True Blue 2016: Kelsy.

Welcome to the latest edition of True Blue 2016! The tradition that puts the spot light on YOU the fans and YOUR stories! One of my favourite things about hockey is talking to other fans about how and when they became a fan and hearing them light up about their favourite hockey memories. No two stories are the same, everyone has their own unique story. If YOU would like to join the tradition and have YOUR Vancouver Canucks or Utica Comets story featured, simply send me an email to nucksaid@gmail.com with the subject line: TRUE BLUE.

Without further ado, allow me to introduce you to Kelsy Wright (soon to be Roberts)! This is her TRUE BLUE story in her own words: [Pictures also provided by Kelsy]

Kelsy“How did I become a Vancouver Canucks fan? Well…I’ve got my wonderful father to thank for that! I started watching Canucks games with him when I was only 3 months old! I know some people say: “that doesn’t count, you’re not old enough to decide for yourself.” I have to disagree with that because I’ve been watching the Vancouver Canucks ever since! Through thick and thin, through every win and every loss!

Almost 22 years as a Canucks fan, and I can honestly say that I wouldn’t have changed it for the world! I don’t care whether they win the cup or not. I know that’s “every hockey teams’/players’ end goal” but everything happens for a reason and the day that they DO in fact hoist Lord Stanley over their heads, the victory will be just that much more wonderful!

Over the years I’ve seen some of my favourite players moved, time and time again -and it never gets any easier. I said I was done when they traded Bertuzzi and Jovanoski. Then I said I was done when they traded Alex Auld and Markus Naslund signed with New York. Then I said I was done when Mitchell and Ohlund left. Then I said I was done when they let Mason Raymond and Max Lapierre go. Then I said I was done when they traded Schneids and Lou. Then I said was done when they traded Kesler and Bieksa. THEN, I said I was more than done when they traded Eddie Lack…

But, here I stand, still behind my boys in blue and green! I guess I stick to hockey so truly because it was the one thing that always connected my dad and I! He moved to Calgary six years ago, and I felt absolutely broken for the first two years without being able to see him every weekend! — Hockey kind of turned into something that I could sit down and watch, and feel like myself. Through the years I had MANY people bully me, and judge me, all because I was such a die-hard fan. But it also gave me some of my closest friends!

Year after year, I wished and wished that I would get to attend a LIVE Canucks game, but year after year, that wish never came true. UNTIL this year! On January 6, 2016…I FINALLY got to step foot into that glorious hockey arena[Rogers Arena] and I FINALLY got to see some of the guys I had spent YEARS watching on television and dreaming about seeing in person. — But the ONE person, I had been dying to see in person more than anybody else in the National Hockey League was Eddie Lack. Though he may have only been on the team for a couple short years, that man made such an impact on me (and many others) so quickly, that I knew he had a very bright future ahead of him. So, to see that wonderful man, with such a contagious smile in person this past January, I felt like a little kid on Christmas morning! I’m willing to admit that he made me cry, happy tears of course! He’s one of the VERY few ‘celebrities’ that have ever interacted with me, especially over Twitter! Seeing him in person on the ice, was an absolute dream come true, and I left the arena in tears knowing he was heading back to Carolina.

(Below are pictures from both Canucks games that I attended during the 2015-16 regular season):

I sit here and think about all the years that I’ve spent cheering on this wonderful team and can’t help but smile knowing that my 2-year old son is on the same track that I was on. He’s only two years old and can already pick out the Canucks logo from every other NHL logo out there. He loves everything to do with hockey and I couldn’t be more proud! When he was younger and teething, he would spend all day fussing and crying but as soon as I’d turn on the Canucks game, he would instantaneously quiet down and completely zone into the game. He knows to cheer when the Canucks score and hasn’t missed a goal yet! It’s amazing knowing that I’m going to have this connection with my son, as I had with my father!

I honestly don’t know what I would do without our boys in Blue! I was born a Canucks fan, and I’ll most definitely die a Canucks fan!

-Kelsy.”

First, Kelsy, a BIG thank-you for taking the time to share your #TrueBlue Canucks story with me and allowing me to share it with everyone else! I’m with you 110% on the fact that trades of favourite players or when they sign elsewhere never gets any easier, no matter how often it happens. For me, it was the Luongo trade that was an absolute heart-breaker. There’s something about this team that keeps me coming back every season.

No matter how a season ends…win or lose, playoffs or no playoffs, I will still be supporting the Vancouver Canucks every single year. And when the day does finally come that the Canucks win their first cup, it will be an incredible moment to experience.

In case you missed it, here’s the link to the first edition of #TrueBlue 2016:

https://nucksaid.com/2016/05/04/true-blue-2016-nucksaid/

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

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True Blue 2016: NUCKSAID.

Welcome to the official beginning of True Blue 2016! The tradition that puts the spot light on YOU the fans and YOUR stories! One of my favourite things about hockey is talking to other fans about how and when they became a fan and hearing them light up about their favourite hockey memories. If YOU would like to join the tradition and have YOUR Vancouver Canucks or Utica Comets story featured, simply send me an email to nucksaid@gmail.com with the subject line: TRUE BLUE.

And since I am asking all of you to share your stories, It seems only fair that I do the same for you. Where does my Vancouver Canucks story begin? How did I get here? After all this time, what keeps drawing me back to this team?

It’s hard to really pinpoint exactly when this crazy game took hold of my heart other than to simply say it was around the time I turned 17. Growing up watching sports was never a priority in our house and I never really understood how anyone could possibly get so emotionally involved with a sport let alone any particular team. It was just a bit of a foreign concept to me until slowly and then all it once as this game stole my heart completely and there was no turning back.

It started slowly as quietly before you knew it, I was watching more and more games until suddenly I was never missing one. Suddenly, watching the pre-game program was just as important making sure to be home in time for puck drop. Suddenly I had every name on the roster memorized and was spouting team statistics to anyone who would listen. I was always looking for someone to talk to about this sport and this team and attempt to get more fans on board. It reached a point where I needed an outlet to share my love of this game and this team, and so began the journey of creating NUCKSAID.

As with any sports team there have been highs and there have been lows since the Vancouver Canucks completely stole my heart. There have been incredible runs and heartbreaking losses and everything in between along the way. There have been countless players, coaches, goals, saves and playoff moments that I will never forget.

There are a few players in particular that will always stand out for me personally. From former captain Markus Naslund, to Trevor Linden, Roberto Luongo, Luc Bourdon, Rick Rypien, to the Sedins and Alex Burrows.

There will be trades that break your heart as a hockey fan and for me that was when the gauntlet finally dropped on the Roberto Luongo trade. It was the trade that was impossible for nearly two years and was suddenly done overnight. No matter where you stand on the Luongo debate, he will without a doubt remain one of the all-time greatest goal-tenders in Vancouver Canucks franchise history. He took on the weight of an entire city’s expectations and led them within ONE game of a Stanley Cup victory, won TWO Olympic goal medals and set a few franchise records along the way.

Alex Burrows is the definition of pure heart and determination for a player that was never drafted or expected to ever play on a top line. I still remember everything from his first game when he was recalled from Manitoba, to his first goal, his PK stability, his streak breaking goal versus Carolina, the dragon slaying goal versus Chicago to the possibility of his final Vancouver Canucks game this last season. Whatever happens with Burrows in the off-season, I will always appreciate everything he has done for the franchise and his heart for the game.

And there are those players who were taken from this life much too soon and remind us all that life is too short. Luc Bourdon and Rick Rypien will always be remembered by Canucks fans for their love of the game and for inspiring many players past and present the savour each moment of their dream in the NHL as life can change in the blink of an eye. Nothing can be taken for granted.

Truthfully…I could keep going with my list of players that have fully captured my love of this game, but we’d be here all day or longer!

Looking at seasons past and the most recent season…no season will be perfect from start to finish, some will come close and some will be nowhere close. Some seasons will raise our expectations and some seasons will fall short. No matter how a season begins or ends, one thing will remain true: my support for my team will not waiver but rather grow stronger with each passing year. And that’s that.

The Vancouver Canucks 2015-2016 season is long over. And yes, it is true that this season was far from perfect in most every sense when looking at the fact that they missed the playoffs BUT an imperfect season does not mean there were not amazing moments sprinkled throughout the year. Daniel Sedin’s franchise record setting goal versus Boston will forever remain one of my favourite highlights of the year.

For as long as I have been a fan of this crazy team and game, it has been a dream of mine to become a Vancouver Canucks season ticket member in some capacity. This past season that finally became a reality. It was always just out of reach and 100% not affordable within my budget…that is until the option to become a partial season ticket holder became a possibility.

This year, as a partial season ticket holder, I was privileged to attend 13 games and experience some one of a kind moments.

Previously the most games I’ve attended in one season was 4 or 5. It does not matter how many games I have been to over the year but the magic of seeing a live game will never get old. Arriving and seeing the arena set for the game, the quiet before the storm of warmups and anthems sets the tone for the battle that will follow. The lights go down, the entire arena sings the anthem in unison, the puck gets dropped and before you know, you’ve got the entire arena on their feet cheering for the home team for every save, every block and every goal; getting louder for as the possibility of a win gets closer. Like I said, there is something special about seeing a game live and that never changes no matter how many games I have been to over the years.

No matter where this long off-season takes the Vancouver Canucks, I look forward whatever magic the upcoming season has in store for us come October. I know that the road for the future of the team is not one to instant success, that they will have to work hard in an increasingly difficult division and that it will take time to develop their youth. There will continue to be growing pains as the young players learn from the veterans and from their own mistakes. There will be highs and there will be lows BUT you know what? I will be there every step of the way supporting them through all of it, the good and the bad. Whether they win or lose, whether they make the playoffs or not and no matter what the media may try to tell me…the Vancouver Canucks are my team and there is 100% no changing my ways.

“Is it October yet? No not just yet, but I can hear the echoes just around the bend.”

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.