Probably the “scariest” moment in Canucks’ history occurred the night of March 8, 2004 (also at GM Place) when Vancouver’s Todd Bertuzzi was exacting revenge on Colorado Avalanche forward, Steve Moore.
Sportsnet writer, Iain MacIntyre, shares his favourite Halloween films
By Brandon Yip, Senior Columnist
Since entering the NHL in October 1970 the Vancouver Canucks have had some low moments. And since Halloween is approaching, this article will focus on some of the franchise’s “scariest” moments in team history.
The Canucks have played a few games on Halloween. One example was a game on October 31, 1984, where the Canucks gave their fans a real “scare” by losing to the Los Angeles Kings by a score of ten to three.
Another “scary” moment was Vancouver’s jerseys from the 1980s, which looked like a Halloween costume. The jerseys, especially the home uniforms, were dreadful—containing bright yellow with red and black trim. Basically, it was honey mustard dipping sauce laced with ketchup and black bean sauce—and smeared all over to create a jersey. Hockey fans throughout North America got a nice close-up view of those jerseys during games three and four of the 1982 Stanley Cup Final (Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver).
After the 1982 cup run to the finals, the “scary” moments continued for the Canucks. During the remainder of the 1980s, the Canucks struggled and were not a strong team. At times, it was difficult to figure out what was worse: the team or the uniforms. However, the low points ended with the arrival of Pat Quinn in 1987. As team president, general manager and later coach, Quinn helped resurrect the Vancouver franchise, making them respectable and competitive. This resulted in several playoff appearances in the early 1990s; including an appearance in the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals against the New York Rangers. The Canucks lost the finals in seven games; Quinn stepped down after the series to be replaced by Rick Ley as head coach.
During the Mark Messier era from 1997 till 2000, the Canucks had more “scary” results on the ice. One home game occurred on the night of December 31, 1997. Ok, the game did not occur on Halloween, but it was still scary to watch! The Philadelphia Flyers were in town, defeating the Canucks by a score of eight to zero.
Sportsnet writer, Iain MacIntyre, remembers those “scary” moments in Canuck’s history. MacIntyre began his sports journalism career writing articles about the Canucks for the Vancouver Sun from 1991 till 2017. But he concedes that while covering the team, he does not recall any strange, weird, or funny Halloween moments. “I’m going to disappoint you […], but I don’t really have any funny Halloween stories involving the players,” he said in an email interview with the Other Press. “I’m sure they have some from their team parties and pranks, but I can’t think offhand of any that I know.”
Another scary moment occurred at GM Place on February 21, 2000. Canucks’ enforcer, Donald Brashear, in a game against Boston, was struck in the side of the head by Bruin’s defenceman, Marty McSorley with three seconds remaining in the third period. Brashear fell backwards, hitting his head on the ice and suffering a concussion as a result. McSorley was later charged with assault and appeared in a Vancouver courthouse. He was found guilty but did not serve any jail time. McSorley was instead sentenced to 18 months probation.
Probably the “scariest” moment in Canucks’ history occurred the night of March 8, 2004 (also at GM Place) when Vancouver’s Todd Bertuzzi was exacting revenge on Colorado Avalanche forward, Steve Moore. The same teams had met three weeks prior in Colorado where Moore hit Canucks star player, Markus Naslund, with a questionable hit, leaving Naslund bloodied and concussed. Late in the third period, Bertuzzi chased Moore and punched him in the head, while pushing him to the ice. A dog pile ensued, with Moore severely injured—suffering a concussion, facial cuts and three broken vertebrae. Moore and his legal team issued a criminal lawsuit against Bertuzzi and the Canucks. It lasted a decade before an out-of-court settlement was reached in August 2014.
Lastly, Iain MacIntyre, to mark the Halloween occasion, does have some film recommendations. He said he was a fan of the Friday the 13thand Halloween movies as a teenager. But MacIntyre says two films really scared him: Black Christmas (1974) and The Blair Witch Project (1999). “I am not a horror movie guy (as you’ve probably surmised) and never have gotten the allure of slasher films in particular,” he said. “But Blair Witch got a tonne of publicity and accolades so, a while after it came out in theatres, I watched it as a pay movie in my hotel room during a road trip. Started off with all the lights out to make it spooky, ended up with the lights on, under the covers and squinting through my fingers to see the end. I’m still not sure I saw who/what was standing in the corner of the basement of the witch’s house. Like Black Christmas, the movie was all about tension and suspense and fear about what was coming next. The scariest stuff is always in your head.”