Oct 092010
 

Amidst much anticipation, elevated expectations and dreams of the team’s first Stanley Cup, the puck finally drops tonight for the Vancouver Canucks’ 2010/2011 season.

Can the Canucks live up to their top billing or will they wilt faster than Kate Gosselin’s career? They won’t answer those questions tonight. This team will be judged on the games they play this spring. But they need to get there first, and tonight is step one of that process.

As we count down the minutes to game time, here are some links to tide you over:

Aug 212010
 

The following video is courtesy of Gladys (@gloomybb); it’s a tribute by John Shorthouse and Michael Buble (from Michael Buble’s concert on Friday night at GM Place Rogers Arena) to retiring Canucks color commentator Tom Larscheid.

Nice touch. Who knew Shorty could sing?

Jul 292010
 

After 33 memorable years, Tom Larscheid is done as the Canucks colour commentator.

He was the colour-man on Vancouver hockey broadcasts for all but four NHL seasons since 1977, and for more than a generation of hockey fans Larscheid’s insight and instincts provided a blunt barometer of the team’s performance – good or bad.

“When you have a job you’ve loved each and every day, you’re sorry to give it up,” Larscheid said late Wednesday. “But the simple reality is I’m 70 years old and it’s time to pass the baton. It will be strange not to be up there in my perch during hockey season, but I’ve had a pretty good run.

“I’m grateful to the listeners and honoured to have worked with three of the very best play-by-play men in the business in Jim Robson, Jim Hughson and John Shorthouse. And Rick Ball is going to be right up there, too. I always called it the way I saw it and I had a lot of fun doing it. My only regret is I never got to say: ‘The Vancouver Canucks are Stanley Cup champions.’”

Larscheid said 1040 has been terrific to him and he leaves with no hard feelings after the station told him recently it was going with Tomlinson, a 41-year-old from North Vancouver who was a kid when Larscheid and Robson were often better than the hockey team they broadcast.

I wrote about Tommy a few years ago when he first thought about retirement. I’m grateful that he gave us Canucks fans 3 more seasons on the air after that and I wish he could’ve stayed one more, especially going into what is expected to be a big season for the team. But at the same time, I’m happy that Tommy finally decided – albeit helped, apparently, by Team 1040 management – to hang them up.

Good and bad, he entertained Canucks fans with a passion only Canucks fans could relate to and appreciate. Yes, he was a homer at times, but he was our homer. During games, he said things on-air that we would say in our living rooms. While Robson and Shorthouse were the voice of the Canucks, in many ways Tommy was the voice of the Canucks fan.

Dave Tomlinson has been tapped as Tommy’s replacement. In his few stints as the Canucks colour commentator (in Tommy’s relief), DT proved to be a decent analyst; however, it was also obvious that he has a way to go to match Tommy’s on-air passion. Just like when Shorthouse replaced Robson, Tomlinson has some big shoes to fill after Tommy.

Good luck and best wishes to both.

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