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Gino Odjick remembered at private memorial service

"He will always be our Chief."

The late Gino Odjick was honoured at a private memorial service held by the Musqueam Nation on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2023.

Friends and family gathered in the Musqueam community centre to remember the former Vancouver Canucks enforcer, with many speaking about "The Chief" and his impact on them, their communities, and the country.

Former teammates Dave Babych and Geoff Courtnall got up together and regaled tales of their time spent with the man, and of his humour, loyalty, and work ethic.

Babych told the roughly 400 people in attendance that Odjick was “the perfect teammate,” who “always loved coming to the rink."

Courtnall ended by saying that “Gino will always be our Chief,” which was his nickname among his teammates.

Mayor Ken Sim's speech started with the admission that he had never met the man, but spoke of his impact from "the perspective of a fan."

The crowd also heard from many of Odjick's family and close friends, enjoyed a song played by Aaron Pritchett, as well as one performed by members of the neighbouring Squamish Nation.

Many Canucks alumni were in attendance and toward the end of the ceremony gifted a signed jersey to Odjick's children.

As is their tradition, the Musqueam then held a feast, and afterward were given to the grieving family by numerous individuals, facilitated by Chief Wayne Sparrow and Councillor Howard E. Grant, along with witnesses.

Gino was a role model for kids and adults all across the country, and was recently featured on the front page of our newspaper with the headline "GINO! GINO! GINO!"

It was a common chant heard during his time on the ice for our team, and was uttered by the crowd at one point during his memorial after his sister, Janique, encouraged it.