Kesler, Glass, Byfuglien Star in Newest You Can Play PSA

Thomas Drance
June 12 2012 08:13AM

It was announced several months ago that Vancouver centre Ryan Kesler would represent the Canucks for the You Can Play Project, and record a PSA in support of ending casual homophobia in sports. We've been eagerly anticipating it ever since.

The video, embedded above, dropped today and it delivers. Also, with a cast that includes old nemesis Dustin Byfuglien, and Tanner "scrabble champion" Glass it's actually somewhat Canucks centric.

Read past the jump!

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Patrick Burke on You Can Play's focus, gendered insults, and Kesler's Upcoming PSA

Thomas Drance
June 11 2012 02:24PM


You Can Play President Patrick Burke (left) and his father Brian from a YCP PSA from earlier this year.
Stick-tap to Puck Daddy for the screen grab.

Editors note: Patrick Burke is a scout for the Philadelphia Flyers and the President of the You Can Play Project, an organization that was founded in honour of Patrick's openly gay brother Brendan, who perished in a tragic car accident on February 5th, 2010. Over the past several months, Patrick and You Can Play have been producing a series of public service announcements starring some of the biggest names in the hockey world. These PSAs have one simple message: an athlete's sexual orientation shouldn't and doesn't matter: if you can perform on the ice (or on the field, or on the mound, or on the hardwood) you belong there: "if you can play, you can play."

It's an apolitical message, a message of tolerance and respect. The goal is to combat homophobia in the locker room, and to create an environment where gay athletes, at the professional or amateur level, can feel safe to come out to their teammates and to the public.

Tomorrow, You Can Play will roll out another PSA, starring Canucks centre and Selke winner Ryan Kesler. Earlier today, we caught up with Patrick and chatted about how Kesler is a perfect fit for the campaign, about gendered insults in sports, about the importance of You Can Play remaining an apolitical movement, and about how you're not going to accomplish your goals, if you're constantly getting outraged. 

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Craig MacTavish Steps Down as Wolves Head Coach

Thomas Drance
June 11 2012 11:39AM

 

It has been announced today that the Canucks and Craig MacTavish, a team employee who was the head-coach of Vancouver's AHL affiliate club the Chicago Wolves, are parting ways. Craig MacTavish has stepped down to "pursue other opportunities" and in particular, other opportunities in the Edmonton Oilers front-office.

It had been speculated that Mac-T was preparing to re-join the Edmonton Oilers, albeit not in a head-coaching capacity, and sure enough only moments after the news broke that he was stepping down in Chicago, the Oilers confirmed that MacTavish will join the organization as the Senior VP of Hockey Operations.

Click past the jump for more.

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Strombabble: The Threat of an Offer Sheet

Thomas Drance
June 05 2012 02:04PM

 

While officially nothing has really happened on the Luongo trade front over the past month - Mike Gillis declined to give the Team 1040 an update on the situation just this morning - it seems as if the ground is shifting on a near daily basis. There's a whole whack of misinformation out there at the moment, from Gillis' repeatedly denying that Luongo is on the block, to Yzerman's comments about looking for a goaltender at the draft. Where a week ago we were worried that Gillis had lost the plot between the pipes, recent developments have shrunk the number of available veteran goaltenders on the market considerably, and we think that gives Gillis a tiny bit more leverage. 

At this point, most Canucks fans understand the basic shape of the tricky maneuver Mike Gillis is attempting to pull off with his two star goaltenders. The Canucks are looking to trade an extremely useful player in Luongo, whose toxic contract largely negates his positive value, but they've got to move him in order to convince Cory Schneider to sign a long-term deal with the team. The Canucks would benefit enormously on the "Schneider contract negotiation front" if they were able to handle the Luongo situation at the draft, so you have to think that's the club's preference, certainly we do.

We're likely to spend much of the next month breaking down, reacting to and analyzing bits of idle chatter, radio interviews and columns about the situation in the Canucks net - so we figured we'd launch a series. We call it Strombabble, and today we'll break down the fearsome possibility of Cory Schneider signing a predatory offer sheet in early July.

As always, click past the jump for more.

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Luongo and the Dwindling Veteran Goaltender Market

Thomas Drance
June 04 2012 03:20PM

Roberto Luongo, he of the immovable contract and the world's best athlete Twitter account, is probably never going to fetch the Canucks much more than cap-relief and a couple of low-value lottery tickets in a trade. About a month ago, James Mirtle compellingly characterized the Luongo market as bearish:

Consider that Luongo has a no-trade clause, which he can use to land in a particular destination or two if he chooses. Dumping him in a market that has little chance for immediate success may not be an option. For another, that contract mitigates his value considerably, as the remaining 10 years at a $5.33-million cap hit will come with some risk given the new collective bargaining agreement is on its way this fall.

I don't need to tell Canucks fans that there are a litany complicating factors in any potential Luongo deal, and anyway, Gillis' repeated denials on the subject speak volumes. We at CanucksArmy still think Luongo will be moved at the draft, the team incurs too great an opportunity cost on the "re-signing Cory Schneider long-term" front if they don't find a home for their well compensated, greasily coiffed goaler. Luckily for Gillis In recent weeks the market for "available veteran goaltenders" has withered, and that's a shift in Gillis' favour. Let's take a look.

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