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5 more things you (probably) didn't know about the Vancouver Canucks

From J.T. Miller as a six-year-old to a hand grenade in the locker room, here are some lesser-known Canucks facts.
The Vancouver Canucks are playing hockey in late April which is unusual for the team.

Given the Canucks are playing their first playoff game in Rogers Arena since April 23, 2015, let's take a look back at Vancouver's NHL team.


The Canucks have a variety of stories, factoids and legends that surround them.

They've got one of the longest Stanley Cup droughts. The Sedins were probably the greatest twin duo to ever play professional sports together. The Cup run of '94. The long game against the Dallas Stars.

These are some of the other things about the Canucks and their players that you may not know.

1. A Canucks coach once used a hand grenade to motivate the team

The accounts seem to differ on exactly what happened, but the essential part is during the 1974-75 season head coach Phil Maloney used a hand grenade to motivate the team.

Newspaper articles differ a bit, but the legend goes that he pulled out and tossed grenade in the locker room; it turned out to be a dud with no explosives.

"I planned to tell them, 'That thing on the ice isn't a grenade; it's a puck,'" said Maloney to the Vancouver Sun at the time. "Don't be afraid to hold onto it."

2. The Canucks coach cracked up when an opposing player made fun of a Canuck

This was a little more recent and there's footage of it.

Alain Vigneault had a good stint with the Canucks and during the 2011-12 season the team was perhaps at the height of their powers. They were in the middle of their second of back-to-back President Trophy winning seasons and it was just after their epic, if disappointing in the end, 2011 Cup run.

All that is to give some context to the situation.

During a game in February 2012, Vernon Fiddler, a Dallas Star centre (at the time) decided to chirp Canucks defenceman Kevin Bieksa. Normally chirps rile up the opposing team, getting them angry.

This time it appears the impression of Bieksa actually relieved tension, especially for Vigneault, who tried to hide his laughter (but failed). 

3. Fans took to the streets after the Canucks lost in the 1982 Stanley Cup Finals

Given what happened in 1994 and 2011, hearing that fans took to the streets after the team lost in the finals might cause a grimace, but it was actually a nice moment as the city came out to celebrate the team.

A parade was held for the Canucks who lost in four straight games to the New York Islanders (who had a nice little dynasty at the time). 

4. First-ever game sellout glitch

While it was recorded as a sellout, the Canucks first-ever game (a home game against the L.A. Kings which they lost) fell a bit short.

The issue was the ticket system at the (relatively) new Pacific Coliseum, which led to the game being accidentally undersold. The game was widely reported as a sellout heading into the game, so the empty seats were surprising — and embarrassing — for the fledgling franchise.

5. J.T. Miller was a hockey star at six years old

Before he was a Canuck, J.T. Miller was already marked as a talented hockey player. Way, way before he was a Canuck. Heck, before he was a NHL player, or scouted by an NHL team, or even a teenager.

The first time Miller appeared in hockey gear on TV was as a six-year-old prodigy.

That's when local station WKBN out of Youngstown, Ohio featured a "Mighty Mite" named J.T. Miller who'd scored 52 goals (along with 14 assists).

"I'm good at scoring goals," says the young Miller in the clip.