Raise-A-Reader 2014 Edition

Every year the Vancouver Canucks participate in Postmedia’s Raise-A-Reader campaign that takes place across Canada. This year was no exception and they were out bright and early, and with Vancouver Canucks players downtown, it is a HUGE draw for fans of the team. It has become a start of the season tradition for my sisters and I to attend every year!

The main reason for this event can be summed up perfectly from the Raise-A-Reader website as the following: “The Postmedia Raise-a-Reader campaign exists to empower today’s children and families with tools to improve their reading skills. These skills are the foundation for lifelong learning that significantly affects the quality of life and the health and social economic well-being of individuals, families and communities. 100% of all funds raised will go to the literacy community.”

The campaign went from 7:00AM-9:00AM. There were representatives from the Vancouver Canucks, Vancouver Whitecaps, Vancouver Giants, B.C. Lions, Global News, and of course the Vancouver Sun. You can guess who, I went downtown to see, right? Is it even a question?!

First, we met some of the Vancouver Giants players braving the early rainfall:

IMG_0928Next, bring on the nostalgia and Vancouver Canucks!

After missing out on the opportunity to have our picture taken during the 2014 Canucks Telethon, I finally had my chance to fix that when Captain Kirk was also at Raise-A-Reader:

IMG_0926We also got to meet Mr.President himself, Trevor Linden. Thanks for talking hockey with me this morning, and giving me an incredible memory!

Trevor & me:

IMG_0925Abs & Linden:

AbsLindenLast, but certainly not least, Kevin Bieksa who is just as comical and KIND in real life as he is in post-game interviews.

Kevin & me:

IMG_0927Abs & Kevin:

AbsBieksaThat’s how we spent our Wednesday morning…meeting some of our favourite players, talking hockey and supporting an incredible cause to bring back the importance of literacy! Hockey and reading are two of my most favourite things, so it was fantastic to be able to combine those today! While it was incredible to meet some amazing people today, it is important to remember the importance of the day was not about the pomp and circumstance of meeting the celebrities, but rather about the children and helping to ensure that they will know the magic of imagination that comes to life through reading. If you can, please join the campaign to raise awareness of the importance of literacy!

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

TRUE BLUE: S.E.L. or Simply ME.

This summer at Nucksaid, I decided to make it all about the fans, by putting the spotlight on all of YOU, and allowing you, the fans to tell YOUR stories! I have been asking to hear about your Canuck stories, and you have been more than kind sharing them with me! It seems only fair that I also include my own story in the mix, right? Right…so now you will hear my Canucks story!

[Don’t worry there are more True Blue stories on the way from others and there is also plenty of room for MORE of you to join in the fun as we count down the days to eventual puck drop of the regular season! If you’d like to take part, simply send me an e-mail to nucksaid@gmail.com with the subject line: TRUE BLUE & I will send you all the details you need! In True Blue:Part Six I introduced you to Brandi & David…click the link below to read their stories:

https://nucksaid.wordpress.com/2014/07/26/true-blue-part-six/ ]

Are you ready for the tables to be turned on me? Here we go…!

Sarah&KassianI am Sarah Laug and THIS is my TRUE BLUE story, in MY own words:

I will be the first to admit that I never imagined that I could be taken by hockey, let alone any sport and now it seems impossible to ever not love the “best game you can name, the good old hockey game.”

My love for the Vancouver Canucks and hockey itself came over me very slowly and then suddenly all at once. It was not that I ever disliked the sport, it just never was something that truly caught my eye when I was younger aside from watching hockey in the Olympics and the odd game, here or there. I was too young to appreciate or fully understand the magic that was the 1994 Stanley Cup run. It was not until high school that I really started paying attention to this team called the Canucks and learning all the I could about the game. My neighbours LOVED the team and always invited us over to watch the games…and slowly I started to notice feeling a gravitational pull towards this game and this team. I cannot remember the exact game but it was one the featured a snazzy play by Nazzy and some early Sedinery with Anson Carter in the 2005-2006 season that sealed my fate and captured my heart as a True Blue Canucks fan and there was NO turning back. Did they make the playoffs that year? No, but it was the off-season that brought change and re-ignited the team with hope with the hiring of Alain Vigneault and acquiring of Roberto Luongo.

The 2006-2007 season that followed grew my love for the team and that goalie, Roberto Luongo who played a Vezina worthy year stole my heart completely for this game. A goalie sets the tone for the game, and LU came out with absolute determination that gave the team a chance to win every night. That was the season I decided to go all in with my non-wavering support for the this team. The team surprised a lot of people that season and gave us a thrilling ride all the way through two playoff rounds…including an epic game seven win sealed with a series winning goal from Trevor Linden. Every year since then my love for the game and the Canucks has grown exponentially. I may have turned into one of those fans who can quote stats forwards and backwards and possibly yells at the TV like the team and the refs can hear me for each good/bad call made or when that big goal is scored…but like I said, there is NO turning back. The Canucks are my team and I will always stand by them through thick and thin from game 1 all the way to game 82 and any games that go beyond.

Do I have an all-time favourite player? More like MANY favourites because it is way too difficult to just choose one. My favourite former Canucks include Markus Naslund, Trevor Linden, and Roberto Luongo, all of whom were the epitome of class acts both on and off the ice during their playing tenures with the Vancouver Canucks.

As for current Canucks my favourites would be Alex Burrows, Kevin Bieksa and Zack Kassian. I’ve been watching Burrows and Bieksa play together since their time with the Manitoba Moose to now and I absolutely love their tenacity on the ice. I love that Burrows came in undrafted and unwilling to give up on his dream and always capable of a BIG moment when least expected. Bieksa in his own words is a Canuck through and through…his loyalty to his teammates, his chirping and his insanely timed goals are beyond valuable. Kassian every year shows more and more determination and dedication to his game and is always willing to stand up for his teammates.

Do I have an all-time favourite Canucks moment? Much like having more than one favourite Canucks player…I have MANY favourite Canucks moments. Luongo’s TWO shutout streaks (November 2008, November 2009), being in the arena LIVE for games (nothing compares to seeing your favourite team get a WIN on home ice!, Burrow’s back to back hat tricks (2010), Burrows playing with the Sedins, Bieksa’s SAVE & GOAL vs. Colorado (2012), Daniel’s last second goal against Detroit (2012) OR  his between the legs goal vs. Calgary (2010), Hank’s 112 points (2009-2010), Lu’s 72 saves vs. Dallas (2007) or his SCF game 5 shutout (2011), Hank’s penalty shot goal (March 14, 2012) that had the arena on their feet, Hank’s 1000th game (2014) or THE goal off the Stanchion courtesy of JUICE (2011) that sent the Canucks to the Finals…BUT tops on this list IS Alex Burrows slaying the dragon in OT vs. Chicago (2011)…it felt as though you could hear the cheers from Canucks fans everyone when that puck crossed the line…THAT moment was absolute MAGIC. I look forward to adding many more favourites to this list as the years go by. One other moment that will always stand near that moment against the hawks, will be the moment that Roberto Luongo was Olympic GOLD on home ice at Rogers Arena…a moment that NO ONE, no matter how hard they try can ever take away from him.

My personal most recent favourite Canucks memory is when I won a twitter contest and got to be a part of the 2014 Canucks For Kids Fund panel….and YES if you look close you will see that plaque next to my name….YES I sat next to Captain Kirk during the telethon! It was an epic experience!!

IMG_0649I love every little thing about this crazy game called hockey….every up and every down, every goal, every save, every rush down the ice, every face off, every epic playoff run, every magic overtime moment, every game tying goal…everything. I love everything about hockey, EXCEPT for that dreaded little one-on-one contest they call a shootout that follows an unsolved overtime period during the regular season. I despise shootouts…they ruin the team component of the game and turn a wonderful up tempo end to end game into a one-on-one skills contest that sometimes costs the better team on the ice the game because as we all know…the shootout is not every team’s forte. The only other thing that irritates me to NO end in hockey is when journalists try to influence how fans think about their team and the game…it is okay for fans of all kinds to have differing opinions.

I’ve already told you my favourite aspect of hockey (Canucks and non-Canucks related) is the FANS. I love the connection that is formed within fans of a team, fans of rival teams, and fans of the sport in general. I love discussing and debating this wonderful game with fans of all levels from all over the globe…there is always room to learn and share more about this great sport and about my Canucks. There is something very special about fans coming together whether it is in the arena cheering together, watching the game in a restaurant(pub or at home) or during an epic playoff run.

When it comes to pre-game and game day rituals, I have a few. Nearly every game day will find me wearing one of my four jerseys(hoping to add another this season!) and during a playoff run as girly as it may sound..I paint my nails in Canucks themes. Every game day also usually involves making sure there are game approved snacks (chips+salsa,) on hand for when that big goal gets scored or even some victory/consolation ice cream.

SLaugI am not lucky enough to have season tickets just yet but I would LOVE to be so lucky someday in the near future! I try to go to at least 3-5 games during the regular season….and if I’m lucky at least ONE playoff game when the team goes to the post-season. There is ONE game that I have gone to EVERY season starting in March 2008…the game that is ON or closest to my birthday that the Canucks play at home. It is one of my most favourite birthday traditions that I have with my family all Canucked out in our jerseys cheering for the team at the arena. Yes, it’s true, I’ve converted an entire house that once held no hockey fans, all into diehard Vancouver Canucks fans.

034How do I feel about the upcoming 2014-2015 season? Last season after January, it was hard to watch the team at times as things began to fall apart and it became inevitable that changes were going to be made. It felt like a black cloud began following the team and storms followed as the season broke down. Bringing Trevor Linden back to the Vancouver Canucks was an absolute breath of fresh air after the last few years with Mike Gillis. Linden came in promising to make changes and promising that he would keep the fans in the know and he has done exactly that. With Linden came GM Jim Benning and newly minted NHL head coach, Willie Desjardins to help usher in this new era in Vancouver Canucks history. The newly formed brain trust has been hard at work taking care of business (the Kesler trade, developing the prospects, the Miller & Vrbata signings!) as they prepare for the upcoming 2014-2015 regular season.

There is a LOT of potential with team Lindenning and players coach Desjardins at the helm moving forward with the team. I am looking forward to whatever comes next and while the season may be far from perfection…it will be worth watching the entire journey from start to finish no matter the outcome. Mostly, I am excited to share this upcoming season with ALL of you, whether you are a Canucks fan, rival fan or simply just a hockey fan…as we are in for a wild ride league wide!

JERSEYI am now, always have been and always will be a true blue bona-fide canucklehead and there will be NO changing of my ways. As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

One last photo, one of my favourites featuring my dear beloved canucklehead Bailey, who spent more than 13 years being the best companion. I will miss you always my dear, sweet little Bailey. (December 8, 2000 – July 27, 2014).


Surprise, surprise…

Today I share with you my loyal readers, a hockey experience that took me completely by surprise in the best possible way.

I never win contests…ever. I have entered many contests for the chance to win hockey tickets. Did I mention I NEVER win contests [especially never when it comes to contests that involve social media]? Have you ever entered a contest through social media (Facebook/Twitter) where the winner is randomly selected? I am never so lucky to be that randomly selected person…Ever. Surprise, surprise. That is until Monday March 17, 2014 when I received a notification on my twitter account announcing that I had won the Canucks for Kids Telethon panel contest. Winning the contest meant I would be allowed the privilege of participating on the telethon panel pre-game and two tickets to watch the game from the press box on Wednesday March 19! Great news to receive on a Monday afternoon, I’d say wouldn’t you?

Every year the Vancouver Canucks host the Canucks for Kids Fund Telethon. The money raised through the Canucks for Kids Fund goes to helping many BC children’s lives better every day:

“The Canucks for Kids Fund dedicates resources to assist charities which support children’s health and wellness, foster the development of grassroots hockey, and facilitate and encourage education in British Columbia. Thanks to the generosity of our fans, donors, players, employees and sponsor partners, the Canucks for Kids Fund (CFKF) has granted more than $41 million to charities in British Columbia over the last 27 years. The Canucks for Kids Fund raises awareness and funds through several charitable initiatives including: Canucks for Kids Fund 50/50, Canucks for Kids Fund Dice & Ice Benefit presented by HSBC, Canucks for Kids Fund Superskills powered by Rogers and the Canucks for Kids Fund Telethon presented by Chevrolet. The Canucks for Kids Fund also raises funds through partnerships with Special Olympics BC’s Sports Celebrities Festival and the Vancouver Sun’s Raise a Reader Day. Our core beneficiaries, Canucks Autism Network (CAN), Canuck Place Children’s Hospice and BC Children’s Hospital Foundation are providing vital resources and life-saving care to families all across this province.” [The Official Canucks For Kids Fund description from the Vancouver Canucks website].

Every year the #CFKFtelethon is usually around my birthday-(March 14) and every year I make a donation and this year was no different in that regard. The only difference this year was thanks to the aforementioned contest, I got to be a part of the telethon panel prior to the game.

First things first…I had to choose someone to take with me to the game. Let me tell you, there are A LOT of contenders for such a moment. In the end it became a simple task…bring the one person who loves hockey and the Canucks as much as or possibly even more than I do….my mom. No one quite understands how much I love this crazy game of hockey or how this game can completely captivate a person quite like my mother.

Hockey is more than just game, it is a bonding experience between: fathers and sons, mothers and daughters & everyone in between.

Hockey is more than just game, it is a bonding experience between: fathers and sons, mothers and daughters & everyone in between. This particular evening would be a mother/daughter experience.

First things first we had to enter through Gate 9 (which is more tricky than it sounds with all of the construction around the arena!) to pick up our VIP passes that would give us access to level 500. Next up we made our way to the Telethon set so I could get my final instructions as to what being a part of the panel meant.

Welcome to the 2014 Canucks For Kids Fund Telethon!

Welcome to the 2014 Canucks For Kids Fund Telethon!

Walking onto the set was a very wow moment, the experience was suddenly very real. The set was just outside of section 121 on the 100 level concourse of Rogers Arena. Fans were coming and going all taking in the set and those who were on the set as they made their way to their respective seats. The phones, surveys, and donation forms were all lined up along the table with each volunteer’s name card in place. All panelists were to be there seats by 6:40 PM (PT) as the Telethon was set to go live at 6:45 PM (PT). Let me just say it was quite something to see the all-star line-up for the Telethon take their places on the set. Canucks from the past, present and future all took their places…and then there was me somehow also a part of the mix!

All I could think of as I took my seat on set was, how did I get so lucky as to get to be a part of this amazing moment?!

Look at that...my very own SPOT on the panel! Right between #Captain Kirk & Victor De Bonis!

Look at that…my very own SPOT on the panel! Right between #Captain Kirk & Victor De Bonis. No words.

Forever a Canuck himself, Trevor Linden was our host. Notable Canuck names on the panel included: Kirk McLean, Daniel Sedin and his wife Marinette, Hunter Shinkaruk, Sarah Hamhuis, Stan Smyl and more. Did I mention I had the privilege of sitting NEXT to Kirk McLean?! How often can one Canuck fan say they are in the presence of so many Canuck personnel?! To say I was slightly star struck and completely in awe of everyone and the scope of the moment, is more than fair. There I was suddenly surrounded by so many amazing people gathered together for an amazing cause.

Deep breaths, this was real. This was happening and this was my reality during the telethon. Star power everywhere you turned. The countdown began and suddenly we were live, phones started ringing, calls and pledges were made. Donors around the globe made a difference for BC kids. My shift on the panel went by both very quickly and slowly. There were moments when it felt like it was speeding by and others when it felt like each moment was slowed frame by frame. Did I mention how amazingly welcoming and kind Kirk McLean [and everyone else] was?! I am still taking in the fact that all of these moments from being part of the panel to meeting Kirk McLean really happened. It was a pretty big deal for this Canucklehead! As much I wish I had the time to take a picture or two to capture the reality that I met all of these people…once the Telethon went LIVE, there was ZERO time to stop for picture taking.

Following a moment that I will never forget...I tweeted my thanks to those involved & received this more than kind response from #CaptainKirk himself!

Following an experience on the panel that I will never forget…I tweeted my thanks to those involved & received this more than kind response from #CaptainKirk himself!

Calls were made and pledges recorded, and suddenly before I knew it, my shift on the panel was over. I was ushered with my mom from the elevator to the 500 level to our box seats to watch our Canucks take on the Nashville Predators. The very idea of sitting in box seats was an absolute treat and delight for these two Canuck fans who on a regular day would never be able to afford such a luxury. A view from the top that will forever be appreciated and will make going back to regular viewing only ever so slightly difficult.

    Two of the biggest #canuckleheads there are & we were more than ready for this game! #MotherDaughter

Two of the biggest #canuckleheads there are settled in with an incredible view & we were more than ready for this game! #MotherDaughter

The view from the box was beyond amazing. It felt like we were living the luxurious life for the evening. My mom and I are not used to seeing the game with a completed unobstructed view when watching the game live from the arena because inevitably when sitting in the lower or even the upper bowl someone taller sits right in front of us. This amazing view and experience will not long be forgotten.

Just to the left of our box was this #Canuck banner

Just to the right of our box was this #Canuck banner


The on-ice pre-game intro was incredible to full-lentgh view from so high up!

Rink wide view of some early first period action!

Rink wide view of some early first period action!


A quick snapshot of a 2nd period faceoff. The middle frame saw some of the game’s best chances by the home team.

The Canucks had SO many chances in the 2nd period and it seemed as though all puck luck was against them…and a late penalty in the middle frame seemed to confirm that bad luck. Cue a must win third period….and some heroics by rookie Jensen and a certain defense-man.


After feeling like a goal wouldn’t come until overtime FINALLY a goal after 46 minutes!! That Niklas Jensen has been a force since joining the team! (3 goals in 4 games!)

Before the announcer could even finish announcing the Nashville penalty he interrupted his own announcement with SCORES!!!!!!!!!!!!! as Edler scored the insurance goal needed in this game.

Before the announcer could even finish announcing the Nashville penalty he interrupted his own announcement with SCORES!!!!!!!!!!!!! as Edler scored the insurance goal needed in this game.

The Canucks and 2-0 leads have not fared well as of late as we are all to well aware and the question many were asking is: would they be able to hold onto the lead in regulation? Nashville had plenty of opportunity late in 3rd period with back to back power-plays in the final 5 minutes to comeback and force extra time. The good news is that Eddie Lack stood tall and the defense held the fort not allowing even one puck to cross Lack’s goal line. While the clock ticked away, the arena erupted in an EDDIE, EDDIE, EDDIE chant! Canucks won 2-0 in front of a delighted home crowd. Lack picked up his 4th career shutout and stole a very important 2 points for the Canucks as they finished the night perfect in the special teams department killing their 4 penalties and scoring 4 seconds into their single power-play opportunity.


It was a WIN, WIN, WIN!

It was a victory for the home team on the ice as well a winning effort with the telethon. The #CFKFtelethon raised over $500,000 during the live telethon and are still taking donations online if you missed out, just click the link below(any amount WILL help to change the lives of kids in need):

[Canucks for Kids Fund online donation form]

The whole experience felt completely surreal. From literally being a part of the panel with some of the best of the past, present and future Canucks to having the press box view; it most definitely was an evening that I will never forget. I cannot thank the Canucks for Kids Fund and the Vancouver Canucks enough for this amazing experience and allowing me a glimpse behind the scenes. Thank-you does not seem enough for an organization that does so much for this province, but a most sincere thank-you I extend all the same. Thank-you for an incredible experience from start to finish and an evening that I will never forget.

Bonus stat of the night: It was an evening that I didn’t think could be improved upon in any possible way…that is until I looked closer at the #GameDay program that was handed out to all the fans attending the game. Under the section where they made note of Henrik’s 1000th game being celebrated and asked for fans to submit their favourite #33 memories for the chance to be included in the program…there were two featured fan tweets and one of them was MINE!:


Yep…that is ME(@nucksaid) in the #GameDay program! What are the odds that the same game I was lucky enough to attend in style would also be the game that featured ME in the #gameday program!

I will leave you with one last picture from the game’s finish:

I present to you the #LACKstrom dance!

I present to you the #LACKstrom dance – featuring the star of the game Eddie Lack and his trusty back up Jacob Markstrom.

It was truly an experience that any Canucks fan would have been lucky to have and I will never forget a minute of it. Every moment is forever etched in my memory. Thank-you again to all who were a part of giving my mom and I an evening that we will never forget (a home win from the Canucks was just icing on the cake!).

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

Raise-A-Reader 2013 Edition!

Every year the Vancouver Canucks participate in the Vancouver Sun’s Raise-A-Reader campaign. This year was no exception and they were out bright and early. Vancouver Canucks players downtown is a HUGE draw for fans of the team.

The campaign went from 7:00AM-9:00AM. There were representatives from the Vancouver Canucks, Vancouver Whitecaps, B.C. Lions, Global News, and of course the Vancouver Sun. You can guess who I went downtown to see, right? Is it even a question?!

Of course it’s my Canucks! Support a great cause & meet part of the team?!

Team representatives today were: David Booth, Zack Kassian, mascot FIN! Kirk McLean was representing the alumni [but I missed out on meeting Captain Kirk…next time!! Even so, I still have some great long lasting memories!]

It was an absolutely fantastic way to start my day!

First meeting of the day: David Booth!

Met David Booth!

Thanks for the photo David!

Second meeting of the day: Zack Kassian! [side note…Jeff Vinnick {Canucks photographer} got an awesome shot of my 3 sisters & I with Kassian…hope to get a copy to share!]

Met Zack Kassian!

Thanks for the picture Zack!

And no Canucks fan outing would complete without a sighting of everyone’s favourite mascot: FIN!

FIN always takes a bite when our paths cross!

FIN always takes a bite when our paths cross! Seriously…every time!

Walked away with 3 awesome autographs!:


Helped the #raiseareader campaign & walked away with the perks of being an early bird! 3 autographs: newspaper[FIN!], Jersey[#9 Kassian], & hat[#7 Booth]!

Thanks again David Booth, Zack Kassian, & FIN for an epic start to my day! It was great to see so many Canucks fans out there support the #RaiseAReader campaign & supporting the team! Hope to see you all out there next year!

[Canucks met previously: Mason Raymond & Ryan Kesler. Still on my list of Canucks to meet: Luongo, Linden, the Sedins & Bieksa]

I do not think I can thank the Vancouver Canucks enough for my wonderful morning! It only made me that much more excited for the regular season to begin[despite the lack luster preseason!].

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.