Father’s Day means a lot of different things to a lot of different Vancouver Canucks. 

It brings up memories like their dad getting them involved in the game of hockey at three years old in Phil Di Giuseppe’s case, or Vasily Podkolzin calling J.T. Miller ‘dad,’ and getting fatherly advice from Miller, the father of three.

There were some fun fatherly stories this past season in and outside of the Canucks’ dressing room and we want to highlight some of those in this special Father’s Day article. 

One of the best father and son moments we saw this year was between former Canucks Ryan Kesler and his son Ryker. In game two of round one, Kesler was brought in to crank the pregame siren to fire up the home crowd.

The Kesler duo got to experience Rogers Arena at the best time of the year, and Ryan was so excited for his son to experience a moment like that.

“I brought my son because I wanted him to be a part of it,” said Kesler. “I'm so excited for him. I know what playoff hockey looks like, but he's never been.”

Ryker got the opportunity to raise the towel at centre ice in the pregame festivities as the crowd erupted for the Canucks to take the ice for game two.

And then there was Arshdeep Bains and his father. As a local kid, playing for the Canucks was a dream of Arshdeep’s but it was also a moment where his family could celebrate and the time and effort that they put in to help assist Arsh to get to this point in his hockey career.

Arsh’s father, Kuldip was in attendance for his son’s debut against the Colorado Avalanche and it was something that gave a kid an opportunity to make his father proud of him.

“He was a little emotional, he told me,” Arshdeep said. “He had a little bit of water in his eyes. That’s every kid’s dream. To make their dad proud."

A few Canucks recalled core memories they have with their fathers growing up and are already thinking about stories they can share with their kids when they become dads one day.

Quinn Hughes remembered back on the night he first dawned the ‘C’ on his jersey and how it was really special to have some big names from Canucks history be a part of the captain’s ceremony. 

Though he wanted to just get to the game, when he looks back, it will be something he is excited to share with his kids.

“I wanted to just get the game going but looking back, it was really special to have Trevor Linden, who drafted me, and then working with Henrik Sedin and Stan Smyl within the last couple of years. It was a special moment for me and something hopefully I can tell my kids about one day.”

Canucks prospect Jackson Dorrington’s father played college baseball and was the biggest influence on Jackson’s athletic journey. 

“My dad is always the one that was setting up the hockey rink in the backyard, bringing me down the pond, or in the summers, giving me soft toss and teaching me how to throw a ball. I just remember all the times in the summers just playing baseball with him or playing with the wall. I just want to thank him for that, because I won't forget any of those memories. Hopefully, when I have kids, I'll get to do the same,” Dorrington said.

Some of the new dads on the team like Vasily Podkolzin, Phil Di Giuseppe and Carson Soucy are able to chat about fatherhood and pick up advice from dads with some skin in the game like Tyler Myers and J.T. Miller, both fathers of three.

Myers talked about how excited his kids are to see him come home after stints on the road and they enjoy quality time after practices and workouts during homestands.

“They use me as a jungle gym for sure. For whatever reason that seems to be a dad thing,” Myers said. “They love climbing on me when I'm sitting on the couch. I usually straighten my legs and that usually works as a nice slide for them. They just love climbing all over me, it’s a fun dad moment.”

The blueliner takes his kids to the park and says grocery shopping is also a big hit with his two oldest children trying to sneak items into the shopping cart not explicitly on the grocery list. 

“They play the game of grabbing everything off the shelves and putting it in the bag, but I usually put my dad foot down and say no. But then I give in at the end and give them a little treat or something,” he said.

His blueline partner Soucy now has nine-month-old twins, and back in early October when he was just a new dad, any little noise at night would wake him up.

“You hear them, and you wonder ‘Are they sleeping? Are they awake?’” Soucy said.

The other Mr. Soucy (Carson’s dad Mike) joined the group for the mentor’s trip at the end of February and was excited to spend some quality time with his son. Mike talked about a few trips he made to Vancouver to visit his Carson and his granddaughters and said getting to spend time with the rest of the mentors and the players was special.

He reminisced about driving Carson to practice and how there wasn’t a lot of conversation in those car rides. 

“I used to drive Carson to practice, and it was a 20-minute drive, and he would sleep for 18 minutes. He’d be awake for one minute out of town and one minute into town,” Mike said.

Quinn Hughes and his dad Jim touch base every day and they love keeping the hockey talk flowing. On the mentor’s trip, Jim said it’s fun to experience life on the road with his son for a few days, watching Quinn interact as a professional and travelling with him on the plane.

“We talk daily, it’s something that’s in our fiber as a family,” Jim said, “It’s important to connect with your kids. We parent, but we’re just there for support just like all these dads, just a resource we’re just there for support and we’re just a bunch of dads enjoying watching our kids play hockey.”

In Miller’s 13th NHL season, he says it never gets old to have his dad join them on the road during a mentor’s trip. He and his dad Dennis catch up over the grandkids and generally steer the conversation away from hockey.

“He knows when I call him, it’s about something completely unrelated and we like it like that. We talk almost every day,” Miller said. “We’ve got a lot of stuff going on back home with the kids, his grandkids, and we have plenty of other stuff to talk about. I talk about hockey enough here so it’s nice to get away."

Whether it’s reminiscing about childhood car rides to practice, bonding over the joy (and chaos) of raising toddlers, or simply analyzing the game, the Vancouver Canucks have a lot of great fatherly memories. 

Some of the players are creating their own memories with their own kids and other players imagine how they’d be as a dad one day.

Here’s to the dads, mentors and lifelong supporters this Father’s Day that make every goal, win and moment of the game even more special.