Before you ask, no, I didn’t gain access to all this inside Canucks information by wiretapping Dave Nonis’ cell phone. I mean, of course I tried that but as much as I tapped on the screen with a wire, it just didn’t work. It certainly didn’t help that Mr. Nonis was holding onto the phone at the time.
And so, with Plan A to get all the dirt on the Canucks in tatters, I turned to Plan B: I read the team’s media guide.
While some players provided little insight into their personal lives – I’m looking at you, Pyatt and Ritchie – others were a lot more forthcoming.
Take Matt Cooke, for example. The pesky winger is best known for big goals (see: game seven versus Calgary in ’04) and big hits (see: countless Northwest Division defensemen over the past decade). But what the former Windsor Spitfire isn’t generally known for is his interest in antique furniture.
“It’s just intriguing, you know,” said Cooke. “A piece of furniture is sixty to a hundred years old and it’s worth more than a piece of furniture that’s new. And two years later … it’s still worth more, whereas a piece of furniture that you bought new is worth nothing.”
Cooke’s interest in antiquing dates back roughly ten years. The Belleville, Ontario native is drawn mostly to items from Eastern Canada. But Cooke is by no means the only Canuck interested in aged objects. After all, Henrik Sedin
is the Meg Ryan fan (sorry, couldn’t resist). KRAMER COWAN
Speaking of entertainment, three Canucks – Brad Isbister, Jeff Cowan and Ryan Kesler
– listed Seinfeld as their favourite television program. But when each player was asked to name his favourite character, there was some argument.
“George Costanza because he’s pretty eccentric and he makes me laugh,” said Isbister.
“It’s got to be George Costanza,” said the Canucks enforcer. “I think he’s the funniest guy on the show. I just can kind of relate to the things he says.”
When asked to recount his favourite Costanza memory, a chuckling Cowan went with George’s ill-fated attempt to pass himself off as a marine biologist to impress a woman. “[George] ends up being on the beach with her and the whale’s beached … and he pulls out a golf ball [from the whale’s blowhole] and it was Kramer who hit the golf ball into the ocean. I thought that was a pretty funny episode.”
Cowan went on to add that though many choose Jerry’s next door neighbour, Kramer, as their favourite character, he deems George vastly superior. Right on cue, however, Kesler gave his vote to Kramer, albeit with questionable reasoning.
“Kramer, because he reminds me of Cowan,” said Kesler.
When asked how, Kesler cited a similarity between Kramer entering a doorway and Cowan hitting the ice.
“[Cowan] just comes flying through, just like on the ice, he comes off the bench and he’s just flying,” said Kesler. IT'S IN THE CARDS
For those Canucks who don’t spend their travel time watching television, another hobby reigns supreme: poker. But finding the best poker player on the club can be even more challenging than going all-in with a pair of twos.
“The best, by far, is myself,” said Alex Burrows.
Goaltender Roberto Luongo
didn’t quite see it that way.
“Worst is Alex Burrows,” said Luongo.
When told the winger had chosen himself as the locker room champion, Luongo chalked up any success Burrows has to chance.
“Well, he’s the best because he’s lucky but when you play every hand, you’re not the best,” said Luongo. The Vancouver netminder then went on to select himself as the top poker playing Canuck.
When asked to name the team’s worst poker player, Burrows went with defenseman Willie Mitchell.
“Last year, [Mitchell] started playing a little bit better but this year his game fell apart again and now he doesn’t even want to play anymore,” said Burrows. FISHERMAN'S FRIEND
Mitchell, however, can take some solace in the fact that he’s respected around the room as a talented fisherman. When asked to compare his abilities to fellow fishing enthusiast Brendan Morrison, Mitchell argued he can certainly hold his own.
“I’d like to claim that I’m a better salt water fisherman than he is,” said Mitchell. “It’s quantity, not quality sometimes.”
To his credit, Morrison agreed.
“Well he’s an excellent salt water fisherman, he’s been doing it his whole life,” said the Canucks center.
But when asked who has come out on top in their previous battles, Mo went with himself.
“I’ve outperformed him the last couple of years,” said Morrison. “I think overall he’s a little amateurish on the river or fly fishing. So I think I’ve got the overall edge.”
Another Canuck who lists one of his hobbies as fishing is all-time team points leader Trevor Linden. The Medicine Hat born Linden went on to name former Flames forward Lanny McDonald as his boyhood idol. That begged the question: would Trevor ever consider growing Lanny’s famed moustache?
“It’s a definite no,” said Linden.
Well, it was worth a shot.
Captain Markus Naslund named three comedians – Mike Myers, Dana Carvey, and Robin Williams – as the people he would most like to spend time with. Daniel Sedin
cited Everybody Loves Raymond as his favourite television show. Mattias Ohlund listed one of his hobbies as cooking, with Italian food being his specialty. And that player who wants to meet the President? That’s Sami Salo
It’s worth nothing that these Vancouver Canucks take on various functions throughout society. They’re role models, community leaders and philanthropists.
But if there’s one thing to be learned by leafing through the media guide and learning more about their hobbies, likes and dislikes, it’s that these Vancouver Canucks are an awful lot like you and me