the cup ours! Believe in blue, right? That’s what I’m going to do. I’ll always support my boys, no matter what, simple as that. -Dani”
Dani, first I am very jealous that you’ve met BOTH, Juice and Burr! Second, wow that is dedication waking up at 3:00 AM on games days! So far, I’ve only had to do that early wake up call for the Olympics and the World Championships!
Melanie and Dani, THANK-YOU BOTH, for sharing your stories and allowing me to share them on my blog! You are both warriors of strength and deserve the spotlight proving that #hockeytalks and love of the game goes beyond the ice inspiring not only physical strength but more importantly, mental strength.
And guess what? You are BOTH much better writers than you thought and your English is very good despite it not being your first language! I agree with you both, that trades of favourite players is one of my very least favourite parts of the game! Ultimately, I love that you BOTH support the team through thick and thin, no matter what, perfectly defining TRUE BLUE.
Thank-you again to both Melanie and Dani for participating in my True Blue series! Stay tuned for more True Blue stories on the way as we count down to the start of the season on October 8th, 2014!
As always, until next time, nuck said.