Vancouver Canucks reporter Jason Botchford: A tribute to a great man

VANCOUVER, BC MARCH 12: (EDITORS NOTE: This image has been altered at the request of the Vancouver Canucks.) Members of the Vancouver Canucks (L-R) - Front Row - Jacob Markstrom #25, Ian Clark, Goaltending Coach, Manny Malhotra, Assistant Coach, Newell Brown, Assistant Coach, Jonathan Wall, Senior Director, Hockey Operations & Analytics, Chris Gear, Vice President and General Counsel, Trent Carroll, Chief Operating Officer, Francesco Aquilini, Chairman, Jim Benning, General Manager, John Weisbrod, Assistant General Manager, Stan Smyl, Senior Advisor to General Manager and Director Player Development, Travis Green, Head Coach, Nolan Baumgartner, Assistant Coach and Thatcher Demko #35. (L-R) - Second Row - Ben Brown, Director, Media Relations and Team Operations, Dave Zarn, Assistant Athletic Trainer, Jon Sanderson, Head Athletic Trainer, Jay Beagle #83, Elias Pettersson #40, Brock Boeser #6, Loui Eriksson #21, Alexander Edler #23, Christopher Tanev #8, Brandon Sutter #20, Bo Horvat #53, Antoine Roussel #26, Pat ONeill, Equipment Manager, Brian Hamilton, Assistant Equipment Manager, Mac Stewart, Equipment Assistant, Mike Brown, Senior Manager Team Services. (L-R) - Third Row - Darryl Seward, Video Coach, Glenn Carnegie, Skill Coach, Graeme Poole, Rehabilitation Therapist, Alex Biega #55, Markus Granlund #60, Ryan Spooner #15, Ben Hutton #27, Derrick Pouliot #5, Sven Baertschi #47, Troy Stecher #51, Tyler Motte #64, Nick Addey-Jibb, Athletic Trainer, Bryan Marshall, Strength and Development Coach, Roger Takahashi, Strength and Conditioning Coach. (L-R) Fourth Row - Tim Schaller #59, Guillaume Brisebois #56, Nikolay Goldobin #77, Adam Gaudette #88, Jake Virtanen #18, Josh Leivo #17, Tanner Pearson #70, Ashton Sautner #29 and Luke Schenn #2 pose for their official team photo at Rogers Arena on March 12, 2019 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)
VANCOUVER, BC MARCH 12: (EDITORS NOTE: This image has been altered at the request of the Vancouver Canucks.) Members of the Vancouver Canucks (L-R) - Front Row - Jacob Markstrom #25, Ian Clark, Goaltending Coach, Manny Malhotra, Assistant Coach, Newell Brown, Assistant Coach, Jonathan Wall, Senior Director, Hockey Operations & Analytics, Chris Gear, Vice President and General Counsel, Trent Carroll, Chief Operating Officer, Francesco Aquilini, Chairman, Jim Benning, General Manager, John Weisbrod, Assistant General Manager, Stan Smyl, Senior Advisor to General Manager and Director Player Development, Travis Green, Head Coach, Nolan Baumgartner, Assistant Coach and Thatcher Demko #35. (L-R) - Second Row - Ben Brown, Director, Media Relations and Team Operations, Dave Zarn, Assistant Athletic Trainer, Jon Sanderson, Head Athletic Trainer, Jay Beagle #83, Elias Pettersson #40, Brock Boeser #6, Loui Eriksson #21, Alexander Edler #23, Christopher Tanev #8, Brandon Sutter #20, Bo Horvat #53, Antoine Roussel #26, Pat ONeill, Equipment Manager, Brian Hamilton, Assistant Equipment Manager, Mac Stewart, Equipment Assistant, Mike Brown, Senior Manager Team Services. (L-R) - Third Row - Darryl Seward, Video Coach, Glenn Carnegie, Skill Coach, Graeme Poole, Rehabilitation Therapist, Alex Biega #55, Markus Granlund #60, Ryan Spooner #15, Ben Hutton #27, Derrick Pouliot #5, Sven Baertschi #47, Troy Stecher #51, Tyler Motte #64, Nick Addey-Jibb, Athletic Trainer, Bryan Marshall, Strength and Development Coach, Roger Takahashi, Strength and Conditioning Coach. (L-R) Fourth Row - Tim Schaller #59, Guillaume Brisebois #56, Nikolay Goldobin #77, Adam Gaudette #88, Jake Virtanen #18, Josh Leivo #17, Tanner Pearson #70, Ashton Sautner #29 and Luke Schenn #2 pose for their official team photo at Rogers Arena on March 12, 2019 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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VANCOUVER, BC – FEBRUARY 25: Elias Pettersson #40 of the Vancouver Canucks skates up ice during their NHL game against the Anaheim Ducks at Rogers Arena February 25, 2019 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)”n
VANCOUVER, BC – FEBRUARY 25: Elias Pettersson #40 of the Vancouver Canucks skates up ice during their NHL game against the Anaheim Ducks at Rogers Arena February 25, 2019 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)”n /

Alex Hoegler: Site Expert

I still remember reading the Vancouver Province every day during school while I was in Grade 6. That’s when I started reading and following sports journalism, and there was one man who really spoke to me more than anyone else in the industry.

I’ve had the pleasure of reading so many world-class sports writers in my lifetime, but Jason Botchford stood out differently than everybody else. He was never afraid to be creative and humorous in his writing. It’s never easy mixing those two qualities in sports journalism, but “Botch” always made it happen.

How much did Botchford mean to me, even though we never met in person? Any time he liked one of my tweets (usually an attempt to get into the Provies or Athletties), it made my day and made me feel special. That’s how big of a deal Botchford was.

Even when it was midnight and time for bed, I stayed up refreshing the page; waiting for Botchford’s articles to come out late at night. I always game 82, because it meant six more months until we got to read the Provies and Athletties again.

Botchford inspired me to always be true to myself. Always right how you feel; don’t write something just for the sake of pleasing everybody. If you do that, you’re not going to go far. You simply have to write what you feel and think. Simple as that.

It’s impossible to guess where bloggers and other journalists would be today without Botchford. A quick scroll through Twitter, and you’ll find many prominent Vancouver-based writers who detailed how Botchford helped them.

You simply don’t replace Jason Botchford; a caring husband and father. The world lost a great man, and we can only be thankful for everything he did. Botchford will never be forgotten. He leaves behind a legacy that we can only try to achieve ourselves.