Surprising moments, breakout stars, and awesome gifs from Canucks Superskills

Saturday afternoon was the annual Canucks for Kids Fund SuperSkills event at Rogers Arena, which gave the Canucks a chance to get loose and relax for a little while before heading out on the road on Monday. As always, it was a great event for families and kids, who got a chance to see their hockey heroes up close and personal, without the stress of winning a hockey game clouding their interactions.

If you missed the event, but have an hour and 48 minutes to spare, you can watch the entire thing on YouTube right now. Here are the highlights and best moments to look out for.

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The Unreal Canucks Gif Tournament is on its way; prepare for greatness

At one point in history, the animated gif was the bane of the internet, infesting innumerable GeoCities websites with spinning clipart, random lines of flames, and annoying cartoon characters that danced for no reason. Times have changed, however, and the humble gif has become a cultural touchstone, as evidenced by the Oxford American Dictionary naming “gif” the word of the year a couple weeks ago.

Of all the uses for the animated gif, the sports gif reigns supreme. There’s something about sports that makes them eminently giffable. Perhaps it’s because the best gifs are all about the small moments that might otherwise be missed, and sports is full of those moments. The highlight reels capture the biggest moments in sports — the incredible goals, massive saves, and championship victories — but fans love sports for more than just the big moments. They love the little things.

Animated gifs capture those little things, then repeat them endlessly for our dumb amusement.

We have collected 32 of our favourite Canucks gifs, separated them into four divisions, and ranked them according to our whims. Over the next month, we’ll be running a March Madness-style tournament, allowing the greatest Canucks gif of all time will be decided by your votes. This is a sacred duty. If we don’t find out which Canucks gif is the greatest now, it may never happen.

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The many faces of Funny Bob: Chloe Ezra’s ten favourite Roberto Luongo animated gifs of 2011

We’ve riffed on the wonders of the Roberto Luongo interview before, most notably his penchant for gallows humour when nobody’s quite in the mood (and this photo), but there’s more to it than just that. Luongo isn’t just a master of the self-deprecating quote — he’s also the most expressive player in the NHL: Funny Bob makes some incredible faces.

Often, these remarkable looks go unnoticed when you watch Luongo’s interviews in real time, but if watch for them closely, as frequent collaborator Chloe Ezra often does, you can find pure gold. Her Tumblr account is a treasure trove of strange Lu-faces, slowed down, isolated, and gif’d.

With the new year just around the corner, we asked Chloe to curate a list of her 10 favourites, what for to bring the many faces of Funny Bob to a wider audience, and also to fill your home with Christmas cheer — or wonder, or dread, or whatever emotion Roberto Luongo is randomly expressing today. Chloe’s choices are impeccable.

When you laugh, be sure to laugh aloud. It opens up the pores.

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Spitballin’ on Don calling out Ron, Henrik the goon, Luongo stretching

Spitballin’ (or Super Pass It To Bulis: All In, if you love adventurous acronymizing) is a feature that allows us to touch on a multitude of things really fast, because in the world of hockey, there are always lots of things to find and colour. Here are a few topics that deserve mention.

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By now, you probably know that we have a special place in our hearts for Raffi Torres and his many faces. We dedicated a whole post to it yesterday. Those fabulous pictures aside, however, the best Raffi Torres image you’ll see this week is above. Ladies and gentlemen, Slocal presents: Howler Raffi.

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