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Found 34 results

  1. April 1: sign goalie Jake Kielly, my picks for the year-end awards (Pettersson, Markstrom)
  2. “Word is that Eugene Melnyk has asked the league for help on this, and it’s not uncommon for teams to ask for help, and the league makes some certain recommendations,” Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos said during the Headline segment of Hockey Night in CanadaSaturday. “Now, the word is the league has assigned a current NHL executive to help gauge interest for this job, and one of those names that we hear that was contacted was Trevor Linden, who held that title, of course, with the Vancouver Canucks.”
  3. March 1: Elias Pettersson’s Calder Trophy chase, looking forward to Quinn Hughes’ debut
  4. Willie D strikes again. Scratches Kovalchuk for a 7th D. It’s like he builds his lineup to be controversial rather than with an actual plan in mind. He’s hands down my least favourite coach the canucks ever had. Hard to have sympathy for Kovalchuk but I actually do in this case.
  5. Shekky

    Vancouver Titans

    I Follow Overwatch League and am super stoked for the upcoming season how many of you follow the Overwatch League? I am really happy they secured the best team outside of Overwatch league Another Overwatch League has unveiled its new branding and colors. Vancouver Titans is the official name for the Canadian Overwatch League team, the organization announced today. Owned by Aquilini Group, the ownership group for the Vancouver Canucks, Vancouver Titans is the second Canadian team in the league. Roster details were announced during the second intermission of Vancouver Canucks’ NHL match against Dallas Stars. Kim “Haksal” Hyo-jong, Lee “Hooreg” Dong-eun, Lee “Stitch” Choong-hui, Park “Bumper” Sang-beom, Choi “JJANU” Hyeon-woo, Lee “Twilight” Ju-seok, Kim “SLIME” Sung-jun, and Seo Min-soo all joined Vancouver Titans from Overwatch Contenders Korea team RunAway. Former Element Mystic flex support Kim “Rapel” Jung rounds out the roster at nine players. Screengrab via Vancouver Titans will share colors with the Canucks, wearing the iconic blue and green color scheme. The logo draws inspiration from the Pacific Northwest’s mythic monster, Bigfoot. Former San Francisco Shock analyst Harsha Bandi will also join Vancouver Titans for the Overwatch League’s 2019 season. The former RunAway roster earned first place in Overwatch Contenders Korea’s second 2018 season and placed second twice in OGN Overwatch Apex in 2017. The players in Vancouver’s Overwatch League expansion team are widely considered some of the best in Overwatch right now. Eight new expansion teams will join the Overwatch League when it begins on Feb. 14. Other expansion team branding already revealed includes Atlanta Reign, Toronto Defiant, Paris Eternal, Guangzhou Charge, Hangzhou Spark, and Chengdu Hunters. One team remains unannounced, though logos and team names were leaked in a Nov. 7 Reddit post. Washington, D.C. is the last team needed to reveal its branding. The eight new teams will join the 12 founding teams from the 2018 season.
  6. Just a fine for the elbow: lol -- sorry I got his name wrong in the title.
  7. February 2: back in action vs the Avalanche, full of High Hopes for the rest of the season
  8. Stand down, Canucks fans! Brock Boeser will make his much-anticipated season debut tonight vs. the Winnipeg Jets.
  9. Canucks Coach Willie Desjardins comments regarding his current state with the Canucks
  10. How do you win a Stanley Cup? I asked Trevor Linden that in Penticton, when the young stars were playing the week before NHL training camp opened up. He said, "Build a playoff team, then get them through the regular season." Well, the playoffs have been confirmed. Now we see if this team has what it takes. Here is how the lines will look, heading into the postseason: Because we do not know when Zack Kassian or Brad Richardson will return, we still need to factor them into the lineup for next week. 1. Sedin - Sedin - Burrows / Sedin - Sedin - Burrows 2. Higgins - Bonino - Vrbata / Matthias - Bonino - Vrbata 3. Dorsett - Richardson - Kassian / Kenins - Horvat - Hansen highlighted means currently injured 4. Higgins - Horvat - Hansen / Matthias - Vey - Dorsett Where does Kenins fit in once Richardson and Kassian return. Maybe Kassian and Kenins take turns in and out of the lineup. On Defence, Alex Edler must be with with Chris Tanev. Edler is at his best when he has a solid stay at home defence partner like Tanev to cover his mistakes. 1. Edler - Tanev 2. Hamhuis -Weber 3. Bieksa - Sbisa What do you think the lines should be? Have your say below...
  11. 3 points up on 9th place L.A. + 14 Games Left Can the Canucks make the playoffs? As we all know, this years version of the Vancouver Canucks is very unpredictable. They have beaten some of the best teams in the league like St. Louis, Anaheim, Pittsburgh, the Islanders and the Rangers. But they have lost to some of the worst teams as well. Buffalo, New Jersey and Arizona to name a few. So why do I think this years version of the Canucks can make the playoffs? Because of the mix of young and old that this team was missing the last 2 seasons. And I don't mean the young players that don't stick around in the NHL. I'm talking about the youth that is the future of this team. Yes, the've sat out Ronalds Kenins, but this team liked him enough to bring him up before Nicklas Jensen, or Hunter Shinkaruk. Kenins brings energy this team has been lacking. Bo Horvat can't do it alone. And speaking of Bo, how inspiring has his play been? I am almost forgetting that we exchanged Cory Schneider for the pick that led to Horvat joining the Canucks. Mike Gillis is somewhere saying, "I did that! I got that kid!" Frankie Corrado is in there too as part of the young core. Chris Tanev was another Mike Gillis free agent who picked up the undrafted Tanev out of school. His energy counts, and you can tell how difficult it has been for the defence without him. Makes you wonder about Nick Bonino, and how he fits into this team. Here is a guy with great hands, and great potential, but for some reason can't seem to get emotionally into the games. How often do you see him hit a player or get into the scrums. It happens at times, but he is never the one causing them. We still judge Nick when we compare him to Ryan Kesler, whom he was traded for. We did get Luca Sbisa and a solid pick in Kellan Lain. At least when Ryan wasn't scoring, he was being a jerk to someone on the other team and ruining their night. Teams do not like playing against him. He gets boo'ed every time he touches the puck, as a visitor to Rogers Arena. With Kassian, you are getting a young big body that is still developing. Plus he is not afraid to cause problems on the ice. Don't tell me you don't enjoy when he gets emotional in a game. His version of "Beast Mode" when he punched Toronto Maple Leaf Dion Phaneuf was well worth the game misconduct, which he received for not tying down his jersey. Guess what, players and fans on both teams feed of off that energy. When the crowd gets into it, the players get more into it. That's why energy guys like Derek Dorsett are so valuable to a team. Do you care how many goals he has right now? I don't. I love how he plays the game. He keeps people honest and works hard every shift. The biggest question mark of all is in goaltending. We all believe that Eddie Lack is a great goaltender. He is big, mobile and gets into position very quickly. But he lets in the bad goal once in awhile. I think all goalies do however. What do they do when Ryan Miller comes back. It's unknown if he can still handle the playoff grind anymore, if his days in St. Louis last year were any example. I can honestly say I feel a bit more comfortable with Lack in net than I do with Miller. I feel like Lack has played better overall, with less games. For now we trust in Eddie Lack and the rest of his teammates. Only a handful of games remain. Can this team make the playoffs?
  12. stetty2

    NHL's Newest Stat

    There is a new statistical number on that they have just added, called SAT. It's supposed to rank players by how they benefit their team on the ice. It includes a players goals and shot attempts. Here is the equation they use to define this number: SAT (shot attempts 5-on-5) has the following equation: (Goals + Shots + Missed Shots + Team Blocked Shots) - (Goals Against + Shots Against + Missed Shots Against + Opponent Shots Blocked) when player is on the ice. Which is actually a bit more filling of a stat than the famous plus/minus rating system. A player is awarded a "plus" each time he is on the ice when his Club scores an even-strength or shorthanded goal. He receives a "minus" if he is on the ice for an even-strength or shorthanded goal scored by the opposing Club. The difference in these numbers is considered the player's "plus-minus" statistic. So using this new stat called SAT, we should be able to determine if a player is beneficial to his teammates while on the ice. Think of the Sedin twins. They play most of their game in the opponents end. As we have seen for most of their careers, they are more opportunistic goal scorers. Meaning they don't shoot as often as they probably should. On the flip side, they sure don't get many shots against either while they are on the ice. So they should be on the positive side of this stat. And they are. If you are interested in where the Sedin's stack up against the rest of the league, you might be surprised. Henrik Sedin is the top Canuck in the league with a total SAT score of 115. Not bad right? Compare that to the best in the league and you will find Henrik in 114th place in the NHL. The next best Canuck is his brother Daniel who sits with a score of 93. Good for 145th place. Still not terrible in a league that has had over 800 players play at some point this year. The current leader in the entire league surprised me. I know I shouldn't be shocked, but I have never given this player enough respect. Probably the fact that I am with the Canucks has swayed my emotion, and rightfully so. It's Drew Doughty who tops the list by a pretty wide margin with a score of 331. Only 3 players have an SAT score over 300. The other two players are Duncan Keith of Chicago and Jake Muzzin, who also plays for the same team as Doughty, L.A. Rounding out the top 10 players: Patrice Burgeron, Boston Tomas Tatar, Detroit Mike Ribiero, Nashville Nick Leddy, NYI Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Anze Kopitar, LA John Tavares, NYI Lots of big names on that list. Tells more of a story than some of the other stats out there. I'm still trying to wrap my head around Corsi. 7 of the worst 30 players in the league in SAT points are from Colorado. You can start to understand why the Avalanche have had such a poor year. Do you think this stat may stick around for awhile or is it just another attempt to sell the fans on numbers that don't mean much at all? Which stat means the most to you? Would love to hear your thoughts below. Take a look at all the new stats on by going here:
  13. Check our latest podcast ep! We talk about trade deadline, what that means for the Canucks, injuries, the latest roadtrip and more! Have a beer while you listen
  14. Nuckstove chimes in with ep. 3! We talk Horvat, Evander Kane, Kassian Conundrum, goaltending, trade deadline, and more! Have a listen while you sip on a nice smooooth cup a' joe.
  15. Canucks breakdown of the game last night, some insight of what's to come and discussion about the upcoming all-star game! Check us out.
  16. Just a few thoughts from the Canucks team, along with Sid the Kid (aka. Captain Mumps).
  17. stetty2

    Quietly Optimistic

    Me with Trevor Linden, wearing a #17 Vrbata jersey. See below picture for the proof. With last years triumphant end to a disappointing season somewhat in the rear view mirror, the memory of not making the playoffs lingers like the smell of grandmas perfume hours after she left. This summer was by far the busiest the Canucks organization has been in quite some time which showcased an assortment of moves. Ones which have finally brought us to this years training camp. An unsettling feeling resounds in the hearts of Canuck nation, for those who felt the promise of excitement exactly a year ago when John Tortorella came in promising change, after two quick playoff exits under then head coach Alain Vignault. All that promise delivered absolutely nothing. We won't be taken as fools again. At least not this season. What was once a promise and glimmer of salvation amongst this aging core with Torts, now gives us an undecided feeling of little expectation for this team entering in a season with its new leadership group. Canucks President Trevor Linden, GM Jim Benning and newly minted head coach Willie Desjardins do not have the pressure to deliver this year as the old regime did. No, this year, if the Canucks put out an exciting product but fail to make the playoffs, there will still be disappointment, but no one would be shocked by the outcome. Which leads us to a much different feeling, this year over last, and the reason why it's ok to be quietly optimistic. The assembled group has the makings of delivering an exciting brand of hockey with the additions of Radim Vrbata, Linden Vey, Nick Bonino, Luca Sbisa and Ryan Miller. Also on the plus side, there are two missing "headline headaches" that have plagued this team the last few years. First is the Roberto Luongo saga. As much as Lou was an integral part of this team, the drama that followed him to no fault of his own, was a burden on the team and it's fans. Second, is the negativity that surrounded Ryan Kesler who was reportedly ready to hold out on the Canucks by not showing up for training camp if he didn't get traded to the only team he allowed a trade to, in Anaheim. There is no questioning Kelser's desire to win with the Canucks. A Stanley Cup seems to be the only thing that will calm down the spirit that burns within him. Unfortunately, Kesler became frustrated with the direction of the team and wanted out. Who can blame him. He was paramount in the original rebuild and has no aspirations to start it all over again. All this leaves us with a Canucks equation that doesn't appear too bad on paper. A core group that went to the cup final subtracted by Kesler and Luongo. Minus another two big names gone from last year in Jason Garrison and an injured Mike Santorelli. Add in Miller, Vrbata, Bonino, Vey and Sbisa, and you get something that equals a decent looking squad. One that could surprise, or completely bust. D. Sedin - H. Sedin - Vrbata Higgins - Bonino - Kassian Vey - Matthias - Burrows Dorsett - Richardson - Hansen Tanev - Bieksa Hamhuis - Sbisa Edler - Stanton Miller Lack Mix in a new coach who apparently respects his players, which is the opposite of what we've heard of Torts. Toss in a sprinkle of a qualified GM who can foresee players futures that the past GM could not. Finally, blend it all together with a franchise President, and you have yourself a future that doesn't look so bad. At least there is something to cling to. No longer can we boast about how good our team is to all the Canuck haters. No longer can we offer our condolences to the other Canadian teams whose struggles were somewhat comical to us on the West Coast. Now we sit patiently, like a cat ready to pounce. Telling everyone that our team won't make it this year, even though deep down we know this group might just make a splash. Quietly optimistic.
  18. It's fair to say that the current version of the Vancouver Canucks is not a Stanley Cup contending team. It's also fair to say that since the Stanley Cup final against the Boston Bruins in 2011, this team has been in a downward trend followed by the free fall over the cliff since January of this year, scrounging 16 of a possible 62 points. As Canuck fans, we have had to endure 3 seasons of a marriage going bad, as Roberto Luongo put it when he thought his days were numbered before Cory Schneider was traded away. Then John Tortorella was brought in to save this ageing team from the divorce many fans have already filed the papers for. So where does the organization go from here? It's obvious to all that something needs to change in the structure that is the leadership of this team. Wether that change comes from the GM position with Mike Gillis or the coaching with Tortorella, that remains to be seen. What does seem evident is that this Canucks ownership group will not give up on Tortorella after one season. It's speculated that current owner Francesco Aquilini chose to hire the current bench boss to a 5 year deal. with 8 million owing on the new coaches contract, it's highly unlikely he will be let go at the end of the season. What does make the most sense is the GM position. There are many things the owner likes about current GM Gillis, who continues to pull out all the stops to make sure this team has the advantages while playing in Vancouver. Sleep doctors, personal chefs, nutritional coaches, mandatory yoga classes. Getting the most out of the players is of highest priority for Gillis. And he can still manage all these areas while maintaining the position of acting President of the club. Relinquishing his role of GM just makes sense for a team needing a change in direction. There are rumours abound that Markus Naslund has left his dream job in Sweden as the GM of MoDo to join the struggling Canucks. Naslund commented to CBC on those very reports when he was asked if he would consider a return to Vancouver. "I don't know at this point," he said. "I had a couple of inquiries a year ago or so, but it made no sense for me or us as a family. I'm going to take some time...and see what I'd like to do. I'm not ruling out anything. I didn't take the job with MoDo with the NHL in mind. That was to help out an organization that was in rough shape." Well, now the Canucks are in 'rough shape'. There's one concern this hockey guy has, and it's worth bringing up. He's a Swede. Using a Seinfeldism, "Not that there is anything wrong with that", but does this team really need a Swedish touch? Haven't we just gone through a fairly heavy Swedish feel over the last decade with players leading our team like Naslund, the Sedin twins and our endless hope of Alex Edler becoming our stud defenceman on the back end. Oddly enough we are now left with the Swedish goaltending duo of Eddie Lack and Jacob Markstrom instead of our North American tandem of Luongo and Schneider. Did you see that coming a year ago? Think of the last 5 Stanley Cup winners. Pittsburgh, Chicago, Boston, L.A., Chicago. These teams won on the strength of North American players. Yes there are good players on these teams from Europe and Russia, but the core of the groups are American and Canadian players. They were the very kids that were pretending to hoist a pretend Stanley Cup playing on frozen ponds or playing road hockey, dreaming of one day getting the chance to kiss hockey's holy grail. They have that desire and passion to win the Cup. Do you think the Sedin's were dreaming of the Stanley Cup at 10 years old? Naslund may help sell tickets in this town, but he is not the answer to build this back into a champion calibre team. There is one man, however, that can be the difference this team is looking for and his name is Chris Chelios. He is currently the Executive Advisor to Ken Holland, the General Manager of the Detroit Red Wings, a role that Steve Yzerman held before leaving to become General Manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Chelios is training to become a GM of an NHL team and he is currently getting the opportunity to train with one of the best in the business in Detroit. Holland has kept the Red Wings in contention for the playoffs every year and has won multiple Stanley Cups. Even though his team has drafted near the bottom of the pack every year, he has kept his farm team loaded up which has allowed the Red Wings the ability to stay competitive each year. They haven't been throwing away all their assets the way they Canucks have done just trying to add those usually useless pieces at trade deadline day. Examples Sami Pahlsson and Derek Roy. Chris Chelios is an American whose heart is in the NHL and knows what it takes to win a Stanley Cup. He has won the championship 3 times. Once with Montreal and twice with Detroit. The GM of the Florida Panthers recently commented on Chris Chelios, who was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in November. Panthers GM Dale Tallon was a Chicago TV colourman for years before getting into hockey operations with the Blackhawks. He then got a shot at being a GM and saw first hand why Chelios was so good for so long. "The zest he has for life is incredible,” said Tallon. “Every day, he brought that passion to the rink, to the games, everywhere you went with Chris, he was full of life. There was never a dull moment. “In the games, you paid the price every time you played against him. He gave everything he had every shift, every game. Amazing to have that energy all the time, no matter what the age. Not many people are like Chris. Amazing warrior.” Maybe it's time the Canucks had that kind of energy put into the player selection of this team. Sadly, there aren't too many 'warriors' on this current squad. It's time for a change at the helm. It's time for Chris Chelios, the saviour.
  19. stetty2

    It Pays To Lose Stop trying to win so badly. That's the motto the Canucks should be carrying with only 4 games remaining. We all know with 100% certainty that the players will be golfing come playoff time. Of course, there are no NHL players in this league that are going to stop trying to win games, but there are other alternatives. Like playing Nicklas Jensen, Frankie Corrado, Zack Kassian and the younger core more. As in, first line minutes more. More importantly, how about getting a good look at your back-up goaltender in Joacim Eriksson, instead of riding current starter Eddie Lack into the 9th spot in the Western Conference. Here's why it matters. Currently the Canucks are sitting in 22nd spot, good for 9th pick in this years NHL entry draft. They sit just 2 points up on teams like Ottawa, Winnipeg and Carolina who have either 79 or 80 points. That means if the teams close to them win and the Canucks lose their next game, they could fall as far as 25th, good enough for the 6th overall pick in the draft. If, Heaven forbid, the Canucks go on a winning streak to end the season however, they could find themselves as high as 18th spot in the league, carrying the 13th overall pick. So why is 6th that big of a difference over the 9th spot or even 13th? Let's look at the current draft choices and favourites going into this years pool, from the 6th spot to the 13th. All choices below are predictions heading into this years draft and are not guaranteed to be selected in the current position. The predictions can be found on 6th overall pick - Brendan Pirlini (Niagara, OHL) This 6'2, 205 pound left winger played only 54 games this year but still managed to put up some decent numbers. He had 32 goals and 37 assists, better than a point a game average. Pirlini played on a bad team, that finished with a record of 24-35-3-6. He still managed to stay out of the red, finishing at an even on +/-. "Perlini is a lethal combination of speed, puck skills, and hockey sense which allow him to make dynamic plays in all three zones. He plays a high puck possession game and thrives when the puck in on his stick." - 7th overall pick - Nikolaj Ehlers (Halifax, QMJHL) He's not the tallest player, but he is the most skilled of this group between 6th and 13th. He had 47 goals and 51 assists for 98 points in just 60 games played. He also ended the season as a +61. Compare that to Sam Reinhart who is projected to go 1st overall in the draft, Reinhart had 97 points, with 34 of those as goals. The Canucks need goals, but they don't need another Jordan Schroeder. Ehlers is 5'11, 160 pounds. "Ehlers is an explosive player who can beat even the quickest defensemen wide with his speed. He plays on his off wing and creates chances with sharp cuts to the middle complemented by an explosive wrister. He's equally good with the puck and can handle it both at top speed and in traffic." - 8th overall pick - Jared McCann (S. Ste. Marie, OHL) At 6'0 and 179 pounds, McCann is one of only 4 Centremen to be in the top 20 of the draft. He had 27 goals and 33 assists in 63 games playing for a solid team that went 44-17-2-5 in the regular season. McCann is the last big name before the giant drop off in talent going into the 9th pick. 9th overall pick - Adrian Kempe (Modo, Swe.) Another left winger, except this time, without the points. At 6'1, 187 pounds, Kempe ended the season with 5 goals and 6 assists in 45 games in the Swedish Elite League. Plus he's Swedish. Not sure the Canucks need any more of that flavour on the team. 10th overall pick - Haydn Fleury (Red Deer, WHL) Just the second top rated defenceman in the draft behind Aaron Ekblad, Fleury is filling out nicely at 6'2, 207. He finished the year with 36 assists and 7 goals on the blue line. And no, his dad is not Theo. "He's got good strong mobility, great vision and has a knack for making that first good outlet pass," Central Scouting's B.J. MacDonald told "He's composed and calm with the puck, and has an ability of knowing when to join the rush at the right moments." 11th overall pick - David Pastrnak (Sodertalje, Swe) Right wing, 8 goals, 16 assists. Canucks need goals. I'm not a scout, but there must be something amazing with these kids if they aren't getting any points. “Pastrnak made the move from the Czech Republic to Sweden in hopes of furthering his career and was successful at the higher level of play. While his defensive game is still a work in progress — and he will need to add mass and strength to compete in North American pro hockey — he has the potential to be an effective scoring forward." - 12th overall pick - Anthony DeAngelo (Sarnia, OHL) It doesn't matter too much about how many points this kid puts up. He's faced some issues that might see him fall further down the draft for this up and coming defenceman. the Ontario Hockey League announced they had suspended the native of Sewell, N.J., eight games for violating the league’s harrassment, abuse and diversity policy. It's the second time this season the 18-year-old has been suspended for contravening the rule which attempts to keep homophobic, racist, sexist, and the other derogatory language used by small minds – out of the game. In DeAngelo’s case, what he said was directed at a teammate. The team is tightlipped about what was said and to whom, but it was bad enough for Head Coach Trevor Letowski to take action without waiting for the league to intervene. And yes, that would be the same Letowski that had 42 points with Vancouver between 2001-2003. “Internally as an organization we made the decision,” said Letowski, a former NHLer and graduate of the Sting. “It was obviously a serious matter. Any time it involves one of our players there has to be a certain respect level. We respect all of our players and it was pretty serious." - Oh yah, DeAngelo had 55 points on the back end but was a -30. We don't need another Alex Edler. 13th overall pick - William Nylander (Modo, Swe.) See any trends in this draft? Nylander is in fact Swedish if you didn't guess from the fact he plays for Modo. He's also a left winger. There are 6 left wingers in the top 13 prospects. He played 22 games for Modo, had 1 goal and 6 assists and finished a -3. How is he even in the top 100 you ask? According to, "He is a highly skilled player offensively. Nylander skates very well, has impressive hands and is excellent at handling the puck at high speeds. Hockey sense is very impressive and he likes to shoot the puck a lot, but is also capable of delivering perfect passes. A very agile player that protects the puck well and skates hard in the offensive zone. On the other hand, his defensive game needs some work. Not a selfish player, but at times he tends to hang onto the puck for too long, instead of making the easier play. Has the tools and skills to lead his team in all offensive aspects." So it appears draft position this year is critical for the Canucks, based off of the talent that is and most importantly, is not available. There is a steep drop off in point production between the 6th and 13th picks, which is exactly where the Canucks will find themselves before the end of the season. Let's be clear about one thing though. In no way will the Canucks organization tell there players to go out and lose. Nor should they. You lose credibility with your players when you ask them to tank. What can be changed is who is playing in the last 4 games of the season. Get the kids out there, get the back-up out there, and start losing. Because for Canucks fans, the NHL entry draft has never meant more than it does right now.
  20. The storylines in this game is a writers dream. A struggling team desperate for points, playing an equally bad team, in a stadium of 54 thousands fans who were upset with Roberto Luongo sitting on the bench. Where to start. Let's begin with the most pressing and somewhat dire situation. The fiasco that is now Roberto Luongo and the relationship with the Vancouver Canucks. It is a well documented affair that has the makings of a marriage just staying together for the sake of the kids. Or in this case, a contract that no one else in the league wants to take. But after Cory Schneider was traded at the draft last year, the reigns were handed back to the former captain and 2010 gold medal winner. So why was Luongo benched in one of the biggest games in the history of the franchise? "He wasn't benched. I decided to play Eddie Lack over him." said a somewhat red faced John Tortorella after the Heritage Classic. Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't choosing Lack over Luongo constitute a benching for 'Lou'? He did sit on the bench the entire game. #confused... #sitting on bench, but not benched... Torts didn't end there. Asked if he made the right call by going with Eddie Lack, Tortorella replied, "I would make the same call yes. I think eddie looked, uh..." Torts hesitated before continuing, "You know some of the things going on around him before the game, during the game, I thought he looked not himself. Honestly, but he made some big saves. Second period I think he would like to have that third one back. but he made 3 or 4 really good saves prior to that. But if you are asking me..." another brief pause... "You guys make the call if it's right, and you will, but I would make the same call if it came up again like this." That is as close to regret that you will see Torts make without actually admitting fault. Does anyone care about the excuses? If Lack couldn't handle the so called "things going on around him before and during the game," then why was he in there to begin with? Don't you think Torts, that Luongo would have made 3 or 4 really good saves too? John Tortorella continued, "Before this game, the way Eddie was playing, I thought it was our best chance to get these two points. but I also understand all the stuff going on around it. and I believe Louie can handle it. I think he is a tremendous pro. He was unhappy. Him and I have had one-on-one conversations quite a bit, (and) will continue (to do so). I believe he is a huge part of this team. But I made the decision for this game that Eddie Lack would play." He's a huge part of this team? Right. I guess that's why he is riding the pine. Darren Dreger of TSN even piped in. "I believe Roberto Luongo feels this is somewhat of a slap in the face," said TSN Hockey Insider Dreger. "Almost a year ago, he fought hard to get out of the Canucks organization and hoped for the same in the summer and that didn't materialize. You have to think this is going to amplify the hard feelings that may continue to exist between Luongo and the coaching staff and by extension, the management of the Canucks." "You also have to look at it from the perspective of head coach John Tortorella," added Dreger. "He doesn't care about the spectacle of the Heritage Classic, he cares about the two points on the line. Eddie Lack has been lights out good for the Canucks in the past couple of games. This is not a popular decision and I predict that this going to add to why this relationship between the player and the organization won't end well." Bob McKenzie of TSN also felt the need to share his feelings on the matter. "VAN obviously went into this eyes wide open and believes upside of Lack starting over Luongo outweighs downside of accompanying controversy," said TSN Hockey Insider McKenzie on Twitter (@TSNBobMcKenzie). "I don't believe for a moment this decision to start Lack is related to any imminent Luongo trade possibility." Let's be clear here for a moment. The decision for Luongo not to start falls completely on the Canucks bench boss, John Tortorella. But the decision to start with back-up Eddie Lack screams Cory Schneider all over again. Granted 'Torts' wasn't part of this team when Cory was here, and doesn't have a full understanding of what this franchise has done to Roberto Luongo. We get that. But if you trust your back-up to get you to the promise land over your starter, in one of the biggest games of the year in terms of points and almost importantly, fan appreciation, you are writing a familiar script that has not worked in this city, as well as puncturing any hope of Luongo wanting to stay in Vancouver for the remainder of his career. We could potentially lose Cory Schneider and Roberto Luongo in a span of 2 years, an unfathomable demolition of a team that was a goalie graveyard between the Kirk McLean and Luongo era. Some of the blame can most assuredly be put on General Manager Mike Gillis, who should have stepped in. Not that the decision is his to make, but Gillis, more than anyone, knows the dynamics of the Luongo situation. I would like to believe a strong conversation was had between the coach and GM on this decision. Don't get me wrong. I love Eddie Lack. I'm always "backin' Lack" as Bro Jake says on The Team 1040. And had he won, it would be difficult for anyone to fault this goaltending decision. As it is, they lost, so let the hyenas eat. All of this is really trivial in the sense that the Canucks are not going to make the playoffs anyways. Even if they did sneak in on that 7th or 8th spot, there is no confidence that they can beat Chicago or Anaheim with this fan base, and probably with the players in that dressing room. What should have been an amazing experience, turned out to be a spectacle that only the Canucks brass can bring us. Even my 8 year old son was chanting, "We want Lou," thanks to some beer chuggers in front of us. It might be fair to say Canucks fans are the best in the world, especially when they have to deal with the mind numbing decisions that have only brought this team to its knees since the loss to Boston in game 7 in 2011. It's now up to the owner to step in. Francesco Aquilini, if you are a fan of your own team, perhaps now is the time to make a change at the top, because I guarantee the "sell-out" streak of over 460 regular season games is in major jeopardy, and that's money out of your pocket.
  21. stetty2

    Grading Gillis

    I wanted to give the readers a list of the trades and signings that Mike Gillis has done while with the Vancouver Canucks. We can look at the major moves and give him an overall grade on the job so far. But before we do that, it might be interesting to note just who Mike Gillis is, and why he was chosen as the 10th Canuck's GM in franchise History. He’s currently tied Brian Burke for the longest tenure as a GM with this team. Mike Gillis was actually drafted in the NHL. He went 5th overall in the 1978 draft, selected by the Colorado Rockies. In 246 career NHL games, he had 33 goals and 43 assists as a left winger. He played for the Rockies and 125 games for the big bad Boston Bruins. Upon retiring from playing hockey, Mike Gillis coached the Queen's University Golden Gaels hockey team in 1985–86. He earned a law degree from Queen's University in 1990, and became a player agent. His clientele over the years included Pavel Bure, Markus Naslund, Bobby Holik and Mike Richter. On April 23rd, 2008, Gillis became the acting GM of the Vancouver Canucks, where he wasted no time in making his mark on the team. Although there is no proof either way, it is believed the newly minted GM was the main reason why the Canucks did not resign then captain Markus Naslund to a new contract. They let him go to the Rangers to finish out his NHL career freeing up cap space to go after the ever alluring Maple Leafs captain, Mats Sundin. Gillis offered Sundin 10 million for 1 season, which Mats finally accepted at the mid point of the year. Sundin had 9 goals in 41 games. They did manage to make it to the second round of the playoffs that year, but lost in 6 to Chicago. Seeing as this is the first major move, we can grade this one first. Grade: D Gillis then signed Alex Burrows to a 4 year, 8 million dollar deal. Burrows played most of his games with the twins, compiling 3 x 50 point seasons in that stretch. For that we can give Gillis a solid grade. Grade: A With the Canucks' Daniel and Henrik Sedin set to become unrestricted free agents on July 1, 2009, Gillis actually flew to Sweden to negotiate with the twins, signing them to identical five-year, $30.5 million deals hours before free agency period was set to begin. Grade: A- Shortly after signing the Sedin's, Gillis proceeded to lock up another piece of his veteran core by signing Roberto Luongo to a 12 year, 64 million dollar deal. There isn't much about this deal that will benefit the team in the long run. Luongo still has another 8 years left after this season. He is currently 34. Although Luongo is having a career year, this contract sucks for both parties involved. Grade: C+ In 2009 Mike Gillis signed free agent Mikael Samuelsson, who played 2 full seasons with the team. He amassed 103 points in that time. He only played 6 games the final year, before being traded. Grade: B+ Gillis' first big trade occurred on August 28, 2009, when he sent young forwards Patrick White and Daniel Rahimi to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for defencemen Christian Ehrhoff and Brad Lukowich. Ehrhoff was the gem in this deal, tallying 94 points in 2 seasons with the Canucks. He eventually left to Buffalo via free agency where he was able to garner some big dollars. Grade: A+ In May 2010, Gillis signed undrafted Chris Tanev, who was playing in the AHA before being found by Dave Gagner, the teams director of player development. Tanev is a sturdy stay at home defenceman who is starting to show glimpses of offensive production. Grade: A On June 25, 2010, during the NHL Entry Draft, we saw what could go down as one of the worst trades in team history. Kieth Ballard was traded to the Canucks from the Florida Panthers. Ballard was traded along with Victor Oreskovich, for Michael Grabner, Steve Bernier, and Vancouver's first round pick. Since Grabner has left the Canucks, he has 70 goals and 44 assists. He also had a hat trick for the Canucks before being traded. Grade: F- July of 2010 was a big summer of signings. Gillis put his stamp on the team signing free agents in Dan Hamhuis and Manny Malhotra. Hamhuis has since been named to team Canada for the Sochi Olympics. We are all aware of the eye injury that Malhotra suffered the year the Canucks went to the finals. The saddest part about all this is that Gillis didn't want to put Manny at risk playing him. He sat out the centreman for the rest of the next season after giving him a sample try at the beginning of it. Malhotra currently has 11 points with the Carolina Hurricanes and is a plus 8 so far this season with his new team. Grade: A In one of the few trade deadline deals that actually worked out for the Canucks, Gillis acquired Chris Higgins from his favourite trading partner in Florida for Evan Oberg and a 3rd round pick. Oberg has played 7 NHL games in his career with 0 points. Grade: B+ On October 4th, 2011, the Canucks GM picked up Dale Weise off of waivers from the Rangers. Weise has been a solid 4th line player. He was the Canucks fastest skater in the teams skills competition this year. He has 26 points and 183 PIM in his career. Grade: C+ For some reason Gillis enjoys dealing with a Florida organization that keeps giving us their castoffs. In October of 2011, Gillis acquired David Booth, Steven Reinprecht and a 3rd round draft pick, in exchange for Mikael Samuelsson and Marco Sturm. Booth has been nothing short of disappointing with his 4.5 million dollar salary while playing like a 1.1 million dollar winger. He has been called "weird" by his coach, and has been in the doghouse more times than on the ice over the last 2 seasons between previous Canucks coach Alain Vignault and current bench boss John Tortorella. Grade: D- There is no way to grade this one accurately, and I am sure many of you will have your own thoughts on the matter. Trade deadline of 2012 was a move that shocked the Canucks community. Prized Gillis draftee Cody Hodgson, who was just starting to put up some reasonable numbers, was traded for the ogre like boy in Zack Kassian. Although there were "reasons" for trading away Hodgson that Mike Gillis professed to the media at the end of the regular season, it is yet to be decided who really won this trade. Hodgson has had injuries this season with Buffalo, but still leads the team in points with 27. Kassian has 14 points and sits 9th on a Canucks team that has trouble putting the puck in the net. Grade: C+ (so far) In July of 2012, Gillis signed free agent Jason Garrison. Garrison was a power play specialist with the Florida Panthers, using his big shot from the point. His only knock, he doesn't always hit the net. Grade: B If you have forgotten about the goalie controversy the Canucks had over the previous two seasons, I would be remiss to remind you about the Cory Schneider trade that somehow veered the storyline off course, like a well timed plot twist in a thriller movie starring Bruce Willis or Steven Segal. Gillis this time traded away the goalie of the future for a 9th pick in the most recent draft, Bo Horvat. Horvat's numbers my be impressive in junior, but they don't tell the full story. He currently has 50 points in his first 31 games with the London Knights. Horvat is also on a stacked team that has 4 players ahead of him in goals in London. We are all hoping this guy can learn to put the puck in the net in the NHL. Grade: C- (Potential is the only hope at this point) Lastly, and if I missed any you felt were important during the Gillis era, I apologize. Most recently the Canucks GM resigned the Sedins to another pair of identical contracts. This time totalling 4 years and 28 million each. Grade: B+ Overall, GM Mike Gillis has made some moves that have paid off for this team. Unfortunately, all the latest moves haven't helped the one area they are currently having the most trouble with. The goal scoring department and the power play. So Mike Gillis, for the moves you have made so far, you get a final grade of B-. It's what you do now that will define your legacy with this team. Perhaps they need you to do something, now more than ever.