Oct 122013
 
Photo credit: canucks.com

Photo credit: canucks.com

Sean Imoo is 12 years old, in grade 7, and he’s the son of CHB writer Clay Imoo.  He enjoys playing guitar and piano, playing golf, volleyball, hockey, and other sports, and whipping his Dad in NHL 14.  Sean is passionate about his favourite team – the Vancouver Canucks.  He is likely the biggest Canuck fan in his school and he is always learning more and more about the Canucks every day.  Once in a while, Sean will share his thoughts about the Canucks with the readers of CHB.

As I prepared for my grade 7 year, I was extremely anxious to meet my teacher – one who was new to our school.  On the first day, he introduced himself as Mr. Bienvenu, or Mr. B for short.  Within the first couple days, I realized that Mr. B is both a great guy and a great teacher.  Except there is one thing I just can’t stand about him.

He is a Montreal Canadiens fan.

Once he learned that I was a huge Canucks fan, the war was on.  The morning after one or both of our teams play, we would sneak in a little trash talk about each other’s favourite team.  This went on for a good couple weeks.  One day, while on the topic of hockey, he brought up that he and a bunch of his friends were going to go to the Montreal Canadiens vs. Vancouver Canucks game on October 12.  I immediately recalled that I would be going to that same game with my dad.  So we decided to have a wager, all in good fun.

If (and when) the Canucks win:

Mr. Bienvenu will have to sing a One Direction song in front our class.  Why did I choose a One Direction song?  Love them or hate them, you can’t deny that One Direction is very popular right now.  So it goes without saying that our class will get a kick out of seeing Mr. B singing a song by the British boy band.  We will be at camp from Tuesday to Friday of next week, so I can picture him singing “What Makes You Beautiful”  at the campfire or “The Best Song Ever” in the mess hall.  Thus, there is more riding on a Canucks win than just two points.

If the Habs win:

On ferry on the way to camp, Mr. B will lend me his Montreal Canadians jersey to wear for the trip over.  Although I will have to wear a jersey of a team I hate, it sure beats singing a One Direction song in front of my peers.  I will try not to be seen by too many people on the ferry, and I’m prepared to hide in the washroom the whole time if I have to.  I doubt this will be the case though.  At least I hope not.

We confirmed the terms of the deal with a handshake at noon on Friday.  Needless to say, we are both anxiously waiting to see who comes out on top.

 

Oct 022013
 

Jerseymusic

As a hockey fan and musician, I enjoy seeing the two worlds come together.  At a hockey game, it starts with the warm-up music followed by the national anthems.  There’s music in between plays (whether live or recorded) and music at the intermission.

Away from the rink you can find hundreds of hockey-themed music videos on YouTube.  And I’ve been known to put a few hockey compositions together, whether it’s a Christmas Carol, a song from a musical,  a classic rock anthem, or an R & B song about our new head coach.

By the way:  my new Canucks song will come out next week…it’s going to be a good one.

So in anticipation of the Canucks’ season opener in San Jose on Thursday night, I took to Twitter and asked:  “What song title do you think best describes the Canucks’ chances and team this year?”

I’m compiled some of the replies for this post.  You’ll see that there is both optimism and pessimism amongst the Vancouver fanbase.  So without further adieu, here are The Top 10 Song Titles Befitting of This Year’s Vancouver Canucks:

Honourable Mentions:

“Life is a Highway” by Tom Cochrane – submitted by @kdmurray.  Perhaps a reminder that this season is a long journey filled with twists and curves.

“Destination Unknown” by Marietta – submitted by @lyteforce. Of course Chris had to submit something Top Gun related.

“New York State of Mind” by Billy Joel – submitted by @DarcyRotaBlog.  A witty reference to John Tortorella coming to us from the Big Apple…or perhaps a comment at AV going the other way.

“Live and Let Die” by The Wings – submitted by @heatheranner.  Something tells me Heather isn’t counting on a strong season.

 

10.   “Money for Nothing” by Dire Straits – submitted by @Canucks_Lions.  Not sure if Andrew is talking about the Canucks not having much cap room, or the money that he shells out for tickets.

9.  “As I Choke” by Ross Copperman – submitted by @OHYAHH.  In his tweet, Justin actually dedicated this song to Roberto Luongo.  How thoughtful.

8.  “Scream” by Michael Jackson – submitted by @Jas_Ferg.  Could be the fans (in a good way).  Could be the fans (in a bad way).  Could be John Tortorella after a loss.

7.  “Don’t Panic” by Coldplay – submitted by @Nrenton.  A nice reminder to all fans that the season is a long one and the window of opportunity might not be shut just yet.

6.  “Livin’ on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi – submitted by @Kyotea and @sylandrews.  Looks like Wylie and Sylvia think the Canucks are in need of some Divine Intervention.

5.  “Baby Blue” by Badfinger – submitted by @PrisonBull.  A very timely and clever suggestion given that this song was featured in the series finale of Breaking Bad this past weekend.  Not exactly sure how the line “Guess I got what I deserved” fits in though.  Or maybe the band name is in reference to Alex Burrows allegedly biting Patrice Bergeron’s finger a couple of years ago.

4.  “We are the Champions” by Queen – submitted by @Angie_Canucks.  Angie is a die-hard Canucks fan and truly believes that this is the year.

3.  “Break Your Heart” by Taio Cruz – submitted by @carlz8.  Something tells me that Carly had a rough go of it in June 2011 (and in the two subsequent playoff years).

2.  “I Love You” by Barney – submitted by @PPGoose.  In his tweet, Puck Puck Goose pointed out that the lyric of “won’t you say you love me too” says it all.

1.  “Believe” by Yellowcard – submitted by @JThompsondesign.  Now that’s a glass-half full approach!

 

And for making it to the very end, here’s a bonus music video for you: my Justin Bieber parody from Christmas 2011 called “Under the Minneso”:

 

Sep 272013
 
Photo credit: cbc.ca

Photo credit: cbc.ca

There was much anticipation for last night’s meeting between the Vancouver Canucks and New York Rangers for one obvious reason: the first showdown between head coaches John Tortorella and Alain Vigneault since taking over as new bench bosses of their respective clubs.

Despite it being a preseason game, there was an undeniable buzz in the city, in the arena, and of course, on Twitter.

Thus, after the Canucks 5-0 win, I put a simple question out to the fans:  “Why is Torts a better coach for the Canucks (right now) than AV?”

A couple of quick notes:

  • I would have asked this question regardless of the result of last night’s game
  • I have respect for Alain Vigneault the person and the coach and certainly for all of his accomplishments.  Having said that, it was obviously time for a change at the end of last year.

So sit back and enjoy your (unedited) submissions in The Top 10 Reasons Why Torts is a Better Coach for the Canucks (Right Now) Than AV:

10. AV was an awesome coach and a great guy but it was time for the #Canucks to get a new perspective & Torts would give them that (@elmeebaterina)

We start off with a nice one from my friend Elmee, who shares my sentiment of AV being a good coach but that it was indeed time for a change.  Great minds think alike!

9.  He lowers amount of money in the budget allotted to purchasing gum. (@CaptToeDrag)

Indeed.  Too bad these savings can`t be added on to the salary cap.

8. because he makes the team play hard for fear of a bag skate the next day and his wrath (@tpoole00)

Fear can be a great motivator.  My wife uses it on me all the time.

7a.  easy. one word. guts…to make decisions, call it like it is, and tell off those who need it. (@brianna2shoes)

7b.  demands results, holds players accountable stars or not. Won’t accept mediocrity. (@codybarendregt)

7c.  canucks had become complacent after the boston game in 2012. Needed a new voice that would push. So far impressed (@drchill49)

7d.  Hands on, straight forward, brutally honest. Opinionated and demanding. A breath of fresh air. (@Showbot)

7e.  passion front line coach. Talks the truth instead of beating around the bush. #shootsfromthehip #pride (@TheGoodGnu)

These 5 responses share similar themes:  the team needed a change and it needed someone who isn’t afraid of speaking his mind.  I believe they got their wish.

6.  with Torts u can see the D-Men actually take care of the zone and let #luongo see the puck.Simple, effective hockey by #Canucks (@sdhaliwa)

5.  agressive forecheck, 3 F below the goalline vs AV 3rd man in slot. Not often canucks should get out manned in puck battles (@PPGoose)

#5 and #6 talk about some of the differences in game play and strategy under Torts.  Will be interesting to see if these trends continue.

4.  because AV can’t grow facial hair. (@TucoSalamanka)

I can relate as it takes me 2 years to grow a beard.  I’m guessing that @TucoSalamanka doesn’t have that problem.

3.  Because he’s Italian and we’re better at everything. (@BrowntoBure)

Never one to shy away from polarizing comments, @BrowntoBure doesn’t disappoint this time around.  I wonder this is related to #4.

2.  Press conferences. Duh. (@SirCanuckles)

Enough said.

1.  “Under Alain Vigneault…Vigneault…Vigneault…Eh, Eh, Eh” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.

You just knew I was going to work this video in!

 

Jun 282013
 

Clay with son Sean and Marie Hui

My new Canucks song is a tribute to John Tortorella – the brand new head coach of the Vancouver Canucks.  He brings with him passion, a wealth of experience, and a Stanley Cup ring.

This song features the amazing Marie Hui and my son Sean doing some background vocals (along with camera work and holding up cue cards…haha).

 

I was happy that I got in Torts’ famous line from his first press conference in Vancouver: “If you’re a good loser, you’re a loser.”

Mar 232013
 

Sean Imoo is 11 years old and in grade 6.  He enjoys listening to the latest music, playing guitar and piano, playing hockey and other sports, and whipping his Dad in NHL 13.  Sean is passionate about his favourite team – the Vancouver Canucks.  He is likely the biggest Canuck fan in his school and he is always learning more and more about the Canucks every day.  Here are his insights as to what it’s like being related to a certain CHB writer.

As you may know, my dad (@CanuckClay) is a season ticket holder with his good friend Mike.  This is my dad’s 3rd season as a season ticket holder while Mike has been lucky to have them for over 10 years.  I am very lucky that Dad is a season ticket holder because I can go to games with him for some good “father and son” bonding.  Sadly, I can’t get to all of the games as much as I want to.  This gets very interesting sometimes so here is the good, the bad, and the interesting of having a dad as a season ticket holder.

The Good

First, the good.  Like I mentioned before, my dad and I love to go to games together.  We cheer, we boo, we eat, we drink, and we just talk Canucks.  I am very lucky to have been to a couple very memorable moments.  I was able to see Markus Naslund’s jersey retired, and I saw the Canucks clinch the President’s Trophy 2 years ago.

Being able to go to games forces me to plan and do homework earlier.  However, it wasn’t always this way.  When I first started going to games, I found myself doing homework during intermissions.  I remember bringing my math textbook to study for a math test the next day.  Doing homework at a game is still better than doing homework looking at a TV – or worse yet – in my bedroom.

The Bad

The downside to this is that the games are mostly on school nights, so by the time the game is over, we usually get home after 11pm (we like to enjoy a delicious post-game meal of Japanese food).  Oh well, going to games is worth losing 60 minutes of sleep.

Also, my dad’s tickets are in the upper bowl.  So, for a lot of the games I go to, there are people that get extremely drunk and swear like crazy.  Not the best environment for an 11-year old kid that goes to a Catholic school.  I’ve even seen many people kicked out of the arena.  It’s kinda funny, actually.

The Interesting

I’m not the only person in the house that wants to go to games though.  I’m okay when my dad goes to games with Mike or other friends, but when it comes to family, it’s not pretty.  The most common fight is between me and my mother.  When my dad asks who wants to go to a game, we both say that it’s our turn (sometimes I lie).  Then…we start to argue.

I say, “I bet you can’t even name 5 players!” or “Explain to me a delayed offside!”

And she replies with, “Whose house do you live in?” or “Who pays for the tickets?”

She’s stopped short of kicking me out or telling me to get a job.

After these friendly discussions, no one knows who is going to get to go.  That’s when I go into suck up mode.

PS. Would someone please volunteer to film my dad’s Clay’s Canucks Commentaries?  It’s getting to me…look at the format of this blog!  You must be able to work late nights and handle verbal heckling.  I can’t take it anymore.

Mar 112013
 

Another Canucks season means another Canucks Hockey Blog tweetup! And obviously, if we at CHB want to get our tweetup on, we look to the fabulous Hog Shack Cook House in beautiful Steveston (in Richmond for those unsure). Also very obvious, we want to invite you – our diehard readers and fans – to join us for some BBQ, beer and Canucks hockey as they take on the Los Angeles Kings in a Saturday matinée match-up.

CHB and Hog Shack Tweetup - Mar 23
If you couldn’t grab the deets from the poster above, here’s the nitty-gritty of our event:

Where: Hog Shack BBQ House, 3900 Bayview St, Richmond BC
When: Saturday, March 23rd, 2013 – 12:30 PM to 3:30 PM (the game starts at 1:00 PM)
Who: You – our readers and tweeps

So if good company, good eats and good brew isn’t enough to entice you to come, we will also have a number of contests to reward those who know their stuff. And there may also be a chance for us to help make you a star in an episode of CHB TV – how good is that?

If you have any questions or want to be added to the VIP list and guarantee yourself a table (or a seat next to Clay Imoo), send a tweet to the Hog Shack at @hogshackca or reach out to us here in the comments section.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Dec 232012
 

For this special edition of Clay’s Canucks Commentary, I pull a few friends together for the 3rd annual Canucks Christmas Carol.

Once again I am joined by my friends Joe, Oggy, Jason, Pat and the foreign exchange student Kevin.  Kevin came all the way from overseas to watch some hockey but he gets something else instead.

Last year we put together the Bieber-inspired “Under the Minne(so)” and in 2011 we did the “12 Days of Christmas”.

For this year, we do our version of the classic “This Christmas”.

Merry Christmas from all of us at CHB!

Nov 162012
 

According to many sources, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has suggested that the NHL and NHLPA take a two-week moratorium from negotiating – apparently after NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr said he didn’t know how the two sides would proceed to break the stalemate.

Understandably, the reaction to Bettman’s request has been overwhelmingly negative: from the Fehrs, from players, and from fans.  A two-week break doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense at such a critical time in the negotiation process.  I know that if I suggested a two-week moratorium to my lovely wife Gail the next time we had a disagreement, I’d be looking for a new place to live.

So I took it upon myself to delve into the Commissioner’s mind as to why he would request the break.  Thus, here are the Top 10 Reasons Why Gary Bettman Requested the 2-Week Moratorium:

10.  To undergo plastic surgery to make himself look less like the Count from Sesame Street.

9.  To watch reruns of 24/7 and the Winter Classic.

8.  To buy new needles for his “Donald and Steve Fehr” voodoo set.

7.  To go hunting with David Booth.

6.  To hunt down Bill Simmons and hurt him.

5.  To help investigate the affair of former CIA Director David Petraeus.

4.  To find out who really is behind the @strombone1 Twitter account.

3.  To concentrate fully on the CFL’s Divisional Final games and Grey Cup.

2.  To obtain a personality, sense of humour, and shred of likability.

1.  To get together with his negotiating team to craft out a thoughtful, fair and workable proposal to the NHLPA.

Well, we can all dream can’t we?

 

Oct 252012
 

I met Matthew Hawkins through the Ultimate Canucks Fan Contest back in 2007.  Since then we’ve become fast friends sharing mutual interests of family (our own and not each other’s), video games, making videos and of course, the Vancouver Canucks.  Speaking of videos, here’s a Clay’s Canucks Commentary from last year where we talked more about the Ultimate Canucks Fan Contest.

It’s a year later and while there is no hockey (yet), I thought it would be a good time to check in with my buddy Matthew in my newest Shooting From the Hip.

In his own words:

Matthew (@matthewahawkins) resides in the horribly named town of Chilliwack, BC. He is a professional amateur adult rec hockey league player in the C division. His team doesn’t win much, but he plays for the money.

1.  Tell us about the Ultimate Canucks Fan contest and some of the videos you did for it.

Years ago I entered this crazy contest the Canucks put on called the Ultimate Canucks Fan contest. I never won anything out of it, but I did sell rights of one video to a studio in Halifax and I was on several news stations. People still don’t get that the Boston accent was a big joke and think there is something wrong with me. Here’s one of the videos.

2.       One of your most popular videos is a rap song called “I Just Pulled an Auger on You”.  Care to explain?

I don’t think this video started to get popular until Harrison Mooney, from Pass it to Bulis, made fun of it on his blog. Auger decided to retire from his illustrious career as an NHL official and my video fit in well to say farewell to the French Canadian referee. I know I can’t rap, at all, but I wanted to make a video of me being an idiot and I think I succeeded.

3.       What’s your general mood with respect to the NHL lockout?

To be honest, I haven’t followed it too closely. I do think the PA has some legitimate gripes and I think the owners are extremely stubborn, then you throw in Garry Bettman and who likes that guy? I have been finding my sports fix in the NFL this year. Still trying to find out what happened to Tebow?

I don’t like that there is a lockout. Saturday evenings seem so empty in our house. Hockey Night in Canada is one of our favorite nights as we hang out in front of the TV, play some living room hockey and try to understand what Kevin Weekes is saying. I’m not happy about the lockout, but all I can do is wait for them to figure it out.

4.       What’s your prediction of the date of the next NHL regular season game?

I think we’ll be lucky to see any hockey before Christmas. Maybe they’ll get the Winter Classic ready to go because that’s a big money maker and we can celebrate the anniversary of Sidney Crosby’s concussion. Both parties seem so far apart from each other, I don’t think hockey before Christmas is going to happen. I really wouldn’t be surprised if there is no season at all this year. So much for EA’s NHL 13 Moments Live feature…

5.       Where is Roberto Luongo going to end up once the lockout ends (whenever that may be)?

If this lockout keeps going, I think Luongo will have a gut from eating too many canollis. Maybe he’ll team up with Wellfed in Winnipeg?! In all honesty, I think Luongo will be going to Florida and maybe, just maybe, Toronto. For a little while there was rumor he may go to Chicago, which would make the feud between the two clubs even better, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. I say Florida, his roots are there and he’s probably pushing for it to happen.

Oct 112012
 

@iam_canuck

On the day that the Vancouver Canucks were supposed to open their 2012-13 regular season in Calgary against the Flames, I check in with another two Canucks fans about their favourite and not-so-favourite players, preferred dinner guests and of course, the lockout.

Crystal (@iam_canuck) was born in Abbotsford, BC, and has hop-skipped around the western provinces (except Alberta) before settling where she currently resides in Winnipeg, MB.  She lives with her parents, sister, and her equally Canucks-crazed brother.  She started watching hockey in February 2010 (during the Vancouver Olympics!), and latched on to the Canucks since she was living in BC at the time.  Her secondary love is basketball and she has played it for longer than she can remember.  She’s living her dream of playing at the university level right now at Providence University College.  While playing ball, she’s studying Communications and Media and hopes to someday work in sports journalism or reporting (she would love to take over Derek Jory’s job).  Her other interests include rockin’ out to country music, hanging out with friends, and watching movies.

Dan (@vancitydan) is currently between professions, and open to new opportunities.  Born in Calgary, he moved to BC before four, and feels homesick without the purple mountains’ majesty about.  Having been schooled mainly in the classroom of life, Dan has worked in a variety of businesses as a manager, and truly enjoys helping people.  A lifelong photographer who went from making his living as one to being part of a team of professionals helping movie makers realize their creative visions.  While he first hit the ice in full Bobby Orr regalia at age four, Dan has been a Canuck fan since three years later, when the team joined the NHL in 1970.  He fully agrees that Dale Tallon got unfairly compared to Perreault, loved how Andre Boudria played, and still cannot fully understand how Vladimir Krutov went from one of the best power forwards in the world to a cautionary tale for overeating in one year.  Vive le Vancouver restaurants!  Currently one part of the team of many fine writers at NucksMisconduct.com.

1. Who is your favourite current Canuck and why?

Crystal:  I have struggled with this question forever.  When people ask me this, I usually rattle off my top 5 or 6, simply because I love them all.  But since I have to narrow it down, I tend to be drawn not only to the best players on the ice, but the guys with awesome personalities off the ice as well.  Having said that, Cory Schneider, Kevin Bieksa and Ryan Kesler are the main guys that spring to my mind.  Watching these guys do interviews are some of the most entertaining, hilarious moments of the season for me.

Dan:  My favourite Canuck is Kevin Bieksa both for his style of play and his talent, and because he’s one of the most community-oriented guys on the team. Plus, come on:  he is obviously one of the funniest and toughest guys on the team, no matter what that punk Vern Fiddler says!

2. Which Canuck would you not miss if he wasn’t on the team? Why?

Crystal:  Dale Weise.  Hands down.  It’s not that I hate the guy; it’s just that I like him the least.  Okay, I kinda hate him.  It’s mainly because back when he had his Twitter (and wasn’t using it wisely), I made a harmless comment about him doing so.  He responded not-so-nicely to me.  Ever since then, I haven’t been so fond of #32.  There’s also the question of production for Weise.  He’s never been a prominent player.  Not even close to prominent actually.  He’s been… present.  That’s all I can say for him.

Dan:  I don’t want to answer that question, as it will make the guy I pick feel bad.  You have Mason Raymond who falls down too much and Keith Ballard who isn’t worth his cap hit.  I do think that Ballard would be better on another team where he would have more opportunity.  So, if I had to answer (and it sounds like I do), I would say Ballard should be traded somewhere where he’d get more ice time.

3. Who would you rather have dinner with: Alain Vigneault or Mike Gillis? Why?

Crystal:  Alain Vigneault.  I want to see if he chews gum throughout dinner as well.  No, seriously I’d like to pick his brain!  Last year the team had a lot of different line combinations (most of which didn’t work), so I want to hear the logic behind that from the man himself!  I also just would like to get to know him.  I feel like we know tons about the players, their families, etc., but AV is kind of in the background.  He’s a really funny guy who I think would be entertaining to talk to!  I also want to find out if he can impersonate Cory Schneider as well as Cory can impersonate him.

Dan:  Alain Vigneault.  Though I would enjoy hearing about the travails of coaching the team, I am almost as interested in hearing about his time as “Bam Bam” as a St Louis Blue.  As well, I want to hear what it’s like to have millions of British Columbians “couch coaching” your every move.

4. What’s your general mood with respect to the NHL lockout?

Crystal:  The regular season is supposed to be starting today, which really made me think (and cry).  I should be donning my jersey, getting super pumped for my Canucks to pummel the Calgary fLames on opening night in their arena.  But I’m not.  Which is sad, because all summer I was literally counting down the days to October 11.  One of the things I hate the most about this situation is the fact that the Canucks were supposed to be coming to Winnipeg on February 9, and my brother and I were going to go.  Now we can’t.  Stupid lockout.

Dan:  A growing indifference, tinged with the realization that I would probably come running back!  The NHL knows they have Canadians in their back pocket.  I do feel that even this Canadian is reaching his breaking point if there is some foolish reason for no season.  Grow up Gary!

5. What’s your prediction of the date of the next NHL regular season game?

Crystal:  Being the positive person I am, I don’t really want to say that I don’t think there will be a season at all this year.  So I won’t.  I’m hoping for a October 25 start, although you and I both know that won’t happen.  At the rate the NHL/NHLPA talks are going, I think the most realistic goal, as the great Wayne Gretzky has already predicted, is for the Winter Classic on January 1.  Until then, I guess I have evenings free to do schoolwork.  Ugh.

Dan:  Late November or early December.  The Winter Classic will be the impetus for a deal.  So, when the Canucks win the Cup next summer, the haters will talk about how it deserves an asterisk.  #EmbraceTheHate!

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