Milan Lucic on possibility of playing in Vancouver: 'Your dream is to play for your hometown team'

Thomas Drance
November 21 2015 05:30PM

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Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports

Milan Lucic wearing a Vancouver Canucks jersey? As recently as May it was unthinkable with how several of the city's rotten apples treated the Vancouver-born forward in the wake of the Boston Bruins 2011 Stanley Cup victory.

A vandalized church. Threats that caused Lucic to alter his Cup celebration plans. Weird, drunk attempts to provoke fights with Lucic at late-night Pizza chains on Granville St..

When Lucic was on the block, though, the Canucks were interested and Lucic indicated that he'd actually had his hopes set on coming home. It's an understandable impulse, especially in the wake of a family tragedy, which Lucic made public last weekend in a touching Sportsnet piece.

And the pull of returning home is still strong for the prototypical NHL power forward, as he made clear in a recent interview with TSN's Frank Seravalli.

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Canucks reportedly haven't discussed Hamonic trade with Islanders; seem unlikely to get involved

Thomas Drance
November 21 2015 03:00PM

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Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports

It might not happen soon. It might not even happen this season. At some point, though, New York Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic will head west - most likely to a market with an international airport that flies direct to Winnipeg on a regular basis.

The Vancouver Canucks were listed as one of the teams Hamonic was hoping to be dealt to initially by TSN's Darren Dreger, but as we wrote at the time, it was hard to see how he fit with the team

It's not just fit that makes the Canucks an unlikely destination for Hamonic.

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Report: No extension talks between Canucks, pending UFA Vrbata

Thomas Drance
November 20 2015 02:30PM

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Photo Credit: Tom Szczerbowski/USA TODAY Sports

The hockey gods are choosing an inconvenient time to smite Vancouver Canucks forward Radim Vrbata.

Vrbata, 34, is about an consistent a first-line winger as you'll find in the NHL. That is until this season, where brutal percentages have ravaged his production. 

Considering Vrbata's age and that this is a contract year,  the fact of his being snake bit over the past six weeks may cost Vrbata a good deal of money on his next contract. And realistically this next contract may have been his last really good chance of getting capital P-A-I-D PAID.

As for whether or not that next contract may be with the Canucks, well, it's interesting to note that the two sides have yet to broach the subject, according to a report from ESPN's Pierre LeBrun.

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Canucks close out brutal road trip with another loss in Winnipeg

Thomas Drance
November 18 2015 10:17PM

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Photo Credit: Bruce Fedyck/USA TODAY Sports

Now that an unsuccessful road trip has come to an appropriate end with a 4-1 loss in Winnipeg, the Vancouver Canucks will return home a humbled group.

It was a brutal seven-game trip for the club, who squandered a promising start to the campaign by dropping six of seven contests, picking up just four of 14 possible points. The club lost narrowly on this road trip and they lost creatively. Vancouver blew big leads, lost close games, surrendered more points in the 3-on-3, shot themselves in the foot on special teams and received shoddy goaltending. 

And yet, for all of the bad, it's hard to escape the feeling that the Canucks deserved better - both in Wednesday night's game and on this road trip. This probably isn't a good team, but this isn't a lottery team. This team is better and played better than the ugly 1-4-2 record they racked up against likely non-playoff teams in the Eastern Conference. 

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Canucks' Sbisa penalized for rule 48 violation; could supplemental discipline be forthcoming?

Thomas Drance
November 18 2015 06:27PM

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Photo Credit: Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports

Vancouver Canucks defenseman Luca Sbisa returned to the lineup after an eight-game absence on Wednesday night.

Vancouver's physical third-pairing defender was obviously eager to make his impact felt in his return, but he may have been a bit too eager. 

Early in the contest, Sbisa hit Jets rookie Nikolaj Ehlers with what the referees ruled was an illegal check to the head. Could Sbisa's rule 48 violation warrant a call from the NHL's Department of Player Safety?

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