True Blue 2017 (Part Four)

It’s summer or more accurately the NHL’s off-season and you know what that means at NUCKSAID! It’s time once again, for True Blue and to put the spot light on you, Canucks fans. This year, it’ll be a little different than my past summer series. No questionnaire, but a more free form in which you can share whatever you’d like about your hockey/Canucks fandom, or focus on just one moment in particular in the team’s history(recent or from the past) that really shaped how you view this game or an experience with other fans that influence your view of the game now or really it’s up to you what you’d like to say. If you’d like to be featured/share the story of your hockey fandom or the moment that’s shaped how you view the game, send me an e-mail to: nucksaid@gmail.com & we will set it up!

Without further ado, this is Justin and HIS True Blue story:

“Chronicles of a Diehard Canucks Fanatic. Written by Justin Lai.

What makes me different from any other Canadian? Honestly not much, I love my Tim Hortons and I live and breathe hockey. My two favourite teams are my hometown Vancouver Canucks and the Pittsburgh Penguins. I’m far from a bandwagon fan though as I know my hockey pretty fluently. I like Pittsburgh as my secondary team because one of my favourite Vancouver Canucks players of all time was a Penguin before, that being Markus Naslund. That and I also like the legends who played for them including Jaromir Jagr, Mario Lemieux and now more recently Sidney Crosby but this story isn’t about them. This story is about my love for the Vancouver Canucks and how an average guy like me is living the dream working for the Canucks and my love for the game.

I don’t think there’s one particular moment in the Canucks history that I can pinpoint as my favourite because I enjoy every season cheering them on whether they have losing seasons or whether they make a run to within one win of a Stanley Cup Championship. For me, there’s no in between for my love for the Canucks. I own countless Canucks memorabilia and jerseys, and every year I’m rooting for them regardless of what others believe of my team. The Canucks are my team and I’m proud of that. I love them more than the number of wins they can put up on the ice in a season but my love for them extends to what they do in the community as well. They represent values I believe in which include giving back and the make that a living value day in and day out. 

Of course my fondest memory was the 1994 playoff run with heroes like Trevor Linden and Pavel Bure but also living through the 2011 magical season that came one win short of their first franchise championship. It was amazing how they captivated a city and brought people of all nations and cultures together during that run. Yes, there was the ugly aftermath in our beautiful city when they lost and that act made me absolutely disgusted and angry as a resident of our beautiful city, but to see the response of those who took part in to help bring those responsible to justice and clean up the damage restored my faith in my city and the true fans of the Vancouver Canucks. 

My excitement for the upcoming wave of future Canucks comes with mixed emotions. I’m excited to usher in the new wave of future Canucks to hopefully lead this team to success on the ice but to also maintain their commitment to the city and community off the ice. Being a Canuck means more than just an NHL player, it means having pride in being good people on and off the ice, role models to those who cheer you on and aspire to be like you, who look up to you. On the other hand of this excitement, to see our future young stars in the making, it’s also humbling and bit sad to potentially see the end of veteran players who have paved the way for these young guns, none more so than the Sedin twins. Daniel and Henrik Sedin are consummate professionals and excellent players but also world class leaders on and off the ice who I admire as people.

I’m living a dream working for the Canucks, heading into my 4th season because I get to be in the same environment, breathing in the excitement of hockey on game days and being a part of a team of outstanding co-workers and friends who make working for the team a dream come true. They preach and practices the Canuck values which I can put into practice not only on the job but also everyday which makes this organization one of my dream companies to work for. They also make it so fun to work there. 

Anyways my love for the team will never be diminished and whether we finish seasons as the the best team in the league or whether we finish last in the league, I’m always going to be team #TrueBlue and rooting for my Canucks because they’re so much more than just a hockey team to me. They represent the fabric of my beautiful city and living the Canucks values day in, day out is exactly worth being a Diehard fan for. Feel free to connect and talk hockey with my on my Twitter account: (@justinlai01)!

Go Canucks Go! – Justin.”

Special thank-you to Justin to sharing a piece of his True Blue story! I can relate on so many points! To me, the Canucks represent so much more than just hockey.

**If you’d also like to be featured/share the story of your hockey fandom or the moment that’s shaped how you view the game, send me an e-mail to: nucksaid@gmail.com & we will set it up!

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

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