Thursday, February 24, 2011

Willie Mitchell

I noted a few of my favourite hockey players the other day and forgot the one with the biggest stick of all, Willie Mitchell!

Ok, that is a bit of an exageration on his stick, but thats just Willie Mitchell. Last year before a game Vancouver played against Calgary, then flames coach, Mike Keenan made a remark about Mitchell using an illegal stick (over the league max. length of 63inches). During pre game warm ups Mitchell came out on the ice with the stick in the above picture, 2 shafts taped together. This is only part of the reason this man floats my boat.

who wouldn't love this smile??
which is why I hated seeing him like this at end of the 2010 season
On January 16th, 2010 in a game versus Pittsburgh, Willie Mitchell was hit from behind by Evgeni Malkin. He suffered a concussion. He missed the rest of the season suffering from the effects of that and post concussion syndrome. He had to leave Vancouver during the Olympics as the hustle and bustle of the city was to much for him and in May was still unable to do much more then take trail walks with his dog, Pino. He also went through counselling to deal with the psychological effects of he injury. 

I remember the interview clearly, I was watching on as the Canucks had just been knocked out of the playoffs by the Blackhawks (again!) and it was locker clear out day. The camera was on Kevin Bieksa as reporters waited, there was some noise and suddenly everyone ran towards one man, Willie Mitchell. It was the first time he'd been available to the media since the incident. I remember it clearly because it wasn't the same smiling, joking, Willie Mitchell from months previous. He sounded on the verge of crying at times and spoke with a very angered tone. He called out Colin Campbell for his inconsistency in handling suspensions for bad hits. He was also asked if he would consider a life outside of hockey in the wake of such a serious injury. He said this:
Absolutely, I'd take it. Some things are more important than hockey. Life's about recreating yourself three or four times anyway. That's what's fun. That's the journey. But do I want to continue doing what I've done for a large part of my life? Absolutely. But right now, that's not in my control. It's been a long physical journey and emotional journey. I'm feeling much better than I was before and getting better every day. I've been trying to put myself in the best place possible to be in a healing environment. I'm just looking forward to the day, and it's going to happen real soon here. Where I feel 100 per cent
And going with my theme lately,  my main reason for him being a favourite player. His Charity Work.  Mitchell loves fishing, so its only natural  that he takes part in a fishing charity event. He takes part in the West Coast fishing Clubs Fishing for Kids Fund raising Tournament. Brian Grange, who is the brains behind the event, credits Mitchell for its rise to a high profile event and bringing much more awareness to it.  He was always a frequent visitor to Canuck Place and Children's Hospital, he was always happy to give back. I am sure he is doing the same down in LA.

What made me  think about him was something I heard the other day. After Canucks Defenceman Dan Hamhuis suffered a concussion in a game 2 weeks back, Mitchell contacted Hamhuis and said he was willing to help him with anything he was going through. So my hats off, again, this time to the Class Act that is Willie Mitchell. Aside from Trevor Linden, who the Canucks eventually did get back, he is the player I have been the saddest to see go.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Bringing A Smile

When I lived in Vancouver and they would play clips like this during intermissions and such at games I would be the girl in the stands openly crying. I'm usually the tough one, but when it comes to kids in the hospital I'm a complete mess. Today, I just leave you with this.


I donate whenever I can, I donated every single extra penny I have this month to the Canucks For Kids Fund in pledges for Todays scrabble tournament. Have an extra few dollars? do the same.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Play Me That Ballard

This makes me extremely happy. Still a bit away from playing, but getting close!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Feeling Scared And Lonely

I’ve mentioned before that I have 2 young children. I have a son who is 2 and a daughter who is about to turn 3, they were born10 ½ months apart.  For the most part they have been healthy but I have had scares with both of them.  My daughter with her heart, and my son with sever anaemia requiring hospitalization.

When my daughter was 3 weeks old, I took her for her regular check up. I had to take the bus, as I don’t drive and my boyfriends and his parents had to work. On the bus rides there she was a little fussy, but she was a new born and I thought nothing of it really. We went through the regular check up and the doctor was saying she was doing great, until she listened to her heart. Her heart was beating at 230 beats a minute, a regular newborn’s heart beats between 140-160 beats per minute. The doctor then informed me that I had to take her to the hospital. Being new to the city and having taken the bus I had no idea what to do.  She then listened to her heart again and told me she was calling an ambulance.  First time parent, all alone, I have never been so scared in my life. The ambulance came, they ran my daughter through the busy waiting room of the paediatricians office, all eyes were on me and I forgot half my stuff there.  When we got to the hospital, I was all alone as my boyfriend and his mom were still an hour away. I had to fill out paper work and could hear my baby screaming from across the emergency room. At that time her heart was over 300 beats per minute. Now parents, imagine having gone through that alone, to walk into the room your baby is in and see them placing a bag of ice over her face? Scary thought….and it gets worse.  That didn’t do what it was supposed to, so next thing I heard? “ well then, we are going to have to stop her heart and restart it”.. Im sorry, WHAT?!?!. Finally the paramedic that had brought her in, one of the nicest guys I had ever met, came up to me to explain everything that was going on. I felt a little better, but still felt scared and alone.  They ended up giving her some medication first which thankfully slowed her heart rate down.  By the end of it all, my daughter was released that night, with medication to control something called Wolff Parkinson White syndrome. I won’t go into the details, but it is explained here .  She has since been ‘cleared’ but it can still return at any time, which is still pretty scary.

A few months ago my son started chewing through the wood on his crib, the wood on cupboards, wooden spoons, any wood he could get his hands on.  I took him to our new family doctor, her response, in a thick German accent was ‘ oh typical Canadian, a beaver”. I specifically asked her if it could be Pica disease, she said no. I wasn’t satisfied with this and took him to a walk in doctor, who basically said the same thing. I finally took him to a third doctor and begged until he reluctantly filled out the paper work to send him for blood work. However, that weekend we were out of town, and then he stopped eating wood. I completely forgot about the blood work.  A few weeks ago he started chewing on plastic, but I attributed it to getting the last of his teeth in and didn’t give it much thought. Last week he got a cold, wasn’t eating very much and was kind of weak, but I just figured it was because of the cold. I was giving him quite a bit of milk, because he was asking for it and I figured it was better then nothing since he wasn’t eating. Wrong. On Sunday morning I took him for blood work and within 4 hours I had a call telling me to get him to Emergency, that his hemoglobin levels were at 48, when they should be around 125.  We got him to emergency and after a few hours of waiting in the waiting room (I despise Alberta Health by the way), we were brought into the pediatric ER and given a very small cubical of a room. They ran more blood work, told me to stop giving him milk and hooked him up to all sorts of monitors. Turns out he did indeed have Pica Disease because of sever anaemia which was partly because of all the milk he was drinking blocking his iron intake. Let me tell you keeping a scared 2 year old within a confined space, unable to really move because of all the monitors he was connected to, is a hard task.

My boyfriend was able to come visit, but he had to be home for our daughter as well. While it was only from Sunday afternoon until Tuesday afternoon, it was the longest days of my life. My  son was cranky the whole time obviously, and I was extremely lonely. For the times we were left alone I was either fighting with him or crying while watching him sleep, completely blaming myself for what had happened.. I had a few books with me but when he was asleep wanted to keep the lights off so he would be as rested as possible and Children’s Hospital is one of the only places without internet in patient rooms.  Thankfully I do have twitter and face book on my blackberry which allowed me some interaction.

I have to give a huge shout out to “Hockey Wife”,  I don’t know her name, and even if I did I wouldn’t tell you but we were able to have some conversation via twitter and it helped keep me sane. Check out her blog , an insightful look into the other half of hockey players. Another big shout out to Eric Johnson, the guy who pimps  Homicide Luke’s Character on the tv show Rookie Blue (He's awesome…even if he is an Oiler's fan. Give him a follow on twitter ).  Thanks for taking the time to ask how my son was, and have little chats, it meant the world to me at a time I felt completely and utterly alone. To everyone else who messaged me or tried to call as well, thank you (specifically Candy and Martin). To those who didn't, its amazing how fast I've figured out who my true friends are.

I’ve rambled on long enough that you’re probably wondering how this has anything to do with hockey eh? Well, I’ve always had huge respect for the players when I see them visiting children and families at places like BC’s Children’s Hospital and Canuck Place. That has grown even more now. I can not even begin to imagine what it feels like to be a parent and know that either your child is not going to get better, or not knowing exactly what is wrong. After being scared, and alone in hospital with my child I can see how something like a little visit from these players would brighten my day, as well as my child’s (if he was a little older I think). In my time in the hospital I heard of 2 children that did not make it through the night, I felt horrible even though I never even saw them. So, from even another point of view, I have no idea how the players go into these hospitals, see what they see, and manage to keep a smile on their faces. For the ones with children themselves I imagine it must be extremely hard. Words can not express how much appreciation and respect I have for these players and what they are able to do off ice.

On a much smaller less important note, not having the internet meant that I could not watch the Canucks game on the Monday. In the grand scheme of things, it really didn't matter. However, if there had been internet I would of been able to watch it while my son slept, and perhaps relax a little even though the game did not go that well.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Christmas is over...

and by that I really mean Hockey Day In Canada. Aside from Canada Day, I think HDIC is my favourite day fo the year. In fact, when I have my own place I think I will decorate my house for this day. What more can you ask for then a full day of  Canadian hockey teams? I watched the Edmonton vs Ottawa game. Missed  most of the Toronto at Montreal game and of course caught the Vancouver vs Calgary game. Love all the little stories and everything relating to hockey that is played on CBC on this day. I also realized today that Keith Ballard is my first none Canadian favourite player. (Trevor Linden, Mike Cammalleri, Alex Burrows and  Dan Hamhuis)

Big Thanks to Scotia Bank for the awesome contests through the week on twitter, and for allowing me to win that jersey. Pretty cool!. They also sent a toque, a backpack and a water bottle, which my soon to be 3 year old daughter has taken over.

Kevin Bieksa Wins After Hours 

Thats right folks, Kevin Bieksa wins After Hours. He has got to be the BEST interview I have ever seen on there. It can be found here. The way he reacted to Scott Oake's comments with cheekiness and  sarcasm was great, and he always gave good answers to the serious questions. Which is why I've always said if there is one player I could sit down and have a beer with, it would be him.  When I saw Bieksa would be a guest I had some thoughts go through my head.  He bugs Ryan Kesler about RK17, so why not when Scott Oake asks on Twitter for questions to ask "When  is the KB3 clothing line coming out". I didn't mean this as a serious question, I thought maybe a few of my followers might see it and have a little chuckle and that would be that. happened. Scott Oake had asked Bieksa about Kesler's line and then he said "well I guess you've answered my next question". I knew then that I was doomed. He asked my absolutely ridiculous  question. It led to this outburst

@Canuckgirl16 : JESUS I WASN'T SERIOUS!!!! hahah

@Taryneliza_beth : CHRISTINE!!!!!!!!!!! @Canuckgirl16

Then within seconds I had 10 new followers and people tweeting me saying they had a good laugh over it. Well thats good.

Anyway, thats my mumble jumble for today. All in all it was a great Hockey Day In Canada, and I wont forget it for a long time.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

We Will Always Have Dan Cloutier

 Everything in my life has some sort of hockey relation

In October of 2010, my Auntie Diane died and I was heart broken, she was the most amazing lady ever. In December of 2010 her husband, my Uncle Norm died. I've never hurt more, I still rarely have a day where I don't break down when I think about them. They raised their own kids, then fostered countless others, my uncle was  a truck driver until the very minute he died. This is my open letter to them

Uncle Norm and Auntie Diane,

Words can not express how much I miss you guys.

Uncle Norm, Id give anything, ANYTHING, for one more of your amazing hugs. The endless stories you told of things that happened in your life never failed to amaze me, everyone who I have ever talked to has been told at least one of them I think. I love the Starvation Army one the best, if I'm having a bad day, I just have to say "Starvation Army" to myself and I will make myself laugh. I honestly wish I could of spent more time with you, writing down the stories as you told them and making them into a book, I think everybody would of loved them. One of my biggest regrets is not getting in contact with you after Auntie Diane died, to tell you how much I loved you and missed you.

Auntie Diane, you are the most amazing person I have ever have and I don't think anyone I will ever meet from this point forward can compare. You were always there to listen, to give a truthful opinion and help out in any way possible. I will always cherish all the late night talks we had on facebook, where no matter what, you always helped me think positive of even the worst situation. No matter what I said, how pissed off I was, how much I swore, you always made me feel better with the simple words ' you know I love ya, kiddo'. You are the one of the only people I have ever felt comfortable talking about absolutely anything to. One of my favourite recent memories was when I posted this sentence I had just read out of Hockey: A Peoples History:
"The One-eyed Mcgee retired (from playing hockey) to a job where vision clearly wasn't necessary: he became a referee"
 I remember how hard you laughed at that. Then, even though it was late at night, had to call Uncle Norm while he was on the road and tell him. Of course then to, even though it was just a quick little conversation you said "love ya, Kiddo".

No matter what way I try to look at it, I will NEVER understand your love for Dan Cloutier. I have to admit now though, thinking back to our back and forth banter and teasing regarding Dan Cloutier and Kevin Weekes, those names will stick with me for the rest of my life. You've got the best seat in the house now to watch every Canucks game played.

I love you guys like crazy, and will always make sure my kids know everything possible about you guys.


I was unable to make it their funerals. At my Aunt's funeral I had this read on my behalf:
"Auntie Diane was the most amazing person I have ever met. She saw good in everybody no matter how bad they were. I know this because she was a Dan Cloutier Fan.

Then my  Uncle Norm  was presented with a Dan Cloutier Plaque. He kept it until he died, and now I have it back again and will cherish it, as much as I hate to cherish anything Dan Cloutier, forever.

So Uncle Norm and Auntie Diane, I'd  just like to let you know that We Will Always Have Dan Cloutier.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Dear Keith (part 2)

I Promise to be serious next post.
(yes I am aware he will never read this)
Dear Keith,

It is my understanding you are some what of a prankster and loved the *idea* of your prank on Kevin Bieksa. However, the hilarity of the failure may have been funnier then if the prank ever worked out.  I wish there was more pictures of it, or more were released anyway .  We need to change this, or get more of your stories out there. I just wanted to let you know we can team up, Im only 5 feet tall, I can fit almost anywhere.  We can also try out some of the other pranks that have been made up for you. Let me know, you’ll be out my way in April.

Your shortest blogging fan

p.s. Kevin's pranks, as I see it, are pretty lame, he needs to step it up as well.

In all seriousness if I met him, I'd probably fall over. I'm the girl that puked after meeting Matt Cooke, who was my favourite player at the time. (I feel the need to make it clear he is no longer anywhere near my list of favourite players.) I Had a panic attack when meeting Markus Naslund and refused to talk to Mattias Ohlund once. Hell, Squire Barnes used to come to my work quite often and I could barely tell him how much his total was. Yup, that’s me, the shyest person you will ever meet. I won't even tell you the story of meeting one of my favourite actors, I was horrible.(Eric, if you're reading this, I want a do over. Maybe one that includes beer and hockey, I promise not to make you watch Joffrey Lupul and the rest of the Leafs).  I find it stupid and it's embarrassing but can’t help it, they are just regular people like you and I. When I was younger I dreamt of being the next “Shorty”, a female version, that never happened. I never believed in myself enough or got over my anxiety.  Instead I write this nonsense and faintly dream of what could have been.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


I may be having some issues here, I was thinking about the stuff I've written here and the Canucks games that have followed since then.

  • I make a blog, use the name Ballard. Less then a week later, Keith Ballard gets injured.
  • I write about Dan Hamhuis and his community work. That night he gets, what looks to be, injured.
  • I have mentioned Ryan Kesler a few times, I am scared for him.
  • I am even more scared for Kevin Bieksa. I've mentioned him a few times and he's a Canucks Defenceman, and we all know how thats going.

Dear Keith

 (Im going off track again)
Keith darling, we need to have a talk....

While I whole heartedly applaud you being at Childrens Hospital visiting sick kids,  are your jeans really rolled out/up in those pictures? Im no fashion queen, you can usually find me in a Canucks player t-shirt and jeans, but for real??. I'll send you my grandma's number, she lives in Vancouver, not all that far from Rogers Arena, she will hem your pants for you.

We also need to work on getting you a smaller or different toque, you could hide Chris Pronger up there.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Giving Back

Charity work is huge for me, you have the money, you have the ability, you have the fame,  do it!.  As I've mentioned before, usually, a huge part of picking a  "favourite player" for me is looking at their involvement in giving back to the community. While its not a written rule, it really melts my butter and burns my cheese when these people have the ability to make a change, make things better in the community, and don't put much effort into it. I understand not everyone can be Trevor Linden like, but every little bit helps. From Paul Bissonnette and his t-shirt line after a slight mix up with words on his twitter account, to the likes of other players saying when they reach a certain amount of followers they will donate money. It all helps, no matter how they do it.

I love seeing pictures, and stories on tv of the players visiting kids at Children's hospital, Canuck Place and other places like that. While it can be very heartbreaking it makes me very thankful to have two reasonably healthy children and puts a giant smile on my face. I love seeing the children smiling, happy to meet them.

I give you Dan "The Community Man" Hamhuis (props to PITB for the name)

  • When playing In Nashville, Hamhuis would visit patients at Nashville's Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital throughout the season, and would go reverse trick-or-treating dressed up as Winnie the Pooh in 2008 and 2009
  • This past off season, Hamhuis was back in B.C. when he received an email from the NHLPA asking if any players would be interested in going to Haiti as part of the Hockey For Haiti program. He was hesitant at first, being the father of 2 young children and knowing there was still many dangers in a place like Haiti. His wife convinced him, telling him it was a once in a life time trip and he had the ability to help people in need. "It's not your everyday trip," said Hamhuis. "This is living in the dirt with a tarp pulled over your head. It takes you out of your comfort zone. But this is a beautiful country too, with the scenery and stuff. But the people are obviously not in the same economic state."
  •  He and his wife,Sarah, were regular visitors at Ronald McDonald House and bought an air hockey table for the teen room.
  • Sarah  organized a potluck style dinner , and with the other wives on the team, provided dinner for the Families at Ronald McDonald House.
  •  He gave his name(and funds) to be the presenting sponsor of the Ronald McDonald House "Extraordinary Evening" fund raiser, which brought in more than $50,000.
  •  In 2009 he donated $20,000 to The Teammates For Kids Foundation, which benefits the Nashville Rescue Mission. He and Sarah also volunteered time to the Nashville Rescue Mission.
  • While in Nashville he purchased 25 gift cards of $100 each to give to families in need during the holidays.
  •  He spent some time around halloween at Canuck Place, with his oldest daughter, carving pumpkins with the children and their families. 
  • He recently spent time reading books and making crafts with young kids at Britannia School, Saying "I really enjoy this. Some of these kids don’t get the opportunity to read a lot of books so to be able to come here and spend some time with them and share some stories and have the chance to share a favourite from our house with these kids was special. It was great to see the smiles on their faces and they seemed very attentive and drawn to the books"

These are just a few of the stories I've been able to find on things that he has done, I know there is way more. If anyone reading this knows of more, please message me with a link to the story, I'd love to include it all.

My hats off to you Dan, you're a Small town boy, living the big dream, and doing larger then life things in your community. Like I said in my Trevor Linden post (found here), I wish there was more people around like you guys.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


 Keith Ballard's attitude amazes me, he never pulls the 'poor me' card, takes responsibility for his play and accepts all challenges. He didn't run out right away and point fingers for his recent injury, something that seems to be done a lot lately.

I've found a few quotes that stick out

 Check out this clip:

Keith Ballard talks Injury

I love how he says he doesn't feel unlucky and he's went so long playing without one until more recently. He had hip surgery this summer, a concussion earlier in the season, and now this knee injury. He's still his usual laughing, smiling self even though he's still not sure of the extent of his injury.

He had this to say on his roll playing for the Canucks, where he sees less ice time then he would on other teams:

“Mentally, you have to be very strong. Everybody here at one point has come from somewhere where they were ’the guy.’ That group of people gets smaller and smaller the higher up you go, and now I’m seeing what it’s like for the first time to play on a successful team. I was a go-to guy on other teams, but they weren’t as good. My role right now  is to play a good, solid 15 (minutes) and be reliable. I’ll take that on a successful team. You’ve got to take a back seat a little bit and put the personal things aside”

 He was  a healthy scratch earlier in the season and had this to say:

 “If I have to put my personal pride aside, that’s OK… It’s up to me to play better. With a strong core you have to earn time.  I’ve played games (before Van) where I should have been a scratch, but you don’t have that luxury on a good team.”
When asked about the fact that he makes $4.2 million a season, for a roll that would usually get much less:

“I understand it, If you look at it strictly from the numbers, it doesn’t make sense. In the salary-cap world, it’s probably not the ideal situation. But they’re trying to build a deep team, build a team for a long haul. So that kind of stuff, I try to just put it aside and not worry about it”

He  talks about Chris Tanev quite a bit, a rookie Defenceman with the Canucks for now, as he even mentions in that video clip. He seems to be helping him out a lot and even Tanev says  that Ballard is a tremendous help with talking to him, and keeping him calm. If Tanev makes a mistake Ballard will be the first to say " That's alright, we'll do this next time"

Now  if  I could find more stories on charity work he's done Id be able to brag about him a bit more, until then that part belongs to Dan Hamhuis.

Monday, February 7, 2011

How do I tell them to play you?

when your leg does this?
I pray this isn't to serious, but man it doesnt look good. I wouldn't want my son playing defence for the Canucks, they are cursed.  It also ummmm really hurts if you try to be stupid and make your own leg try to bend that way.

Follow up from yesterday


Oddly enough after I tell Kesler yesterday to help Ballard get some goals, I find a clip with Ballard saying the same thing. Its genius.  I'm kind of worried about him saying Kesler isn't grumpy when EVERYONE else says he is, maybe Ballards just as grumpy in the morning? I feel the need to stand behind the camera when Kesler does interviews and do what my mom used to do with me on stage and mimic a huge smile.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Man, The Legend, Mr.Canuck.

occasionally I can be serious....

If you were to ask anyone who knows me what two things they would associate with me they would say: The Vancouver Canucks and Trevor Linden.

On April 5th 2008, after the Canucks played the Flames, in what everyone expected would be the last game of Linden’s NHL career, Jarome Iginla called his teammates back out onto the ice to shake Linden’s hand, showing true class.

Later when Iginla was asked by reporters to comment on what he thought of Trevor he responded:

“The career he's had, a lot of us watched him when we were younger, and the runs he's had when he first broke in.  He's played for so long, and also playing against him, he's a guy that plays hard all the time.  He’s a leader.  He's a guy that's a good, honest, hard player to play against.  He’s not cheap. We have a lot of respect also for what he's done for us off the ice as a group of players.  I'm not sure if it's his last for sure, but if it is, it definitely was an honor to play with him."

I dreaded that game, not only was it the Canucks last game of the 2008 season, it was the last time I would get to see Linden play hockey.  I balled my eyes out, cried like a little baby.  The only two things, in regards to hockey, that have ever made me cry more was Linden’s retirement ceremony and the memorial for the late Luc Bourdon.  I thought I would be prepared for it, but I wasn’t.  I get choked up every time I think about the standing ovation the crowd gave when Linden was at center ice for that final period and Iginla’s heartfelt act of getting everyone back out on the ice to shake Linden’s hand.

Trevor Linden is an absolutely amazing man; the more I learn about him I am even more impressed I am by him.  He was a great player in his prime, but not the best, and I don't think anyone is afraid to admit that. His tireless efforts to be the best he could be and his outstanding leadership skills made him stand out from everyone else, something I don’t think anyone else could ever come close to.  What amazes me most is his work off the ice; his involvement with charities and efforts to better the lives of children who may never reach the age of the number on he wore on his jersey.

Throughout his career Trevor has won many awards.  In 1997 he won the King Clancy Memorial trophy, which is awarded annually by the NHL to the player who exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice.  He has made a significant contribution to his community and in 2003 he was awarded the Order of B.C., which is given to a resident of British Columbia who demonstrates a high level of excellence in any field that benefits the people of the province.  In 2008 he won the NHL foundation player award; awarded annually to the player who shows the core values of hockey, which includes commitment, perseverance, and teamwork and uses them to enrich the lives of people in his community.  In 2010 he was awarded the Order of Canada, the highest degree of merit awarded to someone showing an exceptional contribution to Canada and humanity.

When Trevor became captain of the Vancouver Canucks he started Captains Crew, which gave children who wouldn’t normally be able to attend a Canucks game a chance to do just that; a dream for many children living in Vancouver.  He has spent countless hours visiting sick children at the children’s hospital in British Columbia, putting a smile on the faces of children who don’t have much to smile about; he is also a huge contributor to Canuck Place, a Hospice in Vancouver for terminally ill children and their families. He also started The Trevor Linden Foundation which holds an annual golf tournament and has raised more than $650,000 for The Canadian Cancer Society’s “Camp Good Times,” a camp located in Mission, B.C., for children living with cancer and their families.  There are countless other things Linden has done, I could go on for pages; that’s Trevor Linden for you.

There are two stories I would like to share, of the many great stories I have heard, the first is the story of Michael Robinson.  Michael was a young boy with leukemia who Trevor met and always kept in touch with; he wasn’t doing very well.  Six months before a golf tournament Trevor told Michael that he would need a caddy there to help him.  Michael’s family was not sure if he would have the strength to do it, or even make it that long.  He was there for Trevor at that golf tournament, and died four days later.  His family believes that it was Trevor’s friendship that kept him going so long.

Recently a 17 year old boy in B.C. died after a tragic fall while celebrating his birthday. His favourite player was Trevor Linden.  The number on his hockey jersey was 16 and his memorial was held on the 16th for that reason.  Trevor had this read on his behalf at the memorial:

“He was an outstanding young man with a very bright future.  The very fact that I might have had some small part in shaping the way Dan lived his life is very meaningful to me . It’s actually more meaningful than Stanley Cups, individual trophies, or jerseys.  For this at the end of the day is maybe the most important reason that I play in national hockey.”

To me, Trevor Linden is so much more than just a hockey player.  His career had a bigger impact on people then I think anyone could have imagined; I am glad he realizes that and takes pride in it.  I am hopeful that one day I have the chance to meet him.  I would love to sit down and chat with him about his charity work, his hockey career, his new venture into property development, and his new fitness club.  Even if I were to just get a quick “hello” and a handshake I would die a very happy girl.  I hope that one day my son will grow up to be half the man Trevor is, I wont accept anything less.  He has shown me how great people can be and I wish there were more people like him around.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Soundtrack Of My Life

Do you have  a sound that reminds you of a happy time in your past? Mine would be the voices of Tom Larscheid and John Shorthouse.  Unfortunately we don’t get to hear Tommy anymore, but Shorty is still going strong. Their voices remind me of when I lived in Vancouver, somewhere I’d love to live again but have come to face reality, and that is that I never will. I remember so many happy times listening to them call games, so many crazy Tommy comments that still make me laugh. Sure it wasn’t always the happiest of times for the Vancouver Canucks, but it reaches beyond that. I have been lucky enough now to find a way to watch Vancouver broadcasts of games and still get to listen to John Shorthouse. His voice could put me to sleep. I realize that may sound weird to most, his voice is different to say the least, but its just the calmness it gives me. 

Every once in awhile, when I’m having a rough day I'll go and watch the you tube clip of John Shorthouse on stage with Michael Buble, singing “Thanks For The Memories” to Larscheid.  It makes me laugh, then get teary eyed, but in the end I feel better.

I have always said two people I most want to meet are Trevor Linden, and John Shorthouse.  I went to the Canucks game when they were in Edmonton on November 2nd. I had been bugging a few Canucks  reporters on twitter to come have a drink with me, I had  a few(or 6) drinks myself and none of them responded. Seriously, they need to accept my free beer offer next time.

It was a good game, Canucks won, Raffi Torres had a hat trick(say what?!?!), all in all I thought it was an amazing few hours out. I met many Canucks fans, trash talked with a few Oilers fans and we were on our way home.  So there I was sitting on the LRT platform waiting for the next train when coming up the escalator I see a very Familiar face.

Well hi there my idol!. I jumped up and I believe I went up to him and said “ Oh my god you’re John Shorthouse”. I chatted with him and John Garrett for quite awhile waiting for the train. Talking about the game, Trevor Linden (surprise surprise), and Tom Larscheid. I got to mentioning the things I have mentioned here about his voice reminding me of happy times, of being a calming sound for me. He responded with something to the effect of “ Well I guess Im the soundtrack of your life”.  Perfect. I took a few pictures with him mentioning I wanted a couple in case I looked ugly and he replied with “ Oh I don’t think you could take an ugly picture”.....he said this moments before I took a picture with John Garrett

I really should of taken another picture with him to, but I didn’t. I just like to caption it with “ My Love for John Garrett is like the wind, sometimes it’s there, sometimes it’s not”. Sometimes his crazy ramblings get on my nerves, but  I still love him.  He wasn’t quite sure what to do with me, he kept laughing at me being so ecstatic that I was talking to John Shorthouse. I also proceeded to chase him onto the train after they had walked away so I could take a picture with my phone, to put on Twitter and Facebook right away. Im pretty sure the poor guys were tired of me by the time they got off the train a few stops later.

And of course, I can’t end this without a sweet little Ballard: