A Very Burrows Tale

Yes, I know I am a few days late with this post, but here it is.

Alex Burrows was never supposed to make it in the NHL, let alone last more than 800 games or spend time as a top line winger with the Sedins as one of their most productive line mates.

VANCOUVER, CANADA - JANUARY 24: The Edmonton Oilers play the Vancouver Canucks during their NHL game at Rogers Arena January 24, 2012 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI/Vancouver Canucks photo)

VANCOUVER, CANADA – JANUARY 24: The Edmonton Oilers play the Vancouver Canucks during their NHL game at Rogers Arena January 24, 2012 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI/Vancouver Canucks photo)

A player that many labeled lucky to be here and a pest to his opponents early on in his career and no one ever thought he’d be a top line winger. With his tenacity on the penalty kill, ability to drive his opponents crazy, an innate ability to break streaks and score timely goals, Burrows captured the hearts of the fans. Pure determination has driven him far in his career.

He’s heard it every year that perhaps he’s not good enough and perhaps he should be sent packing and every year he comes back proving his critics wrong. He’s faced adversity at nearly every turn and yet keeps pushing forward. He’s become synonymous with breaking streaks. That dragon slaying goal against Chicago will forever remain one of my all-time favourite moments. You could feel the emotion across the city when that puck crossed the line.

And yes, I know that that was in the past and that many believe his best days are behind him and the team should let him go. And yes, I know that this post will not change anyone’s mind, but I hope it opens them enough to see the immense value that Alex Burrows has had to this franchise.

He started from the bottom and worked his way all the way up from a rookie to a now seasoned veteran. A rookie that has now become a leader for the younger generation and a voice of experience to his teammates. Burrows is not just a leader on the ice but also off the ice. He has embraced the community off the ice with the myriad of Canucks charities and has become an advocate for mental health awareness. Alex Burrows has proven time and time again, that no matter what your critics say, if you believe in yourself, you can achieve anything.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

To Whom It May Concern…(Part Two)

To whom it may concern,

I never thought I would write one post about this, let alone two posts in three months. (Part One). 

It is still true that I am a female hockey fan. The fact that I am female and a hockey fan should not influence how I am treated about the game but lately that has been happening far too often. In all honesty, I had plans to write/share a different post until yet again while attending a Vancouver Canucks game with my sister, I was left frustrated and rattled as a female hockey fan.

This time, we were berated all game for our choice of jerseys, when and how we cheered and for simply being females at a hockey game. Yep, by wearing our Bo Horvat and Daniel Sedin jerseys, it meant we were delusional and should burn our jerseys. Burn my jersey? Sorry, but that is never going to happen. And didn’t we know that the Sedins are “sisters” and far too old for this game? What I do know, is that the Sedins are two of the classiest players in the NHL and both closing in on the 1000 NHL points milestone. And by being females at a hockey game meant that we deserved to be berated both to our faces and behind our backs throughout the entire game. Truthfully most of what was said is far too inappropriate for me to repeat.

If you want to teach people more about the game, do not talk down or belittle them. I love learning new facets of the game, and debating the ins and outs of the game. If you want to share what you love about the game, share it, everyone has a different story. I love hearing what others love about the game and why.

Once again it was as though we were being judged for the entire game regardless of whether we cheered or were silently engaged in the game taking place. And once again rather than being debated with or talk to, we were belittled. We tried to not let it rattle us during the game but underneath, of course it did. It made it us feel as though we are not allowed to be a part of the hockey community, as though perhaps we did not belong. And then I remembered once again that these individuals who act this way do not represent the entirety of hockey fans.

Let me make this as simple as possible: whether you are a female or male hockey fan, you are allowed to enjoy the game and in no way deserving of judgement for being a fan. Every hockey fan is allowed to cheer for their team, their favourite player and certainly allowed their own opinion of the game. And even if hockey fans have differing opinions, that does not make them any less of a fan than any another fan. Hockey is a community that most days feels like family, and one day I hope that we stop judging and attacking one another. Hockey is more than just a game.

Hopefully one day, we will not have to write posts like this, and all hockey fans regardless of gender will be allowed to simply love this game.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

Dear Vancouver Canucks

Dear Vancouver Canucks,

I know the odds of you reading this blog among all the media available to you is slim to none but I felt it important to get these words out and that maybe you get a chance to see them.

You may not know this yet as the media is constantly stating all of the negatives and questioning whether or not the fans still support you, but yes it is true that you do in fact still have fan support. Win or lose, some fans will even stand by you all season long, no what matter the outcome.

This season, the majority of headlines that I have seen from local media have been of the negative variety and been attempting to tell me that there is nothing to be excited about as a fan of this team. Maybe to them it is not exciting to get glimpses of the future as prospects get the opportunity to shine or seeing veteran players reach franchise and individual milestones.To this fan, those moments along the journey of a season are almost more magical than the wins or losses.

Are there questions that need to be addressed? Yes, but that can be said about every single team in the league. Will there be critics of every trade, signing, draft pick and decision made? Probably. Will any of those questions, decisions or critics influence or when I will support you? No, not even one little bit.

Has this season been perfect? No, but truthfully, I never expected it to be. Do I wish that you had more wins overall up to this point of the season? Yes, but even if you had only won a single game on the season, my support would not waver. Every season is made up of different ebbs and flows. Some years will be better than others, but no matter the outcome, playoffs or no playoffs, this fan will stand by you.

Do I dream that one day you will win that elusive 16th playoff game? Absolutely more than anything and one day when you DO, I will be able to say I was along for the entire ride, for all the triumphs and struggles that lead to the eventual victory. Yes, I know that day may be in the distant future, but that won’t stop me from enjoying the journey to that eventual win.

Perhaps even more meaningful than any on ice statistic is the work that you do as a team within the community and on the behalf of kids across BC. No matter what every season brings on the ice, as a team you always give your all off the ice to the kids and this province. It is an incredible privilege to see the difference that you have made over the years in the lives of so many, and often you may not even know it.

Some might think it odd that through it Maybe you will see this post, and maybe you won’t but I hope that you know that despite what a lot of the media will tell, you DO have fans that support you 24/7/365.

All the best the rest of the way, this season!

Sincerely,

Sarah