Don’t call me buddy, guy!
News broke this week that Kevin Bieksa and some of his pals would face-off against the UBC Thunderbirds on October 17.
All of those guys are Canucks traditionally front and centre in charity events while Lapierre is probably there to fool around or something.
The game will also feature Los Angeles Kings defenceman and ex-Canucks D-man Willie Mitchell, in what will surely not be awkward at all.
There won’t be two points on the line, but it is hockey and it is doing for the community.
But what can we expect from the game?
1. An interesting ‘replacement’ ref
Donning the stripes for this game will be Bieksa’s father Al.
He’s apparently a colourful character (he did spawn Kevin) and a tough customer from his playing days in Grimsby Ontario.
Having Big Al as a ref is like when Earl Hebner steps into the ring.
The ref is suddenly an element of the game and a wildcard.
Will Big Al be a factor?
For what side?
2. Sedins gonna dominate
Pity the poor UBC defencemen who will be pylons and playthings for Daniel and Henrik.
They won’t be playing at full intensity, but it takes an elite defender to stop the twins from their magic, and if few in the NHL can do it the T-Birds have no chance.
There’s going to be some pretty and effortless goals scored by the Sedins in this game.
Cherish it, because who knows when you may see it again.
3. Willie Mitchell??
It’s an awkward one-stop reunion tour for Willie Mitchell, who was deemed expendable by Mike Gillis following his severe concussion and took off down the coast to eliminate the Canucks and win the Stanley Cup.
Wonder what his conversations with ex-teammates will sound like?
Really, it will be a homecoming for the local product who deserves that ring after his long career.
4. The start of the inevitable Cory Schneider backlash
I’m joking here but if Schneider gets ventilated by a University squad and the fanbase panics and jumps on the new hotness Eddie Lack, would anyone be seriously surprised?
It means a little bit that Schneider is playing this game and not Roberto Luongo, marking the transition of the leader in the crease, but until this lockout gets solved and Luongo is traded Roberto is still the king, just a lame-duck one.
5. A lot of fun
Let’s face it, hockey in Vancouver is stressful.
Every game is the biggest game of the year, and every reputation is based on the most recent shift.
People complain that Rogers Arena is quiet and I think a factor is pure nerves.
The stakes as Canuck fans have never been higher.
The team is in the middle of their most successful run in franchise history but it’s also been full of heartbreak and anger.
The chance to see some Canucks play a game of shinny with nothing on the line except money for charities sounds really relaxing.
Just a fun time at the rink, which is what hockey used to be all about until we injected billions of dollars into it.