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Cool take on the Canucks coolest jersey crest

June 9, 2016
"C" is for "Carpenter".

C is for “Carpenter”?.

It’s nearly summer and ice hockey is almost the farthest thing from my mind, especially as no Canadian NHL teams made it into the Stanley Cup playoffs, let alone the final—which will end with a U.S. team winning the Cup as early as tonight.

But forget those dirty old playoffs, who needs ’em! Tuesday (June 7) I found a really neat play on the Vancouver Canucks classic 1970s “stick-in-rink” crest—with a carpenter’s claw hammer taking the place of the hockey stick.

This work of flattery was emblazoned beside the words “Renovating” and “Remodeling” on the passenger and driver sides of a white panel van parked in Mount Pleasant.

While I feel that laziness, more than anything else, explains the hundreds of thousands of electrical companies named after the band AC/DC, someone had to put some thought into this renovated Canucks logo. It seems like something a fan would do and I think that most Vancouverites would smile to see it.

There was a phone number on the driver side of the van but I’m homeless so I have little or no reason to call it, having nothing of my own to renovate.

But now that I think about it, the parkade where I sleep could do with some oak wainscoting, so perhaps I’ll have a word with the building management.

More evidence that the 1970s knew not the meaning of “cool”

A hockey card showing the 1970 Vancouver Canucks.

Hockey card showing the 1970 Vancouver Canucks and their “stick-in-rink” crest.

The “stick-in-rink” crest (which forms the letter “C”, in case you missed it) was used by the Vancouver Canucks from when they joined the National Hockey League (NHL) in 1970, up until 1978, when they scrapped it in favour of a more aggressive look.

As the Financial Post reported on October 21, 1978, the Canucks, having finished 1977 ahead of only three of the NHL’s 18 clubs, decided to change their uniform colours, along with their crest, “because their green, blue and white uniforms were too ‘cool,’ promoting calmness”.

The new uniform was the brainchild of San Francisco-based design agency Beyl & Boyd and featured of a huge yellow, redish-orange and black striped “V” that descending from the shoulders and dominated the front of the jersey. This was either V for Victory,or Vertigo, depending if you were wearing the jersey or just looking at it. There was also an orange and yellow “flying skate” crest on the sleeves.

The Financial Post, pondering this momentous change, wrote:

“So the Canucks will go from “cool” to “hot” just by changing their uniforms. What can go wrong?

Well the rest of the teams could wear sunglasses. That is, if they aren’t already colorblind.”

In fact, the other NHL teams took to referring to the new Canucks uniform as the “Halloween suit”.

A progression of Canucks' jerseys from 1970 to present.

A progression of Canucks jerseys from 1970 to present.

Mercifully, in 1985, the “flying V” was replaced on the front of the jersey by the “flying skate” crest from the sleeves.

The uniform and crest went through several more convolutions over the next 20 years—more than I know or care to relate. Better you read this piece on the subject by the Vancouver Sun.

Suffice to say, by 2007, the original uniform colours of dark blue, white and green were restored.

Today the “V” jersey is a lurid memory that Vancouver fans would like to forget. The “stick-in-rink” crest is beloved by one and all and a slightly less rigid version currently adorns the front of the alternate Canucks jersey. And all varieties of the uniform continue to use the original blue, green and white colour scheme. Click the images to enlarge them.

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