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The new Green Man?

by Derek Jory / Vancouver Canucks

Joel Booth waited a long time to see his brother David play an NHL game at Joe Louis Arena and when it finally happened, he barely saw it at all.

The Green Man suit got in the way.

The 23-year-old wanted to make a splash in tribute to his brother’s big night and he did it the only way he knew how, by donning a full body green leotard.

The Booth family has had Red Wings season tickets for more than 25 years, so they’ve seen a lot of weird things go down at The Joe while seated on red folding chairs right up against the glass.

This tops it all.

“I had to do it,” smiled Joel, or at least I think he was smiling under the suit. “No one can see who I am, so I’m not nervous or anything.”

After Booth was traded to the Vancouver Canucks from the Florida Panthers on October 22, 2011, Joel was quick to Google Green Man Bodysuit, with a plan in mind.

“It was right around Halloween and I didn’t really know what I was going to be, then I came across the Vancouver Green Men and I thought that was just a great outfit to wear for Halloween. Not many people would know it in Ann Arbour where I go to school, so I figured I’d go for it.”

Joel hit up a few Halloween parties and the response was overwhelming.

Welcome to life as a Green Man.

It’s been a while since Force and Sully made their debut at Rogers Arena and the fascination that surrounds them continues to be strong from fans. They’ve only made one appearance this season and if memory serves correct, the Canucks weren’t even awarded a power play on the night.

What a waste. That goes directly against being green.

Fans in Detroit didn’t mistake Joel for one of the originals, it was likely the Canucks tuque he was sporting and the fact he wasn’t beside the penalty box, but they didn't care. Not in the least.

Joel was swarmed pre-game and he posed for photo after photo after photo before warm-up started. Then it was go time.

“He made a few of the Canucks laugh,” said Rachael, 16, the youngest of four Booth children (pictured above). “But we were more surprised Dave didn’t wear his helmet during warm-up.”

Yes Booth let his flowing blonde hair loose for warm-up; it was the first time he hasn’t worn his helmet for the pre-game skate. With more than 60 family and friends in the building, Booth wanted to put on a show for everyone.

Too bad Joel stole the show.

“He’s a goofy guy, he’s one the smartest guys I know and also one of the goofiest,” said Booth, following Vancouver’s 4-3 win over Detroit to break the longest home winning streak in NHL history.

“He’s a good guy, he’s got a great heart and I think he just wanted to do it because he liked those guys last year in the playoffs when they were doing it. He made me chuckle, he’s good at that.”

Joel will have another chance to play Green Man when he travels to Vancouver next Monday to take in a pair of Canucks games, but he’ll likely leave the green suit in Detroit.

It's not easy being green.

“I’ll let the real green men do their thing, hopefully they’re there.”

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