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Premier to relight Olympic flame for Canucks games in Boston

The 2010 Olympic Winter games cauldron is seen from a street in downtown Vancouver.

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The last time the Olympic cauldron was burning for a hockey series, the home team won.

That was 2010 when Canada took gold medals in both the men's and women's competitions in the Winter Games.

Now Premier Christy Clark is relighting the flame, on Vancouver's waterfront, in the hopes it will ignite some luck for the Canucks as they move to Boston - Monday and Wednesday - for Game 3 and 4 of the Stanley Cup final.

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The cauldron has been relit twice since the 2010 Olympics - last year on Canada Day, July 1, and earlier this year on the first anniversary of the Games.

Ms. Clark, nicknamed "Jersey Girl" because of the Canucks sweater she often wears, will be joined at the 3 p.m. ceremony, Monday, by Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson and former Canucks goalie Richard Brodeur.

When the outdoor flame was lit during the opening ceremonies at the Winter Games, Wayne Gretzky did the honours. He clambered down from the back of a pickup truck that had raced him across town after the indoor lighting at BC Place Stadium.

No details were available, Sunday, on the re-lighting ceremony, but Mr. Brodeur's presence suggests another former hockey player may get to touch off the flame.

Mr. Brodeur, who has become a well-respected B.C. painter in his after-hockey life, is remembered by long-time Canuck fans as King Richard, because of his heroic performance in 1982, when the team made an improbable Stanley Cup run, losing to the New York Islanders.

"He played that last series with a separated shoulder, sore knees and cracked ribs," his artistic agent, Brenda Alberts, said Sunday. "A lot of people never knew how hurt he was."

Ms. Alberts, whose art gallery, Birthplace of B.C. Gallery, in Fort Langley, features Mr. Brodeur's work, said he would be a good choice to re-light the flame because fans have voted him one of the their 10 favourite Canuck players in history.

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And his continued love for the game of hockey, she said, is evident in his oil, acrylic and watercolour paintings, a whole series of which commemorate the sport.

"He's done a series that draw on what it was like when he was growing up, playing hockey as a child in Quebec," she said. "People love those paintings …It is folk art, real Canadiana with happy, bright colours. They are almost all sold, in fact, he has to paint me five more."

Or maybe six. Ms. Alberts said a painting by Mr. Brodeur titled The Big Game had just drawn the interest of a possible buyer.

"That's probably going to go today," she said.

Mr. Brodeur couldn't be reached for comment Sunday, but on the gallery website he says painting has been a lifelong passion.

"When I was playing with the Canucks, I was painting at home and brought a sketch pad with me on the road. But it's not something I mentioned to my teammates. You're always considered a flake as a goalie anyways, and then if you walk in the locker room and tell them you're an artist they are going to laugh," he states.

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