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Bargain bonanza

Wednesday, 04.06.2014 / 1:48 PM / Features
By Wyatt Arndt
Every year the Canucks hold their annual equipment and apparel sale at Rogers Arena, where for one day only, blowout prices are the norm.

Items range from player gear such as skates and hockey pants, to random clothing like that Raphael Diaz jersey you always wanted to pick up, but were just waiting for the right sale price.

With that in mind, there are several things you should know before heading into a Canucks equipment sale. If you follow these simple tips and tricks, you'll guarantee yourself a successful hockey-shopping trip on Saturday.

Wear good running shoes

"Oh Wyatt, you're always such a trickster" you might be chuckling to yourself right now. Well, first off, it hurts that you're laughing at me. Secondly, I am dead serious about this one.

One of the best parts of the equipment sale, from an observer's point of view, is watching the gates open and seeing people spill inside. At first, people are cordial. They tip their hats to each other, they say 'Hello, good morning,’ to each other. But then someone starts to walk a little faster than the others. Then a few more people start to walk faster than that person. Then before you know it, it's like the running of the bulls in Rogers Arena, with people making a mad dash sprint for the stick section (the Holy Grail of the equipment sale to many people). It's like a zombie apocalypse except instead of brains, people want sticks.

What it boils down to: you're going to want shoes with a good grip on them. You never know when your eyes might lock on that prized pair of used Eddie Lack goalie pads at the same time as someone else does. Being able to pivot quickly on your feet might be just the edge you need to get what you want at the sale.

Getting player gear is a great gift

Whether buying for yourself or buying for someone else, picking up a player used piece of equipment is always a nice treat. There is just something cool about playing rec league hockey and scoring a goal with a Kevin Bieksa stick, or wearing Ryan Kesler skates to blow by a defenceman. Aside from the cool factor, there is also the fact you're buying pro quality gear. For instance, pro shoulder pads have high-density foam and extra padding and plastic sewn into them, which will allow you to block shots fearlessly in your rec league, making you look extra hardcore.

You can then laugh to your friends and exclaim "it must be the gloves" all the while secretly knowing it was your immense hidden talent that allowed you to score, the hidden talent that scouts will one day notice and fast track you into the NHL, even though you're already over 30 and have never played a pro game in your life, but that shouldn't matter, that shouldn't stop true talent…where was I again?

The stick sale

One of the best parts of the stick sale is not simply getting the chance to buy your favorite player's game used stick, sometimes it's just fun to see what random sticks you do find. I don't know if the Canucks keep every single stick they've ever created, but a couple of years ago I found a Drake Berehowsky stick for sale. Yes, Drake Berehowsky, he of the 39 games played for Vancouver back at the turn of the century. I don't know why that stick was there, but there it was.

Other odd things you will find can be sticks from people not even on the team. One year there was a Shane Doan stick for sale. How did that get there? Are they selling it on Shane Doan's behalf? Is Shane Doan using the Canucks as an eBay of sorts? Can the Canucks sell my old IKEA pull out sofa bed for me if that's the case? I have questions that need answering…

You can luck out big time

Another great part of the sale is that the Canucks will put out cheap jerseys for sale. Sometimes they have training camp jerseys from players who have long since moved on (one year there was a sweet Fedor Fedorov jersey for sale). Sometimes they have custom made jerseys that were ordered by somebody but were never picked up, so now they are selling it off at a low low price. I myself found this Green jersey last year.

My name is not Green, nor is do I wear No. 81, but it was on sale for $40. Sure, people will wonder why I own this jersey, but what if one day I become best friends with somebody with a last name of "Green"? I just locked down his Christmas present early.

It's not just a sale

While being able to buy gear and merchandise at great prices is obviously the biggest draw of this event, the Canucks have now turned it into a family friendly affair. They will be offering hourly giveaways, there will be face painters on hand, and Canucks alumni will even be there to sign autographs. The best part, though, is the kids floor ball tournament they are putting on. Mostly because it's good to have any kind of hockey being played at Rogers Arena in June again.