All eyes were on the ice at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre in Victoria Friday as the Vancouver Canucks took the ice for day one of training camp.

The last time the Canucks held their training camp in Greater Victoria was in 2007 when big names like Trevor Linden, Roberto Luongo, and the Sedins came to town.

Since then if you wanted to see the Canucks you had to travel to Vancouver.

“I had season tickets for 10 years in Vancouver and really good seats and I live here in Victoria so I used to make the trip over to most of the games,” said Victoria superfan Frank Bourke.

But finally, they’re back on Vancouver Island and joining them this time is hometown favourite, Jordie Benn.

“Just seeing them here in Victoria is a huge dream come true honestly,” said one fan who remained anonymous.

And you may get a chance to see them even if you don’t make it to the rink

“Probably explore and look around the city, cause I hear it’s really nice here,” said Canucks superstar forward Elias Pettersson.

And having Canucks roaming your city can only be a good thing for tourism.

“All of their players that are here, the hotel nights that we get out of that, spilling over into the restaurants, that’s great stuff, and maybe the best thing of all is the visibility,” said Keith Wells, Executive Director of the Greater Victoria Sport Tourism Commission.

Especially when the Canucks take on the Calgary Flames before a sold-out crowd Monday night.

“This game on Monday is going to be broadcast on Sportsnet One and Sportsnet Pacific across the country and the interstitial kind of beauty shots of Victoria that come with that, that’s all really good for raising our visibility,” Wells said.


April Lawrence