The Vancouver Canucks Alumni put on an entertaining game for fans attending Saturday’s open practice. Alumni hit the ice just after 10 am with team blue taking the 5-3 win over team white. As fans began to flood into GM Place the pace seemed to increase as the players fed off the energy of the crowd.
The Alumni featured a roster of no fewer than 6 goalies. Learning over the years that goalie gear is heavy to pack around, these former goalies chose to show off their offensive and defensive talents rather than puck stopping abilities. After playing in Japan for a few years, ex- WHL goalie Dusty Imoo suited up for his first Alumni game and picked up a couple of assists. Being the only player without a name-bar after a late addition it looks as though Imoo might require a permanent name-bar if he is to continues his contributions to the score sheet.
Former goalies Bill Ranford and Kirk McLean showcased their offensive talents with Ranford scoring two for team blue and McLean picking up two assists for team white. Gary Broomley also swapped in his goal pads to play out for the game. Mark “Spider” Lake and Shaz Hermani braved the Alumni’s shots as they spent the game between the pipes for each team.
Another thing that came in high numbers was 14’s. There were three players wearing the number during the game. Former Canuck captain Chris Oddleifson donned the number for team white while his son Jeff Oddleifson wore it for team blue. In his rookie game for the Alumni, Jeff seemed to outshine his father in the scoring department with a goal and an assist. The other number 14 belonged to BJ MacDonald, who once played alongside Wayne Gretzky as part of Edmonton’s “GMC” line in the 80s.
BJ’s prominent role in the scrimmage may lie in his gloves. Sporting former Canuck Murray Barron’s re-palmed gloves he showed glimpses of his old form. Colorful Canuck’s commentator, turned scorekeeper John Ashbridge assured that although they were Barron’s old gloves, they were BJ’s hands inside them.
Alumni players who participated in the open practice game also included; Rod Brathwaite, Dave Tomlinson, Phil von Steffanelli, Ed Hatoum, Randy Heath, Jeff Bandura, Steve Clippindale and Mike Hall.
Click here to view the photo galleryStory by Leah Peden, Canucks Centre Student Associate