Ten years ago the Vancouver Canucks celebrated their 30th anniversary season and unveiled the “30 greatest Canucks”. Sounded like a good idea right? In 30 years you ought to be able to unveil a pretty impressive list of 30 players. Well, it wasn’t. The first 30 years were not kind to the Canucks franchise and aside from a fluke run to the finals in 1982, it wasn’t until the 90s that any real semblance of success. In 2010, the Canucks official website has decided instead to countdown the top 40 moments (which embarrassingly includes Chris Levesque sitting on the bench and a long road trip but I digress). If it were a true list, the 20 of the top 40 moments would have occurred in 1994.
The Hockey News has sparked a lot of talk in the hockey world lately by picking the Canucks to win the Western Conference last Wednesday. The Hockey News has also picked the boys from the West Coast to win the Stanley Cup this season. This is significant because to the best of my knowledge, no well respected publication has ever picked the Canucks to win the Stanley Cup at the beginning of a season. This, of course, terrifies me.
Perhaps it was the media hoopla on the Team 1040 that made me overlook this, but upon further review it turns out that Tom Larscheid did not decide to retire, rather the Team 1040 decided for him. Team 1040 program director Rob Gray stated that the Team 1040 wanted to “look to the future”.
Very disappointing news today, as it has been learned that longtime beloved Canucks colour commentator Tom Larscheid will retire from the broadcast booth after this year’s home opener versus the Los Angeles Kings. When I heard about this news this morning I was devastated! Larscheid is truly one of a kind. The Team 1040 have announced that Dave Tomlinson will be the new radio colour commentator.
The Canucks held their annual Summer Summit (formerly known as the state of the franchise) last night at Rogers Arena (yes, it will take a while to get used to the new name) where they announced that Markus Naslund will have his #19 jersey retired on December 11th. And so the debate begins: is he deserving of this honour? This was a debate Canuckz.com brought up at about this time last year, to which I thought he was deserving, but I thought the team ought to wait a few years before retiring it.
The biggest deal on draft day in 2010 once again involves the Vancouver Canucks. The same team that brought you Alex Mogilny (1995 draft), the Sedin twins (1999 draft) and Roberto Luongo (2006 draft) did it again. While not as big as the aforementioned trades, the acquisition of Keith Ballard is significant. The Canucks acquired Keith Ballard and prospect Victor Oreskovich in exchange for their first round draft pick, Michael Grabner and Steve Bernier.
Henrik Sedin has made club history by becoming the first Canuck to win the Hart Trophy. He walks away with the Hart and Art Ross trophies but not the Lindsay trophy, that went to Alex Ovechkin. The dream season is now officially complete. A player that nobody thought would be thought of as a top 10 player in the league is not only the Art Ross trophy winner, but the Hart trophy winner as well. A great honour for a true class act.
Never before in club history have the Vancouver Canucks had the potential to steal the show on NHL awards night as they do on Wednesday night in Las Vegas (you can see it via tape delay on CBC @ 8:30pm…they wouldn’t want to pre-empt the Road to Avonlea or anything). For the first time ever, a Canuck, Henrik Sedin will win the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL’s scoring champion. Henrik also has a chance to be only the second Canuck to win the newly named Lindsay Trophy (MVP as voted by the players) and the first to win the Hart Trophy. Ryan Kesler also has a chance to become Vancouver’s first Selke Trophy winner, as he is nominated for the second consecutive season. The chances of the Canucks capturing these awards are open to debate, which is what we’ll do here with Canuckz.com’s preview/prediction of the NHL awards.
Well, we’ve all had a chance to take a deep breath, sit back and really think about the year that was for our beloved Vancouver Canucks. Gone is the emotion/heartbreak/disappointment/anger from their second straight second round loss to the Chicago Blackhawks. What’s left is a better chance for impartial analysis as to what they did, what they have and what they should do.
What a wild end to a wild playoffs. These playoffs pretty much had it all. Not one, but two miraculous 3-1 comebacks by the Montreal Canadiens, against the mighty Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins no less. The team that ends up tripping them up was a team that had the best comeback of all, the Philadelphia Flyers, who became the first team in over 30 years to overcome a 3-0 series deficit.