True Blue 2017

As we edge deeper into the Vancouver Canucks off-season and the local media focus on all of the decisions that will or will not be made, here on NUCKSAID, it means that it’s time to put the spot light on YOU, the fans. The summer tradition continues. What exactly is the True Blue tradition, you ask? Allow me to explain.

The True Blue series takes the spotlight off of the angst that is off-season rumour mills and puts it on YOU the fans and YOUR stories. It has become a favourite summer tradition of mine to feature during the off-season. As we count down to the new season around the corner, it is time to share your Canuck stories and how you became a fan of this team, the game and what keeps drawing you back year after year. Over the past three summers, I have had the absolute pleasure of connecting with Canucks fans from all over the world and sharing their stories with all of you.

Here’s a summary post from the first summer of TRUE BLUE to give you more of an idea of just how special this summer project is:

https://nucksaid.com/2014/09/23/true-blue-thank-you/

This year, I’m calling out to ALL Vancouver Canucks AND Utica Comets fans to share their stories. Whether you live in Canada or the USA or across the globe, I would love to feature YOUR story as a part of this year’s series.

Fan stories and experiences are some of my favourite hockey stories to share with you and since I’m asking for your stories, I will share another part of my story as well. Is this the year, that you and your story will be featured? Or do you know someone who would like their Canucks story featured? If you’d like more details on how YOU can be featured in True Blue 2017, simply send me an e-mail to: nucksaid@gmail.com with the subject line: TRUE BLUE.

I look forward to hearing and sharing as many stories as you are all willing to share and have read by many more throughout the summer. Here’s to making the long off-season a little more enjoyable by sharing all kinds of hockey stories!

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

True Blue 2016: NUCKSAID.

Welcome to the official beginning of True Blue 2016! The tradition that puts the spot light on YOU the fans and YOUR stories! One of my favourite things about hockey is talking to other fans about how and when they became a fan and hearing them light up about their favourite hockey memories. If YOU would like to join the tradition and have YOUR Vancouver Canucks or Utica Comets story featured, simply send me an email to nucksaid@gmail.com with the subject line: TRUE BLUE.

And since I am asking all of you to share your stories, It seems only fair that I do the same for you. Where does my Vancouver Canucks story begin? How did I get here? After all this time, what keeps drawing me back to this team?

It’s hard to really pinpoint exactly when this crazy game took hold of my heart other than to simply say it was around the time I turned 17. Growing up watching sports was never a priority in our house and I never really understood how anyone could possibly get so emotionally involved with a sport let alone any particular team. It was just a bit of a foreign concept to me until slowly and then all it once as this game stole my heart completely and there was no turning back.

It started slowly as quietly before you knew it, I was watching more and more games until suddenly I was never missing one. Suddenly, watching the pre-game program was just as important making sure to be home in time for puck drop. Suddenly I had every name on the roster memorized and was spouting team statistics to anyone who would listen. I was always looking for someone to talk to about this sport and this team and attempt to get more fans on board. It reached a point where I needed an outlet to share my love of this game and this team, and so began the journey of creating NUCKSAID.

As with any sports team there have been highs and there have been lows since the Vancouver Canucks completely stole my heart. There have been incredible runs and heartbreaking losses and everything in between along the way. There have been countless players, coaches, goals, saves and playoff moments that I will never forget.

There are a few players in particular that will always stand out for me personally. From former captain Markus Naslund, to Trevor Linden, Roberto Luongo, Luc Bourdon, Rick Rypien, to the Sedins and Alex Burrows.

There will be trades that break your heart as a hockey fan and for me that was when the gauntlet finally dropped on the Roberto Luongo trade. It was the trade that was impossible for nearly two years and was suddenly done overnight. No matter where you stand on the Luongo debate, he will without a doubt remain one of the all-time greatest goal-tenders in Vancouver Canucks franchise history. He took on the weight of an entire city’s expectations and led them within ONE game of a Stanley Cup victory, won TWO Olympic goal medals and set a few franchise records along the way.

Alex Burrows is the definition of pure heart and determination for a player that was never drafted or expected to ever play on a top line. I still remember everything from his first game when he was recalled from Manitoba, to his first goal, his PK stability, his streak breaking goal versus Carolina, the dragon slaying goal versus Chicago to the possibility of his final Vancouver Canucks game this last season. Whatever happens with Burrows in the off-season, I will always appreciate everything he has done for the franchise and his heart for the game.

And there are those players who were taken from this life much too soon and remind us all that life is too short. Luc Bourdon and Rick Rypien will always be remembered by Canucks fans for their love of the game and for inspiring many players past and present the savour each moment of their dream in the NHL as life can change in the blink of an eye. Nothing can be taken for granted.

Truthfully…I could keep going with my list of players that have fully captured my love of this game, but we’d be here all day or longer!

Looking at seasons past and the most recent season…no season will be perfect from start to finish, some will come close and some will be nowhere close. Some seasons will raise our expectations and some seasons will fall short. No matter how a season begins or ends, one thing will remain true: my support for my team will not waiver but rather grow stronger with each passing year. And that’s that.

The Vancouver Canucks 2015-2016 season is long over. And yes, it is true that this season was far from perfect in most every sense when looking at the fact that they missed the playoffs BUT an imperfect season does not mean there were not amazing moments sprinkled throughout the year. Daniel Sedin’s franchise record setting goal versus Boston will forever remain one of my favourite highlights of the year.

For as long as I have been a fan of this crazy team and game, it has been a dream of mine to become a Vancouver Canucks season ticket member in some capacity. This past season that finally became a reality. It was always just out of reach and 100% not affordable within my budget…that is until the option to become a partial season ticket holder became a possibility.

This year, as a partial season ticket holder, I was privileged to attend 13 games and experience some one of a kind moments.

Previously the most games I’ve attended in one season was 4 or 5. It does not matter how many games I have been to over the year but the magic of seeing a live game will never get old. Arriving and seeing the arena set for the game, the quiet before the storm of warmups and anthems sets the tone for the battle that will follow. The lights go down, the entire arena sings the anthem in unison, the puck gets dropped and before you know, you’ve got the entire arena on their feet cheering for the home team for every save, every block and every goal; getting louder for as the possibility of a win gets closer. Like I said, there is something special about seeing a game live and that never changes no matter how many games I have been to over the years.

No matter where this long off-season takes the Vancouver Canucks, I look forward whatever magic the upcoming season has in store for us come October. I know that the road for the future of the team is not one to instant success, that they will have to work hard in an increasingly difficult division and that it will take time to develop their youth. There will continue to be growing pains as the young players learn from the veterans and from their own mistakes. There will be highs and there will be lows BUT you know what? I will be there every step of the way supporting them through all of it, the good and the bad. Whether they win or lose, whether they make the playoffs or not and no matter what the media may try to tell me…the Vancouver Canucks are my team and there is 100% no changing my ways.

“Is it October yet? No not just yet, but I can hear the echoes just around the bend.”

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

True Blue 2016

The Vancouver Canucks off-season is upon us and you know what that means! It’s one of my favourite times of the year! Yes, that’s right, the TRUE BLUE summer tradition continues at NUCKSAID! What exactly is the True Blue tradition, you ask? Allow me to explain.

The series takes the spotlight off of the angst that is off-season news and puts it on YOU the fans and YOUR stories. It has become a favourite of mine to feature during the off-season. As we count down the long days to the new season, it is time to share your Canuck stories and how you became a fan of this team and what keeps drawing you back year after year. Over the past two summers, I have had the absolute pleasure of connecting with Canucks fans from all over the world and sharing their stories with all of you.

Here’s a summary post from the first summer of TRUE BLUE to give you more of an idea of just how special this summer project is:

https://nucksaid.com/2014/09/23/true-blue-thank-you/

This year, I’m calling out to ALL Vancouver Canucks AND Utica Comets fans to share their stories. Whether you live in Canada or the USA or across the globe, I would love to help YOU share YOUR story.

Fan stories and experiences are my favourite kind of stories to share with you and since I’m asking for your stories, I will also share with you my Canucks/Comets story as we embark on the 2016 True Blue journey. Is this the year, that your story will be featured? Or do you know someone who would like their Canucks story featured? If you’d like more details on how YOU can be featured in True Blue 2016, simply send me an e-mail to: nucksaid@gmail.com with the subject line : TRUE BLUE.

I look forward to hearing and sharing as many stories as you are all willing to share and read throughout the summer. Here’s to making the long off-season a little more enjoyable by sharing all kinds of hockey stories!

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

True Blue 2015 (Part THREE)

True Blue continues! Just like last year, it is time for the spot light to be on my favourite part of hockey: the fans and their stories! Hockey is so much more than a game in a rink, it is a passion that unites fans across the globe. There is still time to have your story featured, – if you are interested in finding out more details, simply send an e-mail to nucksaid@gmail.com with the subject line: TRUE BLUE 2015. **Anyone who has already signed up or signs up BY SEPTEMBER 25 is entered to win a 2015-16 #Pharmasave Canucks For Kids Calendar. The winner will be announced on September 23rd. Even if your story is featured after the 26th, as long as you are signed up by the 22nd, you will be eligible to win the calendar.**

Today, allow me to re-introduce you to someone you all met during last year’s True Blue series: Justin Lai. This is his True Blue story continued in his own words:

Justin04“A long time ago there was a young boy. Growing up he always loved sports but his favourite memory was watching a game played on ice that would forever change his future going forward. Every week, he would sit by the TV watching fascinated at this game in which players zoomed along the ice with sticks to direct a puck into opposing goals. As he grew up he fell in love with the game of hockey and the rest was history.

Growing up, he watched a team known as our Vancouver Canucks and absolutely adored them. As a child, I always played ball hockey in my basement, and dreamed of growing up to be a hockey player for the Canucks and scoring the game winning goal in overtime to win the Canucks their first Stanley Cup. Yes, I know it is unlikely now, BUT it was a childhood dream and even though I might never be an NHL player, I still love my Canucks and the game of hockey. I’ve been a fan for as long as I can remember.

Fast forward to today, where my love for the Canucks have grown to more of a diehard fanatic stage and sometimes an obsession. For as long as I can remember the game of hockey has been ingrained in my heart from a young age and no matter what my team is always the Canucks first. My second favourite team is Pittsburgh and before anyone accuses me of being a bandwagoner or how could I have two favourite teams, let me explain. Pittsburgh is my second favourite team because they have had such amazing players who played for them. From the likes of Jagr, Lemeiux, Straka and now Crosby, Malkin and Letang. There’s that reason but the MAIN reason why Pittsburgh is my second favourite team is the Canucks connection of course. I’m talking about the Markus Naslund trade from Pittsburgh to Vancouver that helped Naslund become one of the most beloved Canucks in history today.

Anyways for those who haven’t gotten to know me, my name is Justin. I am a diehard Canucks fanatic and although I might never dress up and play for the Canucks, I do have the privilege of currently working for them now in their hospitality division. My dream job would be to work in the Marketing Department for the Canucks, combining my love of social media, marketing and Canucks into one amazing job. I’m known to my fans as the most diehard fan they know, owning lots of Canucks merchandise, jerseys and always talking about the Canucks. I’m always in some sort of Canucks gear, so it’s easy to pick me out from a crowd.

As for my thoughts on the team and the upcoming season, I know that win or lose, I’m going to be rooting for my Canucks ALL year long. Everyone says they are in a rebuild and yes its a youth movement direction that we’re going in BUT it doesn’t mean that it won’t be successful. Anything can happen in this crazy game of hockey and it’s just as much about bounces and hard work as it is about skill. My friends always ask why I cheer for the Canucks, year after year when they only disappoint and break my heart. I tell them that it is what the love of my team and the game is all about, being a real fan through the good, bad and ugly times. I know that one day when they persevere to win it all, the journey of being a true fan who always stuck with them will make that cup win sweeter and not just because of one year when they are doing well.

There’s lots of favourite memories of mine and every season brings new ones BUT personally my fave so far is winning the Canucks 25th Million Fan twitter contest. I won tickets to the game, got to be interviewed on the scoreboard, had Kevin Bieksa pick my entry and WON Daniel Sedin’s game worn autographed jersey on the ice after the game. It was a dream come true.

Justin01I know we have a relatively new leadership team in place with Linden, Benning and Desjardins BUT I think they can do an exceptional job with their vision shaping this team to be successful on AND off the ice which is probably why I love this team so much. It’s not really about the wins and losses on the ice but that this team is winners off the ice in the community, always giving back and that is something I truly value and admire about the Canucks. They inspire me to always be a better person when the opportunity arises and even when it doesn’t because it makes the world a better place.

I am going to head into this season with no expectations other than for the Canucks to keep doing what they always do. Play hard but win or lose, always represent the front of the jersey with pride on and off the ice. I’ll be rooting all year even if they finish dead last in the league or if they surprise all the naysayers wrong AGAIN and go on a playoff run. They sure surprised people last year. No one expected them to compete for a playoff spot but they finished with a successful regular season: 2nd in the tough Pacific Division and this was with a rookie and new players on the team with a new leadership team as well. This year anything can happen but no matter what I’m always going to be a loud and proud Canucks fan.

My favourite all-time players would have to be Trevor Linden and Pavel Bure because of the the leadership and skill that they played with. Other players I admire include the Sedins for their skill and involvement in the community, Markus Naslund and Alex Burrows because his story of hard work and perseverance to make it to the NHL despite being undrafted always inspires me to never give up on my dreams either. I’m most excited about Bo Horvat as I see him as the future captain after Henrik Sedin calls it a career.

Justin02For those who want to connext with this crazy Canucks fan on social media, find me on Facebook and twitter (@justinlai01) and follow my NEW personal Canucks blog I am starting this year on twitter and Facebook (@TheCanucksBuzz).

Go Canucks Go!!!!

-Justin Lai.”

First, thank-you for sharing your story with all of us! Second, I am totally envious of you meeting Daniel Sedin. I’m 100% with you about supporting the team through the good, the bad and everything in between every year and that the impact the team has goes far beyond the game on the ice. I look forward to hearing more about your upcoming blog and encourage others to also follow along! Welcome to the Canucks blogging community!

Go Canucks Go!

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E. L.

True Blue 2015 (Part TWO)

TRUE BLUE continues! Just like last year, it’s time to put the spot light on my favourite part of hockey: the fans and their stories! Hockey is so much more than a game in a rink, it is a passion that unites fans across the globe. There is still time to have your story featured, – if you are interested in finding out more details, simply send an e-mail to nucksaid@gmail.com with the subject line: TRUE BLUE 2015.

Without further ado, please meet: Oscar de Kunder from the Netherlands(pictured below in his Canucks Jersey). This is his TRUE BLUE story in his own words:

OscarDKHello, Canucks fans!

This is my story:

I follow the sport of hockey all year round and did so for many years as a radio technician and TV camera man following the Dutch Hockey League for many local radio and TV stations in the Netherlands. My old co-worker, Tonny explained all of the rules of hockey to me and helped me understand the game.

But some years ago, I met my good friend, Felicia from Amsterdam, and she told me to try the NHL app so that you can watch hockey games from the U.S. and Canada. The app is how I first saw an NHL game streaming online. It was an amazing feeling that I never felt or saw while watching the Dutch hockey games.

First, I was for the Pittsburgh Penguins BUT my friend, Felicia told me to watch a Vancouver Canucks game. Since that first Vancouver game, I was sold and now follow EACH Canucks game during the season which many times means I must wake up in the middle of the night or 4:00 AM local Netherlands time when the Canucks are on TV. Due to the work week, and the early hour time of the Canucks games, I am able to finish the games by 7:00 AM, before I have to go to work. My family said that it’s not good for me to wake up in the middle of the night to watch all of the Canucks games BUT I still do!

Last season, I bought a Canucks jersey AND a Hockey Canada jersey. I had them both framed hanging on my walls to make my house a hockey haven. Also, I joined a Game Day Canucks fan group on Facebook where I have made many new friends that I get to cheer with every game! My plan is to in a few years travel to Vancouver, BC to watch a LIVE  Canucks game in Rogers Arena.

My favourite moment from our Canucks last season was Eddie Lack doing a great job whenever he was called upon. I believe that the management team is doing a good job so far even if I do not necessarily agree with them trading Eddie. I have a very good feeling about the 2015-16 season and that it’s possible that they may hold on longer in the playoffs this season. I believe anything is possible in the new season! My game day rituals include sleeping, waking up by 4:00 AM and putting on my jersey to support the team before puck drop. I spend a lot of time during the season talking about the Canucks with friends and planning a trip one day to Canada to see a live hockey game. I cannot wait until October for the NHL and Canucks season to begin, I am counting down the days.

Regards,

Oscar de Kunder – (Canucks fan from Nijmegen, The Netherlands).”

Thank-you, Oscar for sharing your Canucks story with me and everyone else! That is so cool that you worked behind the scenes as a camera man and on the radio! I love hearing how fans learned about the game and how it captivated them.  I understand not being a fan of the Eddie Lack trade, that was a tough one and unfortunately it was one of the very tough choices that had to be made. That being said, I am most definitely cautiously optimistic about the changes made moving forward and look forward to the seeing what transpires when that puck finally drops on October 7th.

Keep your eyes peeled for more True Blue stories as we continue to count down to the new season just around the bend!

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

UTICAAAAAAAA…can you hear us?

UticaCometsCCFDear Utica Comets,

Do you have ANY idea just how insanely proud you have made not only your fans, but also Canucks fans and the entire Vancouver Canucks organization?! There are not enough words to fully express just how amazing it has been to watch the transition in Utica from last year to this year. There truly is something special happening in your city from the fans, to the players to the coaches and the will to win that you have all embraced from the start of the year.

Travis Green has done an impeccable job mentoring the players and instilling in them all what it means to play an unselfish game and never wavering in the belief that ANYTHING is possible if you give it your all. The players embraced the systems not only individually but collectively as a group, allowing them to play their best nearly every night. Goalie Jacob Markstrom had an incredible year despite what the doubters said prior to the year and has carried that impeccable play over into the post-season.

As for the fans…what can I say about the fans over there that have set an incredible precedent for what it means to be a hockey fan through thick and thin? Comets fans are truly, truly, truly special and believe me…UTICAAAAAAAA, we can hear you LOUD and CLEAR, every single game in Vancouver…can you hear us all in Canucks nation cheering with you? You are giving these young players an incredible gift of support as they continue to further develop their game, that they will never forget no matter where their careers take them.

There may be many or only a few miles that separate us all, but we are all on the same side when it comes to supporting the Utica Comets. No matter how this Calder Cup Final ends, please know that all around the globe, there are fans who are insanely proud of how far you have come and we will be here cheering you all the way. Here’s to an incredible atmosphere as the series shifts back to the AUD for the next three games! Go Comets Go! Canucks nation is on your side ALL THE WAY!!!

Sincerely, an insanely proud Canucks and Comets fan,

Sarah Laug

SUMMER SERIES Reminder: there is STILL time to sign up for the TRUE BLUE 2015 summer series featuring the best part of hockey: YOU the fans! Fan stories are the best hockey stories and there is room for ALL CANUCKS and COMETS fans alike… simply click the link:

https://nucksaid.com/2015/05/12/true-blue-2015/

OR e-mail me: nucksaid@gmail.com to find our more details!

 

 

 

TRUE BLUE 2015

cropped-canucksbanner.jpgCalling all Canucks fans, it’s that time again…time for a summer of True Blue stories!

In the Summer of 2014, I began a series on Nucksaid called “True Blue” that featured THE best part of Vancouver Canucks hockey, YOU the fans and YOUR stories. This year I would love to do the very same and invite any and ALL of you who would like to share your Canucks AND/OR your Utica Comets stories to take part in True Blue 2015!  Whether you took part in the series LAST year or are participating for the first time, I would love to hear your stories and be able to share them with others. Whether you are from BC, across Canada or from across the globe, your stories are unique and make you a part of Canucks nation or Comets Army or BOTH.  Those who participated last year made this an incredible series to be a part of and proved that this game that binds us all together is so much more than a game.

If you ARE interested in taking part in the True Blue 2015 series send me an email to nucksaid@gmail.com with the subject line:TRUE BLUE 2015 for more details on how to take part in the summer series. Let’s make this another summer all about YOU and YOUR hockey/Canucks/Comets stories as we count down to the new season in the fall! Here’s making this another summer to remember!

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.