Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Trio Waived/Bourdon Ceremony

The Vancouver Canucks officially gave word today that forwards Jason Krog, Matt Pettinger, and Jeff Cowan all cleared waivers and will report to the American Hockey League.

Krog and Pettinger will head straight to the Canucks AHL affiliate in Winnipeg. However, seeing as the Manitoba Moose have reached their quota of NHL players on their roster, they didn't have enough room for Cowan. The Canucks, who will still pay his salary, reached an agreement with the St. Louis Blues, who have allowed him to play for their AHL affiliate, the Peoria Rivermen.

With less than a day to go before the start of the regular season, the Canucks had one final full practice Wednesday at the Pacific Coliseum. Word came down during the day that the Canucks are going to unveil the Luc Bourdon Wall of Dreams prior to the home opener. The wall, which will be located in GM Place, will honour Bourdon's life as well as those in minor hockey.

In addition, the Canucks also announced that funds raised in the home opening Canucks For Kids Fund 50/50 draw will be donated in Luc's name to a BC children's charity. As well, a carry-over of $82,950 from last season's unclaimed 50/50 funds will be added to the winner's share of Thursday evening's draw. I will definitley be purchasing some tickets at this game, and it's not because I think I'll win the cash.

Prior to the start of the action against the Calgary Flames, a special ceremony will occur to honour the memory of Bourdon, who lost his life last June in a motorcycle accident near his home in New Brunswick. The game was scheduled to start at 7:30pm, but don't expect the action to get going until after 7:50pm. Members of Luc's family and some of his closest friends will be on hand for what's sure to be a very emotional tribute to the former Canucks defenceman.

My only interaction with Bourdon came in 2006. It was May of that year, nearly a year after he had been selected 10th overall in the NHL Entry Draft by the Canucks. It was in Moncton, NB which was the host city for the Memorial Cup. The Vancouver Giants were champs of the WHL that season and it was my first chance to be with a team chasing a Memorial Cup dream. Bourdon played for the host Wildcats team that spring. I had a chance to interview him prior to the first of two meetings that tournament between the Giants and Wildcats. English was not his second language, and I knew that going in to our conversation. However as we spoke, I could tell he was a well-mannered kid who had worked really hard at his interview skills during the season. We had a good conversation and his thoughts and answers to my questions were very clear for all to hear. He had a decent tournament for the host team and was a big time pain to play against. Canucks fans could see in the years to follow that he had a bright future ahead of him as a professional.

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