September 22 2015 04:59PM
The Canucks have trimmed their preseason roster again, making two more cuts and sending D Guillaume Brisebois and C Dmitry Zhukenov back to their QMJHL teams.
September 19 2015 11:56AM
(Photo credit: Sarah Hobday)
Going into the 2015 Young Stars Classic in Penticton, the talk of the town was Oilers’ gift and future superstar Connor McDavid. To be sure, he didn’t disappoint. In the single game he played, he showed flashes of what is to come, though he was limited to a powerplay assist and a flimsy first goal.
If you’re a Canucks fan, you were probably more interested in Jake Virtanen, Jared McCann and Cole Cassels - three of their most hyped prospects, all of which missed last year’s tournament with various ailments. And again, while they have been impressive in their own rights - Virtanen with his trademark murderous physicality and breakaway speed, and McCann with his patented wrist shot - the Canucks most impressive player for my money has been Jordan Subban, in his third Young Stars appearance.
While Subban has always been flashy, he’s been consistently dismissed to some degree due largely to his size - at 5-foot-9, he doesn’t have many professional comparables. Going into his third season in the Canucks organization, though, Subban is demonstrating an unyielding determination to overcome the odds.
September 15 2015 06:35PM
(Photo Credit: Sarah Hobday)
If you’ve been following the Canucks this past season, then you’re probably familiar with the story of the Latvian Locomotive, Ronalds Kenins. Kenins achieved cult hero status this season in Vancouver when he scored 3 goals in his first 7 NHL games (that snipe in the playoffs didn't hurt either) after being signed as a completely unknown player in the summer of 2013. He came over to North America for the 2014-15 season and, after putting up decent depth numbers for Utica, he set the world on fire at the NHL level (relatively speaking of course).
So you’ll forgive Vancouver fans for their love affair with Latvian hockey players. Upon finding out that the Canucks had invited Latvian born forward Rodrigo Abols to the Young Stars Classic, we were of course ecstatic. Could this be the next Ronalds Kenins? Plus, you know, he’s 6-foot-3, so meat and potatoes? Check! Sign him! Sign him immediately!
Well you can’t have him. At least not yet. The dirty rotten CBA is preventing us from laying claim to the next great Latvian (probably), and here’s how it’s doing it.
September 14 2015 01:05PM
(Photo Credit Lindsay A. Mogle/Utica Comets)
Last year in Utica, the Comets enjoyed a very successful sophomore season in the AHL, marching all the way to the Calder Cup Finals, where they lost in 5 games to the Manchester Monarchs. As a hockey team, this is just about all you can ask for in a hockey season (although 3 more wins would have been welcomed).
However the Comets are an AHL team, and as such they are primarily a development team, feeding the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks. It is the job of the Comets’ staff to prepare NHL prospects to play at the next level. In this regard, reviews from the Canucks fanbase were considerably more mixed, with many feeling that winning was too much of a priority and development was taking a backseat.
Well some fans in Vancouver may get their wish. The winds of change are blowing, and given the off-season transactions, it’s looking like the Comets will be forced to the other extreme of the win versus development scale.
September 10 2015 03:00PM
It’s a question that you’ve heard before and undoubtedly one that you will hear again, especially as this decade comes to a close: are the Sedins worthy of induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame?
For me, the answer is a resounding yes, but last I checked, the Hall of Fame committee wasn’t putting a particularly high value on my opinion. So instead, I will use this lovely September day to provide a sample of the ever-mounting evidence that Daniel and Henrik Sedin are deserving of being immortalized in hockey’s greatest shrine.