Canuck animal nicknames: Who the heck is Whitetail?

Some time ago, Kevin Bieksa let it slip that every member of the Canucks had an animal nickname. He even gave us a line on a few: David Booth was Grizzly, Ryan Kesler was Bull, Keith Ballard was Wolf, Alex Edler was Eagle, and Jannik Hansen was the Honey Badger.

As for the rest, we were left to speculate wildly. Were the Sedins red pandas? Who is Fox? Was Sami Salo the poisonous Finnish snake that once bit him? Short of additional clues, there was simply no way of knowing.

Lucky for us, David Booth provided one such clue following Thursday night’s 4-3 victory over the Montreal Canadiens, praising the play of one “Whitetail”.

Canuck nation very nearly exploded with the reveal of a new animal nickname. It was like Battlestar Galactica revealing the next Cylon, except it took place on Twitter, not during an intergalactic space war.

But, unfortunately, the nickname was all Booth gave us. Who the heck is Whitetail?

Well, the list of suspects is a short one. Because Booth praises a “sick goal”, we can instantly trim the candidates down to the goal scorers in Montreal: Mason Raymond, Cody Hodgson, and Sami Salo. Of course, knowing what we know about the trio, it could be any one of them.

Salo, for instance, is among the palest men to walk the earth. He’s as white as a sheet, so the nickname would suit him. Meanwhile, Hodgson is a young buck, so the comparison to a white-tailed deer wouldn’t be far off. And fans have been calling Raymond “Bambi” for a few years now, what for his boyishness and oft-flailing limbs. I can assure you the Canucks have noticed. Trust me: they see your Tumblr account.

I think we can rule out Salo simply because his goal, a shot from the point, wasn’t exactly a highlight-reel tally. Furthermore, Salo only had an okay night, and I can’t imagine Booth singling him out for looking “sick”, unless he meant in terms of his pallid skin tone.

So that leaves Hodgson and Raymond, and my money’s on Raymond. Why? Nice as Hodgson’s shot was, it didn’t come on the heels of a toe drag that was the textbook definition of “sick.” Raymond’s was the highlight-reel goal. And furthermore, Raymond had the truly sick game, with 11 shots attempted, a goal, and a phantom assist while skating in Booth’s place on the second line. His was likely the game that stood out to Booth, especially since Raymond was skating in Booth’s place on the second line.

Ryan Kesler praised Raymond’s play as well.

To summarize: Raymond had the the pre-existing Bambi nickname, the standout game, and the standout goal. Mason Raymond is Whitetail.

Edit: Kevin Bieksa appeared on the Team 1040 Friday morning and cleared this mystery up for us, explaining that no, Sami Salo can’t be Whitetail, because his animal nickname is already Owl. (And then he hooted.)

Courtesy the always fabulous Chloe Ezra.

And, while Juice wouldn’t budge on what Cody Hodgson’s animal nickname was, he made sure to point out that A) it isn’t Whitetail, and B) it’s great.

So “Whitetail” has to be Mason Raymond, right? Maybe not.

Apparently, Booth went rogue on this one, and he’s not allowed to make up nicknames because he’s not on the “council”. (Seriously, what the heck.) Anyway, the council — which includes Ballard, Hamhuis, and Bieksa — has not approved this as Raymond’s official nickname.

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23 comments

  1. Kitty
    December 9, 2011

    I just did the kicky-feet of glee. I don’t know how Bieksa has the time to be an excellent NHL player AND expertly mess with my girly feelings.

    Now who is fox???

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  2. bergberg
    December 9, 2011

    I see endless opportunities for some excellent Chloe Ezra work here. Cute animals. Council meetings. Gold.

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    • gwun
      December 9, 2011

      wind in the willows, canuck edition???

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      • Rituro
        December 9, 2011

        Chloe, if you’re reading this, I will pay money to make gwun’s idea happen (after the Christmas money comes in, natch).

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  3. JDM
    December 9, 2011

    This meme has actually achieved legendary status. There’s a freaking COUNCIL just to decide this crap? Bieksa hooting on the radio? They’re certifiably nuts and it’s just so entertaining.

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  4. Cathylu
    December 9, 2011

    LOL !! Seriously, LOL !! This makes me love the Canucks even more (if that’s possible). Can’t wait for follow up stories on this topic!

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  5. Tristan
    December 9, 2011

    Whoever Whitetail turns out to be, will he not be somewhat concerned to have been given that name by someone who’s, y’know, this guy?
    http://miamiherald.typepad.com/.a/6a00d83451b26169e20134867c7f79970c-pi

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  6. SteveB
    December 9, 2011

    Does anyone else think that Moose is appropriate for Kevin Bieksa?
    I’d thought it was for a while now, with his physical play and occasional defensive lapses but it just dawned on me that it also rhymes with Juice.

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    • Aderam
      December 9, 2011

      Then would that indicate cannibalistic tendencies?

      Evidence – Camp Songs:

      “There was a Great Big Moose. He liked to drink a lot of juice.”

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      • Julia
        December 9, 2011

        Oh it’s been a while since I’ve heard that song!! Nice one.

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  7. Sarah
    December 9, 2011

    Nothing about this doesn’t make me extraordinarily happy. So many amazing questions. There’s a Council!?!?! Ballards on it!?!?! Is Ballard’s nickname Mallard?!?! Why won’t they let Booth participate!!?!? Seriously, how’d Ballard make the Council!?!?! Is Kevin Bieksa really just a 30-year-old, hockey-playing, mean girl?!?!?

    Can you please do a list of all the nicknames we know, the ones that are in question, and the ones we’d like to see? I, for one, think that Whitetail is perfect for MayRay. Let Booth on the Coucil! Come’on the guy is out 4-6 weeks; let him use that time to make up nicknames!

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  8. J21
    December 9, 2011

    I thought it was obvious that Whitetail was meant to be Raymond, just because you know it’s going to be a speedy/graceful animal with him… things people don’t really associate with Cody Hodgson. (In your original post on this topic, I think I suggested “Gazelle” for Raymond).

    The veto from Bieksa is just… come on now, it was a good one, Kevin!

    In answer to Sarah above — as noted, Ballard is actually “Wolf,” although “Duck” would have been pretty hilarious (and somehow appropriate, I feel, even beyond the pun).

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    • Sarah
      December 9, 2011

      Yah, I noticed that almost immediately. In my overall excitement I missed the first few sentences and then the poor Starbucks wi-fi didn’t let me make a correction.

      I hope that Dan Hamhuis is Pooh Bear [based on his Halloween costume from several years ago]

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  9. tj
    December 9, 2011

    That Bieksa, he’s a hoot.

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  10. Mo
    December 9, 2011

    I thought Kevin rejected the name for Cody (“..he has a really good nickname, not gonna change it to Whitetail…”), but although he didn’t say it wasn’t Raymond’s, he did say it was the “first he’d heard of that nickname”. Who knows – Bieksa doesn’t like to give away too much info at a time, and he did give us “owl” (whooo-whooo).

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  11. Beninvictoria
    December 9, 2011

    Wait. How is Hamhuis in the council? He doesn’t even have an animal name, he can’t vote other people down if he’s not gonna participate! That’s like requesting a vegan friendly Christmas dinner from your parents and then NOT SHOWING UP!

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  12. forcetimespi
    December 9, 2011

    It looks like this council is made of Kevin Bieksa’s D-partners.
    As Booth is a forward I think he has little chance of making the council.
    Although maybe Booth can convince AV will do a switcheroo so he can play with Bieksa. Like how Alberts got moved to the fourth line, only reverse.

    In any case, Kevin seems to have formed a defensive clique, with secret code nicknames for everyone.

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  13. Adrienne
    December 9, 2011

    Pretty sure Whitetail is Mason Raymond. His nickname is Bambi and Bambi is a whitetail deer :P

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  14. Sach
    December 10, 2011

    I love Chloe’s cartoons!! TOO CUTE!! o3o

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  15. gog
    December 10, 2011

    I’m dying to see who’s the Miniature Giant Space Hamster on the Canucks roster…

    And I’d also love to see some Chloe cartoons their animal nicnames.

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  16. SaltairTed
    December 10, 2011

    Coho. Hodgson is Coho.

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  17. SisterCanuck
    December 11, 2011

    I have a strong feeling that Fox is Burrows..

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  18. Ben Doobie
    December 13, 2011

    this is hilarious. Love the Canucks even more now.

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