The Vancouver Canucks embark on another journey for Lord Stanley's Cup tonight against the San Jose Sharks, so we decided to sit down with a very special individual: Evan Morgan. Evan is a Green Coat volunteer here at YVR and also the Vancouver Canucks home game telecast statistician. Evan has been up in the broadcast booth since the puck dropped for the very first game in franchise history more than 40 years ago. He's never missed a shift, has worked almost 1100 games and is this month's focus for On Approach, where we talk to people who make a difference at YVR every day.
When did you begin working in the broadcasting booth for Canucks games?
I did some weekend news writing and master control board work at CKWX in Vancouver where Jim Robson was the Sports Director during the 1960s and the voice of the Western Hockey League Vancouver Canucks. One evening in September 1970, I received a phone call at home from Jim asking if I would like to do the game statistics on the Hockey Night in Canada telecasts out of Vancouver. It took me less than half a second to respond with a resounding yes! Having grown up listening to Hockey Night in Canada on the radio, then television, it was a thrill of a lifetime for a young hockey fan like myself. The work expanded from there – working for BCTV when they started mid-week telecasts of Canucks games, along with some visiting broadcast crews leading up to the current situation where I work for Sportsnet Pacific telecasts.
(Note: The first game in franchise history was played on October 9, 1970 vs. the Los Angeles Kings. The Kings won, 3-1)
What’s the biggest difference between the game then and now?
The size, speed and condition of the players. A lot of the players used to smoke! And they wouldn’t work out in the offseason. They now tend to stay in condition, year round. They're just bigger, faster and stronger.
Can you explain a bit more about what you do for the Canucks telecasts?
I keep track of all the basic game statistics for the graphics that show up on viewers TV screens – goals, assists, penalties and the infraction, power plays, power play shots, period shots on goal, scoring chances, faceoffs won. Then I relay the information via headset to my son (Todd Morgan, Graphics Coordinator) in the production truck. Then it's entered electronically so the people at home watching on TV can see it on their television screens.
How do you determine who won or lost the faceoff? There's a gray area there, no?
Well, if you get it and draw it back, and you win the draw, but lose possession, you've won the faceoff. So it's possible to to win the draw but lose possession of the puck
How do you keep track of everything that’s going on during the game?
I use various charts to track the information that I gather during the game. (see left)
You have had a front row seat for about 40 years, what’s your favourite memory of the Canucks that you’ve seen from the booth? Any other special memories?
My favourite Canucks memory from the booth is Game 6 of the 1994 Stanley Cup Final, which the Canucks won to force a 7th and deciding game against the New York Rangers, in New York. It was also an honour to be able to work with Foster Hewitt. I grew up listening to Foster as a kid in the 50s then later he was on TV. I had a chance to work with him for one game, and at the time he had no colour commentator so it was just me and Foster. He's a broadcast icon, the original voice of hockey in Canada, so it was a real honour to work with him.
Who is your favourite all-time Vancouver Canuck?
Pavel Bure. I believe he has been the most exciting player to ever wear a Canucks uniform. He brought a lot of excitement to the Vancouver hockey fans. I hope they retire his number.
How do you think they’ll do this season?
I believe that the Canucks could make the second or third round in the playoffs if they stay healthy and their best players play up to their capabilities. I'd love to see them go all the way, and they can get past San Jose, but teams like Chicago and Anaheim are formidable opponents. Of course I'm hopng they go all the way though.
When did you start working at the airport as a Green Coat?
My wife and I both started working in the Green Coat program in March, 2009.
What do you like about being a volunteer at the airport?
Acting as an ambassador for YVR by assisting passengers to help make their travel experience pleasant.
Your wife is a Green Coat also and your son also works the Canucks games with you. Is it extra special working alongside your family?
It is very special to me, working as a team, in both cases; passing on pertinent information to YVR passengers and helping to tell the game story to hockey fans watching the games on TV.
We'd like to thank Evan for taking the time out to talk to us and share his experiences. Return to Air Mail home page