Dale Weise is doing all the right things; the puck’s just being a jerk

When Dale Weise won the fastest skater competition at the Canucks Superskills on Sunday to the tune of “Highway to the Danger Zone,” the reaction from Canucks fans was one of incredulity. Even Joey Kenward seemed shocked at the arena, saying, “I know a lot of your teammates are going to be surprised that you won the fastest skater competition, but you’re not surprised at all.”

Weise’s deadpan reaction was perfect: “No, not at all.”

The shock was understandable. When you think of speedsters on the Canucks, the names Mason Raymond, Jannik Hansen, and Jordan Schroeder come to mind. Maybe, you think of Keith Ballard, who won the fastest skater competition last year and whose mobility is his greatest asset. Weise doesn’t even enter into the discussion.

In fact, Canucks fans generally have a low opinion of Weise, mainly because of the role they see him playing. When the Canucks picked him up off waivers from the New York Rangers last season, it was essentially because Steve Pinizzotto got injured during the pre-season and their next best option was Victor Oreskovich. Weise was coming in as a fourth-liner and was expected to do typical fourth-line stuff: bang, crash, and fight.

The problem is that Weise is not a particularly good fighter. While he’s a willing combatant (most of the time), he’s not the kind of guy who strikes the fear of God in the opposition. Since he didn’t fight particularly well and only scored 8 points in 68 games, some Canucks fans decided he wasn’t much use and needed to be replaced.

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10 of the best and most surprising moments from Canucks Superskills 2013

One of my favourite events during the Canucks’ season is the Canucks for Kids Fund Superskills Competition. It’s fun to see the Canucks in a loose, carefree setting, and the lower price point is great for families that might not be able to get out to Rogers Arena to see the team otherwise. It also helps raise money for a fantastic cause. The work that the Canucks for Kids Fund does in British Columbia is invaluable, doing everything from supporting BC Children’s Hospital to launching Mindcheck.ca in memory of Rick Rypien.

I’ve been to several of these events and the Canucks tend to put on a good show, as it’s one of the few times when the Canucks can really let their personalities and fun side show on the ice. While I wasn’t able to make it out to Rogers Arena on Sunday for the 2013 edition, the Canucks were kind enough to stream the event live on YouTube and, sure enough, it provided plenty of fun and surprises.

For instance, did you know that Cam Barker is actually on the Canucks? That’s right, his signing wasn’t a hoax. But that was just the first of many surprises to come. Here are 10 of my favourite moments:

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