It went somewhat under the radar because it was reported the same day as Markus Naslund’s jersey retirement was announced, but the Canucks have announced that they will be having a “ring of honour” at Rogers Arena. The idea behind the ring of honour is that they will be able to honour some players from the past that don’t quite deserve to have their jersey retired.
Is this a good idea? In a way I like the idea of honouring past players in a way other than jersey retirement, but just what will be the criteria to get on the ring? Four players will be honoured this year, beginning with Orland Kurtenbach. The other three have yet to be announced.
Maybe I’m overly skeptical, but I can see this “ring of honour” becoming a bit of a joke. Lets be honest here, the Canucks do not have a great history. A long history, sure, but not a great history. I’m sure Orland Kurtenbach was/is a great guy and he was their first captain, but he’s the first member of the ring of honour? Kurtenbach played only four years in Vancouver, never played a game in the playoffs for them, and put up point totals of 53, 61, 28 and 21 in blue and green. He’s currently 46th in Canucks all-time scoring (one point ahead of Mark Messier).
So is the ring of honour for ‘good guys’ like Kurtenbach and guys like Tiger Williams, Dana Murzyn and Harold Snepsts? Or is it for their greatest players, like Pavel Bure, Alex Mogilny and Todd Bertuzzi? Personally, I think it should encompass both. If you aren’t one of the top players in the history of the team, you’re out. If you embarrassed the club like Bertuzzi, you’re out. If you turned your back on the city like Bure, you’re out.
So who should make it in? They probably will not feel a need to honour the guys who have already had their number retired like Smyl, Linden and Naslund, so it should be the next group of guys who were the best players for a number of years while maintaining a minimum level of class. Thomas Gradin is a no brainer in my opinion. He’s the most unappreciated Canuck of all time. He was perhaps a better player than Stan Smyl was, yet gets no publicity while Smyl gets a tonne.Very similar to way we look at Trevor Linden versus Markus Naslund.
Other players that should get consideration? Don Lever, Andre Boudrias and Dennis Kearns from the 1970s, Richard Brodeur (along with Gradin) from the 1982 Cup finalist team, Tony Tanti and Doug Lidster from those terrible teams in the 1980s, and Kirk McLean, Jyrki Lumme and Cliff Ronning from the 1994 cup finalist team. Honourable mentions go to Geoff Courtnall, Greg Adams and Petri Skriko. Harold Snepsts, Garth Butcher and Tiger Williams will probably get consideration too, but probably shouldn’t.
Bieksa’s Not Gone Yet
Kind of interesting that the trigger hasn’t been pulled on Kevin Bieksa… yet. Is it possible that Mike Gillis is planning to keep all of his d-men this year? That would make six d-men making over $3 million plus Shane O’Brien ($1.6 million). I still think Gillis has to make a move and certainly Bieksa is the man to go, but with every passing day without a trade the chances of Bieksa staying increase.
Apparently there is a lot of interest in Bieksa. Ben Kuzma (the Kooze!) of the Province figures that Anaheim, Los Angeles, Dallas, San Jose and Columbus are all interested. I can’t see the Canucks wanting to help LA or San Jose, but the other three make sense to me. Obviously trading to a team in the east is the best option though.
What’s Raymond Worth?
I guess it depends on who his comparables are. Wojtek Wolski just signed for $3.8 million and Guillaume Latendresse signed for $2.5 million. Safe to say Raymond falls somewhere in that range, so perhaps $3 million? What do you think? Lets hear your opinion in the comments section.
Demitra Signs in the KHL
As expected, Pavol Demitra will not be returning to the Canucks this season, signing a deal in the KHL. His NHL career is likely over but perhaps we’ll see him again at the Olympics in 2014. Once a great player with the Blues, he never made it to the Stanley Cup finals in his career. This past season with the Canucks was injury riddled, and his previous season was sub-par. His absence will be felt in the shootout though, where he was one of the team’s best. We will also miss his crazy interview ramblings.