Are You Ready to BROCK and Roll?

Now that the deal is officially signed and Brock Boeser is officially returned to the Canucks, it’s time to take a different approach as I often do, than what I’ve seen making the rounds on social media the last few days.

Where do I begin? Here goes:

Dear Brock,

First, things first, let me say: congratulations on the new contract extension and welcome back!

I can still recall the 2015 NHL Draft and remember thinking there was no way the Canucks would be lucky enough to draft you at 23rd BUT then it happened! Shortly after the draft that year, the Canucks hosted a summer event where you and many of their prospects were in attendance and meeting the fans. You probably don’t remember this BUT when we met, first thing I said was “Welcome to the NHL”, and you told me “Thank-you, but I haven’t made it just yet.”, to which I said, “Well, I have a feeling that it won’t be long before you’re in the league FULL TIME.”

And here we are 4 years later, and you’re heading into your THIRD full season in the league. From a kid who didn’t know the kind of impact he could have to a Calder finalist, to a sensational player on the ice to an even better person off of the ice.

Maybe you didn’t realize the impact you would have or could have when you made it to the NHL but it’s been incredible to watch from the sidelines. There was a lot of anticipation among Canucks fans when you made your debut as we all waited to see how your game would translate to the league. Translate it did, scoring in your debut and then taking it up a notch in your rookie year giving fans a HUGE surge of hope with the ease of which you carry with you on the ice. (That hat trick against Pittsburgh on home ice was absolutely incredible to witness). And can we mention your NHL All-Star MVP status?!

It’s one thing to have favourite players who are great players but it’s something incredibly special when that talent is combined with an even bigger heart that sees beyond the game. Canucks fans are incredibly lucky to be able to witness your career from the beginning. So much more is yet to come.

It couldn’t have been easy to not only be waiting on your contract this summer but to also be worried about your dad’s health. Please know that as much as fans wanted you to come back to the team, we are ALL rooting for Duke, he’s a warrior and definitely deserved to be your priority. Some things are bigger than hockey.

Re-signing with the Canucks is a great moment for the franchise. Playing in this league is no easy feat but you’ve endured a lot along the way to get here, but there’s a place for you to leave an indelible mark and inspire so many more to follow your footsteps. From a top ranked prospect to a rookie taking the league by storm to hitting another stride with Pettersson to becoming an ambassador within the community.

If I could give you one bit of advice, it would be to not let the negative narratives bring you down, instead allow them to push you to prove them wrong. Over the course of your career, there will be good days and there will be tough days, but over the course of your career up to this point, you’ve already proven you can handle all of it. If you ever need an example of who to look to, look no further than Bo Horvat who is walking the path along side you, but also look back to the careers of Henrik and Daniel who defined the epitome of what it takes to endure in the NHL through the highs and the lows.

You came into this league, a kid from Minnesota living his dream and made this city that was beginning to spark again and ignited their hope with BROCK-star moves.

Here’s to the upcoming season about to start that will feature many BROCK this way moments and the continuation of a very promising future for you and the Vancouver Canucks!

Sarah E.L.

True Blue 2019 (Vol.4)

It’s that time of year again at NUCK SAID. Even as the off-season winds down, there’s still time for another edition of True Blue 2019. As has become an annual tradition that began in summer 2014, it’s time to put the spot light on YOU the fans and YOUR hockey stories! This is open to ALL Vancouver Canucks AND Utica Comets fans!

What does that mean? It means featuring YOU, the fans. As we count down to the new season around the corner, it is a time to share your Canucks/hockey stories and how you became a fan of this team, the game and what keeps drawing you in with no looking back.

Whether you’ve been fan your whole life, or only a little while, whether you grew up in British Columbia or across the country or in the USA or across the globe, I would love to feature YOU and YOUR story as a part of this year’s series. We all have a different story as to how this game and the team captured us, but through it all we are all connected. Fan stories and experiences are some of my favourite hockey stories to share with you and since I asked for your stories, I also shared a part of my story.

If you’d like more details on how YOU can be featured in True Blue 2019, simply send me a message on twitter (@nucksaid) OR send me an e-mail to: nucksaid@gmail.com with the subject line: TRUE BLUE 2019.

Without further ado, I present to you the 4th edition of True Blue 2019.

This is Gabriella’s True Blue story in her own words:

I’m going to start this with a kind of sappy quote from ‘The Fault in Our Stars’; “I fell in love the way you fall asleep, first slowly, then all at once.”

When I first got into hockey, Bure was my hero(despite the fact that he was already retired at that point). Yep, I was the girl who tried to teach herself Russian, partly because of him. Cool, да?

I watched with pride as the Canucks retired his jersey, and kept an eye on the team because of him. My first NHL game was at Rogers Arena in February 2016. Even though at that point, I wasn’t yet there as a Canucks fan, I was in absolute awe of the arena, the atmosphere…to the point that I got lost looking for my seat because I was giddy with joy.

I took a few more trips to Vancouver to watch the Wild play, (they are my other love). And gradually, something was happening at this point.

And then…I got a new job. And at this job, I bonded with a coworker, a native Minnesotan. This coworker would tell me about growing up playing high school hockey coached by Boeser’s late grandfather. He’d be so proud of him, he said. At lunch breaks, I’d show him the latest Boeser highlights. I became a fan of The Flow.

My next trip to Vancouver was ill-timed. Just 3 days before I left for Vancouver, Brock’s season was ended by a horrifying clash with the boards.

Sometime during the summer, I ended up with a Boeser jersey. I still didn’t consider myself a Canucks fan per se…or at least I didn’t yet know it.

In October 2018, I traveled to Vancouver yet again, Boeser jersey in tow. My first game saw both him and Petey return from injury. I proudly wore my jersey, despite a shutout and something started to click.

And then, I met Ben Hutton, It was the most random of occurrences…I was shopping in the team store(man, that place has gotten a TON of my money) and lo and behold, there he was. I went and asked him for a selfie. He took pity on my struggle to reach high enough(the guy is 14 inches taller than me) and asked a friend who was with him to take the picture. His kindness captured my heart. Canuck or not, I will always be a fan.

From then on, I considered myself a fan. I started passionately following games and planning more trips. I’ll never forget meeting Brock Boeser outside of Staples Centre before the Valetine’s Day game. He was kind and genuine. My selfie is blurry from my shaky hands. It took awhile to calm down, only for my heart rate to go back up during a thrilling shootout victory, in which Brock scored the winner. A few weeks later, I again ran into him in the team store(it is truly “where the players shop!”).

My Canucks journey has intertwined with my endeavor of playing hockey myself. I began to consider playing goalie right about the time that Thatcher Demko was called up. He inspired and continues to inspire me as I to stop pucks. When I finally got to see him play in person, I wrote a sign telling him that he was my inspiration. I hoped he’d see it. He not only did but he grabbed a puck to toss to me. Sadly, it missed. He shrugged, I shrugged…hoping he knew I was thankful that he tried. But it didn’t end there…he picked another puck and this one hit its mark. I will forever remember this as one of the best birthdays I have ever experienced. The icing on the cake (no pun intended) was seeing the moment captured on the Canucks Twitter.

This team–and–city–has stolen my heart. I’m already planning several trips for this upcoming season, with training camp being the first highlight. Vancouver feels like a second home. I can’t wait to see where this journey takes me.

-Gabriella.

Special thanks to Gabriella for sharing your story with all of us! I look forward to hearing all about your adventures from Training Campand hopefully see you at the rink when the puck drops on the season!

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

 

Vancouver Canucks: Looking Ahead

Now that it’s September, that means it’s time to take a closer look at what’s coming up for the team as the season edges ever closer.

First things first: the Captaincy Conundrum. Will they or won’t they name a captain for the first time since Henrik Sedin retired in April 2018? It’s true that there are a few worthy candidate to follow in his footsteps, from Edler to Tanev to Horvat to Boeser to Pettersson. BUT there is ONE that stands out among the crowd: Bo Horvat. It’s one of a few things that the majority of Canucks fans agree on. It seems to be a matter of timing, so we will see what/when things unfold as the season nears. Mind you if they do name someone else the captain, I will still support the one who is chosen.

The Elias Pettersson factor. How will he perform in his sophomore season to follow up his Calder winning rookie season? From the work he has done to get himself ready over the summer, he looks poised to have a big year. Once the puck finally drops, we will get to see exactly how big of a next step he takes.

Quinn Hughes. We got a glimpse of what he can do over the final five games of the 2018-2019 season, and it was incredible to say the least. Can we talk about the OT shifts between him, Pettersson and Boeser? Think back on THAT magic vs LA and think about THAT for a FULL season. Are you ready?

Return of the dragon slayer. Need I say more? What a story Alexandre Burrows paved from a ball hockey player, to the QMJHL, to the AHL, to the NHL and a first line winger with the Sedins and knack for scoring timely goals. A versatile player who was able to play wherever he was asked and scored some of the biggest goals in franchise history. Pure determination and heart personified. Ring of Honour induction takes place on December 3, 2019.

SEDINERY will always be epic. It was never a question that Henrik and Daniel would be honoured with their jerseys being retired, it was merely a question of timing. A full week of celebration for two beyond deserving individuals. Class acts on and off of the ice. Legends that have forever left an indelible mark on the franchise. And in true Sedin fashion, as they have done everything in their careers, their jerseys being retired will be an honour that they receive together. #33 and #22 will go up to the rafters officially on February 12, 2020.

To think that this is only a taste of the excitement that’s to come this season. Lots to look forward to as every day gets us even closer to puck drop. Rookie camp followed by training camp and preseason AND then the fun BEGINS!

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.