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Which Canuck Should I Be? - OCT.04.07

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Sunny Dhillon

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<table width=90% align=center><td><img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/sunny_blog.jpg" align="left" hspace="4">

“8,500 fans? For the jersey launch?”<bR><br>

That was my reaction on August 29th when I learned just how many spectators had poured into GM Place to watch the Vancouver Canucks unveil their new uniforms. <br><br>

The startled tone in my voice wasn’t there because I was surprised so many fans would go to a Canucks-themed event. After all, this city is crazy about hockey.

No, I was panicked because I was worried about all the heckling those fans would endure when they made the wrong choices and bought the wrong jerseys. <br><br>

You see, there are a lot of bad jerseys in this town. A lot. <br><br>

It isn’t anyone’s fault. Fans inevitably become attached to a player because he threw a nice hit, scored a nice goal, or stuck around after the game and signed some autographs. This attachment causes a slight loss of rationality that explains the abundance of bad jerseys out there, many of which can be found in my very own closet. <br><br>

Peter Zezel. Brandon Convery. Bill Muckalt. Jan Bulis. I’ve seen ‘em all. <br><br>

So while some were frustrated to learn they wouldn’t be able to buy the new jerseys until the middle of September, I was pleased. There would be no short-sighted impulse buying. We, the bad-jersey buyers, had dodged a bullet.

But now, with Vancouver’s season set to get underway, jersey sales are destined to skyrocket. <br><br>

Thus, as a public service, I’ve divided the jersey possibilities into five categories to help you make the sound long-term choice and determine: Which Canuck should I be? <br><br>

<a href="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/092607_sjsharks05_b.jpg.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/092607_sjsharks05_t.jpg" align="right" border="0" hspace="4" vspace="1"></a><b>1) Can’t Miss</b><br>

These are the player jerseys you can buy and not worry about because they’re timeless. Even if the player someday moves on to drier pastures, your jersey will still work. <br><br>

<b>Roberto Luongo</b> – The current face of the franchise, who could probably open up his own church and convert 85% of Vancouverites to Louanity? Yeah, you can buy his jersey. <br><br>

<b>Trevor Linden</b> – Mr. Canuck. A player whose number will surely be retired when he decides to hang ‘em up. Can’t go wrong here. Bonus: The ladies love Trevor so rocking his jersey at the bar will get guys far more attention than that cheesy pickup line about whether it hurt to fall all the way from heaven. <br><br>

<b>Markus Naslund</b> – The long-time captain who holds the club record for goals? Works for me. He’s a free agent at the end of this season but he’s done so much for the organization that his jersey will remain a classic until it’s inevitably retired. <br><br>

<a href="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/Sep2007_Twins_b.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/Sep2007_Twins_t.jpg" align="left" border="0" hspace="4" vspace="1"></a><b>2) Good Choice</b><br>

These are the guys who either aren’t at the “Can’t Miss” level just yet or won’t get there entirely. But just because their jerseys might not be retired, that doesn’t mean they aren’t solid selections. <br><br>

<b>Daniel Sedin/Henrik Sedin</b> – You have to group them together because -- I don’t know if you guys are aware of this -- they’re twins. Getting just Daniel’s jersey leads to an unending array of “Where’s Henrik?” comments. Henrik’s jersey? Vice versa. The Sedin jerseys are best suited for siblings/buddies who do all of their Canucking together. Like Pratt and Taylor. <br><br>

<b>Taylor Pyatt</b> – Did you ever notice how similar “Pratt and Taylor” is to “Taylor Pyatt”? Weird. Anyway, Pyatt’s a good choice because he scores often enough that you’ll get plenty of chances to celebrate but not too often so everyone has his jersey. If Pyatt scores and CBC is looking for one of his supporters, your odds of being on TV jump by 64.3%.<br><br>

<b>Ryan Kesler</b> – Similar to Pyatt, but remember, he changed his number a couple of years ago so he can’t be fully trusted. If you ever want to see a grown man cry, go up to someone wearing a Kesler-20 jersey and ask them if Authentix ran out of “Cowan” patches and just threw a Kesler one on there for kicks. <br><br>

<b>Jeff Cowan</b> – Speaking of Cowan, wearing his jersey shows that you have a passion for the finer points of hockey: fore-checking, crashing the net, etc. The Bra-barian’s uniform also increases the likelihood of random undergarments being thrown at you as you walk down the street. I think. <br><br>

<b>Alex Burrows</b> – Much like a Cowan jersey, a Burrows jersey shows a fondness for clearing the zone, particularly on the penalty kill. Wearers of this jersey should note that it is their responsibility to cheer extra loud when the team is a man down. The jersey-wearer must also look extra devastated when one of Alex’s goals is inevitably waved off. <br><br>

<a href="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/092907_oilers01_b.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/092907_oilers01_t.jpg" align="right" border="0" hspace="4" vspace="1"></a><b>3) The D-men</b><br>

I mentioned how wearing a Cowan or Burrows jersey shows an understanding of different elements of the game. Jerseys for defensemen do much the same thing. These jersey-wearers must cheer extra loud when their defenseman blocks a shot or breaks up a 2-on-1. <br><br>

<b>Mattias Ohlund</b> – Inching his way towards the “Can’t Miss” level. <br><br>

<b>Kevin Bieksa</b> – For kicks, have them misspell Bieksa on the back of the jersey by rearranging the “K” and the “S.” Then take your Bieska jersey to Toronto and wait for Bob Cole to beat you down. <br><br>

<b>Willie Mitchell</b> – Yeah, you can buy a Willie Mitchell jersey. But if you’re going to take on the Willie Mitchell persona, you’re going to have to start sticking up for everyone around you. I mean it. If a bear comes after you and your friends, you’re the one who they’re all going to look at to get in there and mix it up. <br><br>

<b>Sami Salo</b> – Sami has a penchant for scoring big goals. This means that when he nets an overtime winner, the number of high-fives you get on your way out of the building may rip off your hand entirely. Proceed with caution. <br><br>

<b>Lukas Krajicek</b> – For the patient and optimistic fan who realizes that Lukas’ upside may lead to bragging rights when he becomes a star. “I was one of the first people to have his jersey.” <br><br>

<b>Alex Edler</b> – I just can’t quite trust the young guys to keep their original jersey numbers. <br><br>

<b>Aaron Miller</b> – And it’s even tougher to trust someone whose contract only runs through the end of this season. Which leads us to…<br><br>

<a href="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/092607_sjsharks03_b.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/092607_sjsharks03_t.jpg" align="left" border="0" hspace="4" vspace="1"></a><b>4) Buyer Beware</b><br>

These are the guys whose jerseys I wouldn’t recommend because it’s possible they’ll be outdated one year from now. <br><br>

<b>Brendan Morrison</b> – Mo’s impending free agency makes buying his jersey a risky proposition. <br><br>

<b>Matt Cooke</b> – Ditto for Cooke. I also had to put him in this group because Morrison’s in it. They belong together. <br><br>

<b>Ryan Shannon</b> – The chronic number-changer who will have you pulling your hair out by November. With Vancouver, Shannon’s wearing 26. With Anaheim, he wore 38. With the Portland Pirates, he wore 41. Can you trust Ryan Shannon not to change his number? No. No you can’t. <br><br>

<b>Byron Ritchie</b> – Let’s give the free agents who signed for one year some time before we start buying their jerseys. Otherwise, you just might get Bulised. <br><br>

<b>Brad Isbister</b> – Ditto for Isbister. Plus, his name seems like one that would definitely get misspelled. Isbistir? Izbister? How would it go? <br><br>

<b>Mason Raymond</b> – Like Edler, I can’t trust him not to change his number yet because he’s too young/indecisive. Call it the Ryan Kesler Korollary. <br><br>

<b>Curtis Sanford</b> – A jersey with the number 41? That just seems like it’s asking to be heckled. <br><br>

<a href="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/sep2407_fan02_b.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/sep2407_fan02_t.jpg" align="right" border="0" hspace="4" vspace="1"></a><b>5) Super Buyer Beware</b><br>

Self-explanatory. <br><br>

<b>Your Own Name </b>– Yeah, you had puck dreams once. And I’ll bet you really did score the winning goal in game 7 of your pee-wee team’s playoff series. But if you’re over the age of 12, you can’t get away with putting your own name on the back of your jersey. Unless you go ahead and do it with all of your other shirts too. <br><br>

<b>Dave Gagner</b> – Fine, he wasn’t just thrown into the Bure deal. The Canucks really wanted him. But spending $200+ on this joke is a little much. <br><br>

<b>Mark Messier</b> – You know, if you’re a jerk or something.</td></tr></table>

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