28 October 2010
One night of hockey in a week is not enough for this girl.
Dear NHL schedulers, I could care less if there is some baseball game going on, if there was hockey on instead, I would be watching it.
If I find it this rough already and it's only Thursday, I cannot imagine what I'm going to be saying come Saturday when the full realization that there are no.Canuck.games.on.all.weekend finally sets in.
So during these past few days off I've had some time to think about this new Ring of Honour initiative that the Canucks launched during the game on Tuesday night. It is an on-going initiative that is intended to "celebrate and salute Canuck heroes who have made a lasting impact on the franchise".
The first inductee was Orland Kurtenbach who was the first Canucks captain for the first four seasons and went on to be a coach of the Canucks for two seasons afterwards. There are three more planned for this season which is planned to occur on November 24th, January 24th and March 14th, but the identities of the inductees haven't been announced yet.
I will be the first to admit that I don't know that much about the Canucks' history. I also don't know many stats about players either, but that is because I'm not really interested in remembering stats. But back to what I was saying, I don't know much about the Canucks pre-1994. I don't consider myself to be a bad fan because of it and attribute it instead to two major reasons. The first is, well I'm not that old. I'm still under thirty (just barely R), and thus I really do not have much memory of what went on before their big cup run. Sure I watched games as a kid, but only when Pavel Bure hit the ice with the Canucks during the 1991-1992 year did I really start paying attention. There was something about Bure's speed and excitement that every time he stepped out on the ice, how could you NOT get excited as a kid? It was with the 1994 cup run, that my fandom was cemented.
Of course afterwards there were good years, bad years and a helluva lot of mediocre years during my following of the Canucks. But what this organization has missed teaching its fans over the years is about the history of the Canucks. What the Canucks organization has done so far this season with regards to that has been top notch.
The home opener against Los Angeles was very well done. It involved honouring the past with many Canucks alumni present, throwback jerseys and the naming of Henrik as captain was both light and showed respect to the team's history. Having the first captain of the Canucks give the C to the newly named captain of the Canucks was something truly special. And big points to the Canucks for keeping the ceremony short. One of my biggest fears about this season is that the Canucks would join the club of the long-winded-way-too-many-ceremonies-to-count club of Montreal and Toronto. I swear Montreal's Centennial went on for three years. Am I right or am I right?
So far, the Canucks have kept all ceremonies that have occurred at GM Place moving swiftly, but was still able to bestow the correct amount of admiration, respect and class on the player/players being honoured. I guess with this organization, this really started two years ago when they retired Trevor Lindens jersey. I was a jealous b-tch at home (friend got the tickets to go) watching the ceremony on tv. I cried even though Linden didn't.
Now to get to the point of the post: I feel like this celebrating and saluting of our Canuck heroes has been never addressed before in this capacity. Of course there have been alumni skates and alumni in the community and stuff like that, but this year it's different.
I feel like this current organization is going out of their way to showcase individuals who have made an impact on this franchise in the past and pay them the respect and appreciation that have been deserving of. And at the same time, it's teaching the current players and the fans about our past as a team. With the first inductee bouncing around on the Team 1040 and Sportsnet giving interviews these past few days, I've learnt so much about our first ever captain of the Canucks. It's been really neat to hear all stories from 'back in the day' so far and I've thoroughly enjoyed the learning process so far.
What kind of impact learning from your past has on this current team's success is up for debate. There might be none. Our greatest achievements so far have also be the most devastating but that's what you get when you've only lost in the finals.
But there is something to be said for learning from your past and respecting those that came before you. It feels like there's been a change in how this organization values it's people, which to me, will have an impact on this current team's success now or in the future.