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Towel Power

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Towel Power is a term used by the Vancouver Canucks of National Hockey League (NHL) to describe the waving of towels by their fans.


Towels laid out on each seat at the Pacific Coliseum prior to the 2007 Memorial Cup final in Vancouver.The Vancouver Canucks tradition of "Towel Power" has its origins during the 1982 Stanley Cup Playoffs in a game against the Chicago Black Hawks, when Vancouver coach Roger Neilson, fed up with the performance of the officials in the game, placed a white towel on the end of a hockey stick and held it up like a white flag in mock surrender. Several Canucks players sitting on the bench followed suit, and Neilson was ejected from the game.

Although the Canucks lost that game 4–1, Neilson's actions inadvertently began a Vancouver tradition. When the teams returned to Vancouver for the next game, many fans brought white towels to the game and began waving them above their heads. The Canucks went on to win the next three games and the series, taking them to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in franchise history, which they eventually lost to the New York Islanders.

Several other hockey teams have implemented towel waving. Red and blue towels are waved by fans of the Calgary Flames and Toronto Maple Leafs respectively and fans of the Anaheim Ducks wave bright orange "Fowl Towels" in the playoffs. The Boston Bruins fans also utilize both black, gold, and white towels on various playoff games. Towels have often been implemented by other teams at various times for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Similar traditions exist in other sports as well.

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