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Captain Horvat

...two moments showed Tim Horvat his son had the makings of a captain

by Derek Jory @NoJoryous / Vancouver Canucks

Nobody tells a Bo Horvat story quite like Tim Horvat.

Parents never forget their children's most embarrassing moments and usually Bo's dad is happy to share a few stories - and even more hearty laughs. But not on this day. Tim was too full of pride for shenanigans.

Bo Horvat was officially named the 14th captain in Vancouver Canucks franchise history during a pre-game ceremony Wednesday night before the team's home opener. As cheers reigned down for Bo's promotion, the Horvat family - aunts, uncles, grandparents and everything in between - beamed with pride.

Video: Canucks Name Bo Horvat Captain

Tim hoped this day would come. Two instants during Bo's life gave him confidence it would.

When Bowie William Horvat was 11-years-old, he played for the Toronto Red Wings (pictured above). They had traveled to Chicago, Illinois, for a tournament and were playing in the championship game against Honeybaked. Down 2-0 going into the 3rd period, Horvat put the team on his back scoring three straight goals in a 3-2 golden finish. Despite his heroic late game efforts, Horvat did not receive the player of the game award.

"I felt bad for him," said Tim. "Coming out of the dressing room, I congratulated him and said great game and he said he was happy they won, but happier that Josh had been given player of the game. Right then and there I knew it would always be about the team for him. I realized he had the makings of being a true leader."

Bo was 16-years-old when he was selected ninth overall by the London Knights in the 2011 OHL draft. Twenty selections later, London picked a goaltender from Michigan named Ian Jenkins, who was set to become Bo's new teammate.

Prior to the season Jenkins, then 15-years-old, fell out of the back of a friend's pick-up truck and passed away from injuries incurred. Although he and Bo weren't friends, they had competed against each other, and driving back from Jenkins' funeral in Detroit, Bo decided what number he'd wear in London, the same number he wears with the Canucks. 

"Bo was looking out the window and I asked him if he was okay. He said yes and that he'd chosen his number, which the Knights needed by the next day. He said he wanted to wear 53 in tribute to Ian Jenkins, who was number 35. I looked over at him and then I looked the other way and I had tears in my eyes. I thought wow, that's pretty cool.

"That really touched me and right then and there I knew he was real genuine and humble, and he thought of others, and he still does to this day. That's not something you can teach."

Where does Bo get his leadership skills?

"I think he takes after his mother that way," said Tim. "Calm, mentally strong, putting others first. I'd say from me, he got pushed. I'd push him right to the edge of his limits - I'm a pusher. But I know when to back off too - most times."

No, that pushing will not stop just because there's a new letter on Bo's jersey.

"No way it'll ever stop. I told him that. That's just who I am. It'll never stop man. Well, maybe the day he retires."

Video: Bo Horvat Becomes 14th Canucks Captain

Bo has a lot of hockey left before retirement, and according to Tim, his son won't ever happily ride off into the sunset unless he achieves his ultimate goal.

"He just wants to win. He wants to win a Stanley Cup for Vancouver, and to bring it home to Rodney. That'll be some celebration!"

Then it'll be time for some shenanigans.

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