Best Canucks Memory: Share yours to win a signed Dan Hamhuis jersey!

I’m back from Vegas and while I left all my money there, it doesn’t mean I need to be as stingy as a slot machine, so we’re having a contest!

With the Canucks celebrating their 40th anniversary season, there are many memorable Canucks moments that fans can recollect. Some may be game related, some may not be but everyone has one.

To celebrate those moments we asked our writers to give us their favourite Canucks moment, and we’re asking you to do the same. In return for your input and a couple of other criteria you’ll get a chance to win a signed Dan Hamhuis jersey, courtesy of CanucksCorner.com and the Vancouver Canucks.

What do you have to do to for a chance to win?

  • Comment below with your favourite Canucks memory.
  • If you’re not a fan of our Facebook page, please become one!
  • Tweet the following: “I shared a #Canucks memory @CanucksCorner for a chance to win a signed Dan Hamhuis jersey from @VanCanucks! http://tinyurl.com/4gdzehz”

As an added bonus, Justine Galo is throwing in a $50.00 gift certificate to the Canucks team store for another lucky winner!

We’ll run this contest for a couple of weeks and then choose the winners via a random draw. Good luck!

Canuckscorner.com favourite Canucks memories

Brian Wawryshyn

My favourite Canucks memory is as a kid, hanging out on the bowels of the Pacific Colosseum. My dad would take us down after a game and we would wait for the players to come out of the dressing room to sign our autograph books. Just a wide eyed kid who was in awe of players like Stan Smyl, Thomas Gradin, Harold Snepsts, Bill Derlago, Rick Lanz and many others. It was a different time, when players were more accessible, and they would walk out of the dressing room past waiting fans. It was the beginning of my life as Canucks fan, and I’ll never forget it.

Justine Galo

Yes, this has got to be most memorable moment. My then three year old daughter was hooked on hockey. It was great to see her cheer for our boys and see her reaction to the crowd and take in the atmosphere of a hockey game. She got her hot dog, her drink, her Canucks shirt and she was all set and very happy. Passing on the love of hockey to my child to me is my most fond memory. It’s wonderful to know that she can share something I am so passionate about.

Yeah those are some pretty big memories for me as a hockey fan, and especially a Canuck fan. I just wanted to share them with you all out there. Remember why you love this team and why you love hockey. It’s beyond what goes on in the game.

Jason Kurylo

My family was not rich by any means, so Vancouver Canucks games even back in the day were stretching the household budget. Also, my dad had long since tired of the bloody knuckled fisticuffs of the Broad Street Bullies and the Big Bad Bruins. My mom knew how much I loved hockey, though, and saved pennies to take me to one game for my birthday every year. Thus, my favourite Canucks memory is actually a collection of games over the years, always in February, and usually that game was against those very same Boston Bruins.

Back in the 70s, the Canucks were perennial also rans. They were our team, you know – the Dunc Wilsons, Don Levers and Ron Sedlbauers. Later, the Harold Snepsts, Stan Smyls and Thomas Gradins. But most years there wasn’t much to cheer for come springtime. So people here were Canucks fans in the regular season, but we had a playoff team. Mine was Boston. I was too young to see Bobby Orr play in person, sadly – but I did see Rick Middleton, Terry O’Reilly, Jean Ratelle, and my favourite goalie to this very day, Gerry Cheevers. Every year, I got to see NHL hockey for my birthday – my two teams – and it was a special night out for this young lad and his mom. The Bs really were big and bad – and the Canucks offered up fists and lumber to match: Snepsts, Smyl, Curt Fraser, Tiger Williams, Ron Delorme, even Colin Campbell. (Yes, that Colin Campbell.) Games usually wound up with the Bruins winning, but along the way there were as many players in the penalty boxes as on the benches. It was all a nine-year-old boy could hope for.

One year, Stan Smyl took a slapshot from centre ice that was so hard, it got stuck in the Boston goalie’s skate. The referees, the players, even Stan himself had no idea where the puck was for a good 30 seconds. At that time, there was no instant soft rock streaming through overly loud speakers. The organist was too curious as to the puck’s location to play anything. The whole arena buzzed over the mystery – “Huh?” “Wha–?” “Where’d it go?” Finally when the puck was located, everyone in the building had a good laugh as the organist finally gained his senses and played a Vaudeville rag.

Today I can’t stand the fisticuffs in the game. Okay, if two talented players get pissed off at each other and throw down the mitts, fine. I just have no time for full-time enforcers, players with hands of stone who line up at centre ice and choreograph fights before the puck is dropped. As much cement as they had between their ears, guys like Williams and O’Reilly could genuinely play the game. Old-time hockey, it was, and it holds a special place in my heart.

James Edgington

Whilst I have witnessed through magic of television some amazing Canucks moments, I am confident my best and most memorable Canucks experience is yet to happen. This will be when I have the opportunity to indulge 1st hand the atmosphere, energy and pride in standing shoulder to shoulder with fellow Canucks fans. Solidifing my long distance passion for the team.

Living in England and enduring the minuscule coverage of the NHL and hockey, I am sorry to say that I missed the defining Canucks moments such as the ’82 and ’94 cup runs and have been unable to witness many of the great Canucks players.  The UK launched it’s fourth TV channel in 1982 and this was the only channel to show over seas sports.  Sadly hockey wasn’t included in this.

That said, to date my proudest memory as a Canucks fan was seeing my beautiful new born little girl sporting a Vancouver Canucks baby grow.  She’s now two and a half and with little to no encouragement will pick up anything hockey stick shaped and pretend to skate.  I’m sure every Dad will identify with the chest swelling emotion of sharing their sport with their child.  So no, I have yet to experience the Canucks 1st hand but I know that when I do, one of the fellow Canuck fans standing there, will be my little girl.

Canucks Ring of Honour: Who is worthy of “The Ring”

As we all know, the Vancouver Canucks are celebrating their 40th anniversary season in 2010-2011. As part of the celebrations, the club has introduced the Ring of Honour . Four times this season, the Canucks will induct a player from their 40 years of NHL hockey that have made lasting impressions on the team’s fans and the organization.

The first inductee, Orland Kurtenbach, will be inducted this Tuesday, October 26th. Kurtenbach was of course the team’s first captain and played four seasons with the Canucks, before coaching them for two. He is a resident of the lower mainland and an active member of the Vancouver Canucks Alumni.

That leaves three other inductees yet to be named by the team. Who should be the other three?

For me personally, there has to be certain criteria met.

  • You put in several years of service to the team.
  • You represented the team and the city with class.
  • You have contributed to the organization or the city outside of the game.

If it was up to me, I would have no problem including the following three players to round out the four inductions for this season. You may agree or you may have your own list based on your own criteria. Feel free to comment and post your choices below!

Kirk McLean – Goaltender

Kirk McLeanCaptain Kirk McLean played 11 seasons for the Canucks and was one of the main reasons the Canucks went to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1994. “The save” in overtime of game seven against Calgary is still the single biggest save in Canucks history. His 52 save performance in Game 1 of the finals that same year, is still one of the greatest games a goaltender has ever played, period. McLean was one of the last “stand up” goaltenders and his tall frame frustrated many a shooter. His ability to keep cool no matter how much pressure he faced was another asset he possessed.

McLean’s name is prominent amongst the club’s all-time goaltending records:

  • 1st in games played: 516
  • 1st in wins: 211
  • 2nd all-time in shutouts (20)
  • 1st in playoff games played: 68
  • 1st in playoff shutouts: 6
  • 1st in playoff wins: 34
  • 3rd in playoff goals against average: 2.84
  • 2nd in playoff save percentage: .907

McLean has made Vancouver his home and is a business owner in the community and also makes appearances on behalf of the club’s alumni. He’s one of Vancouver’s most recognizable sports figures of all-time.

Freelance hockey writer Joe Pelletier who runs GreatestHockeyLegends.com did this nice feature on McLean.

Harold Snepsts  – Defence

Harold SnepstsAffectionately known as “Haaaaaaarooold” by the Canucks faithful, Harold Snepsts patrolled the blueline for the Canucks for 12 seasons. He wasn’t flashy, and didn’t rack up a lot of points but he was steady and played with a mean streak. He was a two time all-star and was a member of the 1982 team that went to the Stanley Cup Finals.

With his trademark moustache, aggressive play and pleasant demeanour off the ice, Snepsts quickly became a fan favourite deserves to be recognized on the Ring of Honour.

Snepsts has come full circle in his career with the Canucks and is now employed as an amateur scout by the team and  is still to this day one of the most popular Canucks of all-time.

Thomas Gradin

Thomas GradinThomas Gradin  was the Canucks first legitimate star, scoring twenty or more goals seven different times for Vancouver. During the Canucks 1982 playoff run Gradin posted nineteen points. Gradin had his greatest success when teamed with linemates Stan Smyl and Curt Fraser, and the smooth skating swede excited fans with his masterful stick handling and smooth passes. There were many that felt that Gradin never reached his full potential with the club, likely due to the sub-par teams he played with throughout his career when he was basically the offence of the club.

Gradin spent eight seasons as a Canuck and ended his career with the Boston Bruins. Today, Gradin is a key member of the club’s scouting staff with the official title of Associate Head Scout.

So, those are the three players that I would choose and there are many others deserving of the recognition.

Leave us your choices or comments!

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