British Columbia

From 'bummer' to 'despair': Vancouver Canucks fans describe pain of a season already gone south

Hometown booster Ryan Reynolds weighs in on the team's seven-game losing streak while a Vancouver nightclub offers the Canucks free drinks but only when they finally win.

Canucks 7 straight losses is the worst start in franchise history

Vancouver's Penthouse Nightclub marquee is known for its cheeky messages, including this one about the Canucks winless streak. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

How bleak is it in winless Canuckland?

So bleak fans have invoked the Liz Truss/head of lettuce proposition, as in what happens first: the Canucks win a game or a (theoretical) head of lettuce goes bad? (Hint, most are picking the lettuce.)

Vancouver's hockey team is making history, and not the good kind. With seven straight losses to kick off the 2022-23 season, the record for worst franchise start stretches ever longer. 

And the way they've been losing has the fan misery meter dialled to 11, what with the coughing up leads and being outscored by a margin of 15 to 2 in third periods. 

Even perpetually positive hometown booster @VancityReynolds — a.k.a. actor and Welsh soccer club co-owner Ryan Reynolds — has weighed in on the sad state of affairs, stating on Twitter "...bummer?"


For the long suffering, "bummer," hardly captures it. Take writer/broadcaster Steve Burgess, devoted to the Canucks for over 30 years, survivor of two Stanley Cup near misses, now, in his words, "living in sports hell."

'Connoisseur of despair'

"You become a connoisseur of despair when you're a Canucks fan," said Burgess.

Vancouver Canucks head coach Bruce Boudreau looks on as his team loses its seventh straight game to the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday. Vancouver is the only NHL team that has yet to win a game in the 2022-23 season. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

"I mean, what's worse, oh-and-seven to start a season? Or being within one game of the Stanley Cup championship ... and you have the best team in the league and you lose and the fans riot. That's the despair that comes with success. [Oh-and-seven] is the despair that comes with abject failure."

While some have expressed their displeasure with jeers and thrown jerseys, the Penthouse Nightclub in downtown Vancouver is taking a different route, offering the team an incentive for its first win.

On Monday, after Carolina handed the Canucks loss number seven, Penthouse staff hauled out the ladder to change the club's notoriously cheeky marquee to read, "Canucks drink free (after you win 1!)"

Owner Danny Fillapone, a self-described "huge Canucks fan," said he fully intends to honour the offer and will keep the sign up until it happens.

"We haven't given up hope, but we figure we'll at least try and motivate them, you know," he said. "I'm not too sure they're going to be happy with our sign, but ... If they win a game, they are welcome to come in and go at 'er at our bar."

The Canucks next play Thursday in Seattle versus the Kraken and then Friday hosting the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Vancouver is the only club in the 32-team NHL without a win.


Karin Larsen


Karin Larsen is a former Olympian and award winning sports broadcaster who covers news and sports for CBC Vancouver.