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.

 

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