Jump to content

Welcome to canucks.com Vancouver Canucks homepage





Photo

Sore Losers

Posted by Jason Chen, 12 January 2011 · 286 views

Roberto Luongo Keith Ballard Trevor Linden
Growing up in a hockey-mad city, I idolized the Canucks. As a kid, you don't pay as much attention to wins or standings or special teams efficiency, and although the adrenaline rush of watching your team win is unmatched, you're always rooting for a single player. But given the economics of the league, players are drafted, signed, traded, waived, or bought out, coaches and GMs are hired, fired, and re-hired. For me, the appreciation of a single player was enough to keep me interested. When I attended Canucks games, which weren't many, considering I'm not a season-ticket holder and single game tickets can be pricey, I was watching one player and one player only: Trevor Linden. I can honestly say that I've never, ever left a game early, and I always made my dad stay until the three-star selections. It was a huge delight for me to see Linden skate in a mini-circle and give a wave to the fans, if only it lasted less than five seconds. You cheered for your favourite player, even in tough losses. So it is particularly disappointing for me to hear that the Canucks have now grown a tendency to not come out during the three-start selections.

Back in May, I ripped the Canucks for not saluting their fans after the Blackhawks ended the Canucks' playoff run on home ice. This is what I wrote:

"Vancouver fans are no stranger to disappointments. After 40 years of futility we've seen just about everything. But never have I ever seen any Canucks team fail to salute the fans after the end of the season. That perhaps was the most frustrating part of the game. Sure, most fans booed and with the way the Canucks showed up to this game I wouldn't want to stick around the rink any longer than I should, but there are fans who still cheer for them through the tough times and who still genuinely care. Vancouver's a passionate hockey town and for the team to ultimately disrespect their fans like that is discomforting. The majority of the fans left the rink with a sour taste in their mouths but that's no excuse to not acknowledge the support Vancouver fans have given the team all year." (May 12, 2010)

I understand the bitterness after a loss. Everyone's experienced it before. Words are harder to put together. Movements are slower. You're in disbelief, then your shoulders drop and you wonder what you could've done better, then you start getting angry, wondering why you weren't good enough, having been eliminated in a similar fashion the year before. I get it. But what I don't get, is why these professionals can't suck it up and give their fans a little wave of thanks.

There are many fans who don't care - a win is a win, and after all, it is a team game. But there are also many who do care. There are a lot of kids today who wait to get an extra glimpse of Henrik, Dan, Kesler, Luongo, or whoever. If 18,859 people walk out of Rogers Arena not caring about the three stars, the players should still come out and give that one person remaining in the stands a salute. It doesn't mean a lot to us because we don't care, but there are still those who do, and given the prices these fans pay to come to games, it's not too much to ask.

On January 5, I ripped Luongo on Twitter for not coming out after being named the game's first star in a 3-1 win. It was quite obvious to me that he was upset at losing his shutout with only 10.3 seconds to go in the game. "I'm a competitor and I want to stop them all and I was a little disappointed that one went in at the end," Luongo had said after the game, after declining an on-ice interview when he was named the game's first star after stopping 43 shots. Wait. Was Luongo actually so bitter that he lost a statistic that he refused to come out and acknowledge the fans? Could he be that selfish and petty? I sure hope not.

But sure enough, after losing to Detroit in a 2-1 shootout loss, the Canucks once again failed to come out. Luongo and Ballard were named two of the three stars but neither came out. I can understand why players don't come out during road games, like Jimmy Howard, because this isn't their hometown crowd, even if there are plenty of Red Wings fans in the stands. So in both wins and losses, the Canucks just don't come out. It's not like being named a star isn't worth anything - the Canucks' Molson Cup award is annually given to the player who is named one of the three stars most over the course of the season. Luongo won the award three consecutive times, from 2006-2009. I don't get it.

Then, Iain MacIntyre reveals to us that the Canucks have "... a loose, long-standing policy against asking their players to return to the ice after losses. Ballard, in fact, didn't even know until [MacIntyre] told him that he'd been named a star and was horrified at the possibility fans might think he had disrespected them." Kudos to Ballard for actually feeling guilty about the whole thing, but what kind of organization does this to their fans? When did the Canucks become such prima donnas? We understand that the Canucks' first goal is to win and quite (unfairly) both the organization and fans think that a Cup title will all of a sudden exonerate all of the past miscues. Not really.

  • 0



Is this rant really necessary? Aren't you happy about the success this year?

After a tough loss, do the fans really care about the 3 stars?

Especially this year where it's Stanley Cup or Bust.

I'd take a win over seeing them coming back on the ice.

And your Prima-Donna comment???

Get your priorities straight.

Prima-donnas don't spend as many hour at the children's hospital as the Canucks do.
They have given so much to this community so let's cut them a break as they try their best this year.
    • 0

Is this rant really necessary? Aren't you happy about the success this year?

After a tough loss, do the fans really care about the 3 stars?

Especially this year where it's Stanley Cup or Bust.

I'd take a win over seeing them coming back on the ice.

And your Prima-Donna comment???

Get your priorities straight.

Prima-donnas don't spend as many hour at the children's hospital as the Canucks do.
They have given so much to this community so let's cut them a break as they try their best this year.


You've completely missed the point. I'm absolutely happy with the wins and being at the top of the league. My previous post lauded this squad and named it the best ever in franchise history.

After a tough loss, believe it or not, there are fans who do care about the three stars. You may not care, but there are those who do. Even if there's only one, the players should at least acknowledge them. It goes a long way. I know from personal experience. It's these small differences that separate the great from the good. I don't think Steve Yzerman has ever not come out. Same goes for Lemieux or Gretzky.

Read between the lines - Luongo didn't come out because he was so upset he lost his shutout bid. Maybe management didn't bother telling him to come out but he should've known. Ballard was horrified - he knew the tradition and the consequences. It's not about who wins or who loses, it's about having respect for the game and the fans. Like MacIntyre said, if no one cares, then why bother with the award? Why bother with the damn Molson Cup? Obviously it's not the Vezina or Jennings, but it means SOMETHING, no?

The same criticism goes for the Pens during the Winter Classic. No handshake. Sure, it's just another regular season game but it had become tradition by then.

The Canucks do great work with the Children's Hospital. People who work for the organization are fantastic - on occasion I've met quite a number of them. Just because they're playing their best doesn't mean I'm going to give them a break. Same rule applies even if they're the NJ Devils. I don't care how well you play, show some appreciation. Is it hard being a professional athlete? Absolutely. Are they worth millions? I think so, it's hard to completely justify them not to. But just because they don't want/like to do something doesn't mean they don't have to. They're professionals. I think they should know better. Hockey players are known as one of the most classy athletes in the world. Right now it just looks like they don't care.
    • 0
The 3-stars is hardly rooted in tradition.

Honestly...i really like your blogs...but you sound a bit petulant and reeking of self-entitlement.

I go to the games for the games...not for a 3 star dog and pony show.

People really need to get off of this non-issue, including you.
    • 0

The 3-stars is hardly rooted in tradition.

Honestly...i really like your blogs...but you sound a bit petulant and reeking of self-entitlement.

I go to the games for the games...not for a 3 star dog and pony show.

People really need to get off of this non-issue, including you.


The 3-star selection, although it has gone through numerous transformations, were first introduced in 1936, on HNIC, no less. It has been around for over 70 years, so yes, I do think it's a tradition.

In the grand scheme of things, yes, winning some games trumps this relatively small issue, but it's these little things that bug me. Call me obsessive (I just might be), but I think it's always these little things that tell us a lot about a player.
    • 0

The 3-star selection, although it has gone through numerous transformations, were first introduced in 1936, on HNIC, no less. It has been around for over 70 years, so yes, I do think it's a tradition.

In the grand scheme of things, yes, winning some games trumps this relatively small issue, but it's these little things that bug me. Call me obsessive (I just might be), but I think it's always these little things that tell us a lot about a player.

My point is...they never showed the 3 stars on TV...nor did the players come out to salute the fans anyways until the recent past.

Listen...its not like our group of players have attitude to burn, ala Avery or some other schmuck like Chelios.

Hockey players do not owe us a song or dance after the game...let alone the hometown boys.

Now...if there was a community event...or even a public appearance/signing and a player regularly flaked out (which Messier did on a few occasions)..then yeah...there is a case to be made about a players integrity.

In this case...its much ado about nothing.
    • 0
I'm not so sure how far back players have come out for a twirl, but I have seen Joe Sakic doing it when he played against Vancouver in the mid to late 90s. At GM Place.

Habs players get rousing ovations when they come out for their twirls.




In the second clip PK Subban even flips his stick to a kid. You're telling me it doesn't make a difference? I beg to differ.

Showing up for charity events is one thing, and the Canucks earn top, top marks for that, but that's away from the game. If you lose a shutout, don't moan and groan and get all moody. Thank the fans a little for cheering you on for 60 minutes.
    • 0
You can't please everybody. It's their choice whether they come out or not. Although such a gesture may exist with other teams in the league, I find it outrageous that you would be offended by something like this.
    • 0

You can't please everybody. It's their choice whether they come out or not. Although such a gesture may exist with other teams in the league, I find it outrageous that you would be offended by something like this.


It is absolutely their choice. There are no league or team sanctioned consequences for not coming out. All I'm saying is that they should because it goes a long way. The most memorable athletes are the ones that connect most with fans, even if it is negative (Ron Artest at Auburn Hills, anyone?). I'm not offended, but certainly perplexed and annoyed.
    • 0

My Picture

Recent Entries

Recent Comments

Latest Visitors

Canucks.com is the official Web site of The Vancouver Canucks. The Vancouver Canucks and Canucks.com are trademarks of The Vancouver Canucks Limited Partnership.  NHL and the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup are registered trademarks and the NHL Shield and NHL Conference logos are trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P.  Copyright © 2009 The Vancouver Canucks Limited Partnership and the National Hockey League.  All Rights Reserved.