Canucks and Beyond

How to Make a Canucks Fan Puke

09/14/2007 at 5:10am EDT

image(aside from throwing a Mark Messier Canucks Invitational Golf Tournament, that is…)

The Vancouver Canucks opened training camp in Victoria on Thursday, and while anticipating that—all things considered—I expect Canucks’ fans would prefer that this is NOT a thrilling day-to-day ride. Yet one of the opener’s events clearly violated such good common sense:

A few hearts stood still at Vancouver Canucks training camp today when Canucks winger Jeff Cowan piled into star netminder Roberto Luongo only a few minutes into the first set of drills.

Cowan lost his balance during a routine one-on-one and slid hard into the Hart Trophy finalist at high speed. The two became entangled in the net and it seemed like eternity, although it was only seconds…

Both were fine, but geezus… I think we can all live without that particular level of excitement. Luongo’s laughing comment after was, “I was wondering what was going on. I thought maybe he took a page out of the Anaheim Ducks’ playbook.”

Ugh. Nice he can be lighthearted about it, but can anyone else laugh? Without Louie, pucks start going into Canucks’ nets at a rate far exceeding the regularity they will ever bypass netminders at the other end of the arena.

And one other thing: I’d prefer it if everyone quit acting like Yo!Luongo is just another freakin’ hockey player and start treating him like high lead weight crystal. So can we please try not to assassinate our own $6.5 million piece of crystal?!

Cool. Thanks. Cheers.

But fortunately other things went great on Thursday, especially for the Vancouver Island fans who finally had a chance to check out the action in person:

This is awesome and I’m bringing my boys [Friday] as well. Hey, these are the Canucks. School can wait,” said Debra Kahl.

Indeed. School is forever, but live-game exposure to NHL hockey comes to town once every 37 years. (Interestingly, that entire story seems to be about parents who decided to yank their lil’uns out of school for some hockey and

beer

hotdogs. And being stuck on that island myself—and also very interested in hockey and

beer

hotdogs—I can totally respect that).

Besides: everyone knows that education is highly overrated.

In other good news, Jim Hughson is alive and well and ready to call games again this season. (note: you can hear Paul’s and my interview with Hughson here from last May… that is, if you wish to relive the pain of thinking the Canucks might actually win that series against Disneyland…).

Anyway, as Blue Jays fans know, the Canucks’ favorite play-by-play commentator kept himself busy this summer:

After the long grind of the hockey season, Hughson spent much of his downtime at his family cabin in the Okanagan – “We go up there as much as we can and hang out” – but didn’t get the entire summer off. For the first time since moving west from Toronto 13 years ago, Hughson called a handful of Toronto Blue Jays baseball games for CBC.

Before moving home to B.C. to cover the Canucks, Hughson spent the early ’90s calling games for both the Toronto Blue Jays and Montreal Expos.

“It was a lot of fun – it’s good to have new challenges once in awhile,” he said.

Okee dokee. Just don’t get used to it, Jim. Dabble around at the CBC with HNIC and Jays’ games once in a while if you must… but if you quit calling our Canucks games, I’ll be leading the revolt.

Finally, Jeff Patterson from the TEAM 1040 (and the Georgia Straight) asks some questions for Canucks fans to consider as we ponder training camp, starting with, “What does Markus Naslund have left?”

My answer?

Everything, Jeff. Nazzy’s got everything left… to prove.

And I’m ready for it.

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