There was no way Gino Odjick was going down without a fight. That was true when he played for the Vancouver Canucks and when he fought a rare disease for almost a decade.
Odjick was told in 2014 that he had cardiac amyloidosis. It is a rare heart disease that was thought to be fatal. At the time, doctors said he had only months to live. He lived for another nine years and did well. The story of the Canucks is over. Dina Odjick wrote about it on her Facebook page, and the Canucks soon confirmed it.
“Gino was a fan-favourite from the moment he joined the organisation, putting his heart and soul into every shift on and off the ice,” said Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini in a statement. “He inspired many and embodied what it means to be a Canuck. Personally, he was a close friend and confidant, someone I could lean on for advice and support. He will be deeply missed.”
“I heard I scored right after he (Gino Odjick) passed. I think that is pretty powerful. It was meant to be, maybe he was there for me on that shot.”
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) January 16, 2023
Odjick was a big enforcer who could also handle the puck better than most enforcers at the time. He was an important part of the Canucks in the 1990s. That made him a regular on the line with Pavel Bure, and he and Bure became friends quickly.
“He was a very special individual,” said Stan Smyl, who both played with and coached Odjick. “On the ice, he did what he had to do, but off the ice he was one of the most kindest human beings that I have met and played with.”
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Odjick was chosen in the fifth round in 1990 and made the Canucks the next year. He played for Vancouver for eight seasons before being traded to the New York Islanders as part of Mike Keenan’s plan to break up the team.
Odjick played for the Islanders, the Philadelphia Flyers, and the Montreal Canadiens for four more years in the NHL before he retired. Odjick went back to his home, which had become Vancouver.
Former NHL player, Gino Odjick has passed away at the age of 52. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/VDlvgtbihr
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) January 16, 2023
Up until this season, he could often be found in the Alumni Suite at Canucks games, cheering on his favorite team and enjoying the “Gino! Gino! Gino!” chants that would start whenever he was shown on the scoreboard screen. Odjick will always be a legend in Vancouver because he was one of the most popular players in Canucks history. RIP.
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