Pavel Bure’s number retirement will feature tribute from Johnny Canuck Films (Sneak Peek)

The Canucks chose the day for Pavel Bure’s number retirement ceremony very wisely. Not only did they pick a day when they would have a national audience on Hockey Night in Canada, they also picked the day they’re playing the 4 PM game on CBC, which ensures they won’t have to deal with an earlier game going long.

Already this season, the Canucks have had to either delay the start of their game or had the first few minutes left untelevised or moved to a specialty channel due to the first game in a double header going to overtime or the shootout. It seems like most of those games have involved the Toronto Maple Leafs, either on CBC or TSN. This time around, the Canucks will be on the other side: they’re the ones playing the Leafs and, with the pre-game ceremony and the Canucks’ proclivity to take teams to overtime this season, may end up cutting into the Red Wings and Oilers.

All of this means that fans should be able to watch the entire pre-game ceremony on TV with no risk of missing any of it because of another game. That will include a video tribute from Johnny Canuck Films, makers of several fantastic Johnny Canuck shorts over the last few years. Adam MacKay-Smith, who both directs and plays Johnny Canuck in the series, was kind enough to send us a few sneak peek screenshots of the short film.

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Johnny Canuck returns, honours Vancouver history as incredible series continues (VIDEO)

Things may not have gone as well as the Canucks had hoped it would when they dusted off and donned the Millionaires apparel on Saturday versus the Detroit (although the game was an accurate representation of what would happen if a Vancouver team from 100 years ago played the 2013 Red Wings), but that doesn’t mean the evening wasn’t without highlights.

The uniforms looked fantastic, for one. Say what you will about khaki-coloured hockey pants — I thought they were awesome.

For another, the evening yielded the fifth Johnny Canuck video from Adam Mackay-Smith, the second half of the two-part “Legend of Johnny Canuck” series. And, as we’ve come to expect from the local filmmaker, it was absolutely fantastic. Since it debuted in the arena during the game, and by the time it hit Youtube at game’s end, you may have wanted to expunge the thought of the Canucks-as-Millionaires from your mind forever, there’s a good possibility you haven’t seen it yet. Let’s remedy that immediately:

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Johnny Canuck returns after the lockout, may have gone insane in the wilderness [VIDEO]

When we last saw Johnny Canuck, he was attempting to take his axe right to the face of a king. That…didn’t turn out so well. But now, after a long journey in the wilderness, the beleaguered and be-bearded lumberjack is back.

The Legend of Johnny Canuck – Part 1, The fourth film in Adam Mackay-Smith’s incredibe series, is just as epic and glorious as the first three, but also more distinctly resembles a crazed fever dream, complete with a Stanley Cup meteorite that causes sepia-toned flashbacks.

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Video: Johnny Canuck returns to finish the fight in amazing short film

As Canuck fan videos go, filmmaker Adam MacKay-Smith’s Johnny Canuck series is completely unparalleled. The short films, which feature a lumberjack that bears a suspicious resemblance to playoff-bearded Aaron Rome fighting his way through a lonely world in which everyone and everything is out to destroy him, are moving, captivating and visually stunning. Plus the narration is flawless.

Now comes the third film in the series, The Unfinished Fight of Johnny Canuck. In it, Johnny axes a king right between the eyes, destroys a man’s motorcycle with a stick to the spoke, and punches a bear right in his smug face. It is epic and fantastic.

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Last June, filmmaker Adam MacKay-Smith gave us My Name is Johnny Canuck, one of the best Canuck fan videos ever made. In it, MacKay-Smith retold the 40-year history of the team and the 2010-11 run to the Stanley Cup Final through the eyes of the legendary lumberjack for whom the Canucks are named. MacKay-Smith’s Johnny Canuck was a fully realized, weary, warring woodsman with a long history of turmoil and a hunger for triumph. “Some years, you feel like you’ve got nothing to live for,” he sighs, midway through the film, before immediately declaring, “But not this year.”

As you may recall, however, the year didn’t end exactly as planned, and Johnny Canuck suffered yet another heartbreaking defeat. Knowing the character as well as the original video allowed us to, we could have presumed that the woodsman would have handled it the same way as all the other losses: by dusting himself off with a grimace, numbing himself to the ever-present sting of loss, and carrying on. But thankfully, we don’t have to guess, because Mackay-Smith has created a sequel. This is The Heartbreak of Johnny Canuck.

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