Brendan Gaunce wins the Jimmy Darmody from Boardwalk Empire lookalike award.
There are a number of reasons to get excited about the opening of Canucks training camp. There are storylines galore, especially this season, from the new coach and system to the rookies knocking on the door to the bargain-bin offseason signings attempting to prove they’re worth the contract. There’s the fact that training camp is the harbinger of real, meaningful hockey.
And, of course, there’s picture day.
Picture day is the best. It’s the day every player invited to Canucks training camp sits down in front of the weird, paint-daubed background, smiles or scowls, depending on their mood, and allows Jeff Vinnick to capture the headshot that will be used alongside their name all season long. Amazingly, despite how frequently these photos will be used, few prepare for it (although Sean Avery once brought some fashionable frames) and few make the effort to look their best.
The result is comedy by the bowlful, and since we like comedy here at PITB — although we’re only middling at it — we’d like to highlight a few of our favourites, just as we did last year, in the second annual headshot awards.
LEAST LIKELY TO KNOW WHERE HE IS AT ANY GIVEN MOMENT: TOM SESTITO
Tom Sestito looks like that kid from elementary school that everyone felt sorry for because he never knew the answer to the question when the teacher called on him.
THICKEST NECK: KEVIN BIEKSA
His neck is thicker than Tom Sestito looks!
MOST LIKELY TO SUCCEED (AT MURDERING YOU): ZACK KASSIAN
Dallas Eakins recently called Kassian a “disturbing player”. Yeah, we get it. (Alternate award: least convincing hair. You’re not fooling anybody, Kassian. You glued a steel pot scrubber to your head. And speaking of hair, this brings us to the hair awards.)
BEST HAIR (IN THE IRONIC SENSE, SINCE IT’S REALLY THE WORST HAIR): CHRIS TANEV
What is going on down by his neck there? It doesn’t even look real. It looks like Vinnick went heavy on the Photoshop smudge tool.
BEST SALAD: ALEXANDRE MALLET
Follow hockey long enough and you’ll learn the difference between hair and salad. Chris Tanev has some hair — some terrible hair. Mallet has some salad.
MOST LIKELY TO GET EVERYONE IN HIS GROUP CARDED AND THEN KICKED OUT: HUNTER SHINKARUK
Maybe in a few years, Shinkaruk will look more like a hockey player than a prom date.
THE DEBBIE DOWNER LOOKALIKE AWARD: JOE CANNATA
This is the second year in a row Cannata has won this award. Why is he so sullen all the time? Does he secretly yearn for a government job and he just happens to be good at tending goal? What’s your deal, Joe? Smile next year.
HAPPIEST SEDIN: HENRIK SEDIN
“I think I’m gonna smile this year, Daniel.”
“Then I’ll smile too, Henrik.”
“No. Only I may smile.”
“But I want to smile!”
“I’M THE CAPTAIN SO YOU HAVE TO LISTEN TO WHAT I SAY AND I SAY ONLY I MAY SMILE.”
THE “SOMEHOW MANAGED TO TAKE A GOOD PHOTO” AWARD: JANNIK HANSEN
How did he do that? I thought it was impossible.
MOST TERRIFYING: BENN FERRIERO
Gah! Incredibly, this is one of Ferriero’s better headshots. For one thing, he’s finally learned not to tilt his head waaaaaay to the left and style his hair so as to increase the effect, like he did in 2008, and he’s also not fresh from the scene of a crime, like he was in 2009:
He should still probably never get his photo taken, but it’s a minor improvement, is all I’m saying.
MOST EMOTIONALLY EXHAUSTED: ROBERTO LUONGO
This is the face of a man that’s been through a very trying ordeal. Look at the slightly raised eyebrow. It’s as though he’s silently, subtly, pleading for a reprieve. “Can you help me? Can you take this sweater from me?” he whispers to Vinnick as the photo is snapped, and the unyielding camera only captures his weariness for posterity. Considering the events of the past year, this is the most appropriate headshot in hockey history.
HAPPIEST-GO-LUCKIEST AWARD: EDDIE LACK
Meanwhile, Eddie Lack has the brightest, cheeriest face in all the land. He’s up there with the happiest man in Springfield. Luongo looks ravaged by the rigours of living. Lack looks like he just realized the whole world is made of candy.Tags: headshots, Questionable Comedic Content