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Canucks Fans Jump in with Conor Garland Nicknames

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Vancouver Canucks, Conor Garland
Vancouver Canucks forward Conor Garland.

Bummer. Conor Garland, Vancouver Canucks winger, the recent subject of a fun little nickname brainstorm, got zapped by positive Covid testing. He had to sit out against the Washington Capitals on Sunday and who knows how long he’ll be missing from the line-up given the differing protocols on either side of the Canada/USA border.

The Vancouver Canucks will miss a true catalyst … or waterbug … or pest.

Wait a minute, that was the whole idea in the first place. What to call him?! And the ideas flowed in.

Standby, here’s a little excerpt to re-set the table before a list of responses.

His teammates have stuck with standard hockey fare, not creative enough, frankly.

“They just call me Garlie,” Garland said. “In Arizona I was called “G” forever, I came here and one of the athletic trainer’s nickname is “G” so they had to find something else, so, it’s only OEL (his Coyote teammate Oliver Ekman-Larsson who arrived in Vancouver with him) who calls me “G” here, but it’s Garlie or “Gars”.

Players of similar ilk have been referred to as “water bugs” or “fire plugs”, or “energizer bunnies”, but that’s not gonna cut it.

Neither is ‘Angry Elf’, ‘Midget’ or ‘Circus Monkey’.

So we put it to the fans and these are some of the stand-outs.

There were plays on his name as in “Gar8” or “GarEight”, similar to the guy he didn’t get a chance to play against Sunday, the “Great 8” Alex Ovechkin. That came from ‘Chop per‘.

“Go Go Garland” from a dude named Ken. Very cheerful, which is sort of a pun. It’s cheerful and it also sounds like a cheer. Sorry, I think the point of puns is to not explain them.

Corey suggested “Gremlin”. Not bad. Would it be better with a “The” in front of it?

A few different people including Jake, who submitted it first, said “Gnarly”. This simple manipulation could be a front-runner.

Lyle said “Stumpy”.

From the history books, and this doesn’t preclude the possibility of usage, just so ya know, Stumpy was the nickname of Steve Thomas, the former Maple Leafs forward. He actually played for Toronto during two different stretches of his career. He also played two different times for the Chicago Blackhawks, plus single stints with the New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders and briefly with the Anaheim Mighty Ducks and Detroit Red Wings.

‘Stumpy’ had a propensity for scoring overtime game winners.

Also, I’m fond of that one because I used to work with a radio station board op’ named Jim “Stumpy” Monroe. Sadly, a late, great Stumpy. Some may find this cruel, which it’s not because Jim absolutely loved it, but we called him Stumpy because he accidentally cut off a finger. In the same town I had a neighbour who did the same thing with a lawn mower, and he used to joke about it too.

“Mighty Mouse”, from Marc. Don’t know, too childlike? Too circus-monkey-ish only not quite as bad? Actually, now that I go back, three different Vancouver Canucks fans suggested this and they all did it enthusiastically. Tom may have been first.

There may have been an ulterior motive or interpretation from Lori who went with “Cutie Pie”. Very nice Lori and I’m sure he appreciates it.

Jes submitted jokingly, I think based on the accompanying ‘lol’, “Garlandelf”. And actually, the Lord of the Rings take-off isn’t that bad. Only problem is, Garland is quick, Gandalf moves really slow. Creative, and it gets the ‘elf’ in there.

I like Robert’s “Shifty”. Simple and effective, no nonsense, but probably not enough.

Wayne presented the very regal “Conor the Conqueror”. That sounds more like something you’d put on a poster when you’re trying to get his attention for a free puck during warm-ups. A bit wordy for a nickname?

Mike said “The Mini Rocket”. That’s getting into Maurice ‘Rocket’ Richard’s domain, and that of his little brother the “Pocket Rocket” Henri. We don’t go there quite yet. Traditionalists would say give it another 10 or fifteen years.

That said, a few people suggested “Taz”, as in the Tasmanian Devil. Again, this requires a history lesson and it’s a simple one. Terry O’Reilly, number-24 in the rafters in Boston, is ‘Taz’. I strongly suggest you youtube a few of his fights.

Then again, it’s been awhile, it’s Boston, and I’m thinking the folks that say Taz is a good idea don’t give a flying leap about the ex-Bruin. Hmmm. You got that right!

“Growly” from Dale and “Kamikaze” from Miller are fun, but here’s the last one I’m throwing out there for real …

“Fonzie”, or “Fonz”, from Garett. Yep, you’d have to be at least 50-years-old to remember “Happy Days” when it was actually on TV, but this is a pretty funny reference. Let’s see if Garland has a leather jacket.

Thank you all.

This is very much a casual endeavour but maybe we’ll have to narrow it down to a poll.

((This is posting on a Sunday night — more Vancouver Canucks coverage in the am — have a great week folks!))

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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