The upcoming season marks the 40th anniversary of the Vancouver Canucks in the NHL. 40 years is also the age difference between alumnus Dennis Kearns and current forward Mason Raymond, yet both Canucks attracted excited fans at the Canucks 2010 Open Practice.
For the fifth year in a row, Canucks fans had the opportunity to attend and participate in Open Practice in anticipation of the 2010/2011 season. The free family event presented by BC Hydro Power Smart took place on Sunday, October 3rd. Despite road closures and the threat of rain, enthusiastic fans flooded into Rogers Arena where the fun got started before the Canucks even hit the ice.
The morning began with a special event for select season ticket holders. Past and present Canucks posted up behind concession stands, but it wasn’t hot dogs they were handing out. Lucky fans had the opportunity to get autographs from their favourite players -- who the biggest draw was, is debatable. Young fans lining up at Station 4 were as likely to shout, “That’s Cliff Ronning!” as “Is that Daniel or Henrik?” (For the record, it was Daniel.)
Orland Kurtenbach stood shoulder to shoulder with Alex Burrows and Alex Edler, and all that separated the Canuck legend was a little gray hair.
When it came time for current Canuck players to get dressed for practice, the alumni held down the fort. Doors to Rogers Arena opened at 1:00pm and the first 1000 fans were treated to autographs from respected alumni Dave Babych, Stan Smyl, Chris Oddleifson, Cliff Ronning, Geoff Courtnall, Darcy Rota and Orland Kurtenbach.
As the Vancouver Canucks celebrate the past 40 years, there are no better people than the Canucks alumni to represent the team’s history. Look forward to continued participation from these Canucks heroes throughout the 2010/2011 season.