clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Welcome Olli...

New, comments

We're sure you'll love Vancouver. Oh my yes, it is indeed beautiful. But you should know that we are a little nuts out here when it comes to hockey.

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

I for one am very happy with a defenseman of your calibre with the pick, but the pre draft list had the Canucks getting Dubois or your old Knight teammate Tkachuck.  So, sorry for the variety of questions you'll get for a while on how it will be to play him, and how the Canucks could have picked him and all that.  ( He is a Flame now, so you are supposed to hate your old teammate now. Sorry about that... ) Navel gazing and second guessing the GM are kind of summertime rituals at this point.  You might have heard of the crazy fans and almost as crazy media, but it's just because the Canucks are the only team of The Big Four that we have here. So, it can get a little crazy. We mean well though.

A little back story of how deep hockey mania goes here.  Did you know that this is the birthplace of the modern game ?  That the largest, and first artificial ice arena was right at the corner of Denman and Georgia ?  Here's the link to all of that, where the Patrick Brothers were the dominant family in the old WHL, which won the Cup two times when the league they helped start out West played for the Cup from 1915-1926..

So, when someone starts talking about the Millionaires and the Cup they won in 1915, ( Frank Patrick, playing coach ) just nod politely and understand that this is one of those fans that is in a severe Cup fever dream.  Don't worry, he or she is probably harmless, and might even be fun to be around.  You should have no problems at first though Olli.  It hasn't been quite that long, but it has been a while since we had a #1 defenseman here too. ( no pressure ! I'm sure most of us will be happy with Top Four, as long as Tkachuck does not score 40-50 goals ;-)

Since you are ( sorta ) from Eastern Canada, don't take it personally if you get some gentle jibes for being from the "Centre Of The Universe", even if you are not from Toronto.  There are many reasons for that, not the least just basic regional tribalism, but even here, there is a hockey relation.  You'll note when and if you play in that afternoon game on a Saturday that there are a lot of Leaf jerseys in the audience.   Most of the younger fans won't even reference it, but the older fans sure will.  Here it is.  The Leafs, as the first expansion was being debated in 1967, decided to assert that the entire rest of Canada west of Quebec was their "territory".  Now, at the time, it was wrapped up in brewery politics as well, but Vancouver had built the Pacific Coliseum just to get that team.  It was supposed to be a done deal. ( an aside, that is where the ridiculous, at the time, California Golden Seals were able to get a team that played in a place called "The Cow Palace". ) '. Hell, you might not even be a Leaf fan !  Just that, for some of us, we feel were were deprived of three years of NHL hockey because the Leafs are, well, the Leafs!  You'll actually enjoy those games, the atmosphere is always electric with the dueling chants, and both sets of fans into every play.

It is a unique one history here.  One that reaches back in time to even find our city on the Cup, to everyone else's constant reminder.  That is what you got yourself into.  We do mean well, though, I promise.  Put another way, street names will get changed ( Joulevi Avenue ? ) if you manage to get your name on that Big Shiny Thing.  So, there's that.

The Canucks went to the Final three times ( 1982, 1994 and... ) the last time, the most recent time, in 2011, is probably the one you remember. It was a special kind of pain for the Canuck fans, and maybe even some of the vets on the team.  They gave their all, and literally broke their bodies to get that close.  They were up 2-0, and 3-2, and lost on home ice.  The riot that ensued was worse than in 1994 ( that one could be blamed on circumstances related to the policing on the night , although, no excuses, any riot is a stupid thing to do ), and very embarrassing.  Sure, we can point to the fact there were some people that wanted to start a riot, regardless of the result.  ( there might even be a few hot takes on it in the comments below if you want to look, it is still in the freaking courts, FFS ) The riots happened.  They were stupid.  Let's hope they never happen again, if we are ever close enough to have a freaking reason to repeat that craziness.

We just want a Cup.  At this point, it is a mania, something that the city and province need to happen before we can move beyond it.  We get it, how the rest of the leagues' fans view us out here.  If you think about it, this is a "one sport town"in all aspects of that term.  Boston fans loved to point that out derisively in 2011, and it is indeed true that a lot of this mania is a result of the focus being so intense because of that truism.  But once you live here for a while, you'll get it is not an all consuming passion for everyone.  Sure, the guy at the corner store, the barista on the way to the rink, and the waitress at the restaurant will all have suggestions on line combos and "can you believe that ##### deal Benning made?" could come from any one of them.  But it will be delivered with a smile.  Most folks are only slightly affected.  Just watch out for the ones that try to pin you down with advanced stats and have that glint in their eyes.  They're just in the throes of their addiction.

Lastly, twitter.  Stick to what the team guy says for now Olli.  Hockey comes first  anyhow.  Even if you are funny, and think you could be another @Strombone1 , now is not the time, and no matter what you say, someone is going to either take offense or misconstrue it.  Now, if you are naturally a guy that is positive and fun, like Eddie Lack was, then dip that toe in there.  Maybe start a friendly twitter relationship with a local blogger ( @vancitydan , for instance ).  And only after you've made the team.  Priorities, right ?

Welcome to Vancouver.  You'll love it here.  That fishbowl stuff is mostly overrated, and the media are just trying to feed the beast.  Forget that one of them called you a "consolation prize" . The story is mostly positive, and headlines are just for clickbait and to sell views these days anyhow.

If it's Yaletown or the West End for that downtown Vancouver experience, I'd go for the West End.  A place with a view of English Bay. You'll be able to afford one of the "nice" places too !

OK, that is enough for now.  Good Luck !