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!