You know what’s more fun than watching the Vancouver Canucks play hockey right now? Watching the team’s rookies undergo a little bit fun hazing at the Canucks For Kids Fund (CFKF) Dice & Ice event.
The rookie performance is an annual tradition. We have seen everything from sing-a-long led by Sarah McLaughlin to an “act-off” to the always classic dance-off.
This year’s batch of Canucks newbies may have delivered the greatest performance yet in a LIP SYNC BATTLE.
First up, Jake Virtanen.
Did you know Virtanen’s nickname is “Big Country”? Neither did we; however, it led to his song choice of “Chattahoochee” by Alan Jackson. His love of country music and roots in British Columbia – as well as shameless pandering to the crowd – inspired his dress.
Unable to navigate the buttons of his dress shirt in a timely manner (0:40), Virtanen rips off the top, Hulk Hogan-style, and reveals a Bryant Reeves Vancouver Grizzlies jersey. The team relocated to Memphis in 2001 when the forward was almost five years old. He clearly hasn’t gotten over the loss.
Virtanen reminds us of almost all fathers and uncles dancing at a wedding after one too many glasses of champagne. This is further compounded by the fact he keeps his jersey tucked into his dress pants despite his best efforts not to, and his adorable attempt to get the crowd to join in by clapping feverishly offbeat (1:00).
The rookie faced a fearsome panel of judges after his performance: Ryan Miller, Jannik Hansen, and Alex Burrows.
Hansen and Burrows scored Virtanen as an 8. Miller, shown below looking like a classic mime who forgot his white face paint, gave the rookie a 9.
Next up, Jared McCann (2:12).
At first it looked like McCann elected to wear a classic Saturday Night Fever outfit. Then it was apparent: No one told the rookie Brian Burke has not worked for the team in over a decade. Draping the tie around his neck will not get the 19-year-old more ice time.
Wardrobe aside, McCann was clearly going for the heartthrob vote with “I Want It That Way” by the Backstreet Boys. The song came out in 1999 when McCann was three-years-old, and as Jannik Hansen will later reveal, one of the contestants had no idea who the Backstreet Boys were.
He starts strong with a wink for the ladies in the audience (2:19). The look says, “I’ll buy you a drink as long as we’re in Canada where it’s legal for me to buy liquor. Two Smirnoff Ices on the McCann-man.”
McCann proceeded dance around (2:40) like no one was watching, and fortunately for us, it was all captured on film.
He took time to give a special performance to one judge in particular, Ryan Miller. McCann serenaded his goaltender (2:45) before ham handedly running his palm over the hair and down the face of Miller.
The bar set by Virtanen was, in the judges minds, an exemplary performance; one that would be difficult for McCann to overcome.
Once again, Hansen and Burrows colluded to give the rookie matching 5s. As for the recipient of the serenade, Ryan Miller, he scored the performance a 7. Miller wished electrocution upon himself over enduring the petting. Ouch.
Ben Hutton was the next victim (3:52).
The adorkable defenseman could not hide his excitement as his tongue wagged through the introduction. (It must be a Canucks thing. Look at McCann in the background.)
When the music started, space and time slipped away. It was only Ben Hutton and the tune “Barbie Girl” by Aqua.
He sang both male and female vocals. Hutton added a subtle nuance where he leaned in and rounded his shoulders when conveying the female part; only to switch and lean back when the audience got comfortable.
Dedicated fully to the song, Hutton pantomimed the lyrics “You can brush my hair” and “Undress me anywhere” (4:36) as he sang along.
And strutted to the beat as he danced across the stage. Just look at the concentration as he confidently dances his way across the stage (4:58).
Clearly overwhelmed by Hutton’s artistry, the judges bestowed 9s across the board.
It was going to be difficult for the last and final contest… WHAT IS PATRICK KANE DOING THERE?
Oh wait. That’s Sven Baertschi, not Kane in a fake mustache and sunglasses.
With an outfit like that, one would expect some hip hop. Maybe a little Wu Tang? We’ll even hazard a guess and go with Macklemore.
WRONG. It was “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell (5:50).
While we applaud Baerstchi for giving it his all, including the slo-motion version of “The Carlton” (6:30) he does below, there was just no way he was going to be able to follow up Ben Hutton’s performance.
Miller and Hansen concurred, giving Baerstchi both 6s. Burrows, feeling generous, bestowed an 8 on the kid. Like Cam Newton after the Super Bowl, Baerstchi exited the stage when he didn’t get what he wanted (7:11).
Thank you, Canucks, for this video which no one on the Internet will ever forget.
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