Photo via @botchford / Twitter.

Photo via @botchford / Twitter.

VIDEO: The best of Canucks sports reporter Jason Botchford

Remembering the work of longtime Vancouver Canucks reporter

Jason Botchford carried with him a tremendous passion for the game of hockey and for the Vancouver Canucks. He gained popularity while working for The Province in Vancouver, and then most recently moved to The Athletic website.

READ MORE: Popular Vancouver Canucks reporter Jason Botchford dies at 48

Botchford, who died last weekend at the age of 48, was widely known for his Canucks post-game reports, first called “The Provies,” then “The Athletties.” His reporting provided edgy, insightful commentary and a unique, zany approach.

READ MORE: ‘Driving force in Canucks coverage:’ Hockey world remembers Jason Botchford

Best optimism

It has been a rough few years for Canucks fans, with the team failing to make the playoffs since the 2014-15 NHL season. However, Botchford was passionate and optimistic for the future.

In one of his more popular stories this year, “How Elias Pettersson changed everything in Vancouver,” he wrote, “It’s with guys like [Pettersson] that allows a city to dream of better days, too.”

Biggest take

Botchford was critical of underperforming players, and rightfully so. Former defenceman Erik Gudbranson controlled 38 per cent of scoring chances at 5-on-5 while on the ice, the lowest ratio in the entire league for defencemen.

Best explanation

Botchford bestowed cutting, yet humourous nicknames. He described the current highest-paid Canuck, Loui Eriksson, as “Little Things.” (He said the Swede did the little things right on the ice, but did not warrant his $6-million salary cap hit).

The first Canucks game in which Eriksson was listed as a healthy scratch, he tweeted:

Greatest controversy

Botchford’s pre-game piece from 2013 about the San Jose Sharks and the Canucks is arguably his most controversial. He describes a situation where Sharks forward Joe Thornton explains to the media how he would celebrate scoring four goals. [Warning:

Best chemistry

Botchford brought the passion like no other when covering the team. He and TSN 1040 reporter Jeff Paterson were a popular duo on their Canucks podcast, titled Patcast.”

Best rivalry

He famously engaged in a feud with Sportsnet 650 radio host, Andrew Walker. Walker often took to Twitter to express his opinions of The Athletic and its paid-subscriber fanbase, compared to his show.

The two were actually friends behind the scenes.

Greatest quote

After the Canucks failed to reach the post-season in 2018, Botchford was famously quoted for saying Vancouver’s slogan should be “We need an army!” He was lamenting the inability of management to acquire better players, prospects and draft picks at the time.

Best fanbase engagement

In January, Botchford, along with TSN 1040 reporters Mike Halford and Jason Brough and others, presented a “Live Power Hour” for fans at the Rio Theatre in Vancouver and get into a lively discussion about their beloved hockey team.

Best ending

Botchford’s last published article was on April 24, 2019. It focuses on the development of Canucks’ starting goaltender Jacob Markstrom, and his relationship with goaltending coach Ian Clark.

Greatest stories

His final ‘The Athletties’ on April 6 provided an entertaining and eye-catching review of the Canucks’ 2018-19 season.

There are hundreds of Botchford pieces to choose from, and he always seemed to have saved his best for last. Botchford had perfected his “listicle” style of post-game reporting. His ‘The Provies’ post-game report after the final game for Daniel and Henrik Sedin was a fond farewell to two of the all-time greatest Canucks. He described them as “two superstars doing what only superstars can do… They blew your freaking mind.”


@kieranroconnor
kieran.oconnor@bpdigital.ca

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