March 14 2016 03:00PM
Dan Hamhuis is a good hockey player -- of that, there is no doubt.
Ask around the Vancouver Canucks locker room, especially among the crop of rookies on this year’s roster, and you’ll quickly discover Hamhuis is a heck of a teammate too. From words of wisdom to help the young players transition to life in the big leagues to having young teammates over for dinner to get to know them better, Hamhuis has made a point of trying to share the experiences he’s enjoyed over a 12-year National Hockey League career with players who are just embarking on their paths as professionals.
March 09 2016 02:29PM
Photo credit: Matt Kartozian/USA TODAY Sports
With five goals in his first nine games, Jared McCann burst onto the National Hockey League scene as if he’d been shot out of a cannon. For two weeks at least, the Vancouver Canucks first year centre held his own with that other McRookie who was attracting much of the attention of the hockey world.
McCann’s offensive production has all but vanished in the second half of his first season as a professional. The teenager himself has not. He's remained on the Canucks roster as a 19-year-old.
While it’s been a struggle at times and a stern test both physically and perhaps more so mentally learning the ropes in the best league in the world, McCann has no doubt he is a much better player now than he was five months ago.
March 06 2016 03:21PM
The Vancouver Canucks have scored nine power play goals in their past nine games. That’s how many they scored in the 30 games prior to the team’s most-productive stretch of the season. Without Alex Edler, Brandon Sutter, Radim Vrbata and now captain Henrik Sedin – all fixtures on the team’s top unit when healthy – somehow the Canucks are on this red-hot run and have never been hotter than they wereSaturday night when they scored three times on seven opportunities in a 4-2 win over the Sharks in San Jose.
The Canucks are nine for 26 on the power play the past nine games (34.6%) which is nearly double the team’s overall season efficiency of 18.6%. So it’s been a fortunate run to say the very least. You know that’s the case when Dan Hamhuis is scoring goals on the power play as he did against the Sharks netting the third period game winner. Hamhuis’ goal was one of 12 shots the Canucks registered with the man-advantage on the night. That total represents 35% of the power play shots the Canucks have generated during this hot stretch of success.
March 03 2016 03:38PM
Photo Credit: Winslow Townson / USA TODAY Sports
For months, as the world around them recognized that this year’s edition of the Vancouver Canucks was not going to qualify for the playoffs, Canucks players refused to accept that fate. Regardless of the results or the mounting deficit they faced in the push to the Stanley Cup playoffs, Vancouver's players refused to take the bait when the line of questioning started down that path.
Home ice losses to San Jose and the New York Islanders have changed that. Now there is nowhere to hide. Even the players can’t ignore the writing on the wall – the big block letters – that spell things out very clearly: when the Stanley Cup playoffs begin this spring, the Canucks will not be a part of them. All that’s left now is the uncomfortable task of playing out the string with 20 games still remaining on the schedule.
This is all new to Bo Horvat and not just at this level.
March 01 2016 11:00AM
It wasn't that long ago the blueprint was so clear: the Vancouver Canucks were going to move Dan Hamhuis, Radim Vrbata, Chris Higgins, Brandon Prust and potentially another piece or two ahead of the National Hockey League trade deadline and the heavy-lifting required to complete a full-fledged rebuild was going to be fast-tracked by the assets assembled through the shrewd moves of management. At least that was the plan.
The reality, however, looks considerably different after the deadline lapsed and the Canucks were left with all of their devalued trade pieces and nothing in the way of new building blocks for the future. In a word, the day was disastrous for the Canucks who not only accomplished nothing to help themselves, but watched as one of their chief rivals, the Calgary Flames -- in the midst of a rebuild of their own -- pulled off the deal they couldn't.
This will be a day that is talked about for years to come in this city. Remember where you were on trade deadline 2016 when the Canucks did absolutely nothing? And sadly, it's the kind of thing that will stay with long-suffering Canucks fans. So yes, for years many will recall exactly where they were as the clock struck midday and word got out that the team had been left holding the bag.