Ryan Kesler traded in his stick for a referee’s whistle in Vancouver on Wednesday, but not to worry — it was just for one night during the NHL lockout.
About fifty road hockey players laced up their skates under the Cambie Bridge on Wednesday in a game organized by the Canucks star, featuring an appearance by the fan-favourite “Green Men” and anthem singer Mark Donnelly. Kevin Bieksa played on one of the teams, and defenceman Jason Garrison joined Kesler as another referee.
“It’s just something we wanted to do to have some fun,” Bieksa said to the Vancouver Sun. “Every time we’ve been talking hockey lately it’s been serious and [about] the CBA and all that, so we’re just going back to our roots for a fun road hockey game. In the pouring rain.” (Photo: Ian Lindsay/Postmedia News)
Tickets aren’t so bad. Even in October, the drama was terrific although the hockey was not. Sure, there was no Stanley Cup cliffhanger to draw record audiences and create where-were-you moments — but the Vancouver Canucks’ new fall season started with drama and tension that teased and tortured their overwrought fans.