TRUE BLUE: Part FIVE

The summer of TRUE BLUE featuring my favourite part of Vancouver Canucks hockey: YOU the fans, continues at Nucksaid! If you read these fan stories and would also like to take part in my series, simply send me an e-mail to nucksaid@gmail.com with the subject line: TRUE BLUE, and I will send you the details!

In TRUE BLUE Part Four I introduced you to Jason and Beck. (click the link below if you missed it!)

https://nucksaid.wordpress.com/2014/07/20/true-blue-part-four/

Are you ready for the next round of True Blue? Here, we go!

First up, please meet Melanie Boucher from Bourges, FRANCE! (pictures provided by Melanie).

MBoucherMBoucher2 This is her TRUE BLUE story, in her own words:

“How did I become a Vancouver Canucks fan? Long story! About three years ago, it was times for me, I met depression that was hell. You have to know that I am French (from Bourges, France), and in my country we don’t know a lot about Hockey because it’s not hugely covered by the media here. I don’t sleep a lot during the nights and I knew that I needed something NEW to feel better, a new passion. I literally fell on a hockey game: Vancouver Canucks vs the Columbus Blue Jackets. It was the second period, and I saw a goal, coast to coast from Alex Edler after maybe two minutes of watching…and I fell in love with the game and the team. To see the joy of the team, this Swede score and the crowd yelling…I don’t know exactly why but I suddenly felt better because of the positive energy. Since then, I follow this team.

Favourite Canuck? It’s not difficult to guess who is my favourite right? Alex Edler. I consider him, my hero. He was the guy who woke me up from my depression. I love Swedish players, BUT Edler especially because of that. And soon I’ll get a new tattoo(an eagle with a hockey stick) to remember the influence he has had on me.

Favourite moment? Well, there are a lot of them! I can say the moment that I already told you above…but I will add the line brawl from this last season. I laughed so hard! Or maybe all the Green Men appearances! But I’m sure a lot of you will say the last round of the playoffs in 2011. But hey, I didn’t know the team…yet!

My favourite part of hockey? The game itself, especially when it ends in a WIN.

Least favourite part of hockey? The trades. You cannot get too attached to players because when they are traded, it can feel like your heart was ripped out! Awful feeling!

Any  pre-game rituals? Mine are ridiculous! haha! I have a Canucks puck, so all day, I keep it in my pocket and kiss it sometimes, wishing the team good luck. When it is against a big team, I wear one of my jerseys during the game. And even more embarrassing, I kiss my fingers and tap my favourite players on my laptop screen because I want them to score a goal.

My feelings about the new season? Well, with all the trades (players, manager, president and coach), they did it well in my opinion and I hope there will be a new cohesiveness with the team! I think they can reach the playoffs this year and I am so glad there is Ryan Miller in the net. No more big pressure on Eddie Lack’s shoulders! Maybe the best thing they did was hiring Trevor Linden!

All I can say is: I believe in Blue and Green, because we are all Canucks! -Melanie.”

Melanie, I agree that with Ryan Miller, it will allow Lack to play pressure free, simply focusing on his on-ice play! I think with Miller, it only helps bolster the net and he could be a great mentor to Lack! I also will admit that I absolutely LOVE the Green Men!

Next up, let me introduce you to, Dani Hagi from SWITZERLAND, pictured below with some VERY recognizable Vancouver Canucks! (Pictures provided by Dani).

DHagi2DHagiThis is her TRUE BLUE story, in her own words:

“When/how did you become Vancouver Canucks/hockey fan? If you live outside of British Columbia, what drew you to the Canucks as your team?

This is a complicated story to tell because I don’t really know why I chose the Vancouver Canucks. My heart just pulled me in their direction. I started watching hockey when I was sixteen back in 2004/2005 and as you might know, that was a lockout season. I live in Switzerland, and we had a LOT of great NHL players here during that season. My favourite team here is the hockey club DAVOS, where Joe Thornton, Rick Nash and Niklas Hagman played during the 2004-05 lockout. Being part of that incredible season and seeing them win the Swiss Championship that year was just amazing. After that season, I started to follow the NHL, a little bit closer but not as much as I wanted because I was in the middle of my apprenticeship.

Then I had a few years where I didn’t feel that good and I was a bit depressed. Hockey was the ONLY thing that could get me out of my shell. I kind of lost track of the NHL during that time BUT the summer of 2012 brought change. I started seeing my best friend again and she invited me to a player card event. After that, I started collecting cards and what team did I pick? Yes, my Canucks! That’s when my obsession with them really started. Unfortunately, I had to wait a bit longer to start watching them due to the 2012 NHL lockout but that brought another opportunity for me. I had the chance to meet Cory Schneider and I did that in December 2012. When they started the 2013 shortened season, I started to watch the games on NHL GameCenter! I love watching the games and being on twitter at the same time, it feels like I am not alone in my apartment but like we are all in one place, watching the game and reacting to the same moments together. I love you all, Canucks nation! As you can see/read, this is not a typical story and I still don’t really know why I picked the Canucks, but they now have a big part in my heart.

Who is your all-time favourite Canuck (current/retired/no longer a Canuck) and why?

Cory Schneider because he is such a kind and funny guy and of course really talented. My first Canucks jersey has his name on it.

Kevin Bieksa because he is a Canuck at heart, doing everything for the team. Great team player! I love his passion!

What is your all-time favourite Canucks moment?

This one might sound a bit selfish but my favourite TWO moments were meeting Schneids and Burr/Juice/Garrison.

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

I’d say my favourite part is the team spirit. I love how the guys hug each other after a goal or how they stick together and push on another even if it isn’t going well. Hockey is a hard and fast sport, I just love it. My whole life is filled with hockey and I can’t imagine how it would be without it.

My least favourite part…that’s hard. I’d say (especially in the NHL) it is the trading. I hate how those guys are treated like they are just an object without feelings. I know it is business and it is all about the money BUT sometimes, I wish they could think about those guys like they are human beings!

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

I’d say…my pre-game nap. As I live in Switzerland, most of the games are on at 3:00AM and I go to bed really early (like 8:00 PM) in order to wake up for the game and go straight to work afterwards.

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

I am really excited! I love all the changes that happening. It is a bit scary, BUT I see the changes made as a positive thing, as a new beginning. I am aware that next season might not be what we all hope for, and it might take a while to rebuild this team but I am sure we will get there and someday call the cup ours! Believe in blue, right? That’s what I’m going to do. I’ll always support my boys, no matter what, simple as that. -Dani”

Dani, first I am very jealous that you’ve met BOTH, Juice and Burr! Second, wow that is dedication waking up at 3:00 AM on games days! So far, I’ve only had to do that early wake up call for the Olympics and the World Championships!

Melanie and Dani, THANK-YOU BOTH, for sharing your stories and allowing me to share them on my blog! You are both warriors of strength and deserve the spotlight proving that #hockeytalks and love of the game goes beyond the ice inspiring not only physical strength but more importantly, mental strength.

And guess what? You are BOTH much better writers than you thought and your English is very good despite it not being your first language! I agree with you both, that trades of favourite players is one of my very least favourite parts of the game! Ultimately, I love that you BOTH support the team through thick and thin, no matter what, perfectly defining TRUE BLUE.

Thank-you again to both Melanie and Dani for participating in my True Blue series! Stay tuned for more True Blue stories on the way as we count down to the start of the season on October 8th, 2014!

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

 

TRUE BLUE: Part FOUR

This summer at Nucksaid, I decided to do something a little different on the blog, in counting down to the Vancouver Canucks 2014-2015 regular season! THIS summer I will introduce you, to my favourite part of the Vancouver Canucks: THE FANS!

What am I asking YOU, the fans for? Simply to share your Canucks story and what makes YOU a Canucks fan through and through. If this sounds like something you would like to be a part of, simply send me an e-mail to nucksaid@gmail.com with the subject line: TRUE BLUE and I will send you the details. I will be featuring True Blue profiles all way up until to the first game of the 2014-2015 regular season, so there is plenty of room for as many fans as would like to participate! Every post will feature TWO profiles.

In part three I introduced you to Justin & Charlene (click the link below for their True Blue stories!):

https://nucksaid.wordpress.com/2014/07/17/true-blue-part-three/

Are you ready to meet two more True Blue participants? Here, we go!

Let me introduce you to, Jason Allen from Perth, Australia! Pictured below in his Canucks gear at a recent CAN/USA ice hockey game in Perth! (Picture provided by Jason).

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

When/how did you become a Canucks/hockey fan? If you live outside of British Columbia, what drew you to the Canucks as your team?

I started getting into hockey during the start of the 2009/2010 season; living in Perth, Australia the sport is currently in a small market, but it’s definitely growing at an extremely fast rate! Like many Australians, their first contact with Ice Hockey came about through ‘The Mighty Ducks’ movies, I was no different (I believe even Australia’s own Nathan Walker started his journey after watching the movies!); after watching that I wanted to get into the game, but at that moment in time there was no way to watch games live available to me, so I just watched video upon video of highlights and really just got my fill through reading up on the history of the sport.  But during the 2009/2010 season a number of live NHL games were shown live on national television every week, since then I’ve been absolutely hooked to the sport.

Nothing specifically hockey related drew me to the Canucks, not surprising at all since I knew nothing of the sport at the time… But I’ve always had a love for Canada and more specifically Vancouver ever since I was little; so it was came more as a “why wouldn’t I support them?” than anything else. Fingers crossed I can head over to Vancouver to see its beauty first hand and catch a live game/s over the next few years.

Who is your all-time favourite Canuck (current/retired/no longer a Canuck) and why? 

I can’t go past players who gave absolutely everything for the team; dedication, perseverance and effort over just skill any day! So with that being said, Rick Rypien has to top the list for me. During that first season of me watching hockey, his enthusiasm never failed to make me happy, to see him punch above his weight and thrive doing so was a joy to watch. Soon after, I purchased a Canucks jersey with his name on the back; it is still to this day my favourite hockey attire and I’m sure it’ll stay that way for many more years to come.

What is your all-time favourite Canucks moment?

“Finally, after 3 seasons, and 19 playoff games against Chicago, for Vancouver, it’s a wonderful day for an exorcism”. Burrows. Blackhawks. Need I say more?!

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

Two things stand out as my favourite parts of hockey; first would be the intensity of the game, no other sport in the world can compete with a Stanley Cup playoff game. Second of all, it’s the connection and togetherness of fellow fans through social media; I’ve had the privilege of coming into contact with some pretty amazing people through twitter and I really do hope that continues!

Least favourite part? Hands down, the time difference between Canada/USA to Australia. Most games usually start between 8am-2pm over here, far too many times have I had to watch them on my phone during lectures at university…

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

Nothing too crazy like some others are bound to have, just the usual of wearing a jersey every time there’s a game on, at the very least a hat, if I’m out and about. I’m pretty boring in this sense, I’m usually far too focused readying myself for the game itself to worry about any rituals! Although I do have a knack of tweeting the right scorer every once in about 50 guesses, so I’d like to think they scored because I tweeted it…

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

Excited and optimistic. The selection of Desjardins and Benning along with the earlier appointment of Linden definitely fills me with confidence as to what the future holds for this franchise. Quietly still dreaming of a Stanley Cup in the near future, but it’ll be an interesting and fun rollercoaster ride we’re in for regardless!

As always, GO CANUCKS GO! -Jason”

No Jason, you need not say more…that moment will ALWAYS be one of my all-time favourites. No contest. Here’s to seeing some more dragon slaying moments in the near future! Go Canucks Go!

Next up, please meet Beck Mitchell…who is also from OZ! (Picture provided by Beck).

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

“Hi, I’m Bec, and the 2013/2014 season was my first ever hockey season. Being from Australia, Ice Hockey is not really a mainstream sport. The only ice hockey I had seen was The Mighty Ducks movies in the school holidays. I randomly went to a local hockey game at the Icehouse in Melbourne and fell in love with the sport. I started researching the NHL and decided to pick a team, not knowing anything about Canada or the teams I decided to choose a team that reminded me of my Australian Rules Football team and this was the Vancouver Canucks. I ordered NHL Game Center and I was hooked.

Not knowing anyone else that liked hockey in Australia, I joined Twitter and started chatting to fans. I have met some of the most amazing people this way and all have been very helpful teaching me the ins and outs of being a True Blue Canuck, I could not have hoped to pick a better team with a nicer fan base.

My favourite Canuck player at the moment is Zack Kassian; he is fast and hard hitting I like that. My best memories have been sitting on the beach on my summer holidays watching the games live on my iPad while soaking up the sun and cheering online with people all over the world. I even drove 5 hours this past Christmas to meet a fellow Canuck fan who was over in Australia for a holiday. We are now lifelong friends, she has recently moved here and I was bridesmaid at her wedding. Us Canucks fans, really are like one big family.

My favourite part of hockey is the speed and skill in the game, its very thrilling to watch and games are always full of excitement. My least favourite part is that being in Australia you are so far from the action of the NHL, although I have recently started following The Melbourne Mustangs which is a team in the 8 team National AIHL. I have found a whole new group of Ice Hockey friends Australia wide.

I try to watch every Canucks game, whether I be on holidays or dragging myself out of bed for the New York games at 5AM! I am known where I live as the crazy Canuck ice hockey fan and I love it. I have bought loads of merchandise from Canada and wear it with pride all year round. I am always getting asked about my team and trying to convert as many Aussies into fans as I can. The Vancouver Canucks have me so hooked that I am even heading to Canada in the 2015/16 season just to see a game at Rogers Arena! A  crazy solo hockey trip for a crazy Canuck, just to see the team I love but I’m sure it will be worth every dollar and the 18 hours on the plane to see it.

I am so excited about the upcoming season. The team has made plenty of changes and it will be completely different season! It will be interesting to see how the new management and coaches run the boys and I’m hoping to see the Canucks in the playoffs. I want to say a big thanks to the whole Canucks fan base for being so nice to me and I look forward to cheering on the boys next season with you all.
Bec- Aussie Canuck”

Sometimes, twitter really is amazing…I love you have made some incredible connections through your love of the game! I promise you, that when you finally do come to see a LIVE Canucks game…you will not regret it! A game at the arena, cheering with 18,000+ fans is an experience like no other.

Special thanks to BOTH, Jason and Beck for sharing their TRUE BLUE stories! I look forward to cheering on the team with you and all of Canucks nation when the season begins in October!  There are more stories to come from fans around the world as the summer continues we count down the days until the NHL returns! Stay tuned!

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

TRUE BLUE: Part THREE

This summer at Nucksaid, I decided to do something a little different on the blog, in counting down to the Vancouver Canucks 2014-2015 regular season! THIS summer I will introduce you, to my favourite part of the Vancouver Canucks: THE FANS!

What am I asking YOU, the fans for? Simply to share your Canucks story and what makes YOU a Canucks fan through and through. If this sounds like something you would like to be a part of, simply send me an e-mail to nucksaid@gmail.com with the subject line: TRUE BLUE and I will send you the details. I will be featuring True Blue profiles all way up until to the first game of the 2014-2015 regular season, so there is plenty of room for as many fans as would like to participate!

In True Blue: Part TWO, you were introduced to Brieann and Tony. (Click the link below to read their stories if you missed them!)

https://nucksaid.wordpress.com/2014/07/14/true-blue-part-two/

Shall we, meet some more TRUE BLUE, Canucks fans? Yes?

Yes. Let me introduce you to, Justin Lai who last season, was the lucky winner of the Rogers Arena/Canucks 25th Million Fan Twitter Contest!!  He described the moment as the following: “What a magical night experiencing the hockey game, being interviewed during the intermission, and getting to go onto the ice and receiving a game worn autographed jersey by one of the Canucks.I ended up with Daniel’s jersey!” Admit it, who else is jealous of that moment? (Picture provided by Justin).

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

“I’m currently 26 years old, a business graduate, a diehard Canucks fan and my passions include Marketing, Social Media, and of course the Canucks. I have been following the Canucks for as long as I can remember and I am excited to recently land a job with them this Summer. During my free time, I also volunteer for the Canucks For Kids Fund and I always love to talk about hockey and the Canucks with people.

1)When/how did you become a Canucks/hockey fan? If you live outiside of British Columbia, what drew you to the Canucks as your team?

A: The Canucks came into existence in the NHL as an expansion team in 1970, but their history dates back to as early as 1945 and although I wasn’t born until 1988, for as long as I can remember, I have been a hockey fan. I remember playing ball hockey in my basement as a child and although I was too young to know what was going on with the Canucks in their early days, I remember being a part of the 1994 run as an excited young six year old and my love for the Canucks has grown ever since. As I grew up, I learned about the early history of the Canucks and have supported them. I grew up and there was nothing else I wanted to be more than a professional hockey player and dreamed that one day I would play for the Canucks and score THE goal that would them their first Stanley Cup. I know it’s not realistic when I look at it today, but I was a young child back then who didn’t know better other than my passion for the Canucks and hockey. From the days of the 1994 cup run where heroes such as Pavel Bure, Kirk McLean and Trevor Linden were some of my favourite players to the days of the West Coast Express including Markus Naslund to today where Daniel and Henrik Sedin, Ryan Kesler, Alex Burros, Rick Rypien, and Roberto Luongo are some of my favourite players in hockey. I have always had a deep love for the game of hockey and have supported the Canucks for as long as I can remember.

2) Who is your all-time favourite Canuck (current/retired/no longer a Canuck) and why?

This is a tough question considering I love the Canucks so much that it is hard to choose one of each but ill tell you one from each category. Currently I would say, the Sedins are some of my favourite Canucks. They are such nice down to earth guys and always play with class. Their community work and compassion is also a major reason why I like them so much because it’s not always about the goals and assists but also about what kind of people you are off the ice representing the team and the Canucks led by the Sedins do a great job of this.

For retired and past Canucks it’s quite simple. Trevor Linden. He embodied everything that was a Canuck. He played hard, gave it all he had every night and also earned the respect of everyone by being a classy guy who played the game with heart. He might not have had the most points in franchise history but again it’s not necessarily the stats that matter the most. His leadership and personality is one that truly defines what being a Canuck is all about and in my eyes he always will be Captain Canuck.

3) What is your all-time favourite Canucks moment?

My all time favourite Canucks moment would have to be in 1994 and the entire run by the underdog Canucks team lead by leaders like Linden, Mclean and Bure. Their run ultimately fell short but it captured the heart of Vancouver and was truly a ride to be a part of. Everything from comebacks to overtime goals to a city rallying behind the team on such a passionate level that’s what sticks through the most to me and made me love the team I grew up with.

4) What is your favourite and your least favourite part of hockey?

Favorite part of hockey is how the love of the game can really bring people together.

Least favourite part of hockey is that it’s not all year round!

5) Do you have any game day/pre-game rituals?

Whether it’s game day or not, it’s rare that you will find me without any sort of Canucks gear on. That’s just one way that I am, so passionate about the team and the game of hockey. I don’t believe in superstition, but I usually like to wear one of my jerseys or Canucks shirts on game days just to proudly display my Canucks colours around town.

6) How do you feel about the 2014-2015 season?

Last season was a rough one but as a diehard loyal fan and not a bandwagoner, I know that one day when the Canucks win it all it will be so rewarding for true fans like us who have stuck with them through the good, bad and ugly. Honestly, last season was ugly but I’m not losing hope. I know that with all of these changes this season will be one I’m eagerly looking forward to whether I’m working with them, volunteering or just watching them play I know I’ll be behind them 100%. I feel that this season is going to be an interesting one. I know we’re not the favorites to win the cup but my belief is once you get into the playoffs anything can happen and I’ve seen strange things happen in the playoffs. With that being said, I expect the team to compete hard this year and know that whatever happens true fans like myself will always be behind them. -Justin”
First, WOW getting to meet Daniel Sedin on the ice after the game and getting his jersey!! Lucky! That will be a memory you’ll never forget! Second, I could not agree more about supporting the team through the good, the bad and everything in between because anything can happen and one day they will win it all. 

 

Next up, I introduce to you, Charlene Fairchild (picture provided by Charlene).

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

“Ahhh hockey! I was born in Nova Scotia, birthplace of Hockey (Windsor, Nova Scotia http://www.birthplaceofhockey.com/), and grew up in a hockey home. My Dad was a passionate Leafs fan, back in the day of the Original Six. He told stories of growing up poor in the Depression but, I most loved the story he told about using horse droppings as hockey pucks! Every Saturday night was really Hockey Night In Canada, eagerly anticipated all week. The whole family gathered for the game and bedtimes were suspended. My brothers played lots & lots & lots of street hockey.

I owe my love for the game to my Dad. He taught what being a true fan was all about. His knowledge of and passion for the game helped lay the foundations of my continuing obsession with the Greatest Game On Earth! (Sorry, not sorry, socceroos!) Eventually my Leafs fan Dad became a season ticket holder with the Halifax Moosehead of the QMJHL. So, what’s an east coast gal doing being a passionate True Blue Canucks fan? I grew up, married, moved away. My hockey days were pretty random & spotty during those years as the men I married were neither of them sports fans. Eventually I moved to the Columbia Valley at the confluence of the Kickinghorse and Columbia Rivers in Golden…BUT it wasn’t until the 2010 Olympics that I awoke again to hockey.

I’ve always been a goalie afficionada and one goalie caught my eye and my heart…”Bingo Bango Bongo, his name is Roberto Luongo.” I was hooked. And he was a Vancouver Canuck. So I started watching Canucks games and thereby fell in love with the whole team hook, line and sinker!  That love for the team has only grown stronger and stronger.

Now not only am I a very passionate Canucks fan, I’m also involved with a Junior B team of the KIJHL (Kootenay International Junior Hockey League
http://www.kijhl.ca/leagues/front_pageKIJHL.cfm?clientID=2223&leagueID=5221
) as Social Media person for the team the Golden Rockets. I live tweet the games as part of our broadcast crew.

My favourite Canuck(s):
You mean I have to choose? Out of the past, from all I have learned and watched, that would have to be Pavel Bure & Gino Odjick.
Presently, Eddie Lack and Kevin Bieksa.

My favourite Canucks Moment:
That would have to be the 2011 Stanley Cup run.

My favourite and least favourite part of hockey?
When I walk into the arena and the boys go out on the ice…I love the slice of the blades on ice, the cold, the anticipation. I love the sound of the goal horn, the fans cheering and chanting, AND I love the play on the ice. Watching the young guys make their plays, defend their zones, and celebrate a goal! I love everything about hockey except shootouts.

Any game day/pre-game rituals?
Not really.

In regards to the 2014-2015 season, I cannot remember being more excited for a season to start. The hope ushered in with the Linden-Benning-Desjardins era is awesome. There is so much to look forward to. Go Canucks! -Charlene”

Charlene, I’m with you, goalies have always had a way of stealing my heart. Roberto Luongo’s determination and will to win when he was a Canuck, propelled me into the Canucks fan that I am now. I am also 100 % with you that shootouts are my LEAST favourite part of the game!

Special thank-you to BOTH, Justin and Charlene for sharing your stories! I LOVE all these stories that everyone is sharing with me AND sharing them with all of you! I look forward to sharing more fan stories with you as the summer continues!

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

TRUE BLUE: Part TWO

This summer at Nucksaid, I decided to do something a little different on the blog, in counting down to the Vancouver Canucks 2014-2015 regular season! THIS summer I will introduce you, to my favourite part of the Vancouver Canucks: THE FANS!

What am I asking YOU, the fans for? Simply to share your Canucks story and what makes YOU a Canucks fan through and through. If this sounds like something you would like to be a part of, simply send me an e-mail to nucksaid@gmail.com with the subject line: TRUE BLUE and I will send you the details. I will be featuring True Blue profiles all way up until to the first game of the 2014-2015 regular season, so there is plenty of room for as many fans as would like to participate!

In TRUE BLUE: Part ONE, you were introduced to Anthony and Gary (click to link below to check it out, if you missed it):

https://nucksaid.wordpress.com/2014/07/12/true-blue-part-one/

Are you ready to meet some more amazing Canucks fans?

Meet Canucks fan, Brieann Knorr…how many Canucks can you spy in the background? (Picture provided by Brieann).

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

I became a Vancouver Canucks fan in 2003, after my Dad and I had been watching hockey for years. I got my first Canucks jersey for my eighth birthday and have been a fan ever since.

I have 2 all-time favorite Canucks. The first would have to be Markus Naslund as he was my favorite player growing up. I was still a little young when he was playing but I remember he was such an awesome player and a great person. I got the chance to meet him and it was incredible. I almost cried when he retired because he deserved everything, he is such a humble guy. My second favorite has to be Henrik Sedin!! He is the most humble player the Canucks have ever had. I like his humbleness and how dedicated he is to the team, players and the fans. He is one of my role models.

My favorite all time Canucks moment has to be the 2011 Cup Run. I had never been on a Cup run and it was the best and worst moments as a Canucks fan! I have never seen a city more united around a team. I have never been more passionate for the team and I can only imagine what winning the Cup will be like.

I love that hockey unites people! That we all cheer for the same team and can talk about it together BUT I don’t like the hate that players get from the fans.

I consider myself to be a semi superstitious fan…I tend to think I can control what happens on the ice even though I know its impossible. I don’t like watching games because I think I could make them lose.

I feel hopefully optimistic about the 2014-2015 season! I feel like the changes made were needed to make this team a championship team. I feel like the team that is being brought in will be exciting a new and something we have never seen before!! I am very excited about what the future holds. -Brieann”

Markus Naslund was the epitome of a class act both on and off the ice, and seeing his jersey go up to the rafters joining Smyl and Linden was amazing to witness. The 2011 playoff run was an absolutely unreal time to be a Vancouver Canucks fan! Everywhere you turned, there were people representing the Canucks, blue and green took over local businesses and you could sense something special was happening. I’m excited for the next great playoff run that will take the province and Canucks fans around the world by storm!

Next up, I’d like to introduce you to Tony Maguire displaying a beautifully made button picture that his daughter, Katie made for his birthday! (Picture provided by Tony).

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

My Canuck story starts the same year as the Canucks. Being a fan of the Ballet on Ice I’m not sure what drew me to the Canucks. The early years were difficult but through all the abuse of other hockey folks and the roller coaster rides that were the first few seasons, I still remained loyal and true. I guess what really sealed the deal for life for me was 1982 and our first cup run. I had been to many games but never had the excitement of watching the Canucks go so far and then into the finals. I got given a ticket and was sitting 3 rows behind the Canuck bench. The sights the sounds the smells of being a part of it will always be with me. From that point on it became my way of life as my wife and kids will attest to!

I am one of those obsessed fans who has extensive Canuck wear and memorabilia that when we moved recently, packed 4 large plastic totes. All my kids became Canuck fans and now the grand kids as well. A good memory is going with 2 daughters to a Vancouver game in 2004 to see them play our rivals, the Calgary Flames. The day before we were in the Cactus Club getting food when Trevor Letowski, Matt Cooke and Bryan Allen came in. We got to hang out with them, got jerseys signed and had the best lunch ever. Outside the arena we waited for the Team bus from Calgary to arrive. When former (still my favorite) Canuck, Matin Gelinas got off we cheered and he came over and around the barrier to chat with us and we got a great picture.

The Canucks have been part of our family history during the 2011 playoffs, we got all six kids and the grand kids together for the games. My daughter Carolyn, even came down from Fort St John to be a part of it. I guess pizza and coca-cola are part of my game day ritual. I guess my least favorite part of hockey is the Media, self appointed experts, has beens and could-of-beens; telling me what I should think about the game and players. As for the upcoming season, who can’t be excited and know in their hearts that this is THE YEAR! The Management and coaching staff with the veterans and the new Canucks are going to bust it up! -Tony

Going to a Stanley Cup Final game and sitting so close to the team bench would be an absolutely amazing experience! The sights and sounds of a playoff game are so much more intense than a regular season game, the cheers and silence from the stands echo the pattern of the game on the ice. If you have never been to a playoff game, I suggest the next playoff run, you try to go…because there is something so special about being there live for a playoff victory and cheering with 18,000 + fans together. .

Special thank-you to BOTH, Brieann and Tony for sharing their TRUE BLUE stories! I hope you enjoyed reading them and are looking forward to the fan stories still to come this summer!

As always, until next time, nuck said. 

Sarah E.L. 

TRUE BLUE: Part ONE

Every summer (aka the NHL off-season) is full of news that pertains to the ever changing rosters of the 30 teams and all of the chaos that surrounds preparing for the season to begin when the leaves change and October finally arrives. I will still be posting any news items that are MUST now and help keep you all in the loop on the Vancouver Canucks front but I am also going to do something new.

THIS summer, I decided to do something a little different on the blog, in counting down to the Vancouver Canucks 2014-2015 regular season! THIS summer I will introduce you, to my favourite part of the Vancouver Canucks: THE FANS!

What am I asking YOU, the fans for? Simply to share your Canucks story and what makes YOU a Canucks fan through and through. The rules are simple, to answer the following questions however you choose whether it be to simply answer the questions individually in whatever order you choose or by incorporating your answers into YOUR very own Canuck story. The idea is to give YOU, the spot light. (Remember there is no right OR wrong way to tell your story!)

Here are the questions(to help inspire those stories!):

1) When/how did you become a Canucks/hockey fan? If you live outside of British Columbia, what drew you to the Canucks as your team?

2) Who is your all-time favourite Canuck (current/retired/no longer a Canuck) and why?

3) What is your all-time favourite Canucks moment?

4) What is your favourite and your least favourite part of hockey?

5) Do you have any game day/pre-game rituals?
6) How do you feel about the upcoming 2014-2015 season?

Each TRUE BLUE post will introduce us, to TWO Canucks fans from around the globe. Would you like to meet the first round of fans? Do any of the following tales sound like you? Would you like to be featured in an upcoming TRUE BLUE profile? Simply send me an e-mail to nucksaid@gmail.com with the subject line: TRUE BLUE.

Let’s meet some of YOU, shall we?

Meet Anthony Alves, pictured below catching a puck AT a Canucks game! (picture provided by Anthony)

Here is Anthony’s TRUE BLUE Canucks story in his own words:

“Well I first started noticing hockey in 2001 when I was in grade eight. I’d go to my best friend’s house after school and his parents would be watching Canucks games. I had no knowledge or anything at the time so I’d just ask who’s winning etc etc. It wasn’t until 2006 when I really started to like and watch the Canucks. My girlfriend at the time, her parents mainly her dad, were huge Canuck fans. Every time I went over, he would be watching a game so I got more curious about it, asking him questions (which I know probably annoyed the hell out of him) but it got me more and more into the Canucks, and made me the fan I am today!

My favourite Canuck, without a doubt was Rick Rypien. Being a shorter guy like myself, I looked up to him, as he did not take any crap from anyone, no matter how much bigger they were than him. Rypien was not the best player, or the most popular, but to me, he inspired me to never give up! When I heard he had passed away my heart sank, but to this day he’s still my inspiration and all time favourite Canuck!

My all time favourite Canuck moment would have to be when we broke past the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2011 playoffs in overtime! Alex Burrows scoring the intense overtime goal to beat the Blackhawks in the first round! I have never screamed that loud in my life.

My favourite part about hockey is that it happens from September to June, and my least favourite part is that it does not happen from July to September.

As for game day or pre-game rituals? Well sometimes if I’m really excited about a certain game, I will play NHL on my PS3 for a few hours just to get the adrenaline pumping!

I feel great about the upcoming season! I love the changes that have happened so far, (particularly getting rid of Mike Gillis was the best by far). I liked Torts but I understand he was not fitting in and I have nothing but positive feelings about how we will do in 2014-15! -Anthony Alves”

I can confirm that you are NOT alone in screaming LOUD when Burrows scored that goal that sent the Canucks past the Chicago Blackhawks for the first time in three years! IT felt like you could hear the ENTIRE city scream with joy when that goal crossed the line and everyone exhaled with a FINALLY! Definitely, that was a moment that will not be forgotten.

Next, I’d like to introduce to you to Gary Powell [pictured below], who represents the Vancouver Canucks all the way from Melbourne, Australia! (picture provided by Gary.)

Here is Gary’s TRUE BLUE story about being a Canucks fan in OZ, in his own words:

“Greetings from sunny Melbourne, Australia.  Ice Hockey is alive and well downunder.  There are many expat Canadians (most from BC) enjoying the surf & cold beer.  We tune into Canuck games via Apple TV, or by listening on TEAM 1040.  Most games are on between 11am & 4pm so it is tricky trying to work & keep an eye on the games.  During the Boston series a few years ago we had over 300 Canuck fans watching the games live from the Imperial Hotel in downtown.  Strange seeing so many Canucks sweaters in Melbourne.  The Imperial Hotel is also the venue for weekly HOCKEY NIGHT IN MELBOURNE, where NHL fans in Melbourne gather to watch the game of the week.

Canucks sweaters are also seen at the Melbourne ICE HOUSE, a twin rink facility that is home to the MELBOURE ICE, and the MELBOURNE MUSTANGS.  Both teams play in front of approx. 1200 – 1500 fans in the 8 TEAM Australian Ice Hockey League.  The season goes from April to September which means we get 12 months of Ice Hockey.  Each team is allowed 6 Imports, mainly from Canada & Sweden.  At the recent NHL Draft the first Aussie to be selected was NATHAN WALKER in the 3rd Round to the Washington Capitals.

I grew up in Powell River, BC playing minor hockey.  My heroes were Gordie Howe & Bobby Orr.  Powell River has had a rich Hockey History.  NHL players include Gary Lupul (dec) and Brad Bombardir.  Canuck fans in the 80’s will remember calling out LUUP LUUP when No. 7 had the puck.  The most exciting Canuck player I have seen is Pavel Bure.  He was a magical skater and a pure goal scorer.  He was able to score hat tricks in playoff games including the winner in OT.  I hope our talent scouts are able to find the next Pavel Bure soon.  The greatest game ever played at the Pacific Coliseum included Pavel, and was played on the 11th June, 1994.  This was Game 6 vs NEW YORK Rangers and we won 6 -3.  After the game there were 60,000 Canuck fans celebrating downtown.

The game that blew the roof off the Rogers Arena was 19th April, 2004.  GAME 7 vs Calgary.  Matt Cooke sent the game into overtime scoring a rebound goal off a Markus Naslund shot with 5.7 seconds left in regulation.  I will never forget the ROAR from 18,000 very happy fans.

For the 2014/15 season I predict another run in the playoffs.  We all love to win, and hate losing games.  Let’s hope with Radim Vrbata we can win more shootout games. I hope we can take the opportunity while we have the twins, Miller in goal, and loads of young talent coming on, to raise the Stanley Cup in Vancouver. -Gary Powell.”

Wow…sounds like quite a sight to have Canucks fans united all the way in OZ! Hockey 12 months of the year sounds like absolute bliss! I’ve only started to catch glimpses of Melbourne Mustangs this last year and I am so excited for Nathan Walker to have been drafted into the NHL! He’s going to have a career that will be fun to see develop!

Special thank-you, to BOTH Anthony and Gary for participating in the TRUE BLUE series and sharing their Canuck stories!

I have really enjoyed seeing the game I love, through the eyes of others who love the game as much as I do! My favourite part of being a Vancouver Canucks fan is sharing the experience with other fans and the camaraderie that develops through watching a great game, series or playoff run. I hope all of you have enjoyed the first edition of TRUE BLUE 2014 and that you are looking forward to rest of the Canucks stories(mine included!) that will be coming your way as we count down until the regular season begins!

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

 

 

Summer 2014: TRUE BLUE

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

Happy summer to all my readers!

Last summer I had a summer series that featured player profiles. THIS year, I decided to make it a summer about my favourite part of Vancouver Canucks hockey: YOU, the fans!

What am I asking? To feature YOU, the fans on the blog all summer long! I would love to feature YOU, all that is required is the willingness to answer a few Canucks oriented questions and be a part of the series that will feature your answers, anecdotes and whatever else it is that makes you a fan of hockey and my Canucks! Whether you have been a Canucks fans your entire life, or for only a little while, or if you grew up in BC, live across the country or halfway around the world, I would love to hear your Canucks story! If you would like to be a part of the series, please let me know and send me an e-mail: nucksaid@gmail.com with the subject line TRUE BLUE and I will send you the questions to answer at your convenience!

A massive THANK-YOU to all of you, in advance! Here’s to a SUMMER of YOU, the best hockey fans around the globe!

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.