At heart, we are all Vancouver Canucks

Both Vancouver Canucks star Daniel Sedin and I broke bones in our feet playing hockey recently.

Both Vancouver Canucks star Daniel Sedin and I broke bones in our feet playing hockey recently.

The similarities don’t end there: Both injuries happened in meaningless games (Sedin’s during a early-season win against the Montreal Canadiens; mine in a rec game during a Glenn Anderson-style rush that went horribly awry).

My broken ankle has shifted the work/home balance: I’m on my back all day at home, virtually useless around the house, while the office BlackBerry keeps buzzing.

Sedin’s injury, on the other hand, has an entire province on edge, especially since it comes during a rather dismal start for the West Coast’s hockey warriors — a start that included star goalie Roberto Luongo getting pulled in the home opener and early losses to the Canucks’ hated Alberta rivals.

Throw in an injury to fragile top-six defenceman Sami Salo and declining production from the remaining Sedin twin, and longtime Canuck fans were already starting to agonize over the team’s direction this season.

Thankfully, the funk didn’t last long: the Canucks have been on a bit of a tear lately, including a win Sunday against the Oilers, and Luongo has a 1.20 goals-against average in his last five games.

It’s still very early, but the pendulum has swung from panic to visions of the Stanley Cup. Spring must be just around the corner.

Speaking of hockey, the arrival of an AHL team in the Fraser Valley city of Abbotsford is presenting hockey-mad citizens there with a conundrum. There are WHL teams to the east in Chilliwack and to the west in Vancouver, but it’s Canuck fever that has always burned hottest in Abbotsford.

The wrinkle is that the new AHL team, the Abbotsford Heat, is the top farm club of the Calgary Flames, who moved their affiliate from Illinois in the off-season. And one of the Heat’s foes is the Manitoba Moose, the Canucks’ top farm club.

The current Heat roster includes a few names Red Deer residents will recognize (Pete Vandermeer, Brett Sutter and Carsen Germyn), as well as seven B.C. boys.

With such a strong B.C. contingent, what’s a loyal Canucks fan to do?

Over to my father, an Abbotsford resident and avid Canucks fan who has already purchased tickets for a couple Abbotsford Heat-Manitoba Moose matchups later this season.

I asked him who he’ll be cheering for.

“Oh, the Moose,” he replied in a tone of voice suggesting the answer should have been blatantly obvious.

A strong identity and brand loyalty will undoubtedly come for the Abbotsford Heat, who currently play in front of a lot of empty seats. But it might take a while, as it did for the Vancouver Giants, a franchise that has succeeded wildly despite initial fears that the hockey market here was already saturated.

For now though, in Abbotsford as in the rest of B.C., the NHL team’s marketing slogan pretty much sums it up: “We are all Canucks.”

James Kwantes is a former Advocate copy editor. He can be reached at gone-coastal@hotmail.com

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Buccaneers battle Wolfpack in AFL semifinal

The Central Alberta Buccaneers battled the Calgary Wolfpack in the Alberta Football… Continue reading

Raising awareness for Bikers Against Child Abuse

Second annual Raise A Ruckus Against Child Abuse was held at the Red Deer Radisson Hotel Saturday

Central Alberta Yogathon cancelled Saturday

Due to air quality concerns the fourth annual event will take place Sept. 15

City Hall Park construction begins next week

Construction to update Red Deer’s City Hall Park is set to begin… Continue reading

PHOTOS: Jazz at the Lake begins

The 16 annual event began Friday and runs until Sunday in Sylvan Lake

WATCH: Medicine River Wildlife Centre opens new playground

The grand opening of the playground was Saturday morning

Thousands to attend funeral service for officers killed in Fredericton shooting

FREDERICTON — Hundreds of people have lined the route of a funeral… Continue reading

Calgary police officer seriously injured

CALGARY — The Calgary Police Service says one of its officers was… Continue reading

Canadians react to death of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan at age 80

MONTREAL — Canadian politicians are adding their voices to the international reaction… Continue reading

‘Four of a dozen kids will not make it:’ Tina Fontaine’s family healing together

WINNIPEG — Melissa Stevenson was just starting her career 18 years ago… Continue reading

No winning ticket for Friday night’s $16 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the $16 million jackpot… Continue reading

Hundreds of neo-Nazis march in Berlin, protected by police

BERLIN — Hundreds of neo-Nazis waving flags with the colours of the… Continue reading

Romanian trucker is Genoa bridge’s 43rd victim

GENOA, Italy — The Latest on the Italy bridge collapse (all times… Continue reading

1 dead, 6 injured after building collapse in Nigeria capital

ABUJA, Nigeria — An emergency response chief says one person is dead… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month