Milan Lucic’s Church Vandalized in Vancouver

The church Milan Lucic’s family attends in Vancouver was vandalized (photo came via his girlfriend’s twitter account).

8 months and one day ago, the Canucks were defeated in game seven of the Stanley Cup Final at the hands of Milan Lucic and the Boston Bruins. Yet it was only today, nearly 250 days later, that the first "Stanley Cup" rioter Ryan DIckinson, was sentenced to 17 months in jail. Today should’ve marked a step towards closure, a milestone along the path to putting that ugly moment in the history of the city and in the history of the Canucks and their fans in the rearview mirror. Instead, there’s a new stain on the reputation of the city and the fan-base. 

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According to Milan Lucic’s girlfriend Brittany Carnegie, who tweeted the photo you see above: Milan Lucic’s family church, Saint Archangel Michael Serbian Orthodox Church in Burnaby, was desecrated by graffiti which, targeted the Bruins power-forward. The tag on the wall of the church misspells "Canucks" – leaving out the second C, and includes the words "Fuck Lucic," as well as a crudely drawn penis (complete with misshapen testicles). 

Clearly this isn’t the work of the "Canucks fanbase" as a whole, it’s the work of a couple of twisted miscreants – but it would be dishonest to write this off as an "isolated incident". Beyond the riots, Milan Lucic and his family were subject to some harassment over the summer.

There were posters with his name on them that were reportedly defaced, and words exchanged at a Serbian festival. There was sufficient tension towards Milan that the hulking winger and the family decided to modify their plans and make his "day with the cup" significantly more private. Milan, however, brought Lord Stanley’s mug to the church that was vandalized in the picture above (footage of the church begins at at 0:32 of the video embedded below):

As I wrote over the summer about the harassment of Lucic:

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The first step towards fixing a cultural problem, is to admit you’ve got a problem – and like it or not Canucks fans, we’ve got one. Sadly, it manifests itself in malignant ways that embarrass the entire city.

I can’t diagnose the cultural problem with any certainty. I’m a Vancouver native, and still consider the city "home" though I haven’t lived there for nearly seven years. Perhaps it has something to do with the exorbitant cost of living in the city, or a general sense of disillusionment that such costs engender. It could have something to do with the particular, aggressive, and paranoid mentality that, to some extent, characterizes the Canucks fan-base. Or maybe it’s the wildness of the city’s "dream-scape" setting, which, as Bruce Arthur once theorized may "unmoor certain minds from reality, a little or a lot.” 

What we do know is that over the past 8 months there have been several incidents, incidents of violence, vandalism and harassment, that taken together constitute a pattern. It’s especially sad because most Vancouver based hockey fans are proud of Milan’s accomplishments (despite the colours on his current jersey).

The feverish hysteria that surrounds Vancouver’s NHL club mostly fuels the sale of tickets, game-day beer and merchandise (also, traffic to this website). But this same fanatical passion occasionally reveals its unique, dark and perspective-free underbelly. It’s a hateful under-current that is chilling and destructive and anti-social in the extreme, and the fact that it has shown its face more frequently of late is disturbing.

Milan doesn’t live in Vancouver permanently anymore, but he grew up a Canucks fans and I’m sure he still considers the city home. It’s truly pathetic that some folks apparently can’t get over an eight month old sporting loss. The fact that they’ve decided to take their frustration out on Milan Lucic, his church and his family is beyond despicable.

Update (10:57 am PST): Via the National Post’s David Ebner, school children participating in scrubbing the graffiti off of Saint Archangel Michael Serbian Orthodox Church.

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  • trent599

    What a garbage city. You’d never see this sort of thing in places like Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Regina, or Winnipeg. The entitled NDP voters in Vancouver just don’t understand basic concepts like respect, hard work and taking responsibility for your actions like we do out in the prairies.

    • trent599

      Um, Edmonton is the murder capital of Canada. I think you should really concern yourself with that. Much bigger problem if you ask me. Also, correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t Pronger’s house vandalized when he left town?
      Glass houses buddy.

    • trent599

      You talk about being entitled mate? I’m from a small, hard-working town in BC and live in Vancouver, and the people I know, FROM Vancouver, work their asses off on a daily basis to afford to live in the city. You want responsibility for your actions, take a look at what happened the day after the riots when residents came downtown to clean up the city. You want to be respectful? Then shut up about how much more goddamn respectful and hard-working you are.
      True Canucks fans are some of the best Canada has to offer, and we find stuff like this vandalism as disgusting as the rest of you.

  • Mantastic

    This is disgraceful. Attacking a church? I know how much the typical secular Vancouver citizen despises Christanity but this is too far. It was a hockey game, get over it.

  • trent599

    Just one more example of how much I hate the Canucks team, city and fans. You all are a disgrace to the hockey world and a disgrace to the planet! I hope Vancouver NEVER wins a Stanley Cup. You DO NOT deserve it. You don’t even deserve to have a hockey team. Sore, spoiled little losers!!!

    • Marda Miller

      Go ask President Thomas to make sure the Canucks never get a cup. Also ask Dr. Recci to speak with President Thomas regarding contraception I’m sure they can hammer some things out.

    • You, sir, are the reason the MAJORITY of Bruins fans are hated. Regardless of the minority, every team in every NHL market deserves their air shake at the Stanley Cup. Lucic was a hero in the 2006 Memorial Cup for Vancouver Giants and the Bruins organization has transformed him from a formidable power-forward to a typical goon! Keep on keeping on.

    • Well, I’m not sure many of us Canucks fans really care what you think about how much you hate all of us, but as most of the posters and 99.99% of Canucks fans have and will say, you can’t judge the many by the actions of the few. That just isn’t fair. And really, what leg are you standing on? People have died in sports-related riots in Boston. That’s a pretty far cry from graffiti on a church and tossing a few cars. A disgrace to the hockey world and the planet? Really?

  • Marda Miller

    This is one idiot. You can’t paint the whole city by the act of one person. If that were the case, all people in Wisconsin are serial murderers or lotto winners.

  • What happened here is not typical of the Canucks fan and nor should it reflect on the majority of us. It was merely an individual or small group overcome by fear and hatred. This is the same mentality displayed by Bruins fans or any fan of any sports market anywhere! What happened here is heinous and blasphemous, I am a Christian and proud to be. Let’s not get caught up on the act, rather let’s focus on the ones who are the real heroes/victims in this crime, The people of Vancouver (and area) who are lumped in with this small group of idiots who choose to act out in such insolent ways.

  • Old Soldier

    Seriously??? A church was vandalized, whether or not you are religious it is a heinous act of juvenile behavior and you folks are arguing about who is more hated or criticizing individual players……

    Guess what, you are all juvenile.

    Now I would hope the “majority” of people in any city would believe in and live morally and ethically, and that only a minority would resort to the infantile behavior being discussed.

    Vancouver does have to wear the weight of what happened after the SCF. Whether, as individuals you actively participated or not, you are a part of a “community” that did behave this way. Just as Montreal was labelled by their riots, and others as well.

    The only way to remove that stigma is not with indignation and smart ass retorts, it is with time and by proving that with the next opportunity, it will not happen again.

    But I have to ask Vancouverites, with the team playing very well, and the possibilities of another long playoff run in their future, isnt there just a little voice in the back of your head going “Oh no, not again”.

  • Old Soldier

    I’m not religious in the least, but vandalizing a place a worship is an absolutely deplorable act. But if you want an idea of what the majority of Canucks fans and Vancouverites are like, take a look at the citizens who helped clean up the day after and the kids above. I’m not convinced that this issue is systemic. If you look at the factors surrounding the riot ( too many people enclosed in too small a space, alcohol, not enough police presence, heightened emotions), it seems silly for the city to not have predicted it. And this church vandalism is an isolated incident, it was probably a couple of drunk, immature and stupid teenagers who defaced the walls.

    And to one of the trolls who commented earlier, just because someone isn’t religious does not mean they are immoral or completely devoid of a conscience.

    And to one of the other trolls, I’m sure if you conducted a poll, the majority of Canucks fans were proud and happy for Lucic. I know I was.

    To Old Soldier-

    No there wouldn’t be a little voice in the back of my head because I doubt the city will try to cram a bunch of people into areas of the city to create a party atmosphere. Certainly, we as a city have to move forward and prove that a riot won’t happen again. However, keep in mind that most major cities have rioted at some time or another in the wake of a sporting event. This is not to excuse the riot, but the next time around, I think potential rioters will be given pause ( first rioter-Ryan Dickinson got a one year sentence) and the city/police department will be smarter and more cautious. As I said, it’s disingenuous to try to paint this church vandalism as part of a pattern or trend. It’s an undoubtedly despicable act, but an isolated incident caused by the stupidity/drunkenness/immaturity of a couple of teenagers.

    • I should probably clarify that this behaviour should not be excused in any way, and that the rioters and vandals should be appropriately admonished for their actions. I’m just confused at the suggestions that Canucks fans as a whole are complicit in the vandalism of the church.

      • ” I’m just confused at the suggestions that Canucks fans as a whole are complicit in the vandalism of the church.” – exactly. Incidents like this give the fan-base a bad name, but in no way implicate the “general Canucks fan.”

        • Meat Mayos

          Casue that’s Bostons M.O. ‘ Create a smokescreen and blame the Canucks, that way people won’t talk about how we have Colins sock puppet , shanahan to do our bidding.’ Stop playing into Bostons game, bro.

    • Mantastic

      lol, the majority of canucks fans did not clean up vancouver. SOME people who live in vancouver and love it did, canuck fan or not. you can’t dismiss the bad actions and acknowledge the good as your own… as old soilder said, you canucks fans are a community and will be lumped with the bad and good.

      i am 100% sure that the majority of “fans” of the canucks are not proud of lucic’s accomplishment because he beat the canucks in the final and are incredibly bitter towards anything bruins.

      • I don’t believe I said that the rioters/vandals weren’t Canucks fans. I’m saying that an isolated incident like the church vandalism isn’t indicative of a systemic issue. Perhaps you might have an argument with the riots, but there were confounding factors there as well. I’m not dismissing the fact that those rioters and vandals were Canucks fans, call me naive, but from what I’ve seen on the online community ( ie. Canucksarmy, PITB, LOB, CHB, etc), the majority of Canucks fans condemn the irresponsible and reprehensible actions of those rioters/vandals.

        I’m assuming you’re not a Canucks fan because you refer to Canucks fans as “you”, so I don’t think that you can accurately gauge how Canucks fans feel about Lucic winning.

        • Mantastic

          i have a very good gauge as i am surrounded by them everyday and unbiased. and just take a look at the very classy person called Canooks, nuff said really

          • Mantastic

            Well since you said you’re unbiased…I’ll definitely take your word for it now because it’s not like an internet troll is an accurate depiction of Canucks fans to you.

      • Mantastic

        How would you know bro, where you here? Yeah, try playing that Boston is a classy city card, bra, no one here cares about what you think. Lucic played on a team that whines the most, and the only reason they even won a cup was cause of little greggory’s daddy colin campbell and his sock puppet shanny. They can’t even suspend their own player for almost taking a habs players head off. EVERY team in the nhl knows this. and why would any Canucks fan be proud of Lucic..a guy who runs goalies and beats his own girlfriend up. dude, if you have a problem with the residents of this city, go and move to Boston, no ones stopping you.LOL

  • trent599

    It must have been some Croatian kids. I’ll kill them if I find them. Nobody here knows anything about real fans and whose violent and not. The real fans are the ones who parade around the city singing team chants and songs all day. When riot police need to be deployed on all major streets the day of the game. When there are pyrotechnics and fireworks and actual team chants at games, not “go cancucks go”. Real fans don’t exist here. #Delijesever

  • trent599

    This was probably done by a person who wanted to make the Canucks look bad and not even a fan.

    Surveillance cam footy would probably show a rat in a marchand jersey running away.

    Every Canuck fan would love to see Lucic in a Canucks jersey. real talk.