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.
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.
When you have eight NHL defencemen under contract and are still set to re-sign Shane O’Brien, rumours are bound to follow. When you’re the #6 d-man on the depth chart and making $3.75 million, chances are you’ll be the guy talked about in those rumours. I’m speaking of course of Kevin Bieksa, who was rumoured to be on the trade block by yours truly after the Keith Ballard trade and is now being rumoured all over the place. Despite the fact that Mike Gillis isn’t confirming that Bieksa is being shopped, you have to believe he is.
Mike Gillis has hit a free agent home run, signing the much coveted Dan Hamhuis to a 6 year deal worth $4.5 million per season. Hamhuis will step-in as their number one shutdown defenceman, replacing Willie Mitchell. He will bring defensive stability and toughness to the blueline.
We’re one day away from the start of NHL free agency and the rumours mill is churning. With respect to Vancouver Canucks, no name has been rumoured more than Kevin Bieksa. With the acquisition of Keith Ballard, many (including yours truly) have theorized that this makes Bieksa a little bit redundant. Personally I think it’s time to ship Bieksa out of town.
The countdown to the free agent frenzy is on. July 1st marks the first day of free agency 2010 and the Canucks are sure to be busy. The Canucks currently have five regulars scheduled to become unrestricted free agents and four regulars set to become restricted free agents. Clearly not all of them will be back and some new players will be added via free agency. There is also the potential for young players to step into the lineup and more trades to happen. So what will Mike Gillis do? Well, lets try to figure that out right now:
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.