In case you’ve been living under a rock (and the underside of this rock doesn’t have any radio, television, or Internet, and you didn’t have any friends to come visit you at this rock, and also you never left the rock at any time), the NHL lockout ended yesterday. With this came the end of the overseas adventures of Jannik Hansen, Mason Raymond, Dale Weise, and Cory Schneider, who played his last game last week.
For Dale Weise, this meant end of his feel-good story in the Netherlands, which we’ve been tracking with great interest since he left. If you’ve been avoiding Canucks coverage since the lockout began, click here to relive the whole story.
As you know from yesterday’s post (unless you don’t, in which case, reacquaint yourself), Weise did some incredible things in the Dutch League, including leading the Tilburg Trappers to the verge of a playoff spot before the new CBA forced him to sit out the game in which they could clinch it. But the Trappers won the game anyway, guaranteeing them a top-four finish in the Eredivisie.
But the big moment for Tilburg fans on Sunday wasn’t saluting the team’s successful bid to make the postseason. It was saluting Dale Weise’s tour as one of them. With Weise in attendance for the game — in plainclothes, trading his Tilburg helmet for his trademark cabbie hat — fans packed the Stappegoor IJssportcentrum Tilburg to thank him. After the game, the Trappers sent him off with a varsity jacket and a roaring ovation.
Here’s the full text of Weise’s goodbye speech to the Tilburg fans, for the video impaired.
I’ll try to keep this as simple English as I can here. When I first found out I was coming to Tilburg, I was really excited, I didn’t know what to expect, and after coming here and seeing how passionate you fans are and how amazing you guys are in this city, I couldn’t have picked a better place to come to. I just want to say thank you to all you guys. You guys really support the team here, you’ve made me feel welcome here, and you guys always will have a place in my heart. I just want to say thank you very much, I’ll never forget Tilburg and you fans.
A classy end to a neat story. Anyway, back to it, Dale. Go sit on the bench and wait for your one shift a period.
Changing gears, Jannik Hansen’s stay in Tampere, Finland also came to an end. There was little fanfare, mainly because he made the mistake of heading to a league where he’d blend in. The organization didn’t make a big deal of it. Unlike Weise, he didn’t get to circle the ice surface, applauded by the fans. He wasn’t even given a spiffy Tappara varsity jacket. Instead, a succinct press release announced that the NHL lockout was over and he was going home.
Maybe that’s how they do it in Finland? Formal? Unemotional? Maybe a succinct Finnish press release is like a big tearful hug in Canada?
Either way, Hansen’s goodbye video is just a 40-second fan tribute, which features a handful of nifty plays you may not have seen, at the very least.
Clearly, Hansen hasn’t forgotten how to pass during this labour stoppage.Tags: Dale Weise in the netherlands