The biggest losers of the start of the NHL season are undoubtedly the many college and junior teams that won’t have the benefit of NHL players skating with them at practice. It must have been incredible to skate alongside real NHLers, participating in drills with them, working out with them, and seeing exactly how much better they are than you.
The largest mass assemblage of Vancouver Canucks during the lockout skated with the UBC Thunderbirds, along with sundry other NHLers and free agents, even playing a charity shinny game against the college team as Bieksa’s Buddies. I have reason to believe that the Thunderbirds were grateful to the Canucks for the time they spent skating with them. That reason? They made a video stating that they were grateful to the Canucks for the time they spent skating with them. I’m pretty quick on picking up things like that.
Every single player on the Thunderbirds got a chance to express their thanks, which was a good move by UBC, as some of them are absolutely hilarious.
In case you don’t have the time to watch a sub-4-minute video (in which case, maybe you should look into simplifying your life a little) or you’re reading PITB when you should be putting cover sheets on your TPS reports, here are the highlights:
Ilan Cumberbirch, who has the sickest flow on the Thunderbirds and received a 2-minute penalty for “looking so good” during the charity game, had this to say: “On a personal note, I’d like to thank you guys for the chicken souvlaki from Double D’s as well as all the personal grooming techniques, which I’ve yet to follow through with.” CUT YOUR HAIR, YOU HIPPY.
Sidenote: if an NHL referee can call a penalty for “looking so good,” an NBA ref should be able to call a foul for “balling so hard.”
Max Grassi: “I never knew magic existed until I played with the Sedins, and now I know wizards are real.”
Grassi is, incidentally, the leading scorer on the Thunderbirds. So, no, Max, the magic was within you the entire time.
Matt Wray: “I’d just like to thank you guys for letting me be on the ice with you guys. That was pretty sweet.” You guys.
Linden Saip, defenceman: “…and a personal thanks to Henrik and Daniel for thoroughly embarrassing me every day in practice.”
Scott Brkich: “I’d just like to thank the Canucks for teaching me how to throw head-high sauce.”
Jessi Hilton, with my favourite response of the entire video: “I would like to thank the Canucks for showing me how to make good hockey plays.”
Kevin Smith: “To the fans, I just want to say, ‘You’re welcome for the third Presidents’ Trophy this year.’ I won’t take full credit…” You know what you can take credit for, Kevin? Jinxing the Canucks. Their rough start this weekend was totally your fault.
Scott MacDonald seemed to be glad the Canucks were gone: “Maybe now that Edler and Bieksa are gone, I can start scoring in practice again.” Bitter, much?
Cole Pruden, who looks like a blonde Captain Caveman with the biggest non-sequitur of the video: “…now I know how to do the bunny ears, thanks.”
Jason Yee, defenceman: “…it was awesome learning the drop pass from the masters.” Wait, you didn’t learn it from Edler, did you? Oh noooooooo…
Wyatt Hamilton: “To the Canucks, thanks for teaching me how to properly block a shot,” he said while grinning, showing a chipped tooth. Why, were you under the impression that’s what teeth are for?
A couple different players mentioned that Manny Malhotra spent some extra time with them working on faceoffs, which is yet another reason to love Malhotra.
Dustin Kimber: “I’d just like to thank the Canucks for teaching me how to throw a backhand-sauce, no-look, between-the-legs and have it land flat 60% of the time…every time.”
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