Greg Zanon Was Already Rooting Against Canucks Even Before British Columbia Native Came to Bruins


February 29, 2012

Greg Zanon Was Already Rooting Against Canucks Even Before British Columbia Native Came to BruinsWILMINGTON, Mass. — For most British Columbia natives, being traded to the Bruins the year after Boston beat Vancouver in the Stanley Cup Final could be a little awkward.

But for newly-acquired Bruins defenseman Greg Zanon, there are no worries about divided loyalties in what has become one of hockey's most heated rivalries after that contentious Cup clash. After three seasons playing in Minnesota, the Burnaby, B.C. native had already long lost any love for his home province club.

"Definitely," Zanon laughed when asked if his perspective on last year's Cup was different now that he was a Bruin. "But I was cheering for Boston actually. I wasn't cheering for Vancouver. The old West rivalry, so we didn't want them to win."

The Wild and Canucks have had some bitter battles over the years in the Northwest Division, including a seven-game classic in the second round of the 2003 playoffs when the Wild rallied from a 3-1 series deficit to advance to the conference final. Zanon didn't join Minnesota until 2009, but the bad blood between the clubs remained during his time there.

That left Zanon among the few people in British Columbia, outside of the Lucic household, rooting against the Canucks when he returned to his offseason home in Vancouver just in time for the Cup Final.

"It was long," Zanon said of his offseason. "My daughter's in school, so we didn't get back [to Vancouver] until June. We hung out in Minnesota until early June, then went back. It's been three long summers for me, so I'm real excited to be on a team that has a real good chance of obviously getting into the playoffs and hopefully making a real long run again."

Zanon had plenty of time to watch the Bruins last postseason as the Wild missed the playoffs for the third straight year, and came away appreciating Boston's style of play.

"I got a good chance to watch them last year in the playoffs, [with Minnesota] not being in the playoffs," Zanon said. "I really found it's my style of hockey. They play that tough style. They like to get up and down the ice. Good [in the] D zone, a good defensive team. It's just the way I like to play my game, so hopefully I can fit in nicely when I get in the lineup and do anything I can to help, just grit it out with the boys."

Zanon became more familiar with the Bruins watching them in the playoffs, but he will need a crash course on the rest of the Eastern Conference teams he about to start facing after spending his entire career in the West with Nashville and Minnesota.

"You don't see them as often, but I think you know who the top guys are on every team," Zanon said. "It'll be a little bit of a change. Eastern Conference hockey is a little different than Western Conference hockey, but in the end it's hockey. So I've just got to come and keep doing what I do and do everything I can to help this team win."

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