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Canucks Alumni History

Despite the fact that Vancouver Canucks didn’t enter the NHL until 1970, the Alumni group was conceived in 1952 by the Canucks of the Western Hockey League. That’s right; it’s 57 years old this season! It was started by Hall of Famers Babe Pratt and Cyclone Taylor, who organized a benefit game for a local amateur player whose wife had become seriously ill. This eventually grew into the BC Hockey Benevolent Association (BCHBA) - a registered non-profit society - which was designed to assist former players and their families who had fallen on hard times. The scope of the BCHBA has broadened considerably over the years.

What They're About

The alumni interacts with the NHL Canucks in most of the team's charitable and community fundraisers and operates a schedule of its own benefit hockey games and golf tournaments throughout the Lower Mainland and beyond.

Alumni President

Gerry "Driller" Sillers was born and raised in Saskatoon where he played junior for the Blades with his longtime buddy Bobby Schmautz. He moved west to attend Simon Fraser University and turned pro with the Western League Canucks in 1968-69.

He played four seasons with their NHL affiliate, the Rochester Americans of the AHL, a team for which the flamboyant Don Cherry both played and coached. He also played briefly with Portland of the WHL.

Following his playing career, he became an enthusiastic member of the Canucks alumni organization and in 1989, became its president, a post he still holds.

The Canuck Alumni Today

The Canuck Alumni is a group of dedicated hockey people living mostly in the Lower Mainland that now numbers well over 100!  It’s a unique organization, in that all former pros and some amateurs who never made it to the professional ranks are welcomed; not just ex-Canucks. The Canuck Alumni count Bill Ranford, Gary Nylund and Mark Lofthouse as card-carrying members, even though none of them ever played for Vancouver. With this wealth of talent and dedication at its disposal, the Canuck Alumni has the luxury of being able to ice not just one, but as many as two teams at any given time. This, in part, is a tribute to the city of Vancouver being such a desirable Canadian retirement destination and such a hot-bed of hockey interest. In its more-than-five decades of existence, The Canuck Alumni has expanded into a much larger body which, over time, has become a part of the Vancouver sports and community fabric.  Through its benefit hockey games, golf tournaments and a variety of other fundraisers, the Alumni has raised well over $2 million for charity!