By Greg Douglas – Dr. Sport
SCENE & HEARD: The banquet room at the Richmond Country Club was jammed with former NHL players, coaches, trainers and media people following the 19th annual Canucks Alumni Golf Classic this past week.
Part of broadcaster Joey Kenward’s assignment as emcee was to introduce each and every one of the hockey personalities. Not surprisingly, the loudest and longest ovation erupted when Gino Odjick was asked to take a bow.
Instantly, the crowd broke into a “Gino, Gino, Gino” chant that rang out for over three minutes. By the time it ended, everyone in the room was standing as a large portion of the tough old hockey players choked back tears.
Gino Odjick, the incredibly popular ‘Algonquin Assassin’ during his eight seasons with the Vancouver Canucks, had been given just months to live in June, 2014, when he was diagnosed with a rare terminal disease that had slowly been hardening his heart and led to him suffering a heart attack.
Miraculously, Gino turned to an experimental new treatment for his illness and his condition is no longer considered terminal.
Odjick will be at Hastings Racecourse for Alumni Day at the Races on Father’s Day – Sunday, June 18 – as part of the Canucks coalition that will include Jyrki Lumme, Dave Babych, Kyle Wellwood and Burnaby’s own Cliff Ronning.
The Canucks Alumni members will be joined by past and present B.C. Lions players, Whitecaps FC and former Hastings jockeys Chris Loseth, Dave Wilson, Frank Fuentes and Tom Wolski.
There will be silent auctions for autographed Canucks, Lions and Whitecaps FC jerseys and Ultimate Game Day Experiences donated by all three teams as well as a VIP Day at the Races courtesy of Hastings Racecourse.
Being Father’s Day, the invitation is open to family members of all ages. Proceeds from the afternoon will benefit Canucks Place, BC Children’s Hospital and Dire Needs Fund. Marquee Tent VIP tickets for fans to mingle in a meet and greet with the alumni are available at