John Garrett's history with the Vancouver Canucks dates back to February 4, 1983.
That's when the Canucks traded Anders Eldebrink to the Quebec Nordiques for Garrett when he was a professional goaltender. 40 years later, Garrett's time with the Canucks is coming to a close.
On Thursday night, ahead of the third period of the Canucks' game against the San Jose Sharks, Garrett announced that this will be his final season as the colour commentator for the Canucks' regional broadcasts, a role he has filled since the 2002-03 season. While he said he would still appear "on some other Sportsnet properties," he will no longer be the regular colour commentator for the Canucks.
"If you've been watching and listening for all these years, you know how much I have enjoyed my experience and time doing this job," said Garrett. "A lot of the reason is the great people I work with. The Sportsnet Pacific crew doesn't have an equal in the business. No matter what the situation, no matter what the time of day or night, they make you feel like you're in the building."
While Garrett's opinion may be biased, it's one that is shared by many. A recent poll of NHL fans by The Athletic ranked the Canucks' commentating crew of Garrett with play-by-play commentator John Shorthouse and host Dan Murphy second overall in the league, behind only the Detroit Red Wings.
A big reason why is the chemistry between all three of them, particularly the regular banter between Shorthouse and Garrett. No matter how dreadful the game — or season — Shorthouse and Garrett's wit and charm made every game worth watching. Garrett combined accurate breakdowns of the action on the ice with a folksy charm and frequent paeons about how ketchup goes with everything.
As the third period kicked off, Shorthouse couldn't help but pay tribute to his longtime partner in the broadcast booth.
"Thanks for giving me the heads up yesterday because I'm still having trouble with it," said Shorthouse. "I've worked with some great partners, but I always think of you the same way you describe our late friend Jack McIlhargery: the best teammate I've ever had. And I'm going to savour these last 12 games and I'm going to cherish the memory of the hundreds, if not thousands, of games that we have called through the years. Thank you."
Appropriately, the third period included another great call by Garrett, as he quickly noted that Phil Di Giuseppe had tipped a goal that was at first credited to Quinn Hughes. Garrett's keen eyesight was vindicated not long after as the credit for the goal was given to Di Giuseppe.
The final word belongs to Garrett:
"I'd like to thank John Shorthouse, Dan Murphy, and our producer Greg Shannon," said Garrett. "Your camaraderie and friendship will never be forgotten, and we will be lifelong friends. But most of all, I'd like to thank the fans whose unwavering support has lasted for these 20 years and beyond. Your enthusiasm and passion for the game and for this team will never be forgotten.
"We are all Canucks."