I want to like the Vancouver Canucks, I really do. I want to feel like they’re my team, and try I’ve given it my all to root for them [mbv]. For God’s sake I’ve lived in British Columbia for the past twenty-four years, it’s about time I consider myself a Canucks fan. Right?
The thing is those formative years spent in Edmonton are powerful, and especially during the time I was there. Memory and nostalgia are a hard thing to overcome, which is why the good ol’ days always seem better than they were. It’s even harder to put aside the past when the past could kick the present’s ass on the ice any day of the week.
It’s not the Canucks’ fault that they’re not as good as the Oilers of my youth, because… well because nobody is. The team that I grew up with was the greatest hockey team the world has seen, and probably will ever see again until the NHL shrinks down to a smaller size. All the big money teams that the Red Wings or Colorado might try to put together will never compete with the Edmonton Oilers of the 1980s, it was just so good.
How good was it? It was so good that even the people who lived in the shadow of the giants like Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier and Paul Coffey are bound for the Hockey Hall of Fame. Yesterday Vancouver born Glen Anderson was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame [nhl] as a further sign that there was something special about that team. He’s not the first name that pops to mind when you think of the Oilers’ dynasty, but he was an important part.
He was even a Canuck for a few days in 1996, though he was claimed by the Oilers on waivers.
While I’d love to see the Canucks lift the cup, and in a lot of ways I think there’s certainly a segment of the Canuck fans that deserve to see their team win, I have to admit I’ll never love them as much as I love the Oilers. They’ll never be as good as the team I grew up with, though let’s be honest the Oilers will never be that good either.