The Unreal Canucks Gif Tournament is on its way; prepare for greatness

At one point in history, the animated gif was the bane of the internet, infesting innumerable GeoCities websites with spinning clipart, random lines of flames, and annoying cartoon characters that danced for no reason. Times have changed, however, and the humble gif has become a cultural touchstone, as evidenced by the Oxford American Dictionary naming “gif” the word of the year a couple weeks ago.

Of all the uses for the animated gif, the sports gif reigns supreme. There’s something about sports that makes them eminently giffable. Perhaps it’s because the best gifs are all about the small moments that might otherwise be missed, and sports is full of those moments. The highlight reels capture the biggest moments in sports — the incredible goals, massive saves, and championship victories — but fans love sports for more than just the big moments. They love the little things.

Animated gifs capture those little things, then repeat them endlessly for our dumb amusement.

We have collected 32 of our favourite Canucks gifs, separated them into four divisions, and ranked them according to our whims. Over the next month, we’ll be running a March Madness-style tournament, allowing the greatest Canucks gif of all time will be decided by your votes. This is a sacred duty. If we don’t find out which Canucks gif is the greatest now, it may never happen.

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Hear Cory Schneider’s first news conference in Switzerland get interrupted by a mine explosion

On Wednesday, Cory Schneider became the third member of the Vancouver Canucks to say “nuts to this noise” and head to Europe, joining Ambri-Piotta of Switzerland’s National League A. No doubt he’s excited to actually be playing hockey again, especially considering the last six months of his life have been nothing but NHLPA negotiation committees and redundant questions about the goaltending situation in Vancouver.

But some things never change. Schneider was gleefully introduced by his new club Wednesday in the Swiss town of Biasca, where they practice, and if he thought that the trip East would mean a brief respite from questions about sharing the crease with Roberto Luongo, he thought wrong — Switzerland is no escape from such inquiries.

But here’s the difference: in Vancouver, the questions are just questions. In Switzerland, they’re apparently punctuated by ACTUAL, LITERAL EXPLOSIONS. Sadly, there’s no video of Schneider’s reaction but there is audio, courtesy Swiss website He Shoots, He Scoores (sic), and it’s pretty great. Listen for yourself:

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