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British Canucks fan returns 14 years after lockout disappointment

Drew Forester, who In 2005 stop his task in England, acquired a 12-thirty day period operate visa and moved to Vancouver with hopes of observing a total season of the Vancouver Canucks, only to come across that the NHL was locked out and he did not get to see a single Canucks activity, is seen in Vancouver on Feb 10.


A ton can improve in 14 several years. Folks occur and folks go. Electric power passes and marketplaces improve.

But real adore never ever dies, and that is what has brought Drew Forester back to Vancouver extra than a dozen several years immediately after the NHL lockout shot down his desire of observing a season of Vancouver Canucks hockey.

Forester is 38 now, he’s married, has a great task and a charming household on the northeast coastline of England in a spot referred to as Whitley Bay. He performs goal for a single of the town’s rec groups — the Tyneside Jesters — and sporting activities a conservative beard and brief hair.

But in December 2004 when he landed in Vancouver to make his Canucks desire occur real he was single, unemployed, with minimal in the financial institution and longish curly hair and a boyish deal with.

Drew Forester, demonstrated in February 2005, aged 24, on his initially go to to Vancouver.

Nick Procaylo /


It was a diverse time. Newspapers continue to ruled the media roost (as a result his enjoyment when he was showcased in a February 2005 report in The Province titled Hockey-mad Briton chilled by season end) Gordon Campbell was in control of B.C.’s long run when Paul Martin had Canada’s helm.

You could obtain a home in Vancouver for properly less than $600,000 and Forester’s Pound purchased him $2.20 Canadian, compared with $1.72 nowadays.

“I arrived to enjoy as quite a few game titles as I could,” reported Forester, who on Monday night time will be in Rogers Arena to capture the Canucks just take on the San Jose Sharks.

He knew just before arriving that 12 months that the season was in some doubt, specified talks amongst the league and the players’ association ended up stalled. But it arrived as a serious blow when on Feb. 9, 2005, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman cancelled the season, and dashed Forester’s dreams.

Forester had been a diehard enthusiast of Dan Cloutier, Markus Naslund and, of program, the brilliant youthful stars at the time, Daniel and Henrik Sedin. The back-end back then was held up by Sami Salo, Mattias Ohlund and Brent Sopel.

The Canucks had also not long ago picked up Ryan Kesler as their initially-spherical select, although the 2003-04 Brian Burke/Marc Crawford staff was to be sadly remembered for the Bertuzzi strike on Steve Moore on March 8, 2004, immediately after Moore had previously in the season concussed captain Markus Naslund.

The staff did, on the other hand, make it to the 2003-04 playoffs, receiving knocked out in the initially spherical in seven game titles by the Calgary Flames.

Forester was ready to line his darkened Canucks’ cloud with a minimal silver, as he grew to become a normal at Vancouver Giants and Coquitlam Categorical game titles for the duration of 2004-2005, and he uncovered to engage in the activity he enjoys so considerably.

“There ended up a couple of players who played for (Coquitlam) that manufactured it to the NHL, Brandon Yip was a single. He ended up with Colorado,” reported Forester, who continue to watches as considerably NHL as he can get absent with.

“I try to remember I went with my mate James to see Coquitlam and he reported, ‘That’s Kurt Russell standing guiding you shouting his head off.’ I imagined he was having the mick, but there he was and the up coming activity Goldie Hawn was there.”

Russell and Hawn ended up there to enjoy their son Wyatt Russell, who was playing in goal for Coquitlam at the time.

Forester stayed in Vancouver till early June 2005, when he had been hoping to enjoy some playoff game titles.

“Well, I ended up returning household. I tried out to lengthen my visa, but it didn’t occur. Due to the fact then I acquired married four several years ago, purchased a home in Whitley Bay. It’s a coastal town north of Newcastle. Obtained a correct task and ended up receiving settled. It was often on my record to occur back, and in this article I am. Disgrace about the temperature, although. It’s freezing chilly, I was expecting it to be warmer.”

Forester reported he was crushed by the Canucks’ Video game 7 reduction to the Boston Bruins in the 2010-11 season.

“I was a pretty large (Roberto) Luongo enthusiast. He was so stellar for the duration of the season. That was tough to just take, specifically with all the hassle immediately after the activity,” he reported.

On Monday, Forester will be on the lookout out for No. 40, Elias Pettersson.

“The actuality he’s putting the figures up and he’s on observe with (Alex) Ovechkin and (Sidney) Crosby is incredible. They ended up coming into the league when I was previous in this article.”

Just one matter that does not seem to be to have improved much too considerably are ticket charges. Forester is paying out close to $100 a ticket for decreased-bowl seats for Monday’s activity, and that’s about what folks ended up paying out to see Nazzy and the boys back in the working day.

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