All of us at The Canuck Way are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Vancouver Canucks reporter Jason Botchford. We would like to take a moment to honour him for the great man that he was.
He changed the way that fans gathered information about the Vancouver Canucks. He asked the tough questions that were on everyone’s minds, that others may be too shy to ask. He turned the Canucks fanbase into a digital community, and most importantly he broke the barrier between media members and fans.
I’ll never forget the first time I read the Provies. It was a newfound experience for me, with its good mix of analyzing the game, humour, and inside jokes that made readers feel like family. Although I obviously didn’t agree with everything he put out, Jason Botchford is a man whose work should not be forgotten anytime soon.
Canucks fans, players, and fellow media members took to Twitter to offer their condolences to the Botchford family — his wife Kathryn, and their three young children.
Botchford had a relationship with the players that not many members in the media have, and his writing and work on the radio and 1040PatCast truly do belong in the BC Sports Hall of Fame. He is someone I personally looked to for guidance when I was just getting started with covering the Canucks. As Wyatt Arndt said in this Twitter thread, Botchford was gracious to almost every single blogger that ever sent him a tweet or DM on Twitter.
The thing that made Botchford so special in my opinion was his ability to make his readers feel like family. If you read his work you felt like you were having a conversation with him about the team, not that you were simply being fed information. That’s why so many people are mourning the loss of such a great writer — they feel as though they’ve lost a family member.
The truth is, we have lost a family member. We’ve lost a huge member of the Canucks fanbase — probably the most important member of it, too. That’s what makes this so hard for so many of us, especially those of us that had any sort of encounter or interaction with him.
Here is the statement from the Botchford family, courtesy of The Athletic. Obviously, this is an extremely hard time for them — far more than it is for the rest of us. My thoughts are with the Botchford family and those who were closest to him.
Now I would like to allow my fellow Canuck Way editorial staff members to add their thoughts and feelings on Botchford’s passing.