It’s time to admit it. John Mikl Thor was ahead of the curve.
Thor, the legendarily cheesy Canadian faux-metal singer and champion bodybuilder was savvy enough to copyright the name and logo of the defunct Vancouver Millionaires back in 1999 with an eye on marketing team memorabilia.
Eleven years later, he cleaned up by selling the rights to the Canucks ownership group. Since then, the team’s fans have been listening to rumors and waiting for the debut of a Millionaires-inspired third jersey.
It finally happens on March 16, when the Canucks take on Detroit.
Until then, the Canucks will pay tribute to BC’s pro hockey pioneers with a special patch on their jerseys. From the press release:
“The Vancouver Canucks are proud to announce they will celebrate 100 years of hockey on the West Coast by wearing the Vancouver Millionaires “V” patch on their sweaters for select home games in the 2012-13 season beginning tonight versus the Chicago Blackhawks. The Vancouver Millionaires were the first professional hockey team on the West Coast, playing in the Pacific Coast Hockey Association from 1912 through 1922. The Millionaires won the Stanley Cup in 1915 against the Ottawa Senators of the National Hockey Association, which later became the NHL. The Millionaires played at the 10,500 seat Denman Arena built by Frank and Lester Patrick at the corner of Georgia and Denman and were the first Canadian team to play hockey on artificial ice.”
This announcement continues a trend of teams recognizing that the best third jerseys call out to the heritage of the franchise or the city (as opposed to mascots and bovine reproductive systems). Hard to imagine the Canucks creating one better than this classically archaic design featuring the word Vancouver spelled inside a large white V against a maroon body. The font has been slightly modernized, but not enough to offend legendary Millionaires like Cyclone Taylor or Hugh Lehman.
The Canucks won’t be the first modern team to wear the sweater, though. The WHL’s Vancouver Giants skated with it for a pair of games back in 2009.