On the Sweepstakes, Justin Schultz's Bust Potential, and Earning Ice Time

Thomas Drance
June 28 2012 07:56AM

There are conflicting reports, but it appears as if Justin Schultz, with his representatives from Newport Sports in tow, will begins to hear pitches from individual teams hoping desperately to land the highly touted 21 year old defenseman on Thursday. That's per Bob Mckenzie:

The Canucks, who continue to be seen as "front-runners" in the Schultz-derby, will likely be among the first to get a meeting with the West Kelowna product. McKenzie reports that the entire Canucks brain trust, including: General Manager Mike Gillis, Assistant General Manager and master negotiator Laurence Gilman, and head-coach Alain Vigneault are in Toronto at the moment, basically waiting around for their opportunity. I guess the team is interested.

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Why we're so fascinated by the Bure Enigma

Thomas Drance
June 27 2012 12:39PM

Yesterday, it was announced that Pavel Bure is to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame this November. Since noon pacific time when the news broke, the "Russian Rocket's" murky history, complicated legacy and rocky relationship with the Vancouver Canucks organization has been an endless topic of discussion.

Whether you think the Canucks reaction time, which was delayed and sterile, was outrageous or much ado about nothing - it inarguably served to underline the often acrimonious relationship between the team, and their first true superstar. We touched on it last night, but Tony Gallagher, who is in encyclopedic index of history, conspiracy theories and historical conspiracy theories, wrote a banger on the topic this morning. 

Here's the meat of what Tony wrote (though the article, somewhat absurdly, implies that Pavel believes Trevor Linden spread the infamous "holding out during the playoff" rumour during the 94 Stanley Cup Run...): 

He was rookie of the year that first season in ’92 and played his guts out every night, yet the off-ice relationship between Bure and management seemed to get worse on a daily basis, even though he stayed quiet about everything until it was finally all over.

It was like Pat Quinn and George McPhee thought he was a flash in the pan and that at any moment he would suddenly lose all his ability and be useless.

He was never treated as a star here, even though he was worth the price of admission every night and worth far in excess of players who were treated much better by the team. Early on he asked for the first time to be traded and he asked virtually every year Quinn was here, finally firing Salcer and hiring Mike Gillis as his agent to get him out of Vancouver.

Hiring an agent, and giving him direct instructions to remove you from a bad situation in Vancouver? Where have I heard that one before...

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Deafening Silence: Canucks Fail to Congratulate Bure on HHOF Selection

Thomas Drance
June 26 2012 03:31PM

This is how a professional organization congratulates a former great.

We've now known for nearly three hours that Pavel Bure - after being snubbed 6 previous times - was selected for induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Yet we've heard nothing, not a peep from Canucks.nhl.com, or the @VanCanucks Twitter feed, and fans in the digital space are outraged. (Update: The Canucks have issued a Press Release congratulating Pavel Bure, along with Mats Sundin. Here's the link. I stand by everything said in this article, this is a poor way to congratulate Bure, and I think the team whiffed big time on handling this appropriately.).

Read past the jump for the rest of the screed...

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Pavel Bure Joins Sundin, Sakic and Oates in 2012 HHOF Induction Class

Thomas Drance
June 26 2012 01:09PM

As first broken by the Score Ticker twitter account (tweet embedded below) - after six kicks at the can and six misses - former Canucks sniper Pavel "The Russian Rocket" Bure, one of the most electrifying players in NHL history, will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame this year. He'll join Burnaby born Joe Sakic, former Vancouver Canucks power forward Mats Sundin and newly minted Washington Capitals coach Adam Oates in the 2012 induction class. That's some fine company to go in with!

Here's the tweet that first informed Canucks fans of the news:

It has since been confirmed by multiple sources that Pavel Bure is a 7th ballot Hall of Famer. Whatever the story behind Bure's previous snubs, this honour is long overdue and well deserved.

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Canucks Front Runners for Justin Schultz?

Thomas Drance
June 26 2012 12:20PM

Canucks fans have long believed that Justin Schultz is probably Vancouver bound.

The desires of Canucks fans, however, have to be taken with a heaping of sea salt: every B.C. born defenseman in recent memory has been rumoured to want - in their heart of hearts - to come home and help the Canucks win a Cup. From Hamhuis, to Garrison, to Weber: the sea-to-sky boners from this fan-base endure through all contrary evidence.

But with "Justin Schultz decision day" nearing - the notion that the Canucks are a front-runner for Schultz's services is beginning to crop up more and more from respected reporters, insiders and even other NHL teams - and not just among the most optimistic Canucks fans.

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