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I always say “the deeper they go in the playoffs, the better the jerseys look”. And the sweater they are wearing when they finally win the Cup? Well, that one will be cherished as the most beautiful garment imaginable. Men will get married in that jersey.<br><br>
Only in hockey-mad Vancouver would so many fans turn up on a warm and sunny summer afternoon to get first gander at what will be adorning our lads come puck-drop. This is what passes for “Fashion Week” here on the sartorially-laid-back west coast. There are markets all across America where you couldn’t get that many customers out to watch Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final (note to Gary Bettman – the True North loves hockey, carries hockey. You might want to seriously consider another franchise in this fair country).<br><br>
<a href=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/08/sweater20_082907_b.jpg target=_blank><img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/08/sweater20_082907_t.jpg border=0 align=right hspace=4 vspace=1></a>Frankly, if given a choice, I always prefer an event where the boys are removing clothing, like Jerseys Off Our Backs. Still, if I hadn’t been trapped at the office, I would have attended the sweater launch. In the end, though, it was a bit of much ado about nothing. The new jersey isn’t startlingly new. In fact it’s rather old school. And I like it. I love the colours, but I loved them last season. I think I prefer this slightly starker version of the orca, although I was hoping they might take the opportunity to tweak the design – to give the whale a different look. Still, I’m not complaining. <br><br>
<a href=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/08/sweater18_082907_tbjpg target=_blank><img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/08/sweater18_082907_t.jpg border=0 align=left hspace=4 vspace=1></a>I was also hoping, for comic effect, that Canucks management might first unveil some fake sweaters before they revealed the actual thing: Kevin Bieksa in a pink girl-jersey, for instance. Or a deadpan announcement of the return to the heritage “Halloween colours” for both the orca and the skate. But I suppose freaking out the faithful is a dangerous exercise. And I wouldn’t want to be the one to break the news to Kevin – talk about dangerous!<br><br>
As curious as I was about the jersey, I was more interested in seeing what the captain’s annual new fall coiffure would be. Ah Markus, wicked wrist shot and seriously gorgeous hair. No wonder they made him captain (o.k. - I secretly like to believe that choosing the leader involves whipping out the measuring tape). It’s just so great to see the boys back on the ice where they belong.<br><br>
<a href=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/08/sweater17_082907_b.jpg target=_blank><img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/08/sweater17_082907_t.jpg border=0 align=right hspace=4 vspace=1></a>And it’s great to be back in front of a televised hockey game. I have been watching the 6:00 a.m. broadcasts of the Canada Russia Super Series before heading off to work. I swear my whole body relaxes the first time I hear the colour commentary at the start of the season (even if it is the annoying Peter Loubardias and the hyperventilating Pierre McGuire). It hardly seems like 35 years ago that they wheeled the television into my elementary school classroom and we watched breathlessly as history unfolded. It was a great day to be a Henderson, that’s for sure.<br><br>
Speaking of great days, training camp is just around the corner and the start of the pre-season is less than a month away. Much as I hate the ever shortening days, I love, love, love the start of hockey.