There are plenty of Vancouver Canucks fans around Aldergrove, but few are easier to spot than Ed Zezchuk.
Zezchuk, a trades inspector with the District of Maple Ridge who makes his home in town, has turned his van into a tribute to the team.
“It’s all painted in Canucks colours,” he said. “I’ve got ‘Go Canucks Go’ on it.”
That took plenty of effort on its own, but it was only the beginning.
“I put two giant hockey sticks on it,” Zezchuk said. “I just started with the sticks and everyone liked them. They’re actually fiberglass sticks, the blades and everything. I got the butt ends on the sticks and I taped them up.”
That part of the project was completed before the playoffs, but the reaction it drew inspired Zezchuk to keep adding to the van.
“It’s been awesome,” he said. “Everyone’s been kind of egging me on, so it kept growing.”
The next part of the van features more logos, as well as a couple of elaborate decorative pucks.
“I’ve got these little twirly things I painted up with the Canucks’ colours and logos, and then I built two giant hockey pucks,” Zezchuk said. “They’re about 30 inches high, right on the front. They’re lighted in the centre, so they’re all black but then they have a centre you can turn on and they actually light up.”
The centrepiece is a uniquely Canuck touch.
“In the middle, I’ve got a giant Stanley Cup that I made,” Zezchuk said.
“Behind that, I made a special little apparatus. Basically, I got a little 19-inch Johnny Canuck that I ordered, and then I mounted a piece of eight-by-20 aluminum on a spring system. It springs, so it’s kind of like he’s chasing the Cup.”
The van’s seen modifications throughout the playoffs to reflect Vancouver’s ongoing success as well.
Besides the Canucks logo, he has added the logos for Chicago, Nashville, San Jose and Boston, with X’s through the teams Vancouver has eliminated.
It’s been a labour of love for Zezchuk, but a time-consuming one.
“I’ve put about 48 hours into it,” he said. “I kept adding on and now it’s gotten pretty full.”
The van modifications have been expensive, too, but Zezchuk’s made an effort to use recycled supplies whenever possible.
“Moneywise, I’ve got about $70 just in bolts, because I have to bolt everything down. I’ve spent probably about $400,” he said. “I use a lot of recycled materials, because I’m a building inspector but I also have my own plumbing company, so for a lot of it, I use pipe and that. I was able to scrap some stuff off people who kind of helped me out.”
Zezchuk said the idea just came to him shortly before the playoffs.
“I just felt like I wanted to do it,” he said. “It’s weird; I’ve got my own woodworking
shop and that and I just felt like ‘I can do this!’
He’d initially planned to only do a few modifications, but the response encouraged him to continue.
“Everybody liked it, so I just kind of kept going,” he said.
For Zezchuk, this is just the latest act in a lifetime of supporting the Canucks, though.
“I’ve been following the Canucks for so many years, for 40 years, ever since I was a kid,” he said.
He said this season proved the ideal time to create this van, though, given the Canucks’ regular-season success and playoff run thus far.
“That’s why I started this year, I had a really good feeling,” Zezchuk said.