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Canucks Holiday Gift Guide - DEC.15.07


Sunny Dhillon

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<table width=75% align=center><tr><td><img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/sunny_blog.jpg" style="float: left; padding-right: 4px;">The holiday season is once again upon us.

While we Vancouverites do a tremendous job of supporting the food banks and the children’s charities and the homeless shelters this time of year, there is one group we’re letting down: professional hockey players.

Now I know what you’re going to say.

“Dude, what are you talking about? These guys make hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars, per year. How can we be letting them down?”

Well, you see, the Canucks do a lot for this city, this province. They boost morale, give us something to watch on TV, and provide us with conversation starters for those awkward 40-minute cab rides.

Do we ever give these players anything for their trouble? Nope. In fact, when they don’t sign our autographs or tap our hands we lash out at them.

Well, I say, no more! Let’s repay the Canucks for the joy they provide us! Let’s get them all presents!

Now you might be wondering, what kind of present should I get my favourite Canuck?

Well wonder no more because here’s my first annual Vancouver Canucks Holiday Gift Guide.

(Note: There probably won’t be a second guide. But doesn’t everything sound cooler when it’s annual?)

Management

Dave Nonis – We live in the Facebook age, when everyone has compromising photos of everyone else. So surely one of you must have a shot of Glen Sather stealing a hot dog from a New York City vendor, or Dale Tallon cutting in line to get his hands on a Nintendo Wii. Forward that photo on to Nonis and the Canucks GM can get the gift he’s truly after: a top six forward at a ridiculously low price.

<img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/10/oct1507_canuckpink07_t.jpg" style="float: right; padding-left: 4px;" />Alain Vigneault – Are you a coach who likes to juggle his lines? Are you tired of seeing the same old combinations out on the ice? If so, the Line Juggler 2000 is for you! The Line Juggler 2000 automatically downloads your team’s roster and spits out four lines that are sure to confuse even the dearest of fans. Roberto Luongo at centre with Willie Mitchell and Libor Polasek on his wings? Why not? Anything’s possible with the Line Juggler 2000! Made in China.

Gifts You Won’t Find In Stores

Trevor Linden – Let’s see. This might very well be Trevor’s final season in the National Hockey League. And in November 2008, the city of Vancouver will have its mayoral elections. So why not give Trevor a gift that keeps him in our lives for another few years? Vote Linden For Mayor: He Put Jeff Norton Through The Glass.

Henrik Sedin – Remember Fulton Reed from the Mighty Ducks movies? The kid with the slapshot so powerful that it knocked a goalie backwards into his own net? Well, for all his phenomenal playmaking skills, Henrik’s slapshot still has all the strength of a sick puppy. So sign up the Vancouver centre for a shooting lesson with Fulton, then sit back and enjoy as netminders around the league voluntarily lunge from their creases.

Daniel Sedin – Since Bob Cole seems intent on calling him Daniel Sundin, do the Canucks winger a favour and legally change his name for him. You know, just to avoid confusion.

Byron Ritchie – Put a call in to Will Smith and see if you can borrow that memory-wiping device from Men in Black so we can forget Ritchie was a Flame for the last couple of seasons. It’s hard to embrace a player when you know he used to cheer for Dion Phaneuf to succeed.

<img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/12/dec1007_kings03_t.jpg" style="float: left; padding-right: 4px;" />Mattias Ohlund – Ever since Ohlund tied Jyrki Lumme for most career goals scored by a Canucks defenseman, he’s been snakebitten. The Curse of the Jyrki has claimed another victim. Go into your bathroom and say Jyrki Lumme three times while looking into the mirror. That should break the spell. If Lumme suddenly appears in the process, ask him what it was like to see Robert Reichel cry.

Alexander Edler – I have yet to hear anyone come up with a satisfactory nickname for Edler and since it looks like he’s going to be a staple on the Vancouver blueline for the next decade, this should be priority #1 for Canucks fans. Alex the Elder? The Elder Statesman? The Next Victim of the Curse of the Jyrki? We have to come up with something.

Aaron Miller – Miller has scored just 24 goals in more than 650 NHL games. Three of those tallies have come against Anaheim, including the only two-goal game of Aaron’s career (December 16, 2001). All Miller wants for Christmas is a schedule that lets him face the Ducks 82 times per season. Fortunately, that sounds right up Gary Bettman’s alley.

Get Your Debit Card Out

Markus Naslund – We’ve all seen it. That clip of Markus on the jumbotron that airs during every home game and introduces the guests in Nazzy’s Suite 19. As much as it pains me to say this, Naslund is clearly reading off the cards and turns in an acting performance that would make Jessica Alba wince. Let’s chip in and get Markus some acting lessons… from Jessica Alba. You know, just so we can see her around town and stuff.

<img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/12/121207_ana01_t.jpg" style="float: right; padding-left: 4px;" />Ryan Kesler – Kesler has shown a real knack for getting under the other team’s skin and has taken some cheap shots for it (see: Gaborik, Pronger). Borrow #17’s helmet and take it down to your local Best Buy. Have speakers mounted into it and set up a microphone system that allows you to warn Ryan when someone is gunning for him.

Sami Salo – Since Sami has to wear the full cage, have some fun with him. Buy him an ice cream cone and insist he eat it while wearing the cage. Award him bonus points if he follows Jughead’s lead and melts the ice cream with a lighter, then drinks it through a funnel.

Matt Cooke – If any Canuck plays a game that doesn’t correspond to his size, it’s the Cooker. Despite his small stature, the pesky Cooke is always at the center when a brouhaha ensues. Let Matt see how the other half lives: buy him a pair of skates with six-inch heels.

Jeff Cowan – A female fan threw her bra onto the ice following a Cowan goal last season. Complete the ensemble: throw Jeff some panties. Better yet, throw him Miikka Kiprusoff’s.

Lukas Krajicek – Lukas gets crunched into the boards more than any other Canuck d-man. Buy several dozen boxes of chocolates and send them out to various Northwest Division forecheckers on Krajicek’s behalf. After all, there’s no way one male hockey player sending another chocolates can possibly backfire.

Willie Mitchell – Mitchell already carries one of the longest sticks in the NHL, allowing him to effortlessly take away the passing lanes. Buy him an even bigger one, a stick so long that it stretches the entire length of the rink. If anyone complains, suggest Roger Clemens injected the stick with HGH and run.

The Walking Wounded

Roberto Luongo – Vancouver’s star netminder is currently out of the lineup with bruised ribs. To get on his good side, surprise him with a chest protector made entirely out of bubble wrap. If that fails to impress, dive in front of Bobby Lou whenever you see a slapshot coming. Sure, the puck might hurt, but come on, it’s Luongo!

<img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/12/dec1707_canuckpractice08_t.jpg" style="float: left; padding-right: 4px;" />Brendan Morrison – Mo’s out indefinitely following wrist surgery. Since he likely won’t be able to fish, offer to go with him and work his rod. But try to phrase it a little better than that.

Kevin Bieksa – Bieksa’s also out indefinitely and has a deep gash in his right calf. Do the right thing: offer him your right leg. If you’re attached to it, insist Kevin take the left and make due. Either way, let’s get him back on the ice ASAP.

Don’t Sweat It, Santa Already Gave Them Their Presents

Taylor Pyatt – Does any Canuck have more puck bunnies than Pyatt? Has any formal study ever been done on this? Regardless, with a legion of female fans cheering his every dump-in, Pyatt doesn’t need anything for Christmas. In fact, feel free to steal his stocking to even things up a little.

Alex Burrows – Alex got his gift when he scored a goal this season that wasn’t waved off by the officials. In fact, Santa also gave him a second gift when he blessed the Vancouver winger with wicked breakaway moves.

Curtis Sanford – While the Sandman undoubtedly didn’t want Luongo to get injured, he has to be pleased that with Saturday’s game against Edmonton he’s already started as many contests this season as Dany Sabourin did all of last season. Goaltenders just want to play and Sanford’s getting the chance to do that for the ferocious, predatory, black-finned Orcas. Whoa, that’s a lot of description. When did I turn into Nancy Henderson?

Brad Isbister, Mike Weaver – Both men have had trouble finding a regular NHL gig. Isbister’s played for four teams in the past four seasons and six overall. Weaver’s with his third club and has never played more than 53 games in a single season. Both have gotten an opportunity to see some ice in Vancouver. If you feel like that’s not present enough and want to get something on top, go with… I don’t know… a Saved by the Bell DVD box set?

The Farm Boys

Luc Bourdon, Mike Brown, Jannik Hansen, Jason Jaffray, Drew MacIntyre, Mason Raymond, and Rick Rypien,: Each man has been called up by Vancouver at some point this season. And when you really think about it, isn’t getting a plane ticket out of Winnipeg the greatest gift of all?

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