Raise-A-Reader 2015 Edition

IMG_1395The tradition continues! September 23rd marked one of my favourite days leading up to the Vancouver Canucks regular season: Raise-A-Reader. The event takes place downtown in Vancouver and various places across BC sees local athletes, mascots, and television personalities selling special copies of the Vancouver Sun to raise funds for literacy programs. The event’s purpose can be properly summed up on 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 as usual, went from 7:00AM-9:00AM. There were representatives from the Vancouver Canucks, Vancouver Whitecaps, Vancouver Giants, Vancouver Stealth, Global News, the Vancouver Sun and many more volunteers. There’s no pressure or negativity or critics, just some incredible people from all different backgrounds coming together for a common cause. A morning where you simply make a donation to help grow the love of reading AND you get to talk one-on-one about hockey with some of your favourite hockey players, is perfection.

Here are some of mine and my sisters’ snapshots from the day:

We had a SVENtastic time meeting Sven Baertschi to start off our Raise-A-Reader day! We all agreed that the Canucks and Vancouver are both equally awesome.

IMG_1381Welcome officially to the Vancouver Canucks, Jacob Markstrom! Thank-you for the great hockey discussion and helping to make our morning epic.

IMG_1379 IMG_1387 IMG_1396Quite a few Canucks alumni were out and about volunteering for the day:

First up: Stan Smyl and Jyrki Lumme. It was an absolute pleasure to be able to talk about hockey and a shared love of literacy for all with these two gentlemen.

IMG_1397 IMG_1389 IMG_1382Darcy Rota was out volunteering and taking time with every fan that crossed his path.

IMG_1390 IMG_1383Captain Kirk was a class act as always.

IMG_1391 IMG_1384Another familiar face was out volunteering and being swarmed by the fans who were anxious to discuss hockey and relive some memorable “Captain Canuck” moments. Yes, that’s right, Trevor Linden was also out volunteering and meeting the masses.

IMG_1393IMG_1386And of course, no Canucks outing is complete WITHOUT a visit with Fin.

IMG_1392 IMG_1376And I could not leave the other mascots out of all the fun:

The Whitecaps very own Spike stole FIN’s move…not too sure how my favourite Orca would feel about this…

IMG_1377Vancouver Stealth’s, Bomber the FOX

IMG_1385and the Vancouver Giants, JACK the Giant was on location:

IMG_1378

Raise-A-Reader 2015 was a success as funds were raised to help literacy programs, smiles were endless and all in all, another priceless experience.

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.

SUITE Times

Expect the unexpected and good things will happen. This past Christmas I was presented with an incredible surprise: an invitation to participate in the Vancouver Canucks #SocialSuite night on January 8th. What is the Vancouver Canucks #SocialSuite night, you ask? I will tell you. It was a night in which a variety of Canucks fans and bloggers were invited to view the game together in a SUITE. A view like no other, great food, impeccable company, an opportunity to see Roberto Luongo play one more time and perhaps just perhaps there would be a special guest or two.

I am beyond grateful that I was asked to be a part of this Canucks fan experience. I did not know what to expect as I had never been to an event like this before. Sure, I had crossed paths with a few of the fellow attendees on social media prior to the game but never in person. Rest assured once there, everyone was so kind and inviting that there was no place for the nerves. Watching the Canucks game with fellow dedicated fans in person was absolute perfection and yes felt very familiar to when we usually “Live Tweet” the games together. It was nice to finally put names to faces while sharing the unforgettable experience together in person.

This night was not just the Canucks Social Media Suite night, but also marked the return of Luongo for the first time since he was traded in March 2014. For the Luongo fan in me, I was beyond ecstatic to get to see him play one more time in the arena he once called home; even if it was odd seeing him play on the wrong side of the rink and wearing the wrong jersey. This night, this game was all about Luongo and the fans giving him the respect that he has ALWAYS deserved. The building was electric when their former number one stepped onto the ice treating him to a round of “LUUUUU” cheers every time he touched the puck. The standing ovation that followed the tribute video(linked below), gave me chills seeing the entire arena stand in unison for the man that gave his everything to THIS team for eight years.

Perhaps from the outside looking in, it seemed odd or even inappropriate to hear the home crowd cheering for the opposing goal-tender, but that is not what it was. This night was for the fans to have closure in a way that they were not given last season and to acknowledge Luongo for everything he did for this team. It may have seemed odd from the outside looking in, but from the inside it felt exactly right. Did I want the Canucks to win THIS game? Yes, of course I did but this night was Roberto Luongo’s night to shine and shine he did while stealing two points in his former home arena. Yes, a win for the home team would have made the #SocialSuite night even more epic than it already was, BUT seeing Luongo play at his best once more was also something I will never forget.

Here’s an inside look behind the scenes of what the #SocialSuite night looked like from inside the box: (featuring photos taken by photographer, Devin Manky as well as photos taken by yours truly and my sister.)

canucks_jan_8_2015-0317Without any further ado, I invite you along for the ride that was an epic night spent with some of the best Canucks fans and a few incredible guests!

SocialSUITEEveryone had a personalized name tag waiting for them…never have I ever felt so official at a game! Thank-you, Canucks!

canucks_jan_8_2015-0011The calm before the storm, and the epic view from above. (You could say we had amazing seats).

canucks_jan_8_2015-0512Eyes on the ice, phones on the ready as the puck was about to drop! “Quick, everyone tweet at the same time!”

SocialSUITE5It was social media affair as evidenced by my tweeting in the above photo, but having my sister Jessica as my guest also made it a family affair. Quite an adventure, we did have!

canucks_jan_8_2015-0334Group photo time! And YES, THAT is in fact Kirk McLean who snuck into our suite just as we were lining up for this photo. Cue the “Captain Kirk” selfies and group shots! Everyone wanted a picture with McLean and he was the epitome of patience letting everyone have their chance to get the perfect shot! (Yep..whispers of “THE SAVE” and “LEGENDARY” echoed across the room as everyone stood in awe).

canucks_jan_8_2015-0600 SocialSUITE4canucks_jan_8_2015-0603My sister finally got her picture with McLean!

SocialSUITE3We made it on the Jumbotron, not once BUT twice in the #SocialSuite to say hello to the entirety of Rogers Arena! Oh and yes I may or may not have punched Johnny Canuck in the face who also stopped by for a visit with everyone…it was EPIC.

And as you all know, my favourite Canuck adventures are NEVER complete without an appearance from my favourite Orca…

SocialSUITE2and Fin sure did give our suite a thrill and helped to make the evening absolutely FIN-tastic!

canucks_jan_8_2015-0336On behalf of myself and everyone who was lucky enough to particpate in the Canucks Social Media Suite Night, I cannot say thank-you enough. Thank-you to the Vancouver Canucks and Laura Wong for the incredible invitation and making this fan feel like part of something amazing. Thank-you to all the other participants who attended the event, it was amazing to meet you all, here’s to staying in touch and crossing paths again some game night! Thank-you to Fin, Johnny Canuck and Kirk McLean for helping make this one absolutely unforgettable night that this fan will never forget. Thank-you to photographer Devin Manky for capturing the best moments of this evening and sharing the pictures with all of us! Thank-you also to special sponsor Save-On-Foods and their Canucks FAN ZONE program that were in part responsible for making this night happen and a massive success!

Sincerely, THAT was one of THE best fan experiences I have ever had while watching a game at the arena. Can we do THAT again next game?

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

True Blue: Thank-you.

WeAreAllCanucks2This summer, at Nucksaid, I made it a summer about the fans and put the spotlight on their True Blue Canuck stories. I was given the absolute privilege of hearing from some amazing fans all around the world…and each and every one of those stories was unique. From BC, to Ontario, to France, to Switzerland, and a land called Oz(Australia), and a few more from across the globe that I heard from and hope to still be able to share with all of you. If anyone one else would like to have a turn in the spotlight, I would love to hear from you! Send me an e-mail to nucksaid@gmail.com with the subject line: TRUE BLUE and I will send you all the necessary details.

Today, I am taking this opportunity to say thank-you, to all those who so far have taken part in my True Blue challenge! If you missed any of their amazing True Blue stories, click the links below to check them out and perhaps inspire your own!

Thank-you: Anthony Alves & Gary Powell:  https://nucksaid.wordpress.com/2014/07/12/true-blue-part-one/

Thank-you Brieann Knorr &Tony Maguire: https://nucksaid.wordpress.com/2014/07/14/true-blue-part-two/

Thank-you Justin Lai & Charlene Fairchild: https://nucksaid.wordpress.com/2014/07/17/true-blue-part-three/

Thank-you Jason Allen & Beck Mitchell: https://nucksaid.wordpress.com/2014/07/20/true-blue-part-four/

Thank-you Melanie Boucher & Dani Hagi: https://nucksaid.wordpress.com/2014/07/23/true-blue-part-five-2/

Thank-you Brandi Meszaros & David McPherson: https://nucksaid.wordpress.com/2014/07/26/true-blue-part-six/

Thank-you Josh M & Terry Niles: https://nucksaid.wordpress.com/2014/07/31/true-blue-part-seven/

Thank-you Abigail Laug & Jessica Laug: https://nucksaid.wordpress.com/2014/08/07/true-blue-part-eight/

Thank-you Artisia Wong: https://nucksaid.wordpress.com/2014/08/29/true-blue-part-nine-2/

And it seemed only fair that if I was asking all of you to share YOUR stories, that I share mine as well: https://nucksaid.wordpress.com/2014/07/28/true-blue-s-e-l-or-simply-me/

I have enjoyed learning every single story that each of you took the time to share with me and all my readers. Thank-you for sharing the best part of hockey: your stories as fans of a game that is so much more than a simple game. Thank-you for going above and beyond in the personal memories that you shared with all of us, and letting this game bring us all together. I look forward to sharing this NEW season with all you from start to finish!

The journey begins tonight, so I’m off to dust off my jersey from the closet and break it out for the first TWO pre-season games tonight as the Vancouver Canucks take on the San Jose Sharks in a pair of split squad games! Go Canucks Go!

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

TRUE BLUE: Part NINE

WeAreAllCanucks2This summer I decided to make it all about the fans at Nucksaid with my True Blue series and that tradition continues today! The idea was to put the focus on the fans and their stories and their thoughts about the upcoming season. So far, so good. There are more True Blue stories on the way from others and there is still plenty of room for MORE of you to join in the fun as we count down the days to the season’s first official puck drop! 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

Click the links below to check out a few of the previous True Blue stories and perhaps inspire your own story!

True Blue: Part THREEhttps://nucksaid.wordpress.com/2014/07/17/true-blue-part-three/

True Blue: Part FIVEhttps://nucksaid.wordpress.com/2014/07/23/true-blue-part-five-2/

True Blue: S.E.L. OR Simply MEhttps://nucksaid.wordpress.com/2014/07/28/true-blue-s-e-l-or-simply-me/

Are you ready to meet the latest True Blue participant?

Today, I would like you to introduce you to Artisia Wong, pictured with her friend Jen at a Canucks game…(Can I just say how much I LOVE that arena view in the background! Picture provided by Artisia)

AWongThis is her TRUE BLUE story, in her own words:

“When did I become a Vancouver Canucks fan? I became a Canucks hockey fan at the age of six. My older cousins who were babysitting me at that time, were ALWAYS talking and watching the Canucks. Since that age, I have been into hockey at the Canucks and there was no looking back.

Who is my all-time favourite Canuck (current/retired/no longer a Canuck)? I don’t really remember that far back BUT what I do remember is really liking Nazzy(Markus Naslund) and Ryan Kesler. My current favourite Canucks would have to be Zack Kassian and Alex Burrows.

What is my all-time favourite Canucks moment? All-time favourite moment would have to be when Alex Burrows slayed the dragon. I was at THAT game in 2011…..and being that game it was definitely crazy from start to final buzzer and one very LOUD HAPPY arena.

What is my favourite and least favourite part of hockey? My least favourite part about hockey is definitely shoot outs. I know that it’s very exciting to watch BUT it’s definitely not very fair that the game has to be decided that way. My favourite part about hockey is the excitement that it brings and how it brings the hockey community together.

Do I have any game day/pre-game rituals? I just wear my Canucks gear during/on game days.

How do I feel about the upcoming 2014-2015 season? I feel very excited and nervous about the upcoming season. Additionally I am predicting us making it into the playoffs this year. -Artisia”

Thank-you Artisia, for sharing your True Blue story! Burrows and THAT goal are definitely tops on my list of favourite Canuck moments (SO FAR) and I am beyond jealous that you were there at the arena for THAT epic moment. As loud as the the crowd seemed on TV and my neighbours and I were, I can only imagine what it must have felt like amongst the chaos and excitement in the arena.

Each day takes us closer to the new NHL season and the first official puck drop of the 2014-2015 season. Before you know it, training camp will here quickly followed by the pre-season and suddenly we will be deep into the regular season arguing about which teams will and will not be playoff bound only to have a few surprises before all is said and done.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

 

True Blue 2014 Continues…

WeAreAllCanucks2This summer, I decided to make it a summer about the fans, at Nucksaid. So far, I have had the privilege of sharing sixteen True Blue stories from others, and of course my own with all of you. There are still more stories on the way from BC, Australia & the UK!, but like me, you will have to wait until they send in their final responses! We will await their stories eagerly and as I have said all summer long, there is STILL room for even more of your stories to be told!

In TRUE BLUE Part Eight, you met two of my three sisters, (click the link below for their stories and perhaps to inspire your own):

https://nucksaid.wordpress.com/2014/08/07/true-blue-part-eight/

If you would like to also share your True Blue story, simply send me an e-mail to nucksaid@gmail.com with the subject line: TRUE BLUE and I will send you all the details needed. I’d like to feature as many Canucks fans as possible before the season starts on October 8, 2014. There’s even room for some rival fans to be featured about the hockey team they love, if they’d like to share their love of the game and for their teams!

And for those who are asking if it is October yet?:

https://nucksaid.wordpress.com/2014-08-09/is-it-october-yet/

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

 

TRUE BLUE: Part EIGHT

The summer of True Blue continues at Nucksaid! Sometimes it can feel like an off-season drags on for ages, so I decided to help pass the time until the puck finally drops on October 8, 2014, that I would feature the FANS and their stories! For those would like to participate in the series, all you have to do is send me an e-mail to nucksaid@gmail.com with the subject line: TRUE BLUE and I will send you all the details you need! The True Blue profiles will continue until the eve of the first regular season game, so there is LOTS of time to feature even more you :)! 

In True Blue Part SEVEN, I introduced you to Josh and Terry (Click the link below to read their stories!):

https://nucksaid.wordpress.com/2014/07/31/true-blue-part-seven/

Today’s True Blue edition brings to you a special sister-sister profile featuring two of my three sisters. Without further ado, please meet Abigail & Jessica Laug who while they may be 16 months apart, are more alike than even they know.

abs & jess putting on their best #sedinery

Abs & Jess putting on their best #sedinery

Jess & Abs or as they call themselves #thetwins

Jess & Abs or as they call themselves #thetwins

This is Abi’s TRUE BLUE story, in her own words:

“My love of the Vancouver Canucks began in 2006 when the great Roberto Luongo joined the team as our lead goalie. I love watching the games on TV or live at Rogers Arena. I faithfully cheer for my team EVERY hockey season no matter what the outcome. When the season’s over, I go through a period of impatience for when hockey will return. There is no greater feeling than going to a live hockey game, and watching your home completely crush the opposing team! Plus it’s always fun seeing other fans get just as excited as I do!

My favourite Canucks player is Captain Henrik Sedin, aka Hank. I love the way he leads the team on and off the ice. His skills on the ice are amazing, it’s incredible that him and his brother Daniel can pass the puck without lookingg. Hank and Danny have set up many goals for our team over the years. My all-time favourite Canucks moment is when Alex Burrows won game SEVEN against Chicago in the 2011 playoff run. With that dragon slayed, the Canucks proved that they were a force to be reckoned with and not an easy team to beat. My favourite LIVE game that I went to was in March 2012, when Henrik Sedin was given a penalty shot and scored a goal. It was incredible to watch live and everyone was up on their feet cheering for Hank. My favourite part of the game is power plays where the Canucks sneak in and take over the game. My least favourite part of hockey is the shootout, I get so anxious for our boys that I have to leave the room when this happens. I also find a back-up channel on the TV to switch back and forth during shootouts  because like all Canucks fans, I know the shootout has never been our team’s forte.

For game day rituals, I always wear my Henrik Sedin jersey, get my beverage of choice in my Canucks collector’s cup, and get my day snack ready for game time. I never listen to the Canucks games on the radio because I believe that play worse when I listen to it and I never watch the games online due to my superstition that they lose when I’ve streamed the games before. I also have ice-cream, or dessert or a special beverage set aside for a reward when the team wins. My room has Sedin posters, my Canucks calendar, Canucks collector cups(yes fellow fans, I have several!), Canucks hat, Canucks foam fingers (which I take with me to Rogers Arena when I go the games with my family). I go all out for supporting our team all season long and throughout the playoffs.

As to the upcoming 2014-2015 season, I am really excited to see how our boys will do with a new coach and new teammates. I believe that this could be the year that the Canucks become Stanley Cup champions! With Ryan Miller to take Eddie Lack under his wing, the newbies on the team and our coach at the helm, I believe that this will be our best season since 2010-2011. We have regrouped and trained. I know that our coach will change up the lines and work closer with our players to shape them into a strong team. I would love to see Bieksa score more goals this season. I am really curious to see how the new teammates will fit in with our veteran players. Counting down the days until hockey returns, I am so stoked for the upcoming season!

I forgot to mention that last year, I went to Raise-A-Reader for the first time ever. It was the best experience of my life as a hockey fan! Meeting Zack Kassian and David Booth, and getting their signatures on my Canucks jersey was awesome! These guys were so nice in person and let me get my picture with both of them!

ALaug ALaug2If you get the chance to go to this event in September, I highly recommend it to all you Canucks fans in BC! Thanks for letting me share my memories and thoughts! Go Canucks Go! -Abi”

That penalty shot that Hank scored on my birthday two years ago was a sight to see and hear, in a back and forth game! Makes you wonder how Hank can nail a penalty shot but in the shootout is questionable (albeit the Sedins haven’t participated often in the post-game one-on-one contest). I will say one more thing about shootouts, as intense as they are to watch(or avoid) on TV, they are MUCH more intense when seeing them live in the arena. I second your recommendation that all Canucks fans who are able to come, check out the Raise-A-Reader event in September, all of the money raised helps kids learn and be inspired, and as a bonus you never know which Canucks (present, alumni, or coaching staff representative) you might meet when you pick up your special edition morning paper!

This is Jessica’s TRUE BLUE story, in her own words:

“Hello, my name is Jessica. This is my journey to true blue fanship. It was 1994 and I was in grade four. All the boys in my grade were obsessed with Pavel Bure and Trevor Linden. I was at a friend’s house after school and her family was watching a Canucks game. Her family had a rule that there was NO talking until the game was over, which at the time, I thought was a dumb rule. Later, I would learn that was the game they won the Western Conference for the 93/94 season. When Vancouver won over Toronto, everyone was screaming and crying with joy. I couldn’t believe how much fun it was to watch a Canucks game and that Trevor Linden was pretty cute. In that moment, I knew I’d be a Canuck fan for life.

My all-time favourite Canuck was Roberto Luongo. Say what you will about Lu, I do not care and I will stand by choice day after day. I have never seen a goalie take so much harassment, negativity and mistreatment with such dignity and grace. Enough said. Moving on to look at his goalie career, he had a way with the net as his whole body would block it and when he had the hot hand, it was HOT. Luongo used his whole body to goaltend and was never afraid of getting injured in order to save a goal. When he played on Team Canada, and got his gold medal in 2010 on home ice, I could not have been more proud. I watched the 2010 GOLD Medal Game on the big screen in downtown Vancouver and the energy was crazy. And then again 2014 as back up to Carey Price, I was even more proud. He has won 2 Olympic golds, World Cup gold, the Jennings award, and holds the all-time wins and shut-out records on the team, just a few of the MANY reasons that I love LU.

My all-time hockey moment had to be April 11, 2007 against the Dallas Stars, aka the longest game in Canucks history. I was THERE, in the arena watching it all go down…all of the 5 hours and 21 minutes of total play, including 72 sensational saves by Luongo. It was game ONE of the 2007 Western Conference Quarterfinal and the 6th longest game in NHL history. I remember the stress, you could feel it throughout the arena. Everyone was tired, but nobody was leaving this game early. I was in section 301, right against the rail, first row of the upper level…we had an amazing view as there was no one in front of us. I remember the day clearly, I had been given ONE ticket only from my boss and my co-worker was given a ticket as well. Our boss rented a bus that shuttled us all to the arena, upon arriving there, I was in awe as I had never been to a playoff game and there were white towels on every seat. It did not take long until the towel power was unleashed. I have never seen so much excitement and positive energy and bonding of fans as I did when Hank scored that final goal. The crowd was explosive, people who were complete strangers were bombarding me with hugs, high fives and cheers. I will never forget it, what a rush.

My pre-game ritual is to not watch/listen/read ANY news coverage on game predictions, as we all know they are as reliable as the weather report. Second I do not my jersey all day. I know…but I have tried and it is very difficult as #1: I work in healthcare and #2: when I do, it seems to be bad luck so I do not put it on until minutes before the game. Also I like to wear a Canucks shirt under my jersey as well as a hat. If we are on a winning streak, I wear the same t-shirt jersey and hat and do not wash them until we lose.

I think my favourite part of the game is being a fan and being accepted by everyone else in the group. Not just a bandwagon fan but someone who has grown up with hockey and breathes blue and green. Every time I get the chance to attend a game, I love meeting other fans and talking about our favourite players or going over game highlights from previous games. Although when we hate, we HATE and when we love, we LOVE which is our best and worst quality.

The upcoming 2014-2015 season has given me a nervous feeling of excitement of the unknown. There have been so many changes, the good, the bad and the ugly. I’m going to compare it to falling into an abyss; you just don’t know if there is going to be something or someone to catch you. You don’t know. I know the changes had to be made and the team needed to restructure. I am curious to see how the changes influence our game.

JLaugThanks for listening, True Blue canuckleheads! See you around in your Canucks gear in October! -Jessica”

That 2007 playoff game was epic of all kinds and kept this early sleeper awake well past 1:00 AM because I didn’t want to miss any of the BIG saves from LU, or really any moment of that playoff madness. The moment Hank’s goal crossed the line made it all the more worth the sacrifice. Second, to me no matter where Luongo goes or what his jersey says, he will always be a Canuck at heart to me, and he will remain a favourite of mine until the day he eventually retires from this game. I’m with you on the not relying on any local media reports for pre-game predictions as well as the Canucks shirt+jersey+hat combo for games!

Special thank-you to BOTH, Abi and Jessica for participating my True Blue series! I hope you all enjoyed learning two more True Blue stories and are looking forward to ones that are still to come as we inch closer to the puck drop of the regular season.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

TRUE BLUE: Part SEVEN

This summer at Nucksaid, I decided to make it all about my favourite part of Vancouver Canucks hockey: the FANS. The trend continues and will keep going all summer long!

If you or anyone else you may know would like to be featured and share YOUR True Blue story, there is plenty of room for MORE of you! I will be featuring the fan profiles up until the eve of the Canucks first regular season game. All you have to do is send me an e-mail to nucksaid@gmail.com with the subject line: TRUE BLUE and I will send you all the details you need!

In the last True Blue post, I turned the tables and shared MY #TrueBlue story with you. (click the link below to read my story):

https://nucksaid.wordpress.com/2014/07/28/true-blue-s-e-l-or-simply-me/

Are you ready to meet some more Canuckleheads?

This is Josh and according to him “this is the only picture I could find, it’s pretty bad but I can’t break the tradition of putting a photo in the blog!” (Picture and quote provided by Josh.)

JMessyThis is his TRUE BLUE story, in his own words:

“I became a fan in a pretty weird way. Growing up in a Detroit Red Wings household, it was ALWAYS, Red Wings or die and that was weird in Ontario but never the less I did. For a while I stopped watching hockey, and in 2009 I started getting back into watching it and and really getting into it. In the playoffs, it was game six of the second round: Chicago vs. Vancouver. It was late for me, so I was told to go to bed, BUT it was a really exciting game with all the goals being scored. I couldn’t sleep, so I kept watching in my room and by game the Canucks lost 7-5 and I felt so down about the final outcome. Ever since that game, I have done my best to keep watching the Canucks whenever I can, watching highlights and looking things up about the team, etc.

My favourite Canuck? Considering that I never really fully started watching the Canucks until a few years ago, one of the most exciting people to watch in a Canucks uniform for me, was Rick Rypien. Holy cow, watching him fight was amazing, it was truly great.

My all-time favourite Canuck moment would have to be Alex Burrows’ OT goal in game 7 of the 2011 playoffs against Chicago. Nothing else can compare to finally slaying the dragon!

My favourite thing about hockey has to be the way it gets you so into the game, how it can you on top of the world one moment and in the very next it can feel like it just took everything away from you and you have nothing. My least favourite thing about hockey can be tied into that as well..that’s the worst thing- watching your team get beaten in the playoffs in such a bad way, it just leaves a sting in you for a long time.

As for pre-game or game day rituals, I have only one. Once I wake up  on a game day, the FIRST thing I do, is put on the jersey. I can’t go without it on a game day, it’s almost like a good luck factor.

I feel pretty optimistic about the upcoming 2014-2015 regular season with the additions of Nick Bonino, Ryan Miller, Lucas Sbisa, and Radim Vrbata. It means the front office of the Canucks have a good amount of faith in THIS team without having to do a complete overhaul of the roster, which is nice because honestly I don’t think this fanbase can handle one (haha)! I’m itching for the start of the season so we can see how team plays under the new coach and how the team plays together, so there is a reason to be excited. -Josh”

First, I still miss seeing Rick Rypien lace ’em up with the Canucks. Every time Rypien stepped on the ice, you knew he was going to play with his whole heart and every fight he took on had the fans on their feet. He left this world far, far too soon.

Second, finally slaying that dragon after facing those pesky (and extremely talented) Chicago Blackhawks for a third straight year will always be one of my absolute favourite moments in Vancouver Canucks history! The rivalry that these two teams developed over those 19 games(3 playoff series) was so wonderfully intense, exhilarating, exasperating, exciting and keep you on the edge of your seat hockey until the final buzzer each and every game.

Next up, let me introduce you to Terry Niles and check out that completely Canucked out cubicle?! (Pictures provided by Terry).

TNiles TNiles2This is her TRUE BLUE story, in her own words:

“I have been a Vancouver Canucks fan since the beginning! I lived in Vancouver at the time and I remember going to Canucks games at the Pacific Coliseum! My all-time favourite Canuck is Tiger Williams. I am partial to scrappy guys, so I am currently a fan of Zack Kassian!

My all-time favourite Canucks moment was the 2011 playoff run and going all the way to game seven of the Stanley Cup Finals vs. the Boston Bruins. It wasn’t the outcome we wanted, but it was an impressive run and I remember getting more and more excited as we advanced through EACH round!

I love everything about hockey BUT I guess my favourite part is the camaraderie with the fans, particularly on social media. My least favourite part is the shoot outs! (No need to elaborate as to why!)

My pre-game ritual is to wear my Manny Malhotra T-shirt, has to be that one OR we’ll lose! I have a small Canucks display in my cubicle at work, BUT when we make the Stanley Cup playoffs, I completely deck out my cubicle even more! My co-workers know not to talk smack about the Canucks as I will ALWAYS vigorously defend my boys in blue!

I’m super excited about the 2014-2015 season and getting to know our new team members, and cheer on the boys no matter what! I’m true blue and will bleed blue until the day I die! Go Canucks Go! -Terry”

Scrappy players usually end up being players with the most heart and will always step up for their teammates whenever needed. That 2011 playoff run was absolute magic and to see how fans came together was something that I will never ever forget…I’m looking forward to another magical run in the future! No matter what happens in the new season, we are in for an intriguing 82-game journey! I am looking forward to seeing how the new guys mesh with the current ones and seeing Desjardins make his NHL coaching debut!

Special thank-you to BOTH, Josh and Terry for participating in my True Blue series and sharing their stories with me and with all of you!

As we inch closer to the new season, keep your eyes posted for MORE True Blue stories to come! As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

TRUE BLUE: S.E.L. or Simply ME.

From game 1 to game 82 every season,  no matter the outcome, the true fans will stand by their teams.

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).

IMG_0004

TRUE BLUE: Part SIX

The summer about Canucks fans continues at Nucksaid as I will continue to introduce you to Canucks fans until the eve of the Vancouver Canucks first 2014-2015 regular season game.

What am I asking the fans for? To simply share their Canucks story and to put the spotlight on YOU, the fans. Whether you have been a fan for your entire life or only a short period, whether you live in British Columbia or halfway across the world, if you’d like to be featured in my True Blue series simply send me an e-mail to nucksaid@gmail.com with the subject line: TRUE BLUE and I will send you the details! There’s always room for more stories!

In True Blue: Part FIVE, you were introduced to Melanie and Dani (click the link below to read their stories!):

https://nucksaid.wordpress.com/2014/07/23/true-blue-part-five-2/

Now, are you ready for Round SIX of #TrueBlue? Here, we go!

Please meet, Brandi Meszaros (& her adorable kids! Pictures provided by Brandi):

BMeszaros BMeszaros2This is her TRUE BLUE story, in her own words:

“When/how did I become a Canucks/hockey fan?

I was raised in a household of Leafs fans. Regardless of what you thought, felt, enjoyed…you were a Leafs fan; no ifs, ands or buts. If you didn’t like the Leafs, too bad. You still displayed yourself as a Leafs fan.

So in 1999, while watching the draft, I see these two geeky looking twins called the Sedins, who were drafted to the Canucks. I had already heard so much about them and all the wheeling and dealing it took to get them and thought to myself that these two are going to be really interesting to follow. So, on October 5, 2000, at the age of 14, obviously my parents weren’t about to let me stay up until 1:00 AM watching hockey games, so I began setting my VCR to record the CBC aired games of the team they were drafted to, the Canucks. Thus, began my love affair.

What drew me to the Canucks as my team, living outside of British Columbia?

It began with the hype around the Sedin twins, but the more games I watch, the more I saw the team as up-and-comers. They certainly weren’t the best team in the league back then, but there was so much passion and skill that I could just feel that the boys on the ice were destined to be top competitors in the coming years, and I just couldn’t take my eyes off of them. It was unfortunate that the only games I was able to watch were ones aired on CBC, as I live in Ontario, but I would follow them as best I could. If it meant watching the highlights the morning on TSN or going to the library to check out the stats from the previous nights’ game, I did it. There was no stopping my run from the Leafs into the rink of the Canucks. My love affair just continued to grow.

Who is my all-time favourite Canuck (current/retired/no longer a Canuck) and why? (Do you want my talent and skill answer or my puck bunny answer?)

Well, I can only answer from 2000 and beyond, but again, I would have to go with the Sedins, if I can pick both. The talent and skill, the TWINTUITION that those two have together on the ice makes for some beautiful, envious and dangerous plays. Off the ice, these two are extremely generous, giving not just their time back to the community, but money to help support research and care for sick children. They never fail to amaze me.

My puck bunny answer would be Ryan Kesler…but then who doesn’t love him?

What is my all-time favourite Canucks moment?

How do you choose just one? There are just SO many….BUT if I have to pick, it’s definitely a tie between Alex Burrows’ OT goal in Game 7 that eliminated the Chicago Blackhawks and sent us into round two of the playoffs. The energy from the night was so high, you would have thought we had just won it all. The other goal was Cody Hodgson’s beauty of a PING against Tim Thomas in our first game post-Cup Final loss against the Bruins. Rookie vs. Veteran…and he didn’t even see it. Absolute beauty.

What is my favourite and my least favourite part of hockey?

Hockey makes my adrenaline rush. When the boys rush the crease and desperately attack the puck for a goal with seconds left to play, my heart starts pounding, and I’m at the edge of my seat and when that goal goes through…the excitement gives such a high. It’s exciting, it’s breathtaking. I love the fast pace, the fights, the action. What is there NOT to love?

Well, to answer that last one, I’d say my least favourite part, BESIDES Gary Bettman himself, is the shootouts. I DESPISE the shootouts. If after 65 great minutes of hockey, the game ends in a tie, it ought to stay in a tie. Both teams fought hard to split the points and hockey is a TEAM effort. I don’t believe a team should be awarded an extra point based on one player vs. the goalie being on the ice and scoring a goal.

Do I have any game day/pre-game rituals?

Doritos and coke. A bag of Sweet Chili Heat Doritos, and a tall glass of Coca Cola with three ice cubes. That’s it, that’s all.

How do I feel about the upcoming 2014-2015 season?

With all of the big changes that the team has gone through this off-season, it’s best described by this song:

Everything will be better next year. -Brandi.”

Brandi, I am the same way…it is way too hard for me to choose ONLY one favourite Canucks moment, I love the Sedins TWINTUITION every night and I could not agree more about the dreaded shoot out!

Next up please meet David McPherson, pictured below with Canucks alum, Dave Babych (picture provided by David).

DMcpherson2This is his TRUE BLUE story, in his own words:

“I have been a Vancouver Canucks fan for as long as I can remember BUT I guess it goes back to my very first NHL game which was in the 1991-1992 season. The San Jose Sharks very first NHL game and have followed them ever since and with living on Vancouver Island and in the Okanagan, have followed the Canucks ever since. I’ve been lucky enough to have been to a few games over the years as well.

My all-time favourite Canuck would have to be Pavel Bure. Growing up as Canucks fan during the Bure era, he was AMAZING. I loved his speed, determination and ability to score goals.

My all-time favourite Vancouver Canucks moments would definitely have to be the 1994 and the 2011 Stanley Cup playoff runs.

My least favourite part of hockey is the season ends and the off-season begins. My favourite of hockey is the entire season when hockey is on.

My pre-game rituals is usually wearing my jersey and Canucks shirt. During their playoff runs OR when the Young Stars tournament is on here, I wear my puck head around town.

I am looking forward to the upcoming 2014-2015 season. I am particularly looking forward to seeing how Ryan Miller does as well as the youngsters. – David.”

David, there is nothing quite like the thrill of seeing your team go on a great playoff run and seeing the fans come together the further the team goes! I think Ryan Miller just might surprise a lot of people this year and hopefully a few young prospects will break into the lineup throughout the season.

Special thank-you to BOTH, Brandi and David for sharing their Canuck stories! I love all of the unique stories that each one of you has shared with me & I am looking forward to sharing them with all of you as we continue the countdown to the new season in October!

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.