19 Stories: Favourite off-ice moments
This week Canucks.com looked to Facebook for off-ice fan encounters with Markus Naslund, and wow did we receive some great stories.
On Facebook.com/Canucks, we asked: Let us know what your favourite off-ice encounters with Markus Naslund were during his time in Vancouver. We'll choose the best, and you could be mentioned in a Canucks.com feature article. Leave us your story here.
We were hit with an overwhelming response; here's the best of the best.
Shane Quesnel: back when the West Coast Express where ripping it up and the playoffs where about to begin; players leaving the arena after a tough loss or a great win..Nazzy always pulled his car over until every one had their autograph.
Sam Yu: I remember when the Queensboro Bestbuy opened and they had him for autograph and I got there after work and it was already jammed packed. So I waited around the back with another person in the soaking rain and I mean it was pouring rain. When Naslund was finished inside he was talking to the staff at Bestbuy and he peeked over and saw 2 people standing outside holding his jersey soaked and he paused his convo with the staff and came out to sign autograph and said "u guys have no umbrellas?" And smiled and said "let's sign these" and he was standing in the pouring rain while doing that with his limo driver waiting. He will always be my favorite player and that moment will always stand in my life!! Can't imagine other players doing that in the rain after signing for 300plus inside the store. The signature on the jersey is a lil washed off from the rain because it was so wet but it brings back memories everytime I look into my closet!
Jack Liu: When I was 14 I went to my first Canucks game. After the game I waited with friends outside the parking lot entrance for autographs, a lot players leaving just drove by, and some stopped briefly at the entrance to sign a few autographs and left. When Naslund pulled up, he saw how many people were waiting for autographs and kindly turned out of the lot, pulled over an parked his car to sign autographs. He was such a class act to do that, made my day. That was my off-ice Markus Naslund memory.
Kyle Shanks: About 5 years ago I won a contest for two tickets to a Canucks game and a chance to meet the players after the game. Most of the players were quick to leave after signing an autograph (especially since they lost) and Nazzy was one of the last guys to leave the locker room. He spent 15 minutes with us and signed everything we had. It was great because I was heading over to Sweden for the world junior championships that year so we asked him what to do there he told us to try some traditional foods like sardines, reindeer, and of course meatballs. He even threw in check out Ikea when you were there as a joke. He is one of the most classiest guys In the NHL he deserves the recognition that the Canucks are giving him. One of my favorite players to date. Congrats on the wonderful career Nazzy.
Danny Warren: I was actually on a break from working @ the Hotel Georgia and zipped on over to Pacific Center to pick up a last minute gift for a fellow employee. Started to make my way out the Georgia exit...and i see Markus just standing there with his hands around a double baby carriage with literally TONS of X-Mas shoppers milling around. No one was bothering him at all. So i thought id say hi. Walked up and he was really gracious..what ended up as an intent to say hi turned into a 15 minute conversation about his wife shopping, alot about Hockey and how happy he was with the team, his wrist shot, and X-Mas plans. It was almost like talking to a buddy, he was that approachable. Invited him to the restaurant i worked at...he did show up with his young family, i unfortunately was done my shift and missed him, BUT he left behind an autograph for me because my manager used to work for Orca Bay and knew him, and told him how much of a Canucks fan i was. Apparently he was happy with the food and was gracious with the staff and tipped well. Thanks Markus for taking the time to speak with me.
Jessica Oman: "I worked at UPS as a delivery driver and stopped at Subway one day to grab a sandwich. I sat in the only empty booth in the place when Naslund walked in. He had just joined the Canucks and wasn't that recognizable to the public yet. Nazzy bought his sandwich and looked around for a seat. Finding no empty seats, he asked if he could share mine. "You Markus Naslund?" I asked. He shyly nodded his head and we chatted briefly about how nice it was to have him in town.
James Ferra: Well I'm from Rochester new York and when Vancouver comes to buffalo I get a chance to meet the players cause I'm friends with the trainer for the sabres.I'm a huge canucks fan sinse 1973..having said all that. One time I had a chance to watch the canucks morning practice and sit on their bench. Nas was so nice to me. He asked me about my self and what do I do for a living gave me a autographed stick and took many photos with me. Here all the while I'm thinking to my self...here's a guy leading the NHL in scoring on top of his game and treating me with respect and talking to me like I was a life long friend..the thing I remember the most about him is he is total class and represents what the canucks organization is all about....class! Thanks nas i'll always remember you on and off the ice...your friend ..Jim
Brad Neufeld: The team was waiting at the next gate to board their charter to Colorado. Because I can speak a little swedish, he was very interested to know where I learned it. Not only did he sign something for my 2 daughters, but he called over Henrik, Daniel, Bertuzzi and Morrison to sign as well. What a classy guy, and a great team representative.
Mike Lang: I remember meeting Naslund in person quite a few years ago at the Canucks Training Camp in Vernon. I was at the hotel they were staying at and he drove up in a taxi with Marc Crawfor & Dan Cloutier. They got out and I approached them and Crawford & Naslund starting chatting with me and my Dad. It was if I he had known me for many years. He talked to me as if I was a friend and not a stranger. We talked about the upcoming season and how they felt like they had a great team assembled and were going to make big strides that season. It was just nice feeling appreciated from him and Crawford. Some players don't seem to appreciate the fans but Naslund certainly wasn't one of them. He was one of the nicest hockey guys I've ever met! Was really sad to see him go a few years back but he will always be a Canuck!
Cody Lawson: I was 15 years old and just received a bonemarrow transplant at BC Childrens Hospital. The canucks came through at Christmas time for there annual visit. Naslund asked me how I was doing and chatted with me for a minute. He signed my hat, my jersey and gave me a signed hockey card. He was my favorite hockey player at the time and it made being in the hospital just a little bit easier.
Josh DiPomponio: I used to work at urban fare in Yale town. He would come in everyday with big Bert and buy 2 of the BBQ chickens. He is an incredable person and we shared a lot of on going jokes while I worked there. He always remembered my name and always had time to say hi amd talk about recent experiences on the road trips. Naslund is awesome!
Mithcell Holdsworth: Met the team bus in Dallas at the hotel before practice of the day of the game. Naslund had came down to shake all of our hands and get right down to our level being kids at the time and took the time to make us feel special.