Skip the 'A' and just give Horvat the 'C' this summer

Jeff Paterson
February 17 2017 11:00AM

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Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin - USA TODAY Sports

Last summer, in a Province column, I lobbied for the Vancouver Canucks to bring Bo Horvat into their leadership group and make him an alternate captain. I have since revised my thinking on the matter. Now, I want them to skip the A altogether and just give him the captain’s C this off-season.

I say this with all the respect in the world to Henrik Sedin – the man who currently holds the captaincy and has done so through the best stretch of hockey in the organization’s history. Sedin’s track record speaks for itself on the ice, in the locker room and the community. Short of bringing a Stanley Cup to Vancouver, Sedin has delivered in every way possible and gone above and beyond to represent the organization.

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The Canucks Power Play on the Road; The Struggle is Real

Jeff Paterson
February 06 2017 03:00PM

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Photo Credit: Sergei Belski - USA TODAY Sports

A few weeks back, Vancouver Canucks head coach Willie Desjardins pledged his full support for his team’s struggling power play. ‘Good players who’ve scored before’ was the beleaguered coach’s rationale when pressed on reasons for sticking with the same groups and essentially the same formations he’s used all season with limited success. And in the past eight games, the Canucks power play is 3 for 14 (21.4%) – which by Canucks' standards this season is scorching hot. Brandon Sutter bunted a puck out of mid-air past Devan Dubnyk late in the second period of Saturday’s 6-3 loss to Minnesota and prior to that Sven Baertschi in Colorado and Troy Stecher in Chicago had scored with the man-advantage.

So maybe, just maybe, there are signs the Canucks power play is awakening from a season-long slumber. Maybe. Bet let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. The power play is 8/58 (13.8%) in the past 20 games and on the season remains a huge issue sitting 28th in the league at 22/153 (14.4%).

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Desjardins moves into Top 5 in Canucks coaching wins

Jeff Paterson
January 26 2017 11:00AM

Of the 18 men to serve as head coach of the Vancouver Canucks in nearly 50-years of existence, Willie Desjardins now trails just four of them on the franchise’s all-time regular season wins list. With Wednesday’s 3-2 triumph over the Colorado Avalanche in Denver, Desjardins joined Bob McCammon with 102 coaching victories moving him into a tie for fifth in franchise history. Alain Vigneault leads the way with 313 followed by Marc Crawford (246), Harry Neale (142) and Pat Quinn (141).

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The Art of the Beaver Tail: Troy Stecher wants the puck -- and he wants everyone to know it

Jeff Paterson
January 12 2017 01:00PM

Thwack-thwack-thwack.

If you’ve been to a Vancouver Canucks game this season, you have most certainly heard that sound. Watch a game on television or listen to the radio feed, and you’ve probably heard it, too.

It’s Troy Stecher letting everyone in the building know he wants the puck. And he wants it right now.

Thwack-thwack-thwack.

Growing up in Richmond and watching the Canucks in his youth, Stecher is well aware of the way Ryan Kesler used the ‘beaver tail’ – short taps of the stick on the ice in an effort to signal his desire for the puck. Kesler generally used the tactic as a defensive ploy hoping to fool opponents into an ill-advised drop pass.

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Is Horvat heading to the NHL All-Star Game?

Jeff Paterson
January 09 2017 05:49PM

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Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin - USA TODAY Sports

Bo Horvat insists he’s not sitting by his phone waiting for the call, but he does admit giving this month’s National Hockey League All-Star Game in Los Angeles some thought in recent weeks.

As Horvat emerges as the Vancouver Canucks leading scoring and has started to attract some attention around the league, don’t be surprised to see him selected as the team’s lone representative at the mid-season showcase when All-Star rosters are announced on Tuesday morning.

A panel of nhl.com writers had the third-year centre on its projected Pacific Division all-star team in an exercise posted to the league website Sunday afternoon. At least one player from each of the league’s 30 franchises will be selected to take part in the annual skills competition and the three-on-three tournament which was introduced to favourable reviews last year in Nashville.

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