It was somehow perfect that John Garrett’s last Vancouver Canucks broadcast was held at Mullett Arena in Arizona.
The tiny college rink in Tempe holds just 4,600 people for Arizona Coyotes games, making it by far the smallest arena in the NHL. But it’s also the only NHL rink that puts broadcasters right beside the fans, rather than up high above.
It allowed the many visiting Canucks fans to treat John Garrett like the rockstar that he is.
Sportsnet’s Dan Murphy caught this moment from Canucks fans and even a Boston Bruins fan, too, serenading Garrett with chants of “Cheech, Cheech, Cheech” prior to puck drop.
Yep. That’s right. pic.twitter.com/fqXV3ylLpw
— Dan Murphy (@sportsnetmurph) April 14, 2023
The loveable 71-year-old former NHL goalie had fans seemingly cheering him on all night, with Garrett, Murphy, and John Shorthouse making reference to the fans around them throughout the broadcast.
Garrett had been the Canucks colour commentator on Sportsnet television broadcasts for more than two decades. On March 24, Garrett announced that this season would be his last calling Canucks games, which devastated many Vancouver hockey fans. He received a standing ovation from Canucks fans at Rogers Arena last week, in his final home broadcast.
“It’s been an unbelievable pleasure for me. Twenty years as a team, and we are a team. I couldn’t ask for better teammates,” Garrett said to his longtime broadcast partners Shorthouse and Murphy before signing off after the Canucks’ final game of the season. “I’m thankful for all the times spent together and thankful for all the good times we’ve had.”
The legendary @Canucks colour analyst @SNJohnGarrett signs off one final time after 20 years in the booth.
Thanks for everything, John! 💙💚 pic.twitter.com/qRMXvNcU9a
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) April 14, 2023
Cheech, Shorty, and Murph have all spoken about how well they get along, which has been evident to viewers.
“Thank you for never making it feel like work. Ever,” Murphy said on the broadcast. “It never felt like work when we were coming to hang out with you, whether it be at home or on the road.”
While Garrett’s quirkiness and humour have been well highlighted in the past few weeks, Shorthouse took time to recognize his underrated professionalism.
“People don’t see how hard you work,” Shorthouse said to Garrett. “You’ve taught us how to take this job very seriously, but that’s just the preparation part. And then once you’re executing the job, to have the exact right amount of levity and fun, but you take it seriously, and you respect the players more than anybody else. I hope that we’re able to carry that on for you.”
It’ll be a tough task for whoever tries to replace Garrett next season.
“You leave us right at the top of your game. And anybody who doesn’t recognize that now will in hindsight,” Shorthouse added. “Whoever replaces you will do a bang-up job, I know it. But it’s not John Garrett. You are one of a kind my friend. Thank you so much.”
Congratulations on your final @Canucks broadcast, @SNJohnGarrett. 💙
Thank you, Cheech! pic.twitter.com/CF6zyGif4V
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) April 14, 2023
Meanwhile on Twitter, where “Cheech” and “John Garrett” have been trending for most of the past 24 hours, tributes poured in.
We need more pictures of this amazing wedding cake @SNJohnGarrett @sportsnetmurph pic.twitter.com/9H8BA40je3
— Wyatt Arndt (@TheStanchion) April 14, 2023
THANK YOU, CHEECH!
We are really gonna miss ya.
Congratulations, @SNJohnGarrett, on a remarkable career!#ThankYouCheech #Canucks pic.twitter.com/10rw0pRa4s
— Canucks By the Numbers (@DaveLeeSon1) April 14, 2023
The peoples Champ 💪
Memories that span over 2 decades💙💚#ThankYouCheech pic.twitter.com/18JVdnOEG6
— BurrowsGirl (@CYochmans) April 13, 2023
Hot dogs for Cheech#ThankYouCheech pic.twitter.com/wfs8NBgSbP
— Joey Pitt 🎙🚨 (@_JoeyPitt) April 14, 2023
I am not emotionally prepared for their last game together tonight #ThankYouCheech pic.twitter.com/Fc3WSg1KES
— Laura (@laura_nucks43) April 13, 2023
A goodbye I was simply not prepared for 😭 I could never put into words how much I appreciate being able to listen to him as a Canucks fan in the states all these years.#ThankYouCheech https://t.co/aaw2XIUCrC
— Moll Doll (@MollDoll33) April 14, 2023
Aww, Cheech. You're such a gem. Thank you for everything. We will miss you!#ThankYouCheech #WeAreAllCheeches #Canucks @SNJohnGarrett
— gladys ( damned if i give a damn 7/23 seattle ) (@gloomybb) April 14, 2023
#ThankYouCheech. Gonna miss this guy being the only entertaining thing on #Canucks broadcasts. @SNJohnGarrett
— YoungJudd (@YoungJudd_1) April 14, 2023
Well that didn’t bring a tear to my eye at all… not at all… #ThankYouCheech
You are and always will be the #Canucks fan’s Granddad.
I am happy it happened 💙#Legend #Respect pic.twitter.com/pFCUXUHNMy
— Graham Byatt 🇨🇦 (Graham from Hardy) (@ByattGraham) April 14, 2023
Can’t believe it’s the last time we’ll see these three together like this! End of an era (that’s been most of my life)… I’ve never been good with change. 😅#ThankYouCheech! Enjoy your extra time with the fam! #Canucks pic.twitter.com/WlbJTscwt5
— Yours in Sport (@jamesesiddall) April 14, 2023
#ThankYouCheech you'll be sorely missed. Thank you for making the darkest years joyful and the brightest years even more brighter#Canucks
— Sasha Goundar (@SashaGoundar) April 14, 2023
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