Nice to see Cody Hodgson back on the ice this week at Canucks prospect camp. Hodgson injured his back from the 120+ games he played at the NHL exhibition/OHL regular season and playoffs/AHL playoffs and had surgery on it over the summer. Everyone is praying that this isn’t going to be a chronic problem that plagues him (that would be just the Canucks luck wouldn’t it?). He’s not participating in any contact drills, so it’s not 100% yet. Here’s hoping that the Canucks don’t rush him at all and allow him to get to 100%. You know a young guy like that with all sorts of expectations will probably want to rush it.
Speaking of prospects camp, anyone else notice that they’re practicing on the old UBC rink (Father Bauer Arena) and not the brand new Thunderbird Arena built for the Olympics? I’ve skated on both and the ice is a lot better in the old rink. Thunderbird Arena is just too warm. They might want to think about that before, say, the world comes to visit.
Seems like Alain Vigneault is a lame duck coach… for now at least. That shouldn’t last long though, Mike Gillis has said that he wants to extend the entire coaching staff. The question is, when? Gillis said that he wanted to do that in May, so you’d wonder why it would take until September for it to happen. That said, that seems to be Gillis’ style, so expect Vigneault to get an extension soon.
Nice to see Dan Cloutier is at least on the NHL radar again. Cloutier is trying out for the Detroit Red Wings. There’s no guaranteed money for him, but if he impresses, he could be Chris Osgood’s backup (which is interesting as they are both known for giving up goals from centre ice, but I digress). I hope Cloutier finds a way back to the NHL. He’s been criticized heavily, often warranted, but often unwarranted as well. Most of his poor play was injury-based. He was a middle of the road starting goalie when healthy.
Keeping the theme of former Canucks going, nice to see Taylor Pyatt finally found a new team. Pyatt signed a one-year deal with the Hamilton Phoenix Coyotes last week. It would have been sad to see him lose his job/lifestyle in the NHL after all he has already had to deal with.
How good has Sergei Shirokov looked so far at prospect’s camp? Well, he’s being compared to Austin Powers. Is that a good thing? I’m not sure, but video clips like the one below are nice to see: