I have an apology to make. I was in favour of trading you last summer. Well, not even just last summer. I didn’t like your game. I thought you couldn’t return to the player that the city of Vancouver fell in love with in 2006-07.
Even this year, I said some nasty things. I said you were not a shutdown defenseman. But here you are, paired with Dan Hamhuis playing against the other teams’ best lines and playing great! You’re now leading the defense corps in plus-minus, are back to playing mean and lately you’ve even begun putting up points again!
With their win over the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday, the Canucks moved into first place in the entire NHL. What does this mean exactly? Well, unless they start awarding Stanley Cups in January, not a whole heck of a lot. Even being at the top of the standings at the end of the season usually means squat given that the President’s trophy winners have only won the cup five times in the last 20 years. But you can excuse Canucks fans for getting a little giddy right now. After all, being at the top of the league’s standings near the midway point of the season has been a rarity during this team’s 40 year history.
Nothing to say but Happy New Year everyone!
Let me immediately state that this is not a trade rumour. Nobody has suggested that the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames are talking trade or that Mike Gillis is shopping Mason Raymond, Keith Ballard or Cory Schneider. Even new Flames general manager Jay Feaster has said that he is not interested in trading the face of the franchise, Jarome Iginla. While we can choose to believe or not believe Jay Feaster, it’s still unlikely that he would trade Iginla to Vancouver given that they are a division rival.
The point of asking this question centres around a bigger question. When (if ever) is the time to load up, trade for a player to put your team over the hump, while sacrificing some of your future? I think this year might be the year and a Raymond/Ballard/Schneider for Iginla type deal is at least worth a thought.
Sad news yesterday as legendary local broadcaster Paul Carson passed away. Carson had been battling pancreatic cancer. I never met Paul Carson but his accomplishments were lengthy. He was the brains behind Sports Page and also started up the Team 1040.
Perhaps no person has shaped the local sports scene more than Paul Carson. He did a lot of it in front of the camera, but even more behind camera. He’s responsible for essentially discovering Don Taylor, John Shorthouse, Dave Randorf, Barry McDonald, Scott Rintoul and Blake Price (among others).
I don’t know it for sure, but I believe the Canucks sellout streak is over at Rogers Arena. Now, the Canucks aren’t admitting this, and the game notes on Canucks.com for tonight’s game claim that they have 322 consecutive sellouts. But over the last little while I’ve noticed a few things that make me doubt the current sellout streak.
Two days before Markus Naslund is set to become the third player in Canucks history to have his number raised to the rafters, I can’t help but feel like anyone excited about this is forced to defend him. No question, his detractors are out there and there are a lot of people not in favour of his number being retired. Why? A lot of people didn’t like his demeanor, blame him for lack of playoff success or his perceived lack of leadership. But the real reason? A lot of fans have short memories.
The more and more I watch Canucks games this year, the more I find myself thinking “what does Keith Ballard got to do to get some playing time?” The guy blocks shots, hits (hip checks!) and fights. He does this while having a great upside given what he has accomplished in the league and the fact that he’s relatively young. Still, Alain Vigneault treats him like a Manitoba Moose call-up by giving him minimal ice time and even sitting him as a healthy scratch on multiple occasions.
I don’t get it, and I haven’t gotten it all year long. Take last Sunday’s game versus St Louis for example. He received just over 13 minutes of ice time (fewest among Canuck d-men), was a +2 and was a goal short of the Gordie Howe hat trick. AV, give this man some ice time!
Last minute sub (Romeo’s too busy with school) and since I’m lazy, I’ve only upped 2 sizes this time :). If you want a different size (win7 and os x should automatically resize) just leave a comment below.
First of all, let me start off this article by stating that this is not a knee jerk reaction article because of last night’s 7-1 debacle against the Chicago Blackhawks. I have been thinking about writing this article for some time now, and last night just cemented my feelings on this.