Anyone who knows me and has been harangued into my “here’s goes ole grandpa dave talking about the Canucks in the olden days” know of the admiration as i have for Stan Smyl. In years of mediocrity and lack of success, coaching changes, failed prospects, confused imports and half-filled rinks, the Steamer was the Canucks. The under-sized, not-particularly-skilled, sorta-slow Smyl gave them a face, a sense of pride and workingman’s leadership by playing with heart and guts every shift.
I’ve followed his post-playing career as coach of the Crunch, Moose and now working in player development for the Canucks. He was gracious and expressed interest as i told him about the Canucks Outsider and Crazy Canucks podcasts, the old ditto machined newsletter with Jake Milford and what it meant for a an 11-year old kid in Surrey to watch his hometown team compete for Lord Stanley’s Cup in 1982.
Until Joe Thornton accomplished the feat, he was the last player to lead his team in goals, assists and penalty minutes in one season. My brother Dan and I always fight over who gets #12 which hangs from the rafters. We’ve made “Stan’s Mom’s Perogies” from the Canucks 1981 team cookbook. Next up, gotta get him on the podcast!
Thanks Molson, thanks, Canucks and Thank you Steamer!