1. Organization Values
I want to divert from the norm here. Every organization, every player in the NHL states that their ultimate goal is to win the Stanley Cup. As I fan, I appreciate that our present ownership spends to the cap limit, and does its best to attract quality players to Vancouver for my entertainment. But the thing that draws me to our Canucks is a value that has been instilled since I can remember. The quality players are also quality people. And our Canucks have set an expectation that each player devote time to the community in which they live.
2. 1994 & Trevor Linden
Nothing much I could say here that has not already been said. It was cool to see the underdog, underachieving Canucks push through for some brilliant moments. It was cooler still to be in Medicine Hat that summer, as Tigers supporters cheered on the hometown kid and captain who brought us oh so close to glory. That two goal performance in game 7 after being hammered by that douche Messier in game 6 was so memorable for me – we were glued to the set, even as time wound down, that our Captain would be able to shoulder the team to a tie. It almost happened.
3. My Wife
It was our second date. She and I don’t remember much of the first one, aside from the fact that we met at the Roxy and hopped up and down Granville Street all night trying to find the perfect Gin and Tonic. However, the second one was fantastic. Why, you ask? Because she asked me to go to a hockey game.
And not just any hockey game, folks. A Playoff game. The date – April 25, 2003. The opponent, The Minnesota Wild. You all remember this?
We were there. Lower Bowl. Behind the Wild net. And when Trent Klatt redirected the slap-pass from Daniel Sedin at 3:42 of OT, I fell in love again – with my wife. Oh, and the Canucks too.
4. My Pals
Now, having spent the majority of my formative years in Southern Alberta, you might assume that I would share a preference for a team more geographically-centric. Not me. Nor a couple of my friends. As you can see, a couple of them "Rock the Red", (the jersey-less one’s are Copper and Blue boys) and this has led to endless debate over the validity of goals (BTW, Rush and Snoop - he did kick it in!), who has a better team (we do, 1989 aside – and he did kick it in), who has the more storied history (Shane O’Brien’s Roxy exploits vs. Mike Vernon’s crooning at Ranchman’s), who has the better beer selection at the stadium (neither – Molson Canadian is horse piss). All that being said, the good natured rivalry has resulted in highs and lows for all sides, but has never pushed us apart – more so has only brought us closer together in our love of the game!
5. My Hudson
I have been really blessed with two healthy boys born in 2007 and 2009. Both love hockey (though I think the youngest is a Pens fan, like his mom); my oldest, Hudson (3), is the one who has latched onto Daddy’s squad – full force. The first time I felt him kick in his Mom’s belly was at a Canucks game – Red Wings / Canucks (Saturday, March 17, 2007) – during the national anthem. He routinely snuggles in with me, wearing his Luongo jersey, and shouts, "Go Canucks Go!" and "HE SHOOTS, HE SCORES!". When we go to games, he stays to the end, fixated on the sights and sounds. If I am not watching the play, he’ll grab me by the chin and turn my head to keep up with the action. He mimics "Lalongo" (Thanks, Don Cherry) while minding the nets in front of our home. When they win, he is ecstatic. When they lose, he reminds me that "Dinosaur Train" is on, giving me a subtle reminder that there is more to life than hockey. He helps keep me grounded on what is more important in life.