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A reflection of their heritage

by Derek Jory / Vancouver Canucks
It isn’t exactly in with the new. It's more in with the old.

The Vancouver Canucks unveiled their new third jersey Thursday night at the Sports Celebrities Festival and they didn’t reinvent the hockey sweater with the look - it’s a classic vintage throwback that honours past eras of Canucks hockey.

The jersey, which will be officially worn on-ice by the Canucks when they take on the Toronto Maple Leafs on November 15, is familiar in its overall look. Of course there's some subtle twists on the original.

The team stayed consistent with the colours of their current jerseys as the new sweater is predominantly blue, with green and white hockey stripes wrapped around the arms and the base that complement the overall scheme.

These colours are meant to pay tribute to the unique exquisiteness of British Columbia as the blue reflects the province’s connection to the ocean, the green represents the abundant forests that enthrall the West Coast and the white symbolizes the spectacularly robust mountains.

According to Chris Zimmerman, president and CEO of the Canucks, these colours truly represent the core of what this team is all about.

The same can be said for the jersey’s main crest. A revamped ‘stick and rink’ logo is proudly displayed on the front of the jersey; it’s the same logo the Canucks currently wear as a shoulder patch on their home and away sweaters.

When Vancouer first entered the NHL in 1970 the team donned the original ‘stick and rink’ emblem, the fact that it’s being worn again 38 years later demonstrates the respect the Canucks have for past teams that laid the ground work for where the franchise is today.

The ‘C’ in the middle of the ‘stick and rink’ honours that.

“It takes us back to essentially the heritage of this team going back to our entry into the league,” said Zimmerman. “The new sweater overall is really a tribute to the Canucks past both in the NHL and prior to that.”

In sticking with the nostalgic theme to the jersey, a unique logo was created that is displayed on both shoulders of the sweater.

The head of ‘Johnny Canuck’, complete with his trademark toque and grizzled beard, is coupled with Vancouver’s old-time ‘V’, which represents both the city and the Vancouver Millionaires.

The stunning logo is powerfully elegant, much like Johnny Canuck himself. He was a personification of Canada, according to the Canadian Encyclopedia, beginning in the 1860s when he was first depicted as an editorial cartoon.

If the face of this brute warrior looks familiar, it’s because Roberto Luongo has had a depiction of the Canadian icon on his helmet for the pas two seasons.

Historically, Johnny Canuck was one of the great political cartoons. He ran in the same circles as Great Britain’s stout John Bull and U.S.’s all-business Uncle Sam, and was sometimes regarded as their younger cousin.

Johnny Canuck was reinvented during the First World War and he gained great popularity during this time as a fighting Canadian war hero that stood for bravery and represented Canada's essential values.

Vancouver didn’t have to look far for a team name when they entered the Pacific Coast Hockey League in 1945. Johnny’s patriotic surname helped forge the identity of the Vancouver Canucks that is respected and treasured to this day.

Vancouver’s new third jersey is clearly much more than a uniform in which to do battle. Its a reflection of all that is hockey throughout B.C. and the history of the Canucks with roots that intertwine with Canadian ideals.

“This is all about being true to the game and authenticity and the heritage of the game in Vancouver,” said Zimmerman.

“It’s all about the celebration of our past and hockey’s history and heritage in Vancouver. We’re obviously really proud of all those things so we thought this new sweater was a great way to celebrate them.”

In with the old for the Canucks as their new third jersey takes centre stage. No need to start fresh, revamping a classic look instead gave the team a platform to pay homage to the great hockey traditions that enthrall Vancouver and British Columbia.

Vancouver is part of the Canucks and the Canucks are part of Vancouver, there is a lot of pride pulsating through the city and the organization, and the team’s new sweater is a clear reflection of that.

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