Tom Hogman thought he was just extending a fin, from one orca to another, when he and his daughter decided to present the Vancouver Canucks with a Prince Rupert Minor Hockey jersey a couple weeks ago.
Instead, Hogman received a meeting with FIN himself and brought a signed, Henrik Sedin jersey to back to the Prince Rupert Minor Hockey Association (PRMHA).
“My brother got me tickets to the Canucks/Buffalo game on March 23 and at the last executive meeting I asked if I could take an old rep jersey down and give it to FIN,” said Hogman.
“Our logo is a killer whale, and he’s a killer whale. It sounded like a good idea.”
Hogman was in the Lower Mainland watching his daughter play with midget Williams Lake Timberwolves at the Richmond Ice Classic tournament when they made the pit-stop at the game.
Fin accepted the jersey then posted the picture on the mascot’s Twitter account and, just like that, Prince Rupert Minor Hockey was in the spotlight as Sedin celebrated his 1,000th game.
“We in turn gave that (signed) jersey to Prince Rupert Minor Hockey,” said Chris Brumwell, the Canucks’ vice president of communications and community partnerships.
“At the Canucks organization, one of the strongest connection points to the community is through grassroots hockey … one of the areas is skills and development and another is that we do our best to help minor hockey teams in different situations with memorabilia they can help raise money for their own teams. So it was fun to be able to surprise the team and hopefully they can raise some money.”
PRMHA doesn’t have a lot of opportunity to promote its association outside of Prince Rupert, Hogman said, so it was a prime opportunity to get the name out there.
“Very rarely,” said Hogman of the number of times similar initiatives have been undertaken.
“I’ve never seen them do anything like that.”
As for the picture on FIN’s Twitter account, it received five retweets and 15 favourites, as well as an entry in FIN’s legacy of pictures of philanthropic deeds.
“The ability to connect digitally with fans not only here in Vancouver but across the province, is extremely valuable and shows what can happen when people can connect online,” said Brumwell.