Ok, maybe “like” is a little strong, but I don’t mind it. I certainly don’t hate it or think that it should be abolished (unlike a lot of members of the media). The reason I’m making these statements is because every year for about the last ten years or so, it has become fashionable to say the All-Star Game is a waste of time and should not be held anymore. In about the last three years, this movement has gained even more steam with the increasing popularity of the Winter Classic, making it the new marquee mid-season showcase.
Nothing to say but Happy New Year everyone! Download the full size here
Roberto Luongo did what a lot of people anticipated on Monday and relinquished captaincy for the Vancouver Canucks. I think this is a positive move and it was done in such a way that everyone saves face. Gillis hinted that he wouldn’t mind Luongo giving up the C, but ultimately allowed Luongo to make the decision. Getting rid of the C should help Luongo focus on stopping the puck, although pressure on him will still be high. But by giving the C to someone else, that will deflect some of the pressure.
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.
After weeks of rumours, Willie Mitchell finally ended the suspense on Wednesday, signing a two-year deal worth $3.5 million per season. According to most, including yours truly, he hit a home run. While still a very effective defenseman, I thought that he would have to give up a little bit more money and/or term given his age and concussion history. Quite simply, he was out of the Canucks price range. The Canucks are very deep on defense and already have an injury riddled d-man they’re holding their breathe on with Sami Salo.
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.
The moment Canucks fans have been waiting for all season is almost upon us. That’s right, round 1, game 1 of the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Canucks faceoff against the Kings in what promises to be an entertaining series. Lets see how the series breaks down.
Great news for Canucks fans. The Canucks announced this morning that Ryan Kesler has signed a six year contract extension with the team. Kesler has proven that he can not only be a checker, but a scorer as well. He’s one of the best second line centres in the league, and could win the Selke Trophy this season. As early as the start of last season, nobody thought he had the potential to be the offensive producer that he is today. Again, it’s great news, depending on the price of course. If I were to guess I would say it’s worth between $4.5 and $5 million.
With 15 games left in the regular season and the nightmare record road trip behind them, one thing is still not clear. Are the Canucks contenders or pretenders? It’s a question that doesn’t elicit a unanimous response. I think that we as Canucks fans underrate this edition of the Canucks (just as we overrated the Naslund-Bertuzzi era Canucks).
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