We at Zephyr Epic love hockey. And we know you do too, which is why we’re offering another epic giveaway this month for ten tickets to the Vancouver Canucks game on December 21st when they take on Evgeni Malkin and the Pittsburgh Penguins! All you have to do is stop by our store before December 19th for your chance to win the tickets. We're giving ten tickets away in total, with every winner taking home two tickets each!
To get you ready for the game, here’s some fun trivia about our hometown team that might surprise even the most diehard fans!
Image via Facebook.
The Canucks get their name from the original Vancouver Canucks, an old minor league team that played in the Western Hockey League from 1945 until 1970. They were pretty successful, winning the WHL championship six times in their history. The term “Canuck” was originally a nickname for Canadians, made famous by the Canadian political cartoon character Johnny Canuck, who is now used as a mascot for the NHL team!
Image via Global News.
Vancouver was first considered for an NHL team during the NHL’s initial expansion in 1967, but their bid was rejected by the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens who didn’t want to lose fans to a third Canadian team. But Vancouver’s desire for hockey could not be denied! The NHL eventually relented and the city was given an expansion team in 1970. And this year the Canucks celebrate their 50th season! What a ride those fifty years have been!
Image via Pinterest.
The Canucks played their first NHL game against the Los Angeles Kings on October 9th, 1970. They may have lost 3-1, but do you recall who scored that first Canucks NHL goal? No, it wasn’t Orland Kurtenbach or Pat Quinn. It was defenseman Barry Wilkins, who would go on to play for the Canucks for their first five years!
The Canucks have never had the 1st overall pick in the NHL Draft. In their first year, they lost the coin toss to their expansion partners, the Buffalo Sabres, and ended up with 2nd overall pick, which they used to draft Dale Tallon. Since then, the Canucks have had the 2nd overall pick three more times, using them to draft Trevor Linden, Petr Nedved, and Daniel Sedin.
Image via the Vancouver Sun.
The Canucks have been to the Stanley Cup Finals three times. They first went on a surprise run in 1982 with “The Steamer” Stan Smyl leading the charge, but they were eventually swept in four games by the powerhouse New York Islanders. Canucks heroes Trevor Linden, Pavel Bure, and Kirk McLean took the 1994 team all the way to Game 7, but lost to the New York Rangers in a heartbreaking 3-2 defeat. And despite all the promise of the much-celebrated 2011 team, Roberto Luongo and the Sedin twins couldn't get the job done and ultimately lost to the Boston Bruins in a tough seven-game series. So far it’s been a rough road for Canucks fans. Thankfully, with players like Elias Pettersson, Quinn Hughes, Brock Boeser, and Bo Horvat, the future is bright!
Image via the City of Vancouver Archives.
Vancouver is not without a Stanley Cup win, however! The Millionaires, Vancouver’s first professional hockey team, won the Stanley Cup in 1915. Their star player was Fred “Cyclone” Taylor, who would later set the record for most goals in a Stanley Cup Final (9) in 1918, a record that stands to this day.
Image via HockeyGods.
During the playoff run of 1982, the Canucks faced off against the Chicago Blackhawks in the Campbell Conference Finals. Feeling that the refs were unfairly penalizing the Canucks, acting head coach Roger Neilson put a white towel on a hockey stick and waved it in mock surrender. They still lost the game, but when the Canucks returned to Vancouver to continue the series, they were greeted at the airport by fans waving white towels to support their team. Fans then brought towels to the games, helping the Canucks rally to eliminate the Blackhawks. Thus the tradition of “Towel Power” was born, and the moment has been immortalized in a statue of Neilson himself waving the stick and the towel.
Two Canucks players have won the Calder Trophy for best rookie in the NHL: Pavel Bure in 1994 and Elias Pettersson in 2019. Canucks defensemen Tyler Myers also won the Calder in 2010 when he was a Buffalo Sabre.
Image via Newsday.
Speaking of Pavel Bure, the “Russian Rocket” is the only player in the Hockey Hall of Fame that played the majority of his career with the Canucks. Will the Sedins join him someday? Time will tell, but in the meantime we'll keep our fingers crossed!
Image via Puck Prose.
Henrik and Daniel Sedin are the only Canucks players to have won the Art Ross Trophy, which is awarded to the NHL player who scores the most points in a single season, and they did it in back-to-back years. Henrik won it in 2010 and Daniel in 2011. Henrik is also the only Canuck to win the Hart Trophy (awarded to the league’s most valuable player, as voted by hockey writers), whereas Daniel joins Markus Naslund as being the only Canucks players to win the Ted Lindsey award (given to the league’s most valuable player, as voted by the players).
Image via Rant Sports.
The Canucks have retired the jersey numbers of four players: Stan Smyl’s #12, Trevor Linden’s #16, Marcus Naslund’s #19, and Pavel Bure’s #10. On February 12th, 2020, before a game against the Chicago Blackhawks, the Canucks will add Henrik Sedin’s #33 and Daniel Sedin’s #22 to the rafters as unforgettable Canucks legends.
Hopefully you now know a few new things about the Vancouver Canucks! Don't forget, you have until December 19th to enter the raffle for Canucks tickets, so make sure you pay our store a visit soon for your chance to win. And if you’re our lucky winner, be sure to share your newfound knowledge of Canucks trivia with your fellow fans at the game. They’ll be amazed by your hockey knowledge!
Know a great bit of Canucks trivia? Share it with us in the comments below!