Vancouver hockey writer and broadcaster Jason Botchford dead at 48

Jason Botchford, a popular hockey writer and broadcaster covering the Vancouver Canucks, has died of apparent heart failure, according to his family.

Botchford was 48.

Below: Statement from the family of Jason Botchford

“Jason Botchford’s family is sad to announce that Jason has died of apparent heart failure. Jason was a highly respected hockey journalist, prominent in the Vancouver area and across Canada for his coverage of the Vancouver Canucks and the National Hockey League for The Athletic Vancouver and for TSN radio and television.

“Jason, 48, grew up in Aurora, Ontario. After completing his studies at Western University in London, Ontario, he graduated from the advanced journalism program at Centennial College in Toronto. He began his journalism career as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, then moved to Vancouver to take a news reporting job at the Vancouver Province. Soon after he started at the Province, he moved into sports to cover the Canucks and NHL.

“Last fall, Jason joined The Athletic Vancouver as its senior hockey writer. He developed a huge following with his lively, often playful writing style, edgy commentary and plugged-in reportage. He appeared regularly on Vancouver radio station TSN 1040 and on TSN’s parent network, particularly its popular That’s Hockey segment. And he was dynamic presence on social media, attracting more than 59,000 Twitter followers.

“A loving father and husband, Jason is survived by his wife, Kathryn; their children, Sienna, Keira and Hudson; his brother, Derek Botchford, sister-in-law Andrea Soto and nephews Nolan and Miles; and his stepfather, John Lott. He was predeceased by his mother, Nancy Lott, in 2016, and his father, Henry Botchford, in 2018.

“The family is heartbroken at his unexpected passing. We will be making no further statements and ask that our privacy be respected. Arrangements for a memorial service are incomplete.”

Full statement: Professional Hockey Writer’s Association

“It is with a profound sadness that members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association (PHWA) say goodbye to one of our own, Jason Botchford, and send our heartfelt condolences to the Botchford family.

“If there is an enduring quality of Jason’s, it is his sheer combativeness, a hallmark of so many upper echelon journalists. Jason was a bulldog who was never afraid to break a few eggs in making his omelette, and in his innovative, signature work — The Provies, followed later by The Athletties — Jason earned his huge and loyal following by refusing to bow to convention while telling Vancouver Canucks readers what was right or wrong about their team.

“Jason was a long-time Chapter Chair for the PHWA in Vancouver, and an example of how to thrive in today’s ever-changing landscape in hockey journalism. His brand was absolutely unique, he was imbedded in his market, and no matter how far and wide you travelled, you never met or read another writer and thought, “Hey, that guy is a lot like Jason Botchford.”

“There was only one Jason, and if he wasn’t your cup of tea, that wasn’t his concern. He was true to himself, his employers — The Toronto Sun, The Vancouver Province, The Athletic, CKNW and TSN — and perhaps most importantly, his readers and listeners, whose loyalty was returned 10-fold.

“Few of us have engaged a readership as passionate as the following ‘Botch’ had West of the Rockies.

“Today, our hearts are with those readers, our fellow PHWA Members, and the Botchford family, as we say goodbye to Jason.”

Since the news broke Wednesday, condolences have been pouring in on Twitter from Botchford’s friends and colleagues:

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