Preamble: for years, mostly living in Olympia, Washington and later Vancouver, BC I wrangled a website called HockeyNW tracking historic and contemporary hockey culture around Cascadia including teams: Tacoma SaberCats, Seattle Thunderbirds, Spokane Chiefs, flashing back to Seattle Metropolitans, bits of Portland and of course Vancouver, as well the in-line hockey teams i coached through a YMCA league in Olympia.
During this time my brother Dan and i (something) hosted the “Hockey Lounge” in Olympia, Washington – a speak / toke easy” to spread hockey culture (and provide occasional crash space for rock n roll bands – another story).
Some of the artifacts are shared in this archive, others might be eventually.
Anyhow… what I’m saying is: all of this was anticipating the arrival of another NHL franchise in the Northwest which eventually became the Seattle Kraken. Took a while and now I live far away but, recently shared a bit of an “hockey primer” with a friend who lives in Washington State who is a soccer/football supporter to share a little bit of culture and basics about the sport.
I don’t really write about hockey anymore and my “consumption experience” is generally solo, with coffee in the cottage in Japan, regardless, sharing here for posterity:
June 11, 2021 Hello [redacted],
Been meaning to tell you a few things about hockey and now it’s a really good time for you to start paying attention because it’s almost into the third round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, I’m currently listening to Seattle’s “expansion cousins” Vegas Golden Knights game six against the Colorado Avalanche (who used to be the Quebec Nordiques) yes it’s a little bit confusing especially when you consider the winner of the series will play the Montréal Canadiens, who are from Quebec – Canada sorta / of course but the French-centric part and who shocked the hockey world by running over their long time rival Toronto (a.k.a. the centre of the universe) Maple Leafs and then swept aside the Winnipeg Jets (who used to be the Atlanta Thrashers) it’s things like this that require a good primer.
The good thing about Seattle Kraken is now Vancouver has a natural geographical rival. In the past, the other teams would all match-up with natural dance-partners and Van was sort of stranded in their own little glorious West Coast anomaly. As we’ve seen with MLS, having teams in Portland, Seattle and Vancouver makes for good times for supporters/fans/whatever.
At a special Halloween (safe and all that) gathering at local community centre / for our “trick or treat” station, we did insta-photo with annotations and kids chose stickers (sent by R & S in Montréal) Mama was a Canucks hockey player and Papa rocked lederhosen (possibly documented elsewhere).
Various hockey ephemera (cards, calendars, tickets, clippings), made into a shadowbox once upon a time, broken, harvested and laid in situ.
Primarily Vancouver Canucks related including: Captain Marcus Naslund, goaltenders variety of Gary Bromley, Kirk McLean, Dan Cloutier plus tickets stubs from Vancouver Canucks, Seattle Thunderbirds, schedule from Vancouver Giants, plus Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky to rub off some greatness, and a list of Stanley Cup champions torn from a newspaper. Plus, Vancouver Canucks puck #inventory
Of such items, many many more exist in boxes, this just appeared behind broken glass.
Apparently i was telling Stan about my “Dr” Hunter S Thompson Media badge and/or John Stockton also wearing #12 or that we love to cook “Stan’s Mom’s Perogies” from the 1982 Canucks Family cookbook (note to self: share that precious artifact).
With Canucks’ (NHL ice hockey team) rookie Quinn Hughes looking likely to best a long-held team record for points by a defensemen, seems a good idea to share this snap of me with the strapping gent who’s record may fall (plus this is 7 years to the day as though that matters).
[update: march 12/13 – NHL season indefinitely paused so Lidster’s record may yet stand for a bit due to this shortened situation]
This oak tree of a dude is Doug Lidster, long-time NHL player and at the time of this snap (March 2013) on coaching staff of Dallas Stars, since then has had another stint coaching with Canucks and no doubt other gigs.
He graciously came out to support #Hoothockey – a charity street hockey event put together at the noted SxSW event in Austin, Texas by Hootsuite (note colleague Connor Meakin between our shoulders) and Richard Loat spear-headed Five Hole for Food campaign. March 11, 2013 for the record.
In brief, various company-sponsored teams paid admission to compete in games played in a “rink” of inflatable boards – Dallas Star sent along this great space plus various side-games, a trio of cheerleader (note: i should include that pic too!) and more. The money and 7,500 lbs of food were in-turn donated to the local food banks. Lots of fun of course and lots of “internet famous” types joined in.