“V” For Variety: Canucks Garb Runs The Gamut

GUEST POST from “Pro Stock Hockey”.

“V” For Variety: Canucks Garb Runs The Gamut

Those Vancouver hockey guys, what a bunch of Canuckleheads.

The franchise is 0-for-3 in the Stanley Cup Final, but is widely credited with inflicting the ugliest sweater in hockey history upon the NHL. Additionally, among a garish group that launched the third jersey craze, the Canucks’ alternate might have committed the greatest sartorial sin.

Yet, when Vancouver joined the league in 1970, it did so with one of the most sublime logos ever rendered, and after draping a couple of crummy crests over some putrid palettes, are again among the sharpest dressers on ice.

In the Beginning…

Joe Borovich was a young graphic designer living in a basement apartment down the street from the Pacific Coliseum when he entered a contest to design the uniform for the stadium’s new tenants. Other tenants from Europe, the United States and Canada failed to top his design.

He chose blue for the Pacific Ocean, green for the forests of British Columbia and white for its mountain peaks. The color palette, freshly abandoned by the Oakland Seals (who under new owner Charles Finley transitioned to the green and gold of his baseball team), was otherwise unused in the league — but that wasn’t the best part.

Borovich’s logo, a hockey stick laid horizontally into a rink and overlapping the boards on the right to create a “C”, was simple perfection. It lasted eight seasons, and gave way to …

Halloween Horror

How to describe it? A V-neck smock from a forgotten fast food franchise? An inverted traffic cone trimmed in baby-puke yellow and black? A Duraflame log?

Whatever. A San Francisco-based design firm coughed up this orange, yellow and black cacophony, the striping creating “Vs” on the chest, neck and sleeves (and socks, and pants). Supposedly, some people like it. But then, some people like candy corn.

For seven seasons, Canucks players got heckled with “Trick or treat!”

The Road Back to Borovich

In ensuing seasons, the Canucks have made changes large and small to their look, eventually arriving back at blue, green and white. Here are some of the more notable looks along the way:

1985: The “spaghetti bowl” or “flying skate” logo introduced as a sleeve patch on the “V” jersey is moved front and center. The logo is pretty busy, with more than a dozen parallel stripes forming a skate, above a blade spelling “Canucks.” Otherwise, this retains most of the unfortunate elements of the “V” design.

1989: The home jersey goes from yellow to white, and the last “V” elements — on the shoulders and pants — disappear.

1995: Five teams (Anaheim, Boston, Los Angeles, and Pittsburgh in addition to Vancouver) launch the third jersey program. The Canucks drop their spaghetti plate into an off-center, yellow “V” that starts at the right cuff and fades into a field of marroon. There’s a lot going on here, not much of it good.

1997: New colors – navy blue, sky blue, maroon and silver — arrive along with a new logo. That crest creates a “C” from a killer whale — a nod to the Canucks’ parent company at the time, Orca Bay Sports and Entertainment — emerging from the sea.

2001: A new alternate ditches any white trim and features a torso that starts blue at the shoulders and fades into maroon at the chest.

2003: The “stick-in-rink” original logo returns as a shoulder patch.

2006: The 2001 alternate goes away in favor of a throwback to the original blue road jersey.

2007: Reebok takes over as the NHL’s jersey supplier, returns the Canucks to their original colors but uses a new variation on the orca logo.

2008: A modern take on the original logo — the stick is more pronounced, the “C” more obvious — is featured on the new blue alternate.

2017: With Adidas in its first season as jersey suppliers, the alternate goes away. But the guess is here, not for long.

Author bio: AJ Lee is Marketing Coordinator for Pro Stock Hockey, an online resource for pro stock hockey equipment. He was born and raised in the southwest suburbs of Chicago, and has been a huge Blackhawks fan his entire life. AJ picked up his first hockey stick at age 3, and hasn’t put it down yet.

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Vancouver Canucks: No Tank You…

Here we go into the final stretch drive of the 2017-18 season. And those voices from team tank on the outside and even on the inside are getting ever louder every day. To tank or not to tank? (Am I crazy for not being on board with the tank? According to some, yes.)

It’s no secret that this season has been a long way from perfect and a bit of a free fall since Brock Boeser went down with an injury. It’s also no secret that while the team has struggled many have suggested or begged for the team to start tanking in order to increase their draft lottery odds. I understand the desire for the team to finally have some luck when it comes to the draft lottery after having dropped to 5th in the last few seasons BUT I CANNOT fathom rooting against them.

Most concerning to me is not so much everyone hoping for a complete tank on the season but the lack of support for the team that I’ve seen increase over the last few weeks or the judgement/condescension directed at those who decide to support the team. I’m all for the team finally having a little luck when it comes to the draft lottery BUT I will not purposely root against the team.

And I know that opinion often puts me in the minority of Canucks nation. And yes, I know to some that rooting for them even against all the odds makes some see me as naive or “overly hyped”. I assure you, I am not naive or unaware of the team’s reality. I know their stats inside and out but I choose to have a perspective that is different. Choosing to see the silver lining, hope for the future or positives amidst all those negatives isn’t a bad thing and definitely doesn’t make me a terrible fan. If some are allowed to cheer for a tank mentality, certainly I should be allowed to have my view too?

Will I be ecstatic if they do somehow end up being able to draft Dahlin? Absolutely. BUT if they somehow end up NOT winning that draft lottery or dropping to 5th, I will still be among the loudest supporters of the team. How they finish the season, or where they end up in the draft order will not now or ever influence my support of the team. Maybe that makes me a little crazy, but I’m okay with that. We don’t all have to support the team in the same way or even view the game in the same way to love this crazy heart stealing game called hockey.

Draft lottery win or not, win another game this season or not, I was a Vancouver Canucks fan yesterday, am one today, will still be one tomorrow and beyond. I know that these last few seasons have been hard but they’ve also had some incredible moments along the way. Did you ever think it possible that the Canucks would have not one BUT TWO players with 1000+ points? Or that another rookie could steal hearts with a Bure type shot before Boeser came along?

First place or last place will not determine when I support this team. No one ever said that the 82-game journey that each team embarks on each season would be easy with no mistakes. For me, the Vancouver Canucks have my heart through the good, the bad, and everything in between, they’re stuck with me: 24/7/365.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

Vancouver Canucks: For Brock

Sometimes, this game that can take your breath away in the best possible way, can be heartbreaking in the cruelest of ways. That happened last night as all of Canucks nation held their collective breath after seeing Brock Boeser sustain an injury late in their game versus the New York Islanders. Today, the Vancouver Canucks announced that Brock Boeser is likely out for the remainder of the season (4-6 weeks). And it’s no secret that prior to the injury, Brock Boeser was having a Canucks rookie season to remember with 29 goals, 26 assists (55 points) in 62 games.

It’s absolutely heartbreaking to see a player that’s been having a memorable season be forced to the sidelines due to injury. And while the season may not end in a Calder trophy for the rookie phenom, there are more important things than a trophy. As tough as this news is, it could be worse, and it’s absolutely the right decision that Boeser takes this time to recover fully so that he can come back to the game he loves for years to come The good news is that he will make a full recovery.

This post is for Brock.

Brock,

I can still remember the anticipation that followed when the Vancouver Canucks drafted you and excitement that stemmed when the team announced you made this season’s roster. This is not the ending that your rookie season was supposed to have. You were well on your way to setting a new Vancouver Canucks rookie season record. Today, having this news shared with the rest of the world must be one of the most difficult things you’ve been faced with early in your career, but taking this time to heal properly was the right decision. Some things are bigger than the game.

I hate that we were robbed of your 30th goal (some will point out you should proably be credited with 1 or 2 more in recent weeks!) and that we don’t a get a chance to see you surpass Pavel Bure’s rookie record. I hate that this season, we will not get to see any more of your signature snipes or impossible angle goals that often took opponents by surprise with their accuracy. I hate that we will not get to see you find that chemistry with no matter who you played with until next season. I hate that this is how the season most likely ends for you this season. I hate the unfairness of this outcome. I hate that after all the work you put in and that the rookie season that you were on pace for, that this is the ending. I hate that many on the outside don’t always see the value that you bring to the Canucks every single game.

As much as I hate this end to your incredible rookie season, I understand that this decision was about more than the game. Life is about much more than hockey and you put your health first. Not an easy decision, but absolutely the correct one. You are taking the time to heal properly and not risk further injury and allowing yourself a long-term future in the game. It may have only been your first full time season in the NHL and with the Vancouver Canucks, but you’ve already left an indelible mark on the franchise.

The ending to the season may have come much earlier than you desired but you DID IT. You’re living a dream come true in the NHL that while only one year in, is full of highlight reel moments: back to back rookie of the month honours, first career hat trick, goals that made many opponents ask “HOW?”, a possible Calder trophy candidate, NHL All-Star, All-Star MVP, Canucks All-Star. Those are some awesome early career moments. You are the type of player that fans hope their team drafts and love to see succeed when they make the big league.

It’s not the ending that your rookie season deserved. You gave this team, the fans and the league everything you had every single time you were on the ice. Never doubt for a second what you’ve accomplished this season. You gave it your all every single shift, playing with whoever coach put with you in the lineup. You always found a way to keep your game consistent. You may be one of the youngest players on the team, but I promise that you inspired your teammates, the fans and even opponents around the league. Your heart, determination, dedication and perseverance every game are something to be admired. Your tenacity will be missed by the team, opponents, and fans league wide down this final stretch.

Thank-you for one heck of a memorable rookie season with the team. You’ve brought an excitement to the team and united Canucks fans far and wide while we all rooted for the next FLOW highlight! Your season may have come to an abrupt end, but I hope you know that NO ONE and I mean NO ONE is disappointed in you. You’ve done nothing but make Canucks fans proud every single time you hit the ice. I hope that while you recover, you stay close to the team, you may not realize it yet what an inspiration your season has been to them. And maybe today, that seems impossible to comprehend, but it’s 100% true. Canucks nation is sending you all the best as you focus on your recovery! Take all the time you need, your health is the #1 priority.

Your season might have come to an early end but you took the pressure of an entire city and ignited a spark of hope for the season and the future as we all witnessed the initiation of the Brock star. One thing is certain, your teammates, fans, even your opponents are all rooting for you as you recover and look forward to your eventual return when you a ready. You have accomplished a lot in a short time this season. Remember this moment, a rookie season to remember that stole the hearts of Canucks fans far and wide, this is only the beginning and the best is still yet to come.

-Sarah E.L.