In The Scrum: Thoughts & Observations From the Opening of Main Camp

Thomas Drance
September 19 2011 08:14AM

Photograph by: Nick Procaylo, PNG

Editor's note: It's a rare day indeed when CanucksArmy is able to publish a piece with actual access. Today is that rare day. These observations from the opening of Canucks Main Camp were written by friend of the blog Justin Morissette, who is a broadcast journalism student at BCIT in Vancouver. He occasionally blogs about moviesmoonlights as a stand-up comedian and once sang the national anthems at a Canucks game. Follow him on Twitter: @JustinMoris.

Through an equal dose of luck and opportunity, I recently found myself covering the opening day of Canucks’ main camp for a local television station. As the older, more seasoned beat reporters waited around the narrow hallway impatiently as players were led out to face the press one by one, my enthusiasm could not be deterred. “Just wait,” said one veteran. “You’ll come to hate this in time.” As someone who would have otherwise been sitting bored in a classroom had I not been there, standing bored in a hallway waiting to interview hockey players seemed like a pretty great place to be.

The Canucks’ have gone with a different set-up so far in this training camp, in terms of media availability, leading players out by request instead of opening up the room to reporters. While it gives the team more control over what “the message” is, it sadly cuts down on the chance to get an exclusive. I would have liked to have broken off from the pack and struck up a conversation with one of the lesser names in the dressing room to see if I could get something worthwhile, but alas, the opportunities just weren’t there this year. Not yet anyway... Here then, are my impressions from inside the belly of the beast:

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CanucksArmy Podcast

Thomas Drance
September 16 2011 01:23PM


Today's podcast is a somber episode.

Podcast regular Andrey Osadchenko of joins us to discuss the friends he lost in the Yaroslavl Lokomotiv plane crash. We also get into the reaction of the KHL to the tragedy in terms of whole sale changes in team travel policy, and of schedule changes. We also get into identifying the Russian Bob Mckenzie...

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Prospects Tourney Game 4 Review

Thomas Drance
September 15 2011 04:22PM

Four of these Prospects will be in Canucks main camp opening on Saturday.

Early this afternoon the Canucks prospects closed up the young stars tournament with a shutout loss at the hands of the Winnipeg Jets. The tournament ran all week (from Sunday through the end of today's game) and though the quality of the hockey wasn't great, it was still fun to watch. Of course it was, it's hockey! The Red Wings have hosted a similar prospects style tournament for years - and based on the Canucks explicitly stated desire to emulate Detroit's success, and the success of the event in Penticton - we can expect the "Young Stars Tournament" to become a mainstay for years to come.

Today the Canucks gave their invitees one last shot to impress, so they were short the likes of Sweatt, Schroeder, Longpre and Sauve. The Jets on the other hand dressed the bulk of their talent. Klingberg, Schiefele and Shayne Wiebe were very impressive and dominated play all game. The Canucks were steeply outshot - especially in the first and second periods - and were only kept in the game thanks to the stellar play of Karel St. Laurent. St. Laurent has been solid all tournament, but today was his best game. The Jets managed two goals, and also hit a post, as St. Laurent stopped thirty-three shots - many of his saves coming off of quality opportunities. 

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Mike Gillis is the Oprah of the PTO.

Thomas Drance
September 15 2011 09:30AM

Everyone gets one!

Yes, thats right! You get a PTO Manny Legace, you too Owen Nolan, and you get a PTO Niko Dimitrakos and Anders Eriksson! *cue excited screams*

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Prospects Tourney Game 3 Review

Thomas Drance
September 14 2011 08:35PM

He may not be the most photogenic prospect, but Adam Polasek made a good impression this evening.

With basically all of their name prospects (Schroeder, Sweatt, Anthony, Sauve, Erixon, Connauton) sitting out - a Canucks rookie squad composed mostly of undrafted invitees, late round picks and Anton Rodin put together the teams best performance so far in the Young-Stars tournament.

The unheralded group negated three one goal leads from the Sharks prospects before going up on a power-play goal late in the second period off of an Adam Polasek point-shot. They didn't look back. In the third period, the prospects were - *gasp* - really solid defensively, allowing only four shots in the frame.

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