The home of the Vancouver Canucks is now officially Rogers Arena. In today’s press conference Canucks Sports & Entertainment Chief Operating Officer and Alternate Governor, Victor de Bonis and President & Chief Executive Officer of Rogers Communication, Nadir Mohamed, announced new fan initiatives that will bring the action and spirit of the game closer to fans, whether they are in the arena, watching at home, or anywhere downtown.
“The 40th Anniversary season of the Vancouver Canucks is a special celebration,” said Victor de Bonis. “We want to engage Canucks fans in an interactive experience that lasts the entire season and brings them closer than ever to their team. On opening night fans will be able to connect to the Canucks in new and innovative ways at Rogers Arena inside and out.”
A new external blue and green lighting system will light up the outside of Rogers Arena every time the team plays.
“It creates a dramatic new visual experience in the downtown area, and it intended to give every Canucks fan a sense of anticipation and excitement whenever they see the blue and green,” said Victor de Bonis.
New entrance banners featuring Roberto Luongo, Henrik and Daniel Sedin, Ryan Kesler, Alex Burrows, Alex Edler, Mason Raymond and Christian Ehrhoff will also greet guests as they enter the arena.
Inside the arena, two new interactive concourse exhibits will be built.
“They will honor our history and our most beloved players,” said de Bonis. “The exhibits will include exclusive and authentic memorabilia and artifacts provided to us by many of the players who have worn our sweater in our 40 year history. These exhibits will include a seven foot high touch screen that will display many of the greatest calls, highlights, video footage in our history.”
A Rapidshot training tool has also been installed in the 100 level of the concourse, allowing fans to compete against each other for the hardest shot.
In addition, four 40-foot scrim displays have been placed around the rink and will be used to present videos of the team’s and city’s history before every home game.
In level microphones have also been placed around the rink will pick up the sounds of the game, allowing fans sitting in any seat to feel closer than ever before.
More than just the in-arena enhancements, the Canucks teamed with Rogers to provide fans with a whole new level of interactive experience from their phones. This includes the ability for Rogers customers to stream games live with no impact to their data usage.
“In addition to being among the first few teams to offer live games, users will be able to view highlights, as well as live press conferences, select practices and events from inside Rogers Arena. The new Canucks app powered by Rogers will also include a set of in-bowl mobile fan enhancement features for spectators attending games at Rogers Arena: including an interactive stadium map and a live box score with full game stats. The new app will be available soon.”
The Canucks signed free agent Peter Schaefer Thursday. Schaefer spent the preseason on a professional tryout contract with the team, during which time he recorded three points (1-2-3) in five games, despite having to overcome a preseason injury from a stick to the face on September 22nd. The hit resulted in 12 stitches over his left eye.
Schaefer didn’t play last season, after having his contract bought out by the Boston Bruins. In his last season with the Bruins he scored 9 goals (9-17-26) in 63 games.
Schaefer was the Canucks third round draft pick in 1995 and played a total of 178 games over three seasons in Vancouver. His best season with the team was his last when he scored 36 points (16-20-36) in the 2000-2001 season.
Vancouver recalled three players from the Manitoba Moose today, Alex Bolduc, Cory Schneider, and Jeff Tambellini. Meanwhile, Cody Hodgson, Eddie Lack and Lee Sweatt were assigned to the Moose.
Bolduc is a native of Montreal, Quebec, the centre played 22 NHL games with the Canucks, recording one point and 17 penalty minutes. In six preseason games Bolduc recorded two points.
Schneider is expected to back up Luongo this season with the possibility of starting approximately 20 games. The 24-year-old played 60 games for the Moose last year, tallying a career-high 35 wins, including four shutouts with a .919 save percentage. The Salem, Massachusetts native played two games with Vancouver last season, including a 45-save effort against the Dallas Stars.
26-year-old Jeff Tambellini signed as a free agent over the summer. He is the son of Oilers GM Steve Tambellini. In 180 career games with the New York Islanders and Los Angeles Kings Tambellini has accumulated 46 points (18-28-46). He scored seven goals his last year in New York, finishing with a minus-8.
STILL NO CAPTAIN
The Canucks still haven’t named a new captain, but head coach Alain Vigneault stated that the team will announce both their captain and the assistants by tomorrow. He said there are several team leaders in the locker room to choose from.
“Leadership in being able to influence people in the right way,” said Vigneault. “There’s all forms of leadership, so it’s a matter of us selecting what would be the best group.”