Not My Choice… But Congrats #19

VANCOUVER, CANADA - MAY 1:  Markus Naslund #19 of the Vancouver Canucks is congratulated by teammate Trevor Linden #16 after scoring against the Anaheim Ducks during Game Four of the 2007 Western Conference Semifinals on May 1, 2007 at General Motors Place in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)

Two former Canucks captains will share a new bond starting Saturday, with #19 joining #16 in the rafters, along with #12.

I have already made my argument. I didn’t think (and still don’t) that Markus Naslund should have his jersey retired. I wrote about it a year and a half ago. READ IT HERE.

But there is obviously no changing it now. On Saturday, Naslund’s #19 will be raised to the rafters of Rogers Arena. And even I, one who disagrees with the choice altogether, will be cheering for him. Even if you disagree with the choice, you should be cheering too.

So do it.

I know I’m outnumbered. I’ve been told so. And it’s not as though Naslund murdered dogs or got caught sleeping around on his wife or even broke a colleague’s neck during a game.

Markus Naslund was all class, all the time. He has fantastic numbers as a member of the Vancouver Canucks. His dynamic play combined with his team’s high-octane offense turned a lot of people into new (and likely lifetime) Canucks fans. And for all those reasons, Naslund should be lauded.

I heard on TEAM 1040 that some fans are going to this Saturday’s Canucks game and are planning on booing during the ceremony. Are you serious?! Let’s grab some perspective, people. There are few folks that disagree with the choice of Naslund to retire his jersey, but do you think for one minute that I would boo him? Absolutely not. Why? Because I am a Canucks fans, through and through. I can see the value of Markus Naslund, I can see what he means to this team, to his fans and to this community. I get that. But just because I disagree with the choice, I am NOT going to take away from his day and this special moment for the Canucks organization and its fan.

If you have tickets to this game, and disagree THAT vehemently, then wait until the ceremony is over, THEN take your seats. Go hang out at a bar first, have some pops, then go to the game just before the puck is about to drop. But don’t ruin this day for fellow fans, for the team and for Naslund.

I may disagree, and I probably disagree a LOT more than you, but I will be watching the game with new friends, and applauding Naslund and enjoying the festivities. And for ANYONE out there at the game who doesn’t like Markus Naslund, for one night, pretty please, with sugar on top… SIT DOWN and SHUT THE F_CK UP!

Congrats to you, #19. You have a legion of fans. You cared about this city, and you made Canucks fans believers again.

To prove to you I’m not callous, here is my favourite Markus Naslund moment. And one of my all-time favourite Canucks moments, too.