Rob The Hockey Guy

// A Vancouver Canucks Hockey Blog

Canucks fans boo Mike Gillis, ignore reality

Image Courtesy: Vancouver Sun

During the Pavel Bure jersey retirement on Saturday, a smattering of boos was reserved for Canucks’ general manager Mike Gillis (most had the good sense not to boo, but the booing was noticeable). Booing the most successful general manager in Canucks history (while giving a standing ovation to a much less successful former general manager, Pat Quinn) was puzzling to me. Sure, Mike Gillis has had a bad couple of years recently, but he was the toast of the town not long ago. Furthermore, booing Mike Gillis ignores reality.

Have you been paying attention Canucks fans? Gillis just signed Daniel and Henrik Sedin to bargain contracts yet again, keeping them at less than market value. He has also done a remarkable job at restocking the team’s depth this year with unheralded players that are performing much better than their contracts.

It has been a pretty nice start to the season for Vancouver. This team isn’t a Presidents’ Trophy team anymore and they aren’t expected to win a Stanley Cup this year, so the bar we measure them has lowered. Nevertheless, some acquisitions made by GM Mike Gillis are giving me hope that the team could contend for the Stanley Cup a little sooner than I expected.

In all likelihood, the Canucks’ hope for becoming a Stanley Cup favourite once again hinges on some of their young players like Bo Horvat and Hunter Shinkaruk developing into impact players while the Sedins and Roberto Luongo are still stars. But the work that Mike Gillis has done recently just might speed up that process.

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Canucks send David Booth to Utica


David Booth is heading to upstate New York on a “conditioning assignment“.

An interesting development, as Booth was quoted today as saying that he will be joining the Canucks on their upcoming road trip, and then within hours, he was assigned to Utica on a  ‘conditioning assignment’. In the CBA, a player that was placed on IR, can be assigned to the AHL on a conditioning assignment for up to 14 days without being subject to waivers. Usually this is done in an effort to get a player up to game speed, without taking the risk in the NHL.

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Canucks vs Coyotes Game Preview – November 5, 2013

Mike Smith, Chris Summers, Ryan Kesler

After raking up the Leafs Saturday night, the Canucks will head out for what promises to be their toughest stretch of games this season beginning Monday night in Phoenix. How will the Canucks start their Pacific division swing? Read on to find out.

Last Game:

Well I think I am man enough to admit I was wrong when I said that winning against Toronto wouldn’t be the cake walk it once was. Even a cake walk would have presented more of a challenge than the Maple Leafs did on Saturday evening. Right from the opening face off, the Canucks dominated the Leafs, outshooting them 11-0 midway through the first period and 47-21 overall. Had it not been for an anemic power play and James Reimer (never thought I would say that…), the score could have been much worse. Daniel Sedin’s jersey, Zack Kassian, Chris Higgins, and Dan Hamhuis provided the offence en route to a dominate 4-0 win. The only thing the Maple Leafs excelled at in this game was hitting the Canucks from behind. They were excellent at that.

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Top 10 Pavel Bure Moments: #1 The 1994 Playoff Run

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It’s been a lot of fun counting down the top 10 Pavel Bure moments for VanCity Buzz and Rob The Hockey Guy but all good things must come to an end. Here now is the #1 Pavel Bure moment in a Canucks uniform: the 1994 playoff run.

The spring of 1994 was the best time to be a Canucks fan. The team had underachieved during the regular season, finishing 7th in the conference, but they caught fire in the playoffs after being down 3-1 in their first round series against the Calgary Flames. They rattled off three straight wins, all in overtime. The series clinching goal was scored by Pavel Bure in double overtime and is the most famous goal in Canucks history.

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Canucks vs Maple Leafs Game Preview – November 2, 2013


After succumbing to the inevitable letdown game against the Detroit Red Wings, the Canucks are back at it against the Toronto Maple Leafs in what promises to be a special night for Canucks fans. Can the Leafs snap their losing streak against the Canucks that dates back to around 1965 ? Read on to find out.

Last Game:

Despite some wizardous Sedinary, the Canucks were unable to match the effort level of the Detroit Red Wings, falling 2-1 and snapping their 4 game win streak. The Canucks actually jumped out to the lead after a beautiful goal courtesy of newly signed twin brothers Daniel and Henrik Sedin (Silly Jimmy Howard. You never play the shot when Henrik has the puck). However, Detroit responded with two goals from Daniel Alfredsson and Thomas Tatar and never looked back. In a strange turn of events, John Tortorella’s line scramble couldn’t overcome the 1 goal deficit, and the Canucks fell to their former Western Conference rivals.

The Opponent:

It’s always fun when the Leafs come to town isn’t it? We get to watch games three hours earlier than we should just to accommodate a team the Canucks play twice a year! But I digress…

The Canucks and Leafs don’t hook up often, but when they do, it usually ends well for the Canucks. The Canucks haven’t lost to the Leafs since 2003 when only one jersey was in the rafters at Rogers Arena. However, as much as their advanced statistics might suggest otherwise, the Leafs continue to win games which at the end of the day, is all that matters. With a talented forward group led by Phil Kessel, Nazem Kadri, James Van Riemsdyk, and sometimes Joffrey Lupul, the Leafs don’t need many opportunities to score a lot of goals. On defence, Dion Phaneuf, Cody Franson, Jake Gardiner, and rookie Morgan Rielly provide some solid support.

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Vancouver Canucks extend Daniel and Henrik Sedin for 4 more years

Image Courtesy:

Image Courtesy:

The Canucks have extended Daniel and Henrik Sedin to matching 4 year deals, with a cap hit of $7.0M per season for each Sedin. This deal is a slight increase to their current deal of $6.1M per season

The long awaited extension was finally signed today, with the Sedins taking what again appears to be a hometown discount. On the open market, the Sedins could’ve easily fetched over $8.0M a year each, but have signed a deal worth $7.0M per season, which will allow the Canucks freedom to build around them again.

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Top 10 Pavel Bure Moments: #2 Game 7 Hero

9 - goal vernon - image Dean Bicknell-CALGARY FLAMES

If you close your eyes and I say the name “Pavel Bure” there’s a pretty good chance you’re imagining his goal in game 7 against the Calgary Flames in 1994. Tom Larscheid immediately called it the “greatest moment in Canucks history” and he was absolutely right (hint: the #1 moment on this countdown tomorrow might incorporate this goal as well).

Here’s how Jim Robson and Tom Larscheid described it:

To understand the immensity of this goal, one needs a quick history lesson on the Vancouver Canucks. The Canucks entered the league in 1970 and won their first playoff series in 1982. It took another ten years for them to win another series in 1992. The Canucks won their division in 1991-92 and again in 1992-93, but were upset in the second round both times. So Canucks fans weren’t exactly accustomed to success.

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DeBron’s Top 6: Top 6 things I don’t want my daughter to be when she grows up


Happy Halloween everybody! I just finished up everyone’s favourite Halloween ritual. Separating all the gross candy I’m going to give to the kids from the stuff I’m going to gorge on for the next 3 days. Sorry kids… those peanut butter cups are staying right here at casa DeBron. Enjoy that Eat-More, though. It’s like poop from a guy on an all molasses and peanut diet.

The big occasion around here this week isn’t Halloween though. It’s my daughter Lindsay’s first birthday on Saturday. We’ve got quite the party planned for the half hour between cake and when all the dudes gravitate toward the Canucks and Leafs game.

Now, I love my daughter. She’s perfect in every way but in all fairness she’s only a year old. There’s plenty of time for her to disappoint me. Here now: The top 6 things I don’t want my daughter to be when she grows up:

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Top 10 Pavel Bure Moments: #3 Skate-to-Stick

8 - goal - image Canucks

We’re into the top 3 in the VanCity Buzz top 10 countdown. It’s time to get serious.

Bure is probably the only player around that has a top 10 moment that occurred in the preseason. You know the goal.

Playing his first game since his season ending injury in 1995-96, Bure scored in a way that nobody had ever seen before. With the Canucks shorthanded, the puck squirted loose into the neutral zone and the Russian Rocket took off. Flying at high speed, Bure grabbed the puck and came in on goal. Bure purposely played the puck to his foot and kicked it ahead to his stick and put it in the net past goaltender Scott Bailey.

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Top 10 Pavel Bure Moments: #4 Churla, Meet Pavel’s Elbow

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It’s the most famous elbow in Canucks history. The Canucks were underdogs against the Dallas Stars in their second round playoff series in 1994. Coming off a 60 goal season and a double overtime series clinching goal, Pavel Bure was obviously a marked man.

The Stars were hacking and whacking Bure at every opportunity in game 1, and again in game 2. Seven minutes into game 2, Bure took a cheap shot from Stars enforcer Shane Churla (Churla had 333 PIMs in 69 games that season). Instead of backing down to the dirty play let go by the referees, Bure took justice in his own hands. Bure leveled Churla with an extremely vicious elbow, knocking him unconscious. Remarkably, the elbow went unpenalized. It was a premeditated head shot on the Stars enforcer, to which Bure was given just a $500 fine! Those were different times indeed.

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