Hockey News

Vancouver Canucks: 3 Most Notable Indigenous Players – Hockey Writers – Canucks History

The Vancouver Canucks have launched their program of special events for the first half of the season and will once again host a “Night to Celebrate First Nations”, this time in December rather than March as they did last season. It will take place on December 5 against the New Jersey Devils, but the Canucks will not be allowed to wear their custom themed jerseys in warmups as the NHL has banned them in the off-season. Last season, they wore interesting stripes before honoring the late Gino Odjick in a pregame ceremony.

Many Indigenous players have represented the Canucks over the years. Here are three of the most notable.

Ethan Bear

Ethan Bear was born in Regina and raised on the Ochapowace Nation near Whitewood, Saskatchewan. Selected by the Edmonton Oilers in the fifth round of the 2015 Draft, he grew up in a community steeped in hockey. In fact, the first stadium was named after his grandfather Fred Bear, and the current stadium (built after the original one burned down) is named after his uncle Denton George. Both were considered legends and were the reason hockey remained a large part of the culture Ethan grew up in.

Bear spent a lot of time at the rink and credited the community’s support system as one of the reasons he eventually made it to the NHL.

“He gets a lot of support because whatever he succeeds in, everyone is proud, whether it’s hockey or school. It’s isolated, and there aren’t many facilities, but the rink is always open, so I was playing van hockey with the older kids all the time.”

After hard work and support from his family and community, he joined the Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League (WHL) and was drafted by the Oilers in the fifth round. He debuted in the 2019-20 season and even honored his Cree heritage by wearing a jersey with his name written in the Cree language in an exhibition game against the Calgary Flames.

Over the years, Bear has been a role model for other young Native players as they try to do the same thing he did and succeed in the NHL.

After spending a few seasons with the Oilers and one season with the Carolina Hurricanes, Bear was acquired by the Canucks on Oct. 2022 with a 2023 fifth-round pick. He played 61 games with the club and proved to be a solid defensive player. Unfortunately, while playing for Team Canada at the 2023 World Championship, he suffered a shoulder injury that required surgery and a minimum recovery period of six months. That cost him a lot of attention in his contract negotiations with the Canucks and led to him not receiving a qualifying offer. He signed a two-year contract with the Washington Capitals through the 2023 season.

Gino Odjick

Gino Odjick is perhaps the most notable Indigenous player to play for the Canucks, having spent eight seasons in Vancouver and scoring 88 points (47 goals, 41 assists). He was drafted in the fifth round of the 1990 NHL Entry Draft and had the opportunity to share a line with Hall of Fame inductee Pavel Bure, where Odjick gained a reputation as a physical winger. He was respected by Canucks fans, but his tough upbringing meant he had to work hard to achieve his hockey dream.

You may also like:

Odjick was born on the Algonquin Native Reserve on the outskirts of Maniwaki, Quebec. He was one of six children, and his parents helped the family raise about 32 foster children. His father, Joe, played hockey while attending a boarding school and coached kids on the preserve. Gino started playing team hockey when he was 11 years old, and stayed with local teams from various parks until he was 15 years old. He first played as a defender and switched to forward after joining the Hawkesbury Hawks, a junior team from Ontario. He became a fighter in the snow, which he called racial conflicts between neighboring reserves.

Odjick registered 200 penalty minutes in six of his eight seasons as a Canuck, but his biggest battle wasn’t on the ice. He was diagnosed with primary amyloidosis – a rare blood disorder – and suffered a heart attack as a result of the drugs he was prescribed. He underwent experimental treatment and was given months to live, but the treatment worked, and he remained in good health until his death in Jan. 15, 2023.

Ron Delorme

Ron Delorme has worked as a scout for the Canucks since 2000. He has the nickname “Chief” because of his Métis and Cree heritage, and was one of the first indigenous players to promote hockey in First Nations communities. His work earned him a lot of recognition, including a star blanket, given to respected members of Aboriginal communities. (from ‘Ed Willes: Delorme model deserves ‘star dress’ treatment, sealed in ice,’ Province, 07/12/2018)

Ron Delorme Colorado Rockies
Ron Delorme played for the Colorado Rockies before joining the Vancouver Canucks. (Photo Credit: 1977-78 Colorado Rockies Media Guide).

Dlorme was born in North Battleford, Saskatchewan. The Kansas City Stars drafted him in the 1975 NHL Entry Draft, and he signed with the Colorado Rockies one year later. He played more than 300 games as a first baseman for the Rockies, moving to Vancouver in 1981. He was considered a solid player in his four seasons with the Canucks, scoring 37 points (14 goals, 23 assists) before retiring in 1985. .

Delorme campaigned for Aboriginal inclusion in professional sports. He often visits training camps to train teams, to share his life story and to teach others about hockey. He also talked about his love for Fred Sasakamoose, the first Aboriginal player to play in the NHL. Sasakamoose died in 2020 due to complications from COVID-19, and Delorme said he intends to continue Sasakamoose’s legacy by working with Aboriginal people.

Indigenous Canucks Players Fight To Play Sports

The stories of former Indigenous Canucks’ players are common in the hockey world. They all came from similar backgrounds, often from low-income families and worried that financial limitations would prevent them from making it back to the NHL. Some were racially abused during their careers, and this provided some motivation to prove doubters and naysayers wrong. These life lessons have given these players the opportunity to give back to their Aboriginal communities and show Aboriginal people that pursuing a career in hockey is not impossible.

NHL Milestone Tracker

The Canucks are hosting a First Nations Celebration Night as part of the “Hockey for Everyone” initiative. The purpose of this event is to celebrate the cultures of different tribes, including First Nations communities throughout the province of British Columbia. Odjick, Bear, and Delorme played for the Canucks and taught one important lesson in life: anyone can play hockey, regardless of race, ethnicity, or religion.

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button