Nucksaid: Suspended Series (Vol.2)

Hello again hockey fans, are you going as crazy as I am without your regular hockey fix? To help pass the time while we wait, I decided to create the Nucksaid: Suspended Series. A series that puts the spotlight on the fans and their hockey stories. Many of my favourite stories are those of fellow fans and how hockey stole their hearts. So, I open this up to ALL of you whether you are a fellow Vancouver Canucks fan, rival fan, front line hero, local or halfway across the globe, if you have a hockey story to share, I’m happy to put the spotlight on YOU. Even though we are apart right now, we’re all in this together, and we’ll get through it one day at a time. What I’m asking if you’re willing, is for you to share what the game means to you or maybe you have a funny anecdote or a moment that you’d like to share that changed the way you see the game. What you share is completely up to you.

Today, I present to you the next participant in the Nucksaid Suspended Series. Below you will find her words and if you’re not following her on twitter, make sure to note her twitter handle below & give her a follow!).

Brieann Knorr(@ItsBrieann): “This NHL season has turned me back into a die hard hockey fan. I’m a Canucks fan, and as most Canucks fans know, the last few years have been tough. And to be honest, I’ve cheered for this team through those years, and at times, it was very tough. It was tough to see other teams get to go to the playoffs and win the Stanley Cup and watch my team have an April exit, but this season changed everything for me. I’m not quite sure what it is, I think for the first time in a while, we have some hope. This team has shown that it can fight for the playoffs and even be one of the best teams in our division. I think because this season surprised me, I, not once believed we’d be a lottery team. I knew we were good, but I didn’t think we’d be as good as we’ve been. Yes, we’ve had our inconsistent moments and our losing streaks but we a young team and a learning team. I know that we’re going to be a dominant force in the years to come. The way the team is beginning to gel together is reminding me of 2011 and I have a feeling, that unlike 2011, we will win the Cup, and I have a feeling it may be soon. 

The question is what? What is this team bringing hope and joy for the first time in a long while? I think we finally have talent that can rival the 2011 team. We’re getting a core group of players together, and what a core it is! Who know back in 2013, that we had drafted our captain? Bo Horvat has been an amazing captain in his first year. I can see how the Sedins have had an influence on him. I see the humility that the Sedins had and I see their leadership skills in him. I can’t wait for Horvat to be the first captain in Canucks history to lift the Cup! 

We also have an insanely talented defenseman, who I have no idea how he was still there at 7th overall!!! I expected Quinn to be amazing but record setting amazing?!?!?! What a rookie performance by Hughes! His creativity and the way he can just get the puck off of players is crazy! We’ve never had a defensive talent like him and I know he’s going to get some NHL hardware in his career. 

Speaking of players with NHL trophies, our Swedish sensation! What a sophomore season from Petey! I knew he was going to have just another amazing season after his Calder win last year. I think Petey is one of the most fun and amazing people to watch on the ice. Every time he steps on the ice, I hold my breath as I know he’s going to do something extraordinary. If the season resumes, he’s going to be a force to be reckoned with. 

Petey’s usual line-mate was having a great season too. What can I say about Brock Boeser this season? I feel like his game has changed a bit, but for the better. Yes, he’s still scoring but his defensive play has grown too. He’s becoming an amazing 2-way forward with unbelievable talent. Also, I’ve been impressed by his heart, the donation of $1000 for every goal her scores, to raise money for a cure for Parkinson’s disease is just so amazing. Yes, he had injuries but he’s healthy now, and a healthy Boeser is something the league should fear. 

Overall, this season has meant a lot to me! There have been so many incredible moments from the 50th anniversary celebrations: Sedin Night(which was amazing as I got to see it live!), to seeing our new bonified number one NHL goalie in Marky. I know this is just the beginning of what I hope, is a resurgence in the Canucks and I cannot wait to tag along for the ride.”

–Brieann. 

Special thank-you to Brieann for sharing her story with all of us! I look forward to bringing you many more stories as we continue to navigate through this new normal of a suspended season and await the game that changed all of our lives whether that’s to empty arenas or a canceled season or a delayed season next year. If you’d like to be featured or know someone who should be featured simply send me an email(nucksaid@gmail.com) or find me on twitter(@nucksaid) and we will make it happen.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

Nucksaid: Suspended Series (Vol.1)

Hello out there hockey friends, are you going as crazy as I am without your regular hockey fix? We should be deep into the first round of the playoffs right about now, and while I know its absolutely the right thing for EVERYONE, my heart still aches every time I think about it. As this pause will seemingly last for a long while(and already has), I have been racking my brain to think of a fun way to pass the time. The one that kept coming back to me, was the fans and their stories. It’s no secret that some of my favourite stories are those fellow fans and how hockey stole their hearts. So, I open this up to ALL of you whether you are a fellow Vancouver Canucks fan, rival fan, front line hero, local or halfway across the globe, if you have a hockey story to share, I’m happy to put the spotlight on YOU.

Even though we are apart, we’re all in this together, and we’ll get through it one day at a time. What I’m asking is for you to share what the game means to you or maybe you have a funny anecdote or a moment that you’d like to share that changed the way you see the game. What you share is up to you.

Today, I present to you the first two participants in the Nucksaid Suspended Series. Below you will find their words and if you’re not following them on twitter, make sure to note their handles below & give them both a follow!).

1. Tina Poole(@tpoole00): “I got into hockey in the early 90’s. It was kind of a family tradition. My mom’s side of the family was always big into sports, be it hockey, CFL football or baseball in the summers. My mom is originally from Winnipeg and moved out here when she was 9. When I was growing up, if it was a Saturday or there was a Canucks game on, everyone would be watching.

Christmas gifts(starting in 1994) always involved tickets to a game of the latest EA Sports NHL PC game. Another memorable Christmas gift was the year I got a wooden hockey stick. It helped me out in many street hockey games. The camaraderie of those games remains in my memory. Another memorable gift was the white skate jersey I got for my 7th birthday. I currently use it to collect autographs. Cliff Ronning was the first Canuck to autograph my jersey.

One thing I miss that I wish the Canucks would bring back is fan appreciation day where the fans got to meet the team after the season ended. I appreciate the open practices that take place throughout the season.

My cousin played hockey through high school. He got as far as Junior B with the Salmon Arm Salmonbellies. He had a tryout with the Junior A Coquitlam Express.

I also enjoy the social media aspect of hockey. I blog about hockey, contributing to Total Canucks and my own personal blog. Most of the time, twitter is a great forum to follow hockey during games. I also take part in a couple of game threads on Facebook during games.

The experience of watching hockey has definitely evolved with the emergence of the internet and social meda.

I am excited to see the Canucks finally hoist the Stanley Cup in the next several years.”

2. Jen Allan(@getthepuckuout): “When Ben Hutton was a rookie, he partook in the ice & dice fundraiser. He had to lip sync and chose the song, “In a Barbie World.” I watched the stream of his performance and laughed really hard. Years pass, I believe 4. I go to an autograph signing and as I’m putting down my jersey in front of Ben Hutton, I say to him, ‘Every time I see one of your highlights, all I hear in my head is “In a Barbie World.”‘ He burst out laughing. He really does have a great smile and laugh.”

Special thank-you to both Tina & Jen for sharing their stories with me and all of you! I look forward to bringing you many more stories as we navigate through this new normal of the suspended season and await the return of the game that means so much more than a game to all of us. If you’d like to be featured or know someone who should be featured simply send me an email(nucksaid@gmail.com) or find me on twitter(@nucksaid) and we will make it happen.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

True Blue 2016: NUCKSAID.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.