True Blue 2017 (Part Four)

It’s summer or more accurately the NHL’s off-season and you know what that means at NUCKSAID! It’s time once again, for True Blue and to put the spot light on you, Canucks fans. This year, it’ll be a little different than my past summer series. No questionnaire, but a more free form in which you can share whatever you’d like about your hockey/Canucks fandom, or focus on just one moment in particular in the team’s history(recent or from the past) that really shaped how you view this game or an experience with other fans that influence your view of the game now or really it’s up to you what you’d like to say. If you’d like to be featured/share the story of your hockey fandom or the moment that’s shaped how you view the game, send me an e-mail to: nucksaid@gmail.com & we will set it up!

Without further ado, this is Justin and HIS True Blue story:

“Chronicles of a Diehard Canucks Fanatic. Written by Justin Lai.

What makes me different from any other Canadian? Honestly not much, I love my Tim Hortons and I live and breathe hockey. My two favourite teams are my hometown Vancouver Canucks and the Pittsburgh Penguins. I’m far from a bandwagon fan though as I know my hockey pretty fluently. I like Pittsburgh as my secondary team because one of my favourite Vancouver Canucks players of all time was a Penguin before, that being Markus Naslund. That and I also like the legends who played for them including Jaromir Jagr, Mario Lemieux and now more recently Sidney Crosby but this story isn’t about them. This story is about my love for the Vancouver Canucks and how an average guy like me is living the dream working for the Canucks and my love for the game.

I don’t think there’s one particular moment in the Canucks history that I can pinpoint as my favourite because I enjoy every season cheering them on whether they have losing seasons or whether they make a run to within one win of a Stanley Cup Championship. For me, there’s no in between for my love for the Canucks. I own countless Canucks memorabilia and jerseys, and every year I’m rooting for them regardless of what others believe of my team. The Canucks are my team and I’m proud of that. I love them more than the number of wins they can put up on the ice in a season but my love for them extends to what they do in the community as well. They represent values I believe in which include giving back and the make that a living value day in and day out. 

Of course my fondest memory was the 1994 playoff run with heroes like Trevor Linden and Pavel Bure but also living through the 2011 magical season that came one win short of their first franchise championship. It was amazing how they captivated a city and brought people of all nations and cultures together during that run. Yes, there was the ugly aftermath in our beautiful city when they lost and that act made me absolutely disgusted and angry as a resident of our beautiful city, but to see the response of those who took part in to help bring those responsible to justice and clean up the damage restored my faith in my city and the true fans of the Vancouver Canucks. 

My excitement for the upcoming wave of future Canucks comes with mixed emotions. I’m excited to usher in the new wave of future Canucks to hopefully lead this team to success on the ice but to also maintain their commitment to the city and community off the ice. Being a Canuck means more than just an NHL player, it means having pride in being good people on and off the ice, role models to those who cheer you on and aspire to be like you, who look up to you. On the other hand of this excitement, to see our future young stars in the making, it’s also humbling and bit sad to potentially see the end of veteran players who have paved the way for these young guns, none more so than the Sedin twins. Daniel and Henrik Sedin are consummate professionals and excellent players but also world class leaders on and off the ice who I admire as people.

I’m living a dream working for the Canucks, heading into my 4th season because I get to be in the same environment, breathing in the excitement of hockey on game days and being a part of a team of outstanding co-workers and friends who make working for the team a dream come true. They preach and practices the Canuck values which I can put into practice not only on the job but also everyday which makes this organization one of my dream companies to work for. They also make it so fun to work there. 

Anyways my love for the team will never be diminished and whether we finish seasons as the the best team in the league or whether we finish last in the league, I’m always going to be team #TrueBlue and rooting for my Canucks because they’re so much more than just a hockey team to me. They represent the fabric of my beautiful city and living the Canucks values day in, day out is exactly worth being a Diehard fan for. Feel free to connect and talk hockey with my on my Twitter account: (@justinlai01)!

Go Canucks Go! – Justin.”

Special thank-you to Justin to sharing a piece of his True Blue story! I can relate on so many points! To me, the Canucks represent so much more than just hockey.

**If you’d also like to be featured/share the story of your hockey fandom or the moment that’s shaped how you view the game, send me an e-mail to: nucksaid@gmail.com & we will set it up!

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

True Blue 2017 (Part Three)

It’s summer or more accurately the NHL’s off-season and you know what that means at NUCKSAID! It’s time once again, for True Blue and to put the spot light on you, Canucks fans. This year, it’ll be a little different than my past summer series. No questionnaire, but a more free form in which you can share whatever you’d like about your hockey/Canucks fandom, or focus on just one moment in particular in the team’s history(recent or from the past) that really shaped how you view this game or an experience with other fans that influence your view of the game now or really it’s up to you what you’d like to say. If you’d like to be featured/share the story of your hockey fandom or the moment that’s shaped how you view the game, send me an e-mail to: nucksaid@gmail.com & we will set it up!

Today introduces you to, not one but two, Canucks fans.

Without further ado, this is Abi and HER True Blue story:

“Today, I’ll share a more recent memory. As a die hard Vancouver Canucks fan, my favourite memory from this off season was getting to attend the prospects game. It felt like a real game experience and there was such an energetic/positive vibe. It was so refreshing to sit wherever we wanted to and best of all, no rude fans. Watching the next generation of Canucks players was very exciting and I look forward to seeing these guys make it on the team in the near future. This felt like Christmas came in July for THIS Canucks fan.

Seeing Pettersson get two goals was amazing and thrilling to get a glimpse of what’s to come. Our future goalies made some great stops despite the high scoring nature of the game. I was quite pleased when a bonus team shoot out was announced. One of the few times that I will ever be excited to watch a shoot out. Each player was granted a chance and tried some interesting and comical moves in the added bonus overtime. I was so thankful that Rogers Arena introduced some new menu items in addition to free food and beverages for the evening.

Another added bonus for me was attending a behind the scenes tour at Rogers Arena. It was a wonderful experience to walk around my favourite place of all time. I really enjoyed seeing the wall of history featuring many of the Canucks legendary players, Trevor Linden’s locker stall with his old lucky sneakers, the Olympic victory mural, seeing the Great One’s signature on the elevator. Our tour guide was very informative and enthusiastic and equally heartbroken about the outcome of 2011. It was cool seeing the club 500 section and the view of the rink from those seats.

 

Is it Hocktober yet? I am counting down the days until hockey returns and looking forward in particular to two things: Daniel Sedin’s 1000th point milestone and seeing Brock Boeser play in a full season capacity.

Go Canucks Go! –Abi. “

Also, please meet Jeff, this is HIS True Blue story in his own words in video format:

*Note: Rock Tune by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Artist: http://audionautix.com/

-Jeff.”

Special thanks to both Abi & Jeff for sharing their True Blue stories! Once a part of Canucks nation, you’re always one of us! Here’s to hearing, seeing, sharing and learning a few more before the season begins in October!

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

 

True Blue 2017 (Part Two)

It’s summer or more accurately the NHL’s off-season and you know what that means at NUCKSAID! It’s time once again, for True Blue and to put the spot light on you, Canucks fans. This year, it’ll be a little different than my past summer series. No questionnaire, but a more free form in which you can share whatever you’d like about your hockey/Canucks fandom, or focus on just one moment in particular in the team’s history that really shaped how you view this game or an experience with other fans that influence your view of the game now or really it’s up to you what you’d like to say. If you’d like to be featured/share the story of your hockey fandom or the moment that’s shaped how you view the game, send me an e-mail to: nucksaid@gmail.com & we will set it up!

Without further ado, this is Chris and HIS True Blue story:

“Why do I support the Vancouver Canucks? Why as a British person, am I even into ice hockey at all?

True, it’s not in our nation’s DNA to take to the ice, we prefer grass sports with sports like Field Hockey, Cricket, Rugby, and most of all football (or Soccer, if you prefer); though Ice Hockey is the most popular indoor spectator sport within England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, even beating our Basketball despite the country producing a respectable number of NBA players! Even with it’s small slice of popularity, the British ice hockey scene is almost non-existent when compared to our reputation as a footballing country.

This hasn’t always been the case, however, back in the 1930’s the British national hockey team were one of the most formidable in the World! Often competing and beating the modern day powerhouses of: Canada, USA, Russia, Sweden etc., with the crowning achievement being winning the 1936 Olympics and World Championships as well as various continental titles. Even with this success, British ice hockey has very much fallen to the wayside, making it unlikely that you will ever run into another genuine hockey fan in day to day life.

This is why I am so grateful for things like Twitter and Facebook that have helped bring about the Canucks Nation. A collection of Canucks fans from all different backgrounds, nations, religions and cultures. The sport knows no creed, only what team you support. Fans of the Vancouver Canucks often get a bad name, whether it’s about them being fickle, rioters, bad losers…anything bad you can think of, the Canucks fan base has been accused of it.

Sure, we have our idiotic element, what sports team doesn’t? What people don’t tell you, is the good things our fan base achieves. For a few years from around 2009 to only last year, I suffered badly with depression and anxiety, and this was also at a time that I lost my Grandad and shortly after, my Grandma. I received messages from Canucks fans from all around the world, some in the UK, some in Canada, some in the US and some from as far afield as Australia and New Zealand. People that I had never met in person, who wanted to see if I was okay, not because they had to but because I’m a Canucks fan. That simple. When I was at my absolute worst, I always knew I had the backing of the Canucks Nation, whether it was them giving me an ear to moan into or whether they just sat up with me chatting all things hockey and life. The Canucks Nation are whiners, the Canucks Nation are idiots is what we hear. The Canucks Nation saved my life is something I don’t hear, the Canucks Nation made me feel like I wasn’t alone is something you don’t hear but they did just that for me.

The Canucks Nation aren’t just the best fans in the NHL, but some of the best people in the world.

When I was a child, I wasn’t massively into sports but I was into video games one of favourite games was NHL 99 on the PlayStation. And my favourite team was actually the Detroit Red Wings! I had no affiliation to the city of Detroit or the team, they were just really good! To say I supported them would be generous, I more just played as them on the game and said I supported them. In reality, I couldn’t tell you a single player who wasn’t on the starting line-up on the game.

In 2001, I went to BC for the first time and who else was in town? The Detroit Red Wings…and because of my slight fascination with them, my dad got us tickets to the game. That game was a 3-0 win for the Canucks but that wasn’t to be a disappointing result for me as little did I know, walking into GM Place that my life was about to change forever.

As I first walked out of the concourse into the stands, I was taken aback by the noise and colours all around me, the Dark Blue, Red and Silver, everywhere. The announcers enthusiasm and just the sheer numbers of people all stuck with me. It was unbelievable, I’d never seen such a mad crowd! I instantly fell in love the the home team and quickly dropped any “love” I may have held for the Red Wings. I was hooked.

Going forward, I have only been able to see a handful of games like due to a gap of roughly 7,300 km between me and Vancouver. Despite this, my love of the Canucks was born that cold December night at GM place. I’m from a town in England called Stockport, about 20 minutes away from Manchester. Within the neighbouring Manchester; I managed to quench my thirst for hockey with the Manchester Storm, following their dissolution, the Manchester Phoenix, and as much as I loved those nights at the Manchester Evening News Arena, nothing had ever come close to that night in Vancouver.

Back in the early, 2000’s, streaming live sports wasn’t easy, so I had to rely on a weekly TV show we had that would give a weekly round-up of the league’s main talking points and some short highlights. It sounds daft now but back then I would make sure that nothing got between me and my weekly hour-long hockey fix.

As the internet evolved, so did my love for the sport and the team. All of a sudden watching a game was easier than ever but more importantly, so was connecting with fellow fans from around the globe. Though as I transitioned into adulthood, I could no longer stay up all night watching games and sadly I was restricted to weekend games.

This changed in 2009, this is when I first started battling my own mind. I often couldn’t sleep and would find myself inadvertently staying up all night long with nothing to show for it except a headache and uncontrollable yawning. This is when I truly learned what it meant to be a part of a family other than my own, the Canucks family.

As I was up all night anyway, I would watch the games online and suddenly my online habits went from searching for the best way to fall asleep to searching about the next big prospect that “the Canucks HAVE to draft”. From dreading waking up the next day to actively being exciting for the day to come and go, just so I could watch the Canucks again.

The weirdest time in my life came in 2011, that is when I was at my lowest point; without trying to be too much of a bummer, that is when on another day, things could have gone terribly out of hand with how was I feeling. Who saved the day? Kevin Bieksa

The worst night of my life, quickly turned into the best. It was Game 5 of the 2011 Western Conference Finals: Canucks vs. Sharks. As I’m sure we all know, the Canucks went from a 1-0 lead early on to trailing 2-1 with just seconds left before Ryan Kesler snatched a goal at the death to send the game into OT and then into double OT. It was during the second overtime that “the goal” happened. The goal that defied physics and logic, the goal that sent the Canucks to the Stanely Cup Finals, the goal that saved my life.

Once the Bruins series came along, I had started receiving professional help, a step that I may never have taken if not for that night.  When we lost Game 7, I was devastated, but most importantly, I was here. Since that summer things haven’t  gone overly well for the Canucks but it was around this time I started socializing more with Canucks Nation. I’ve made some truly great friends, both online and in real life thanks to the boys in Blue and Green; sometimes we just moan about how badly the team is doing, sometimes we just like to talk. Whether you’re a diehard season ticket holder or a casual fans who’s only ever seen highlights, everyone is made welcome into the family that is Canucks fans.

I had managed to keep my mental health in check for the most part until 2015 when I lost my Grandad. I run a Canucks fan page on Twitter and I’ll generally just chat with other fans and sometimes live tweet games. I made a quick apology for an absence due to losing my Grandad. It wasn’t for any other reason than to let people who’d tweeted/messages me that I wasn’t ignoring them. Within an hour, I’d had nearly 100 messages from people all around the world; they didn’t know me personally, some didn’t even know my real name, all they knew is that I was a Canucks fan going through a hard time and it was literally overwhelming how nice everybody was about it.

It’s experiences like this that mean even when I can’t watch as many live games as I’d like to, the incredible community of Canucks fans is something that not only do I hold very dear to my heart, it’s something that is now and will always be a part of my life.

So to answer the initial question I posed myself, why am I a Canucks fan? Because the Vancouver Canucks saved my life. – Chris.”

Thank-you for your bravery and for sharing your story with all of us, Chris! It’s not an easy task speaking up but it ALWAYS makes a difference. Once a part of Canuck Nation, you are always be a part of the Canucks family!

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

Vancouver Canucks: Rumour has it…

Rumour has it according to all of the experts on social media that the Vancouver Canucks are looking to make a splash in the off-season moving up in the draft and a few other trades. Rumour also has it that they will make zero moves. The rumour mill is as always in full motion at this time of year.

According to social media and local reporting media, I have absolutely NOTHING to look forward to ahead in the upcoming season or the next few as a Vancouver Canucks fan. If it was up to them, I would not be a fan of the Canucks.

Well I hate to break the news, but regardless of whatever negative jargon they write, I will ALWAYS root for my team. And yes, I know that they are not near the top of the league and may be in that position for a while. And no, you do not have to tell me the stats or that your story lines are based on fact, I am more than well aware of what the team’s statistics are and  of their current situation.

I know what their reality is of the past and the present. Regardless of what their future holds, I will be standing by supporting them every single step of the way. No matter how they do at the draft, what their season record is or whether they make the post-season or not, I will be there to support them every step of the way. It may put me in the minority as you always tend to tell me, but that’s fine by me. It only means I have to cheer even louder. (Sorry not sorry!). And I will no longer allow someone’s view of me and how I am a hockey fan impact HOW and WHEN I support my team.

Yes, I know I may seem odd as a hockey fan that despite a mass of negativity from the media or other fans on social media that I always look for the good within the mess or silver lining, but having a different perspective on the game is NOT a bad thing.

This off-season, with the growing negativity, rumour has it that I’ve been considering a new venture to be a part of the blog. It’s true but first, I would need a little help from all of you. What am I asking from you? I’m thinking of creating a Canucks hockey podcast but as I’ve never made a podcast or been a part of one, this is something I would like to try. I am open to ANY and ALL advice. I love talking about hockey with anyone and everyone, even if we have different opinions, it’s one of my favourite things. If you have any advice on creating a podcast or would like to be a part of creating a new podcast, leave a comment below, connect with me on twitter (@nucksaid) or send me an email (nucksaid@gmail.com). 

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

 

SHH…it’s a hockey game.

Saturday night was a tale of three periods on the ice, but also for me in the stands while attending the Vancouver Canucks vs. Calgary Flames game at Rogers arena.

The first period was all kinds of entertainment. The anthem was top notch as always when led by Mark Donnelly. We were in a great section with fans cheering for the team straight from puck drop. I love it when the arena is loud and completely in unison showing support for the team and grief for the refs. Our section felt like it was completely in sync(or so I thought, more on that later). The goal from Eagle may not have been how the team drew it up and yes most nights a shot from centre ice does not end up in the back of the net, but it got the arena up on their feet and the opening goal for the home team.

And then as enjoyable as the game began, it was suddenly not at all. It went slightly downhill during the first intermission when a fan in front of me turned around to let me know how to showcase proper etiquette: “Shh…it’s a hockey game. Please do not cheer so loudly, we are watching the game. Thank-you.”

Umm…no, why thank-you, I was not aware that this was a hockey game or that nearly 18,000 fans were meant to be silent. I was unaware that we were watching two different games. Or more accurately, I was unaware that I am not allowed to cheer for my team in their own arena along with the other fans in our shared section. Suddenly this game went from fun to being silenced in the stands. Ryan Miller made save after save and I was forced to merely observe, not allowed to actively participate in any of the activity that makes hockey games an experience. I was present but it felt as though I was  And you know what, watching the game in silence, not being a part of the voices ringing out in the arena is no fun whatsoever.

By the time, the second intermission hit, I was completely out of sorts. This was not how the game was supposed to go. Attending a hockey game is not supposed to make me feel like an outsider unwelcome.

Cue the third period and overtime. By the start of the third period, I was feeling a little lost being a place that has always felt like home but on this night was made to feel like a bit of an outsider. Just when I was beginning to wonder if maybe the problem was me and my cheering for the team, a fellow female fan sitting next to us turned and started talking to us about the game. A life long Canucks fan, but this was her first game in nearly 3 years and she told us that our cheering was not a disturbance but rather helped make her feel like she did when she came games when she was a kid. Pretty soon we were talking about all things hockey and Canucks. Together, we cheered loud for the rest of the game and yes when that buzzer beater went it to the send the game to overtime, we were in a state of slight disbelief and annoyance and excitement for the impending overtime. This was also the first time that she had ever witnessed the craziness that is 3-on-3 overtime and what a game for Chris Tanev to score that game winning goal.

To the fellow kindred spirit who shared the third period with us supporting the team, thank-you for completely turning the night around and turning the hostile environment back into the one that felt like home. It made all the difference and really helped make the night memorable for all of the right reasons. So glad that you got to see a home win! Thank-you again and welcome back to the rink, I hope you guys get to make it to more games now!

And to the stranger who felt the need to try to teach me the proper etiquette of attending a hockey game, guess what? You’re right that we were indeed at a hockey game but that does not give you the right to tell me or any other fan how and when to cheer for THEIR team. And perhaps you enjoy watching the game in silence, but for me that’s not in my nature to be silent especially when it comes to watching hockey live. I will not apologize for showing support for my team while in their arena and I will no longer be silenced or made to feel uncomfortable. I guess you missed the memo that hockey is for everyone.

Perhaps next season, I will have to make sure to be in that newly minted supporter’s section for all of the games that I attend?

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E L.

Vancouver Canucks: Don’t Stop Believing.

“How disappointed are you by the Vancouver Canucks this season?”, is the most common question I have heard since before the puck even dropped on the season. Nearly every single day, without fail, someone asks me that same question. Do you want to know the truth?  I’m disappointed that some of these moments feel like I am being attacked for choosing to support my team through the good, the bad and everything in between. The truth is that no I am not disappointed in the team. Yes, sure I’d love if they had a few more wins and less losses on the season but their record does not and will not dictate when or how I will show my support.

The disappointment for me this season has not come from the Vancouver Canucks but rather the local media covering the team. Yes, it is their job to write about the facts but it is not their job to dictate how or when the fans should support the team. There is more happening than just the negativity that they seem intent on focusing on for every single headline.

Yes, it is true that this is hardly their best season on record but it is also hardly their worst. And yes they need to start picking up more wins on the road if they want to be playoff bound come April. Do I wish they had less injuries? Of course, but injuries happen to every single team league wide.

Do you know what I have noticed? That yes, while there are A LOT of negatives out there, there are also A LOT of positives out there as well.

Yes their road record definitely needs some work especially if they hope to be playoff bound, but their improved home ice play this season has been fun to see develop.

As of late, as a team, they have been playing some pretty solid hockey, picking up points in 15 of their last 20 games and posting a 11-5-4 record in that span.

Ryan Miller has stepped up his game of late and in 11-game stretch since Christmas he has posted a 7-2-2 record that includes two shutouts. It’s no secret that Miller was struggling at the start of the season with his combined October + November record being a less than stellar: 4-8-0. Since that struggling start, Miller has been impressive to say the least posting a 10-4-3 record in the 17 games that have followed. His season’s average save percentage of 0.920 is his best since joining the Vancouver Canucks.

Bo Horvat continues to evolve into future captain material as he follows the leadership example of Henrik Sedin both on and off the ice. His first NHL all-star game appearance was just the beginning, stay tuned Canucks fans, the future is just around the corner.

Troy Stecher came into training camp with one goal in mind: make the team. His impression from the start forced the team to take a long look before sending him to Utica. Injuries hit the blue line and Stecher found himself being called up and quickly earning a permanent roster spot with his strong play on the ice. Local kid makes good.

Nikita Tryamkin was the conundrum that no one could solve at the beginning of the season. He refused to be sent down and there was not yet a spot in the lineup, but he held his ground that he was going to stay. Just when some were ready to give up on whether or not Tryamkin could be a difference maker, opportunity knocked as injuries began to take a toll on the Canucks blue line.

There have been learning curves along the way but each game both Stecher and Tryamkin continue to grow, proving why they deserve roster spots helping to stablilize the Canucks on the back end.

Henrik Sedin hitting his incredible feat on home ice was a moment Canucks fans will never forget. That game, the arena was insanely electric from start to finish and as a fan, it made me love this game even more. We could potentially see another milestone Sedinery moment before season’s end or in the very least very early into next season when Daniel hits 1000 points.

32 games remain in the 2016-17 season and the team sits just 1-point out of a playoff position. There is no easy way to get into the playoffs and the Canucks have a long way to go if they want to be post-season bound come April. It’s never an easy grind but if they continue on their recent improved play they’ve had since Christmas, they definitely have a shot at getting there. It may be a slim chance and the odds may be stacked against them, but it’s still a chance. Playoffs or no playoffs, win or lose, this team is still my team.

So if you ask me how disappointed I am in my Vancouver Canucks, be prepared to hear that while I am aware of the season at hand, that does not now, nor will it ever dictate how or when I will support my team.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

P.S. Anyone have any advice for someone considering starting a podcast? (leave a comment, send me a tweet (@nucksaid) or an email (nucksaid@gmail.com).

To Whom It May Concern…(Part Two)

To whom it may concern,

I never thought I would write one post about this, let alone two posts in three months. (Part One). 

It is still true that I am a female hockey fan. The fact that I am female and a hockey fan should not influence how I am treated about the game but lately that has been happening far too often. In all honesty, I had plans to write/share a different post until yet again while attending a Vancouver Canucks game with my sister, I was left frustrated and rattled as a female hockey fan.

This time, we were berated all game for our choice of jerseys, when and how we cheered and for simply being females at a hockey game. Yep, by wearing our Bo Horvat and Daniel Sedin jerseys, it meant we were delusional and should burn our jerseys. Burn my jersey? Sorry, but that is never going to happen. And didn’t we know that the Sedins are “sisters” and far too old for this game? What I do know, is that the Sedins are two of the classiest players in the NHL and both closing in on the 1000 NHL points milestone. And by being females at a hockey game meant that we deserved to be berated both to our faces and behind our backs throughout the entire game. Truthfully most of what was said is far too inappropriate for me to repeat.

If you want to teach people more about the game, do not talk down or belittle them. I love learning new facets of the game, and debating the ins and outs of the game. If you want to share what you love about the game, share it, everyone has a different story. I love hearing what others love about the game and why.

Once again it was as though we were being judged for the entire game regardless of whether we cheered or were silently engaged in the game taking place. And once again rather than being debated with or talk to, we were belittled. We tried to not let it rattle us during the game but underneath, of course it did. It made it us feel as though we are not allowed to be a part of the hockey community, as though perhaps we did not belong. And then I remembered once again that these individuals who act this way do not represent the entirety of hockey fans.

Let me make this as simple as possible: whether you are a female or male hockey fan, you are allowed to enjoy the game and in no way deserving of judgement for being a fan. Every hockey fan is allowed to cheer for their team, their favourite player and certainly allowed their own opinion of the game. And even if hockey fans have differing opinions, that does not make them any less of a fan than any another fan. Hockey is a community that most days feels like family, and one day I hope that we stop judging and attacking one another. Hockey is more than just a game.

Hopefully one day, we will not have to write posts like this, and all hockey fans regardless of gender will be allowed to simply love this game.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.