Members of the original Vancouver Canucks NHL and WHL teams were on hand for the final Canucks game of the 2009/2010 season to present their annual year end player awards.
Alumni members were able to catch up with their former teammates and their wives as they met for dinner prior to their on-ice presentations. The twelve Alumni were presented with replica jerseys from the WHL Vancouver Canucks Team by Mike Gillis and Lawrence Gilman.
After dinner the Alumni made their way down to the Olympia tunnel as they prepared to make their on-ice debut. Alumni members were introduced to the sold out crowd just prior to puck drop as they helped hand out the year end awards. Orland Kurtenbach and Phil Maloney presented Henrik Sedin with the MVP and Leading Scorer Awards. Tracy Pratt handed out the Babe Pratt Award for Best Defenceman to Christian Erhoff while Larry Popelin gave the Most Exciting Player Award to Alex Burrows. Popein was especially excited to be presenting an award to Burrows. Popelin described his own playing style as Burrows like and is a big fan of the Canucks left winger.
Alumni members were then free to watch Vancouver play in its final game of the season. Kurtenbach reveled in the excitement of this year’s team. Amazed by the skill of the Sedins he spoke strongly about how deserving Henrik is of not only the Canucks MVP award but the league’s MVP award. This night also proved special for Kurtenbach as he was able to present Henrik with his award and then watch him win the scoring race.
Alumni President Gerry Sillers was impressed with the way the Alumni were treated. “Going into the 40th anniversary of NHL hockey in Vancouver, it was a very classy and timely salute to the WHL Canuck teams who were the fore-bearers of professional hockey in British Columbia,” he said.
Alumni members in attendance included; Phil Maloney, Orland Kurtenbach, Larry Popein, Ernie Dougherty, Bruce Carmichael, Dave Duke, Ron Matthews, Bob McCusker, Ron Hutchinson, Gerry Sillers, Cesare Maniago and Tracy Pratt.
Story by Leah Peden, Canucks Centre Student Associate