We here at Pass it to Bulis are supporters of the bandwagon fan. We recognize that not everyone can devote the amount of time and energy that we do to the Canucks and understand that some people only start to tune in when the playoffs approach.
With that in mind, we have prepared the Bandwagon Fan Cheat Sheet for the past several years in order to help out bandwagon fans who haven’t been paying much attention to the Canucks until now. It’s full of helpful information about every Canuck on the roster, including their tendencies on the ice, their nicknames, and a bevy of inside jokes that you can pretend to understand when your friends, coworkers, and family bring them up.
This year, however, the regular season ended after 48 games, so we’re running a little behind schedule. So, without further ado, I leave you with part one of the 2013 Bandwagon Fans Cheat Sheet.
About: Alberts wears no. 41. He’s been the Canucks’ seventh defenceman for a little over three seasons since being acquired from the Carolina Hurricanes. He’s not exactly fleet of foot or soft of hand, but he is big, physical, and kills penalties, making him a useful and reliable depth defender.
Nickname(s): I’m thinking Alby’s, A Minor, AHLBerts, Barabbas
My wife thinks he looks like: A lightly-bearded Ben Affleck.
If he touches the puck, surprisingly, he’ll probably skate it fairly smoothly out of the defensive zone, catching everyone off-guard.
Expect to hear: “I don’t understand why Alberts is in the lineup instead of Ballard.”
Don’t expect to hear: “I don’t understand Alberts isn’t in the lineup instead of Hamhuis.”
About: Ballard wears no. 4. He is the team’s highest-paid healthy scratch. Before he joined the Canucks, he was a top pairing defenceman relied upon to play big minutes. Now he’s a bottom pairing defenceman relied upon to pick up the dry cleaning for the top pairing defencemen. Occasionally, he’ll play forward, where his risk-taking offensive style doesn’t give Alain Vigneault as many heart attacks.
Nickname(s): Mallard, Wolf, Hips
My wife thinks he looks like: A store-brand Mark Wahlberg.
If he touches the puck, he’ll sign it and give it back to the fan who won a contest to watch the game from the pressbox.
Expect to hear: “The Canucks should buy out Keith Ballard.”
Don’t expect to hear: “The Canucks should buy out Keith Ballard so they can re-sign him for more.”
About: Barker wears no. 18. He’s a depth defenceman on the club that earned a job by hanging around at Rogers Arena during the lockout with a pen in hand, hoping that someone might put a contract in front of him. It totally worked.
Nickname(s): Cammy the Whammy, Damn Barker, Turtleface
My wife thinks he looks like: Franklin the Turtle.
If he touches the puck, listen closely, and you can hear the entire advanced stats community crying in unison.
Expect to hear: “Barker, you idiot!”
Don’t expect to hear: “Cam Barker was drafted third overall, which proves that the Chicago’s scouts never make a mistake.”
About: Bieksa wears no. 3 and plays the right side, usually alongside either Alex Edler or Dan Hamhuis. He’s known for his strangely upright, relaxed skating style, his face, which is always either smirking or scowling, his ability to keep pucks in at the blueline, and his quotability.
Nickname(s): Juice, The stanchion whisperer
My wife thinks he looks like: Patrick Swayze.
If he touches the puck, hope it just hit a stanchion. If so, it’s a surefire goal.
Expect to hear: “Welp, Bieksa’s pissed.”
Don’t expect to hear: “Typical Bieksa, always fighting guys bigger than he is.”
About: Corrado wears no. 26. He’s a rookie defenceman who played most of this season in the OHL, but found himself fast-tracked into the Canucks’ lineup due to injuries and the need for more righties.
Nickname(s): Frankie, Domo Arigato Mr. Corrado, New Kid
My wife thinks he looks like: Thomas Ian Nicholas.
If he touches the puck, he’ll show rare presence of mind for a kid with so little NHL experience.
Expect to hear: “Corrado should have been on Team Canada at the last World Juniors.”
Don’t expect to hear: “I don’t like Corrado’s game. More Cam Barker, please and thank you.”
About: Edler wears no. 23 and plays defence. He struggles with narcolepsy, but when he’s awake, he’s the Canucks’ best overall defenceman, quarterbacking the powerplay, starting breakouts, and hitting like a truck.
Nickname(s): Eagle, Malfunctioning Eddie, Breadler, The Walking Deadler, The Drop-Pass King
My wife thinks he looks like: A young Daniel Stern.
If he touches the puck, he will more than likely leave it behind him. Don’t panic. If you’re lucky, the next guy to touch it will be on his team.
Expect to hear: ”Edler’s stick broke again.”
Don’t expect to hear: ”If you ask me, Edler makes too many forward passes.”
About: Garrison wears no. 5 and plays defence, usually on a shutdown pairing with Dan Hamhuis. The man is deadly with his stick, poke-checking with aplomb and blasting the puck from everywhere.
Nickname(s): Jaromir J-Garr, Beardy, Bomberman
My wife thinks he looks like: A heavily-bearded Ben Affleck.
If he touches the puck, he’s probably about to blast it into oblivion.
Expect to hear: “What a cannon that guy has.”
Don’t expect to hear: “I like Garrison and all, but I really don’t think he should be on the first-unit powerplay.”
About: Hamhuis wears no. 2, which is symbolic of how he puts himself second at all times. Hamhuis is quiet, unassuming, and avoids the spotlight, but is the Canucks best all-around defenceman. This season, he led all Canucks defencemen in points while still playing big minutes against tough opposition. He’s also a genuinely nice dude.
Nickname(s): Hammer, Hammer, Community Man, Ham-fist, Guess ‘Huis Coming to Dinner
My wife thinks he looks like: Gossip Girl’s Penn Badgley.
If he touches the puck, he will make the safe play. Safety first, that’s his motto.
Expect to hear: “Great clear by Hamhuis.”
Don’t expect to hear: “Hamhuis is definitely going to get suspended for that. Another reckless play by that selfish ass, Dan Hamhuis.”
About: Tanev wears no. 8. When you look up “poise” in the dictionary, you won’t find a picture of Tanev. This is an oversight: print out a picture of Tanev from the internet and glue it into your dictionary. In his third season with the Canucks, Tanev played a much larger role, getting into every game for which he was healthy and even stepping into the top-four alongside Alex Edler.
Nickname(s): Tan-Man, Chain Smoker, The Big Chill, The Manev with the Planev
My wife thinks he looks like: As mentioned before, a young Robert De Niro
If he touches the puck, he’ll make the smart, safe play every single time, a split second before being crushed into the boards and popping right back up again.
Expect to hear: “Have you noticed that Tanev always sticks his tongue out when he’s playing?”
Don’t expect to hear: “For heaven’s sake, stop panicking, Tanev.”
About: Schneider wears no. 35. He’s such a diva that he uses giant equipment and a full facemask, so as to differentiate himself from everyone else on the team. He’s constantly being pursued by a shark.
Nickname(s): Schneiderman, Frecklesnoot, the C-Wall, The Red in the Blue
My wife thinks he looks like: Ryan Gosling’s brother.
If he touches the puck, that’s what’s known as a save. Feel free to clap or cheer.
Expect to hear: “Schneider gets the start.”
Don’t expect to hear: “Schneider gets the offensive zone start.”
About: Luongo wears no. 1, which became an irony of sorts this year when he became Cory Schneider’s backup. Thus, like Judge Judy, he is paid an exorbitant amount of money to sit on the bench. He’s not happy about that, but he has accepted the demotion with dignity and professionalism (although rumour has it he calls Schneider every night at 2 a.m. and breathes heavily into the phone). He operates the best Twitter account in sports.
Nickname(s): Bobby Lu, Funny Bob, Strombone1, Bob Long, The Pooper
My wife thinks he looks like: Monsieur Thenardier, the Master of the House.
If he touches the puck, the puck is on the bench, and Luongo is wondering why God feels the need to taunt him in his time of sorrow.
Expect to hear: “Luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu.”
Don’t expect to hear: “I am of the mind that the Roberto Luongo situation has been deftly handled from beginning to end and Luongo should feel both respected and satisfied with the way this year has played out.”
About: Cannata wears no. 30. He was called up to back up Roberto Luongo after Cory Schneider’s mysterious body injury. He has yet to see a minute of NHL action. Let us pray to the heavens it stays that way until next year.
Nickname(s): Joey Joe Joe Junior Shabadoo.
My wife thinks he looks like: ”A very sad man. Why is he so sad? Someone should give him a balloon or something.”
If he touches the puck, something has gone horribly, horribly wrong.
Expect to hear: “Who’s that guy?
Don’t expect to hear: “Put Cannata in!”
MICHAEL D. GILLIS
About: Gillis is the General Manager of the Canucks. You’ll see him when something really bad happens and the broadcast cuts to him looking upset about it. You’ll also recognize his voice on the radio: he’s the guy that sounds completely unenthused to be talking to Matt Sekeres.
Nickname(s): Mike, Gillis Diller, Mike D., The Gillis Motherf**** Alive
My wife thinks he looks like: Jim Belushi.
If he touches the puck, it’s the 1970s. You’ve gone back in time. Don’t touch anything.
Expect to hear: “Gillis is on the hot seat.” (The hot seat is the official name for Gillis’s chair in the GM’s box.)
Don’t expect to hear: “The Keith Ballard trade was a unqualified success, in my opinion.”
About: Alain Vigneault is the coach of the Canucks. Large sections of the fanbase and media want him to get fired, so if you want to get along with them, the best thing to do is turn everything that occurs, no matter what it is, into another argument for his dismissal.
Nickname(s): AV, Coach Vig, Coach Vee
My wife thinks he looks like: Jacks Capuano and Black.
If he touches the puck, you’re probably watching a practice. This isn’t the game. Come back tonight.
Expect to hear: The inside of Vigneault’s mouth as it works to break down a throat lozenge during his postgame press conference.
Don’t expect to hear: “Boy oh boy, I hope the Canucks sit back and try to defend this lead for the next forty minutes. I love Alain Vigneault hockey and I know I’m not alone there!”