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Return of the Canucks Flying Skate!? Ask Thatcher Demko

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Vancouver Canucks, Thatcher Demko
Vancouver Canucks goalie Thatcher Demko at practice on Monday at Rogers Arena.

For two decades, from 1978 to 1997, the “flying skate” logo factored directly into the Vancouver Canucks look. First, just on the arms of what many considered the hideous “V” sweaters, with diagonal lines of black, burnt orange and yellow making up the bulk of the look.

Seven years later, the skate moved front and centre as the emblem on the chest of the Vancouver Canucks jerseys that had more standard colour and stripe schemes.

In some way, shape, or form the flying skate element wore its way through two Stanley Cup Finals, in 1982 and 1994, before giving way to the Orca in 1997. Since then, the flying skate-boot has been utilized as a third jersey option at times, a seemingly popular one at that.

In terms of “hockey fashion” that flying skate seems to arouse the biggest reaction when utilized here on VHN.

Monday at Vancouver Canucks practice, number-one goalie Thatcher Demko busted out some limited colours from that time period, donning some Kirk McLean testimonial retro gear that included the flying skate images on the top of the mask. It drew quite the response from the limited number of individuals at Rogers Arena.

McLean manned the crease for the Canucks from 1987-’88 into the 1997-’98 season and helped carry the club to that aforementioned 1994 Final. He holds almost all of the franchise goaltending records and he became the second member of the Vancouver Canucks Ring of Honour in 2010.

“Love those,” stated Canucks captain Bo Horvat after practice. “Loved his gear too. I’m a big fan of the skate jersey. Thatch’ said it was a mock-up of, I think he said, Kirk McLean’s or something? It was an exact replica of an old goaltender’s when he wore it, and I thought it looked pretty sweet out there. I even thought it would look better with a black jersey on for sure.”

More to come? I’m sure the Vancouver Canucks fans will let us know. Very cool manoeuvre by Demko.

VHN Managing Editor Rob Simpson has been covering the NHL for three decades on live TV, radio, and as a journalist. He worked his first ever game getting postgame sound as a teenager; it was Vancouver vs. Detroit.

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