They say when you fall in love with hockey, that you should never get attached to players as inevitably they will not stay their entire career with one team. It’s the business side of the sport. They remind you of this fact ceaselessly when you first discover it’s magic and you quickly shove away that truth as you fall deeper and deeper with no abandon into the love of the game.
Hockey can be particularly cruel when it comes to growing attached to a player as your favourite and just when you could never fathom that truth becoming fact that they will in fact move on or be moved, and then it happens. The pain you feel is immediate and deep. Some may say you’re crazy to feel so deeply attached to an athlete but the truth is these players become so much more than just a player, they become almost a part of you. It sounds weird but it’s true.
Today, is one of those deep pain filled days that I have to grapple with as a fan. Today I have to accept the reality that Bo Horvat is no longer a Vancouver Canuck. Up until this last week, I never really believed he wouldn’t be with the team for his entire career.
I can still remember with distinct clarity the moment he was drafter in 2013 and how immediately I felt that he’d do well here under the tutelage of the Sedins. In Vancouver, we got to witness Bo grow from a promising rookie to a player following in the footsteps of Henrik and Daniel Sedin to the natural leader on the team. It was absolutely no question when the Sedins retired that Bo would be named captain. Everyone expected it and he wore the “C” very well during his tenure. With Bo, he always gave his all every shift on the ice and off of the ice was exceptional within the community. It’s been special to see the progression from the start of his career to the next level that he was reaching this current season.
It is really hard to see players that have become so entrenched in the team and the hearts of fans be moved. As fans, we know that it’s an inevitable price in the game but still it has the ability to break your heart in an instant. Someone asked me what I will do with my Horvat jerseys now that he’s no longer a Canuck, my answer is this: I will keep them because they represent to me everything that BO was while he was here: determination, heart and tenacity. He may be moving to another team but that doesn’t undo everything that he was as a player and individual in Vancouver.
You better BO-lieve, I’ll be rooting for you CAP no matter where you play(except for maybe Boston, you know why). To me, you will always be a Canuck to the end no matter what. All the best in Long Island and hopefully one day down the road you’ll back in Canucks colours before all is said and done!
As always, until next time, nuck said.