The Vancouver Canucks honoured broadcaster John Shorthouse Saturday night, celebrating his 25th anniversary calling the team’s games.
The tribute took place during the first period of Vancouver’s home opener against the Buffalo Sabres, when the Canucks played a video on the jumbotron and served Shorthouse cake in the broadcast booth.
The 52-year-old Vancouver native began his broadcasting career in 1993 with CKVU-TV, a local station, and he has said it was always his dream to follow in the footsteps of Hall of Fame broadcaster Jim Robson and call games for his city’s NHL team.
“I’m a Vancouver boy, I grew up in Kerrisdale, Canuck fan probably since about the age of 5, I was born in 1970,” Shorthouse said on the 32 Thoughts Podcast in December.
“It was tough being a Canucks fan, 19 of their first 21 seasons they were below .500. … In my estimation, the best part of the team growing up was Jim Robson, who I thought was the best play-by-play man on the planet.
“I decided early on, I wanted to be Jim Robson. People say, ‘I want to do play-by-play or be a sportscaster.’ No, I wanted to be the play-by-play voice for the Vancouver Canucks.”
While working for CKVU, “Shorty” became a Canucks reporter and eventually had his first chance to call a game as a fill-in during the 1997-98 season, a matchup against the New York Islanders that featured the returns of Vancouver fan favourites Trevor Linden and Gino Odjick for the first time.
The following season, Shorthouse joined Rogers Sportsnet before becoming the network’s lead play-by-play commentator for Canucks games on television in 2008.
In his 25 years calling Canucks games, Shorthouse has primarily worked with two partners in the broadcast booth, Tom Larscheid and John Garrett, who was there alongside Shorthouse to witness the tribute Saturday.