The Vancouver Canucks home opener lived up to the hype. Not only did the team deliver on the ice with an electric 8-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings, they held a memorable pregame ceremony that featured nostalgic videos and appearances from team legends.
We broke down and graded all of the opening nights festivities—from the captaincy reveal and new pregame pump-up film to the player introductions.
AC/DC tribute band, BC/DC played hits like Thunderstruck and Highway to Hell during pregame and period intermissions. I couldn’t tell if the acoustics were bad in Rogers Arena or if the gimmick just wasn't working. Rather than pumping up the crowd, BC/DC’s act felt like distracting background music.
Vancouver Canucks Twitter
Canucks 50th season commemorative keepsake
One day a franchise will give people a commemorative keepsake that they actually want. I challenge you to think of a more practical commemorative keepsake than a pair of team-branded socks. Unfortunately for Canuck fans, they received knock-off scarves with TD Bank logos five times larger than the team’s.
New Opening Film
“It's different. It's unique. Buckle up!” This is how the Canucks website described their new pregame film that debuted moments before player introductions on opening night. After seeing this short film, I can confirm that it is indeed different. It centered on a team of zombies battling the Canucks in a misty Rogers Arena; at one point Micheal Ferland hits a zombie so hard that it goes flying through the glass. The whole time I was questioning if I was watching a pregame hockey video or a terrible episode of the Walking Dead.
Is that...could it be...?! TODD BERTUZZI IN THE HOUSE!! ???? pic.twitter.com/M7bDlIY3kw— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) October 10, 2019
In celebration of their 50th season, the Canucks put a special wrinkle on their annual player introductions. Past Canuck greats like Stan Smyl, Daniel Sedin, Kirk McLean and Todd Bertuzzi were in pads and skates as they were introduced onto the ice. The loudest ovation went to Bertuzzi, who despite all of his controversies remains the most beloved player from the days of the West Coast Express. The most notable absence from the ceremony was former captain Trevor Linden, who was MIA from all of the festivities.
The player introductions were followed by a video highlighting the team’s most notable moments. Fans roared as clips from the 94 and 2011 Stanley Cup runs were shown on the jumbotron.
Coming into the home opener it was widely believed that Bo Horvat would be named the 14th captain of the Vancouver Canucks. So it's important to note that the captaincy ceremony was effective despite the announcement being anti-climatic. Horvat was called to centre ice as fan favourite Henrik Sedin and first-ever captain Orland Kurtenbach presented him with his new captains jersey. Everything came full circle—the first and most recent captain handed over the torch to the 24-year-old, Horvat. It was a fitting way to begin the Canucks' 50th season.