A Canucks Thanksgiving: Five things I’m thankful for…

Gobble Gobble

North of the border Canucks fans are slowly climbing out of food comas Monday, enjoying the benefits of a yearly tryptophan trip meant to give us time to contemplate what we are all thankful for.

From a hockey fan’s point of view, this fall has been especially difficult. NHL hockey hasn’t started on schedule, and no holiday will replace the joy a game can bring to so many fans.

So what exactly do Canucks fans have to be thankful for while we all suffer through the lockout blues?

The Franchise

Yes, it has been tough to call yourself a Canucks fan over the last several months. Losing a Stanley Cup Final in dramatic fashion will do that, so will a city-wide temper tantrum that rivalled a political protest. Despite the tribulations, the Canucks franchise maintains quirky redeeming qualities.

The team’s empty trophy case is tough to defend in any bar argument, but the wait for a first-ever franchise championship does allow for optimism. The absence of a Stanley Cup banner has driven ownership to focus on one and only goal, one the city so desperately desires.

NHL financial problems aside, I’m thankful to cheer for a franchise that continually spends every dollar it can in pursuit of its first ever championship.

The Team

In addition to the franchise’s dedication to winning a league championship, the players it employs consistently commit themselves to improving the surrounding community. The Canucks aren’t just hockey players, they are professional athletes, and role models for generations to look up to.

When the team’s play on the ice doesn’t put a smile on my face, I’m thankful for hospital visits, events and donations that do. I’m thankful for charity games and the Canucks For Kids Fund.

I’m thankful for Canucks Place Children’s Hospice and, because without those things the Canucks are just a brand in the entertainment business.

Canucks Charity Work

I’m thankful for charity games and the Canucks For Kids Fund. (Photo

The Fans

All in all, I’m thankful for the fans that call the Canucks their team. Collectively, we can be a raving mob of zealots, but individually the passion demonstrated by Canucks fans year after year is encouraging.

The way Metro Vancouver transforms on game day is stunning, and the atmosphere of summer hockey is something I will never forget.

For good and for bad, I’m thankful to be one of many crazy Canucks fans.

The Lockout

I know, I know. Thankful for the lockout? Now THAT is crazy. But the first few weeks of fall without hockey have allowed me to take a step back and assess the game beyond the NHL’s limited scope.

The price of being a Canucks fan isn’t always within reach for some, and the joy of junior hockey has reminded me that there is an affordable alternative.

So all in all, I’m happy that the lockout has brought me back down to earth, where a night at the rink won’t cost a half month’s rent.

The Optimism

Taking their time relative to a number of other regular NHLers, the Canucks as a whole have remained at home, crashing youth hockey games rather crashing the party in Europe.

So if hockey fans have to be exposed to this greed-driven lockout, consider me thankful that the Canucks have kept calm and should be fresh for any potential partial season.

The optimistic towel-waver inside can’t help but wonder what a shortened, delayed schedule could do for Ryan Kesler and the Sedin twins.

Happy Thanksgiving Canucks fans, enjoy the turkey and stay strong.


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About Kevin Vanstone

Born in Vancouver, and a student at UVIC. "The Flying V" follows all things Canucks hockey and covers the best in CIS athletics around the Pacific Northwest. He loves to write about the athletes that used to show him up in his playing days.
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