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Then and Now - NOV.19.07

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Mike Macri

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<table border=0 align=center width=90%><tr><td><img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/macri_headshot.jpg border=0 align=left vspace=1 hspace=4>So everything’s rosy again in Vancouver. Sure, we’re still only 3 points up on last place in the conference, but we’re only 3 points shy of fifth. We might be in the gutter, but we’re staring at the stars. Speaking of stars, if you become one playing hockey in Van-couver, it might be wise to do everything in your power to remain a Canuck. The follow-ing five players, all of whom played in Vancouver in 2005-06, failed to heed such ad-vice:

<img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/photos/mugs/thumb/8459444.jpg border=0 align=left vspace=1 hspace=4>Todd Bertuzzi

Then: A bruising power forward who could put the puck in the net, check an opponent through the end boards, and grow a beard that was thick but touchably soft - all before the end of the first period. While never quite returning to the dominating form he exhib-ited in 2002-03, he put up a respectable 71 points in his final season in Vancouver.

Now: Apparently Todd decided to go as Eric Lindros for Hallowe’en and forgot to take his costume off. Currently sidelined with a concussion, Bertuzzi has suffered a variety of ailments, ranging from back to neck to the aforementioned concussion problems. Since being traded to Florida, he’s amassed a total of 13 points in 22 games played. He’s also currently getting paid $4 million by the Ducks. Counting last year, Todd has earned roughly $300,000 for every game he has played. To be fair though, he tried, in like, al-most half of them.

<img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/photos/mugs/thumb/8460516.jpg border=0 align=left vspace=1 hspace=4>Dan Cloutier

Then: A dominating, firecracker of a goaltender who had the ability to single-handedly win games for his team. OK, maybe not, but he was...pretty good. Sometimes. In the interest of full disclosure, I have to admit that I really liked the guy while he was in Van-couver. He wasn’t in the company of the greats, but he put up some decent numbers while he was here. Three consecutive 30 win seasons, and a GAA of 2.27 in his best year is nothing to sneeze at. Plus, any guy who once pummeled Tommy Salo into sub-mission is alright in my books.

Now: He’s...alive? I think? His bio says he’s playing for the King’s AHL farm team, the Manchester Monarchs. No word on how he’s doing, but according to Photoshop Maga-zine, Manchester now ranks as the nation’s top producer of images featuring large beach balls situated behind goaltenders. Oh, he’s also getting paid $3.1 million.

<img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/photos/mugs/thumb/8460492.jpg border=0 align=left vspace=1 hspace=4>Ed Jovanovski

Then: Known as “Jovo-Cop,” he patrolled the Canuck blueline like no one else could. He could score, hit, and occasionally happen upon a defensive play or two in his own zone. In 2002-03, he tallied 46 points in 67 games, and was a +19 to boot. When he was on his game, he possessed the ability to carry his team on his back.

Now: Jovo-Cop was asked to turn in his gun and badge. But not for being a loose can-non. It’s because he is...not...good at hockey. Yes, Jovo-MallSecurityGuard has also experienced the all-too-predictable fall after leaving Vancouver. Now in his second sea-son in Phoenix, Ed is a -10 through 16 games played. He also decided to pack a sou-venir from Vancouver when he departed for the desert: a penchant for abdominal inju-ries. I tried to tell him that a snowglobe would be more appropriate, but no, Eddie wanted to be a big boy and pack his own bag. The Coyotes are also paying him $7 mil-lion per.

<img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/photos/mugs/thumb/8459156.jpg border=0 align=left vspace=1 hspace=4>Anson Carter

Then: The “other brother,” Anson was a nice complement to the Sedins. Carter racked up 33 goals with the twins, all but two of which were scored less than 3 inches from the goal line. After bouncing around from team to team prior to landing in Vancouver, Anson had found a comfortable place to play out the next few years of his career. All that was required for him to cash in on a nice little raise was to realize that the twins made him, not the other way around...

Now: ...woops. Instead of signing whatever Nonis put in front of him, Carter’s camp felt that it was a prudent business move to play hardball and wait for the offers to roll in. I mean, surely, a 33 goal scorer would be a rare commodity on the free market, right? However, what Carter and co. hadn't counted on was that general managers around the league would have a temporary moment of clarity and recognize what Carter had re-fused to: no twins, no goals. After finally landing in Carolina, Anson managed only a third of the tallies he had scored in his lone season in Vancouver. He is now the leading scorer for the (Toronto Maple Leafs) some team in Switzerland.

<img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/photos/mugs/thumb/8467913.jpg border=0 align=left vspace=1 hspace=4>Alex Auld

Then: Fresh off of an team MVP season in 2005-06, Alex appeared to be ready to han-dle the starter’s role in Vancouver, a task that many had failed to accomplish in the past. Posting 33 wins, a goals against south of 3, and a save percentage north of .900, Auld posted decent numbers for a sub-decent team. In the summer of 2006, he could often be overheard uttering his newly-coined catchphrase, “everything’s coming up Alex!” That is, until it all came crashing down on the 23rd of June. While many Canuck fans equate that day with Christmas (it was, after all, the day the saviour was born in Van-couver), Alex might rate it up there with receiving a prostate exam while being audited.

Now: Being traded for Luongo was the beginning of the spiral into oblivion for Auld. Af-ter losing his starting role in Florida to a 78 year old Ed Belfour, Alex resurfaced as the seventh-string goalie in Phoenix, a team known for its mediocre goaltending. Recent highlights for Alex include his trip to the Grand Canyon, learning to speak French, and perfecting his impression of one those Tiny Tot goaltenders who play at intermission as he let in Jeremy Roenick’s 500th career goal.

Let this stand as a warning to any current Canuck who is thinking of testing the market once his contract is up: unspeakable horrors lie ahead (of course, you will be compen-sated handsomely).

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Guest Guest_Mike Macri_*

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Wow, sorry folks, Mac formatting really doesn't translate all too well in this one. Ignore the multiple hyphens and some of the other oddities.

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Carter will learn to lead a team in Switzerland and will soon be offered a contract again in the NHL. Obviously European ice rinks are larger, so he will improve his skating abilities and passing. I still see a future for Anson on the roster of a decent team (just not for the money he might hope for)

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