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Mascot mania

by Derek Jory / Vancouver Canucks
If there’s one thing you can count on happening during a Vancouver Canucks game, it’s Fin dazzling the crowd with his antics.

Everyone’s favourite killer whale circles GM Place during home games cheering on the Canucks and getting to know the fans, it’s a tireless job for one mascot so Fin invited a few furry friends to Vancouver’s game against Columbus on Sunday.

Five NHL mascots, including Anaheim’s Wild Wing, Bailey from L.A., Toronto’s Carlton the Bear, Sabretooth from Buffalo and S.J. Sharkie from San Jose, will be in the house, much to the delight of Fin.

“I’m looking forward to having some friends here and showing Canucks fans how other team mascots look, it’ll give them a chance to meet some different characters that are in the league,” Fin wrote during a recent interview.

“They are all good friends of mine so it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Fin and his pals will take part in a pre-game autograph session from 4-4:45 in section 111 before helping out with the in-game promotions.

Sharkie, Bailey and Fin will also ref the mini-minor hockey game during the first intermission and then play in an all-mascot hockey game between the second and third period.

All six mascots will lace up their skates to play and they’ll be joined by four special sponsor mascots and two surprise goalies. That’s right, Fin won’t be between the pipes displaying his 'flops like a whale' technique.

“I’m going to be out there as a sniper, so I’ll be scoring goals,” Fin wrote.

This visit from some of the NHL’s most lovable characters coincides with the launch of registration for the Fin’s Friends program for the 2009/2010 school year.

Fin’s Friends, now in its fourth year, is an educational program for young students from kindergarten to grade three, designed to teach some important elements of character education and social responsibility.

Compassion, kindness and perseverance are all building blocks of the program, which reaches kids at a young age to help them make responsible choices as they grow up.

Since 2005, Fin’s Friends has reached 1,500 classrooms and 35,000 students throughout BC and Fin can’t wait to visit even more next season.

“I think it’s really a great way to get involved with kids and show them the virtues of being a good person,” wrote Fin. “We teach them how to treat each other with respect and caring.”

Jessica Danylchuk, program manager for Fin’s Friends, said the program, which runs on a first-come, first-served basis, is an invaluable educational tool for teachers, especially since Fin is involved.

“The great thing about creating a program based around Fin is that primary students are far more interested in Fin than our players,” said Danylchuk.

“Fin appeals to the exact demographic that can benefit most from the Fin’s Friends program. Students look up to Fin as a hero and as a result he is able to positively capture their attention and effectively assist in teaching the important life-lessons that the Fin’s Friends program provides.”

The free program kit for the curriculum (also available in French) includes four corresponding children’s books, a class set of Fin bookmarks, a class set of certificates of completion, a plush Fin doll and hand puppet and a canvas kit bag.

Registration for the next school year is now open and for more information you can email or visit

  Fin's Friends
  Fin zone

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