News Local

Canucks fans open wallets for retro gear

By Eric MacKenzie

Pavel Bure wears the classic Vancouver Canucks “Flying Skate” jersey in 1994. The team is bringing back the retro look on Saturday.
Reuters

Pavel Bure wears the classic Vancouver Canucks “Flying Skate” jersey in 1994. The team is bringing back the retro look on Saturday. Reuters

Vancouver Canucks fans are embracing the skate as the National Hockey League team prepares to turn back the clock this weekend.

As part of this season’s ongoing celebration of Rogers Arena’s 20th anniversary, the Canucks will be donning their retro “Flying Skate” jerseys — the black, red and yellow design used in the mid-1990s when the building first opened, and when the team reached the 1994 Stanley Cup final — for their game against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.

And while many fans might have an old jersey with the former logo that they can pull out of the closet, throwback gear has been a hot seller.

Daryl Weiss, owner of the Collector’s Den in Metropolis at Metrotown, said he’s been stocking all kinds of ‘90s-era Canucks merchandise since before Christmas and it’s been “super popular” with his customers.

“We were prepared,” said Weiss, as the Canucks first revealed plans for the retro jersey night in the summer.

“We brought in T-shirts and jerseys and had them custom-stitched with not only past players like (Trevor) Linden and (Pavel) Bure, but also current favourite players, and they’ve been selling very well.”

Weiss said the old logo has been a source of nostalgia for customers — many share with him fond memories of the ’94 Cup run and the franchise greats from that era.

And yet, it’s merchandise featuring the names of players who had barely been born when the Canucks last wore the retro jerseys that is getting scooped up the quickest.

“(Bo) Horvat’s probably the No. 1 seller,” said Weiss, “and (Jake) Virtanen is not far behind.”

Linden, the team’s president of hockey operations, will be joined at the rink Saturday by several other Canucks from the 1995-96 season for a ceremonial face-off, including Kirk McLean, Jyrki Lumme and Gino Odjick.

“I’ll always remember our first season at the new arena,” Linden said in a statement earlier this month. “Seeing the black flying skate uniforms again at Rogers Arena is going to be exciting and serves as a perfect tribute to our first season in this great venue.” 

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