Canucks and Beyond
Entries with the tag: luc bourdon
Sometime tonight, a whole lot of people will be celebrating and a whole lot of others will be feeling pretty crappy. But what we can all agree on, I hope, is that it would be great to enjoy a fantastic hockey game before that final buzzer. A roller-coaster series like this one deserves to end with an epic game.
Whatever team you’re rooting for, enjoy the ride. (And… Go Canucks!)
P.S. I wrote a post before this series about all the reasons I’d celebrate winning a Stanley Cup. One of those reasons was in the memory of Luc Bourdon. So I’ll let Tom Cochrane end this post with his tribute to Bourdon nearly three years ago:
“I would like to thank my teammates, coaches and the entire Canucks organization for their tremendous compassion and support during this very difficult time for myself, my family and the entire Bragnalo family. I would also like to thank the passionate fans of the Canucks for their support and the media who have given us the respect and time to grieve in private. I loved Carly very much. My family and I will forever miss her. At this difficult time for our families it is my wish to not speak about our loss publically. Thank you.”
Taylor Pyatt - via Canucks.com
From the NHLPA:
The National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) announced today that $115,000 has been raised in honour of the late Luc Bourdon. All proceeds raised will support scholarships and various youth-related initiatives through the establishment of the Luc Bourdon Memorial Fund.
“NHLPA members have shown exceptional support in paying tribute to Luc Bourdon, who was a great friend to many,” said Paul Kelly, NHLPA Executive Director. “The significant impact Luc’s life had on his fellow players is evident by the success of the players’ efforts to raise this money. The proceeds raised will further honour Luc through the Memorial Fund in his name.”
$55,000 was raised by the NHLPA’s online eBay auction; $50,000 from some of the proceeds from the SuperSkills event in Vancouver a few weeks ago; and another $10,000 contributed from the NHLPA.
Bourdon’s mother Suzanne Boucher will be officially instituting the Luc Bourdon Memorial Fund later this year.
Last April, Vancouver finished the 2007-08 season with a dreary 7-1 loss to the Calgary Flames. This year they opened their new season by returning the favor, handing the Flames a 6-0 beating.
The pre-game ceremony honoring Luc Bourdon was emotional (as expected) and a well done affair by the Canucks. And Tom Cochrane’s Big League was the perfect tribute. (You can watch the video the Canucks produced here; to see the whole ceremony at GM Place, go here and fast forward about 2 minutes).
It was a bit of an emotional-overload transitioning from that to watching a hockey game, but once we did, what a great game it was. Here are some meandering observations:
The Wall of Dreams is a visual salute to Luc and everything that he represented; he was fond of minor hockey so the wall is surrounded by 191 pucks representing all the minor hockey associations throughout BC. There are also six pucks below Luc’s picture, they symbolize his rise through hockey.
Suzanne Boucher, Luc’s mother, and Charlene Ward, his girlfriend, were both on hand for the unveiling along with an entourage that made their way to Vancouver from New Brunswick, including Luc’s uncle and aunt, grandmother, Charlene’s mother Diane, her brother Randy and other extended family members. [...]
“We wanted Luc to be able to stay alive in GM Place and we’re really proud that the Canucks did this for him,” said Charlene, who spoke on behalf of herself and Suzanne. “For him to be here for always means a lot to us.”
The Wall of Dreams is a lovely gesture by the Canucks, and the memorial to Luc Bourdon’s life that’s happening at the game tonight is absolutely the right thing to do—for the team, for the fans and for the family.
But the net result of these things has been to make opening night a rather sad affair, too.
The Vancouver Canucks announced today that they will honour the memory of former Canucks defenceman Luc Bourdon on October 9, 2008 prior to the Canucks home opener.
“Luc was an important part of our Canucks family. We want to make sure that everyone who Luc touched has the opportunity to celebrate his life and memory,” said Chris Zimmerman, President and CEO, Canucks Sports & Entertainment.
The Canucks also mentioned they will be remembering Bourdon throughout the coming season by adding some “element” to every player’s helmet.
From the eulogies at Luc Bourdon’s funeral today, put together by Bal Brach* at Canwest, via the National Post:
In another eulogy, Mr. Bourdon, 21, was described as a courageous, tenacious, yet simple man.
“You went down your dream road and you never stopped dreaming,” added another speaker in French. “For that and more we thank you.”
“To the Vancouver Canucks, thank you for believing in Luc. When you selected him, part of the town of Shippagan became fans (of the Vancouver Canucks).”
The tributes continued as Mr. Bourdon was described as a diamond. “All together we made the diamond shine and glow.”
Mr. Bourdon’s casket was draped with his jersey and white roses.
Read on. A collection of lovely, but heart-breaking, sentiments.
*note: story credit at the link later noted to Jason Botchford.
In Saturday’s Globe & Mail:
Canuck Place Children’s Hospice has seen a flurry of donations since the motorcycle crash in New Brunswick on Thursday that claimed the 21-year-old defenceman’s life. Most of the donation amounts have involved the number 28, the jersey Bourdon wore with the Canucks.
“What are the odds of someone making a $28 or $280 or $2,800 donation out of the blue?” Canuck Place chief executive officer Filomena Nalewajek said yesterday. “This is people’s way of saying we really understand the connection between the Canucks and Canuck Place and this is the way we want to express our grief.”
$7,000 has been donated since yesterday. Visit Canuck Place.org to see what they’re all about.
Also, Canucks.com has a page on the site dedicated to memories of Luc, and provides an email form for fans to send a personal message to his family.
Understandably, there is a great deal of talk today dissecting Luc Bourdon’s decision to ride a motorcycle and his inexperience. Certainly, motorcycles and youth are a dangerous combination, but is that really the most important lesson to be learned from this tragedy?
Like them or not, motorbikes are legal and plenty of people ride them safely for years. Inexperience is likely to have played a part in young Bourdon’s death, but accidents can happen to anybody and under many circumstances.
As I believe TSN’s Bob McKenzie commented yesterday at some point, when your number is up, it’s up. No matter how carefully Bourdon might have chosen to live, life itself just isn’t terribly fair about these things.
A warning in advance—this post is more personal than hockey-ish. But that seems appropriate today.
When the news came in about Luc Bourdon’s death this morning, I had been idly writing a post I’d been pondering over the last few days. I’d been thinking on the subject of how hockey fans might sometimes benefit from a perspective served by less “analysis” and more “passion.”
I think that hockey fans—while blessed with a remarkable depth of media coverage (particularly online) of their favorite sport—also lose something with all that exposure. That after a point, perhaps the endless analysis and critique makes us cold to the emotional connection and passion we once had for the game.
And so hockey becomes something which is no longer about our childhood heroes and their beautiful, skillful plays. Instead we become preoccupied with the most finite statistics and breakdowns, and occasionally mean-spirited (rather than useful) criticism.
The young defender Vancouver Canucks Luc Bourdon died after a motorcycle accident in north-east of NB nearly Shipagan.
The circumstances of the accident have not yet been revealed.
Oh my goodness. Such awful news. More soon.
Update 10:56am PT: Other Vancouver-based media members are telling me they’ve received the same information and believe the report to be true.
I’m so very, very sorry to Luc’s family and friends. I can’t even put it properly into words. I expect hockey fans everywhere feel the same way.
Update 11:36am PT: via the Globe & Mail—
Bourdon’s sister, Eve Bourdon, confirmed the death but declined further comment when reached at the family’s home in Shippagan.
“Luc was a winner, he was a competitor,” said Kent Hughes, his agent. “There was no quit in him. He persevered through a lot. He was a great guy and a great teammate.”
Update 11:55am PT: Check in with TEAM 1040 at Noon. They’ll be reporting more, from Tommy Larscheid and others.
Update 12:25pm PT: A statement from Canucks GM Mike Gillis—
“We are deeply saddened by today’s news and on behalf of the entire Vancouver Canucks organization, I would like to extend my sincere sympathies to Luc’s family. Luc was an extremely talented player with a bright future. He brought great passion to the game and was a valued team member on and off the ice. He will be greatly missed.”
Update 1:25pm PT: According to TEAM 1040 reports, Bourdon only acquired the motorcycle two days ago. Predictably, this is sidetracking the conversation from Bourdon to issues of pro-athletes being restricted from motorcycles, etc. (Personally, I think this is a non-issue, today of all days. Besides, accidents happen all the time. He could have died in any number of ‘acceptable’ ways and it would still be the tragedy it is.)
Note: The NHLPA released their own statement, plus some background on Bourdon’s career. Earlier, Gary Bettman also expressed his condolences publicly on the NHL Hour on XM Radio.
Note: All times noted on this post are in PT. I’d accidentally noted them as ET initially, but now fixed.
Related: “Perspective on a Nice Kid”
Allan Muir at Sports Illustrated offers a suggestion to boost Vancouver Canucks scoring needs:
GM Dave Nonis has to recognize that a window has opened up here that requires him to take a proactive approach. Sacrificing a piece of the future—defenseman Luc Bourdon appears expendable with the emergence of Alexander Edler—to add some bite to the forward unit is a must move. There’s no hurry, of course, but Nonis can’t be the one left looking for a chair when the music stops.
Bourdon might well be expendable to the Canucks, but—despite his likely future value—is any GM going to hand over a proven goal scorer for a rookie that’s yet to prove himself in any substantive way, and whose development has been constantly questioned? Bourdon’s trade value is difficult to predict, but Muir’s probably right assuming he’s up for grabs if the right deal came along.
Just no idea what that deal might be, and no good rumors either… where’s Spector when I need him?!
Kevin Bieksa has been staying away from reporters, but finally broke his silence about his injury today. From Elliott Pap,
Too distraught initially to discuss his plight, Bieksa finally met reporters Tuesday at GM Place.
“I know I’m going to be out for a long time and miss a big chunk of the season so it’s been tough emotionally,” said Bieksa, the Canucks’ best blue-liner a year ago when he collected 42 points. “Physically, I’ve been lucky in that I haven’t had too much pain since maybe four or five days after the surgery.”
Bieksa received stitches both inside and outside the leg - they come out Thursday - and will wear a hard cast for four to six weeks at which time he will be re-assessed. He was told the surgery wasn’t considered major, even though the injury is.
There’s some discussion in the article about the possibility that the thinner socks being worn this season may have worsened the impact of Bieksa’s injury. It’s only speculation, but still a disturbing consideration.
Exciting stuff. Fortunately, they’re back in action tomorrow.
The Vancouver Canucks made their final roster moves on Monday, setting their opening night roster of 24 players.
Heading down to the AHL’s Manitoba Moose are D Luc Bourdon, RW Mike Brown, RW Patrick Coulombe, RW Jannik Hansen, RW Michael Grabner, LW Jason Jaffray, and C Rick Rypien. Also on Monday, the Canucks released D Dan McGillis.
McGillis was with the team since mid-September for a professional tryout. Some of the others we can certainly expect to see again over the season. (And probably fairly soon, if the Canucks continue their recent pace of landing in the hospital…)
Filed in: manitoba moose, vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
Tags: jannik+hansen, jason+jaffray, luc+bourdon, michael+grabner, mike+brown, moose, patrick+coulombe, rick+rypien, vancouver+canucks
Unlike many other fans who seem preoccupied and fascinated with the prospects reporting to camp over the past week, I’m afraid I have a really hard time caring. It all reminds me of the opening day of tryouts for any kids’ sports team, when every bozo is looking for a spot.
And while these are all talented hockey players and not bozos by any means, I struggle to find it interesting in the initial stages.