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July 29, 2010

Tom Larscheid leaving the Canucks booth after 30 years

I say this with a bit of a tear in the eye, as a Vancouver Canucks fan for the last 12 years. After the first game of this upcoming season (the team's 40th anniversary), Tom Larscheid will be hanging up the radio microphone as colour analyst for the team.

In these modern times when most hockey games are available on TV, I don't listen to them on the radio much any more. However, when I do, I will greatly miss hearing Larscheid's passionate voice analyzing the play of our favourite team.

Yes, he is a "homer" (for those not into the lingo, that means that he's very obviously rooting for his team), but he was much more than that.

Yes, he rooted for the Canucks. He got overly excited about an excellent Luongo save or a great Daniel Sedin goal. But he was a hockey fan too. He obviously didn't get excited about somebody on the other team scoring a goal against us, but he did admire the beauty of it, or the tenacity of the goal-scorer if it was a scrum. And he wasn't afraid to tell it like it was if one of the Canucks fucked up to cause the goal.

"Lets face facts Jan Bulis is just a dumb hockey player." You can say what you will about whether he should actually be insulting a player, but I use this mainly to illustrate that he wasn't beholden to the team, and was willing to speak his mind about them.

"That was just AWFUL!" he shouted one time after a truly poor defensive play resulted in a goal. Unlike many homers, he wasn't afraid to rip into the team if they were playing poorly. "That's just unacceptable at the NHL level." While he did comment if the referees were horrible, he would comment if it was for the Canucks as well as if it was against them. And unlike some homers where every call against their team is a horrible call while every call against the other team is perfectly acceptable, he wasn't afraid to just say "that was a stupid penalty to can't do that at this point in the game."

The best thing you can say about him was that he was entertaining. When you can't see what's going on and are relying on the announcers to tell you what's happening, being entertaining is very important. Being knowledgeable is too, and he was that. But if you're not entertaining on the radio, then people are going to tune you out no matter how much you know what you're talking about.

Larscheid was hilarious when he got excited. After a particularly awesome save by Luongo, he shouted "That was highway robbery. Call the coppers!"

Of course, as we are all wont to do when we're doing live radio/audio/whatever, he put his foot in his mouth a few times. One of his most famous ones involved Pavel Bure back in the 90s, when Bure went off the ice for an injury reason. "I just came from the Canucks dressing room and Pavel's groin has never felt better." Or when the team was sucking and Bure was pretty much the only player that was doing anything. "Bure is such a great talent, if only he could play with himself out there, it will really give the fans a show"

We will miss you, Tommy. Enjoy your retirement, and here's to many long, happy years in which you can do so.


  1. Tom Larscheid was the perfect example of an unprofessional commentator. His career would have never lasted as long as his did in any city that conducts itself with integrity and impartiality...he sucked....good riddance


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