The Canucks entered the NHL in 1970 as the Vancouver professional hockey team. Canada already had two very successful franchises in Toronto and Montreal, both had won the Stanley Cup multiple times and Montreal was already a dynasty. The Canucks had very high expectations to meet, being a Canadian hockey franchise.
From the beginning, the management adopted a tough style of play, recruiting tough players who could handle the rough nature of professional hockey. There is a saying among Canadians about hockey that goes, “I went to see a fight last night and a hockey game broke out.” This is an ironic reference to the number of fights that occur in hockey, fights with the bare knuckles and blood soaked that you can almost count in every game that is played. It has become part of the sport, fans love it, and if a referee tries to break up a fight before its course is over, the fans boo loudly and bitterly. Attendance slips and revenue drops, so the league and administration no longer try to stop fights, they let the fighters have their fight, and the arena changes from a hockey arena to a fighting arena as soon as a fight begins. Fight.
A spotlight illuminates the fighters and follows them around the rink, players from both teams cheer on their teammates, players on the bench hit their hockey sticks hard on the rink walls to support them, fans stand They go crazy, everyone is on their feet, and “fighting style” music blasts from the arena speakers. It’s big business and the league knows it.
It’s this culture that the Vancouver Canucks launched their franchise in, and clearly management had a plan to capitalize on it. It could be argued if management ever had plans to win in the first place, or if they opted for a guaranteed fan draw by selecting a team full of fighters. Either way, one thing is clear, the Vancouver Canucks rarely, if ever, lost a fight. This made them wildly popular with their fans and the rest of the league’s fans, who loved to watch a game Vancouver was playing as they knew they would be treated with at least one barbaric display of brutality.
Over the years, times changed and while the fights remained popular, teams managed to incorporate a sufficient degree of toughness into their lineup to deal with whatever fights occurred, while continuing to put a capable skilled team on the ice. to win games. The concept of “team enforcer” was born, where each team selected a designated tough guy, whose job it was to make sure that the team’s skilled players were not intimidated or mistreated beyond the norm. His job was essentially to be the team’s police officer.
As this trend took hold, teams like the Canucks lost popularity as fans recognized they didn’t have to sacrifice quality for stamina, they could have it all. So the Vancouver Canucks had to change, and they changed. They began to recruit skillful players from Europe and Russia, and the team began to win. It was a transition though and it took time, but in the 1980s they weren’t just in the playoffs, they were winning and advancing to the next round, and in 1982 they reached the Stanley Cup final, the first time ever. . It wasn’t like that, but it showed the Canucks and the league that the Canucks had arrived and were a skilled and quality team.
During this time, the Canucks fan base grew in size, loyalty, and knowledge. Websites and blogs dedicated to the Canucks were easy to find, and forums discussing the Canucks were active with speculation and the latest news. The typical Vancouver blogger was a hockey player, as Vancouver has dozens of amateur leagues and “beer leagues” where hockey is not just a sport, it is a religion. As a result, Vancouver blogs are rich sources of hockey information, where business rumors, management direction, and upcoming games are discussed in detail.
Today, the Vancouver Canucks are considered one of the most important franchises in the NHL and have established themselves as a first-class organization in which any player would be proud to play. Their history as a team of thugs does them no harm, as the fighting culture remains strong in hockey, so strong that hockey commentators regularly debate which team’s executor is the toughest in the league. They usually don’t have to argue much, as the enforcers love to challenge each other, in fact, almost every game. So these disputes are resolved like all hockey disputes, on the ice.