Tragic news have been revealed by the National Hockey League on Wednesday morning. The Vancouver Canucks have sadly confirmed that longtime public address announcer John Ashbridge has passed away at the age of 71.
Ashbridge began working with the Canucks as their public address announcer back in 1987. During his time with the NHL, he worked through two Stanley Cup appearances, and continued to work with the team and the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League until recently. He also travelled with the Canucks to Japan and provided public address duties for the 1998 NHL All-Star Game. He was also the voice for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games at Canada Hockey Place.
Tributes started to pour in as soon as the devastating news of his passing was released earlier this morning. The Canucks have released a statement saying the organization is “deeply saddened to learn about the passing of John Ashbridge.”
“He was a part of our family for many years. His voice and cheerful presence will be greatly missed and forever remembered.”
The Vancouver Giants also posted a tribute on Twitter, which called Ashbridge the "voice of hockey in Vancouver."
"A remarkable man who was loved and respected by everyone he interacted with," the statement said.
The team thanked Ashbridge for his work and time with the Giants in a moving tribute on their Twitter account.
Vancouver Giants majority owner Ron Toigo claims Ashbridge was a legend, in a moving interview with Global News.
“The one thing that stands out is that iconic voice of his that people from around here, and his years at the coliseum with the Canucks and at Rogers Arena, like Vince Scully is to baseball,” he said.
“That voice that John has for hockey is something that we’re all going to miss a lot. No question about it we won the lottery when John Ashbridge got involved with the Vancouver Giants.”
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of John Ashbridge, who will be deeply missed by many. Since the announcement of his passing, tributes from fans and colleagues have been pouring into social media.
Gone, but never forgotten.