“Hey man, any chance you could send me an old Halloween photo from when you were young?”
That’s the text message I sent to a few Canucks last week, hoping to fill the Canucks social feeds with adorable or awkward Halloween photos on October 31st.
Sven Baertschi texted back six spooky words: “Never dressed up as a kid.”
Go back two weeks ago and I asked Baertschi if he had any friends in LA coming to the game against the Kings on our first road trip of the year. He said he knows Todd Gurley, stud running back for the LA Rams, and he’d be at the game.
He was pulling my leg about that, about his Halloween background he was not.
“I never dressed up as a kid,” he said, grinning. “Seriously. Halloween wasn’t a big thing for us; there were carnivals and stuff people dressed up for, but there was no trick-or-treating. I don’t know, maybe some people did it, but not me.”
I wanted to hug Sven on the spot and tell him everything would be okay.
No Halloween? No trick-or-treating? No candy? No oversized white bed sheet with eye-holes? No cowboys? No spaceman? No Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? No superheroes at all?
Baertschi explained Halloween simply wasn’t a part of growing up in Bern, Switzerland.
“When I moved to Canada, that’s when I started dressing up, but I was too old to go out for candy. I was 18 the first time I dressed up.”
Ben Hutton, usually filled with laughter and joy, could barely contain his shock and sadness upon hearing of Baertschi’s Halloween inexperience.
“It’s one of the best days of the year,” smiled Hutton. “I have a lot of solid memories from being out with my buddies, getting all dressed up for school and then we’d head out and just kill it getting to much candy. Pillowcase after pillowcase.
“I remember one year there was a contest at my school and I went as some kind of car and the costume had working lights and everything! It was great. I got second place.”
It took Baertschi a while, but he now understands Halloween’s appeal. He’s one of the best dressed at the Canucks annual Halloween party and he slayed again this year dressed as Sven from Frozen, while bringing Olaf along for the ride. His girlfriend Laura was elegant as ever as Elsa.
It hurts having missed out on roughly 14 years of costumes and candy, but the only thing Baertschi can do now is let it go, let it go, this can’t hold him back anymore.
Happy Halloween to all the little ghosts and ghouls, especially my BB8 back home!
We have arrived in Montreal safe and sound with a Tuesday practice on the horizon.
Thanks for reading, I can’t tell you how happy I am to be firing up Fort Nucks for another season of adventures on the road!