I woke up this morning and read a couple of troubling stories about some Canuck prospects. Arguably the Canucks best player of the preseason, Sergei “the Pocket Russian Rocket” Shirokov, suffered a mild first degree sprain on his knee in the Canucks 3-1 win over Edmonton last night. They are hoping to have him back for next weekend, which leaves him little time to impress the coaches enough to crack the opening day lineup.
I also read a story by Jason Botchford, describing Michael Grabner as “invisible” in last night’s win. I must say that I have been very disappointed in his play this preseason also. He is supposed to be a prolific scorer, and should have shown more than he has. He’s getting dangerously close to “bust” status if he can’t crack the Canucks lineup soon.
Couple these two stories with the back ailment that Cody Hodgson is recovering from and I couldn’t help but think back to all the bad luck the Canucks seem to have had concerning draft picks. From losing the wheel turn in 1970 and having to select Dale Tallon, while the Sabres got to choose future Hall of Famer Gilbert Perreault, to giving up too soon on a young Cam Neely. It seems like the Canucks don’t get a lot of breaks. When they get a good draft pick, they trade him away prematurely (see Cam Neely, Mike Peca and RJ Umberger). When they have a bust on their hands, they seem to hold onto him forever (see Fedor Fedorov, Jim Sandlak and Nathan Smith).
Now, there are exceptions like Pavel Bure, but overall, the Canucks just seem to be cursed. Unless Bure can get into the Hall of Fame (which he has been unsuccessful so far), the Canucks are the only team (aside from the teams that joined the NHL in the 90s or later) to not have a player in the Hall of Fame that played the bulk of their career with the franchise. Every other team has had at least one Hall of Famer, like Dale Hawerchuk (Winnipeg/Phoenix), Rod Langway (Washington) and Ron Francis (Hartford/Carolina). Instead, the Canucks have had players who have been good, not great, like Trevor Linden, Stan Smyl, and Markus Naslund. All three are extremely unlikely to get a sniff of the Hall.
Lets hope Hodgson and Shirokov can get 100% healthy, and help the Canucks ASAP and have great careers. Lets also hope that Cory Schneider can find his form in the NHL to give the Canucks a good bargaining chip to play with. But if history is to repeat itself, start worrying!
Is this for real?!