January 18 2013 08:40AM
We're all thinking it. The kid's time is now.
While there's been a lot of obfuscation on this one, Ryan Kesler appears to be ahead of schedule. The first ten games of the season features seven games against teams that should finish behind the Canucks.
The table is set to run out the young guy and see if he's got the stuff as an NHL player. This needs to be qualified by all of the tabel salt, but he certainly appeared to in Thursday night's scrimmage.
For most prognosticators, Andrew Ebbett's maturity and actual NHL experience has kept him a the presumptive fronter to be the short term number two centre to begin the season. But that's the risk-averse pick, and I hate risk-averse decisions. The best picks are the educated risks and Jordan Schroeder would be an educated risk.
January 17 2013 08:06PM
Vancity Buzz thinks Zack Kassian is a dead ringer for Richard Simmons.
I triple doggy dare them to say that to his face.
Our pal Jeff Angus, who is moving on up, made his debut at Canucks.nhl.com with a two part fantasy hockey primer. Congrats to Jeff and the good folks at Canucks.nhl.com for making a smart, smart hire.
Cam Charron lambasts the notion that the so called "Luongo rule" will have a negative impact on the star goaltender's trade value. The crux of Cam's argument is that there are no guarantee that Luongo will retire early and that the cap-hit would most likely be manageable anyway. Also that the penalty is so far off that, well, who really cares? So basically the "Luongo rule" is exactly like the budget deficit.
Jordan Bowman put together a Canucks scavanger hunt that you can keep with you during the season, and cross things like "John Garrett mentions cheese on the broadcast" or "John Garrett mentions a show he likes on the broadcast" off the list as they happen! In real time! Funny stuff.
Jason Botchford chats with Cory Schneider about critical moments in his evolution as a player, and the anxiety attack that caused him to cramp up in game six of the first round series against Chicago in 2011.
In "best things that happened on the internet today" DownGoesBrown and Blogge Salming dropped a parody trailer "Luongo Unchained." Featuring Brian Burke lines like, "Davey [Nonis] you had my attention, but now you have my job" this is just excellent, excellent stuff. Nice write up from Pass it to Bulis too.
More Canucks news and links after the jump.
January 17 2013 03:52PM
Eight months after you started this stupid series, and you're still writing these huh Drance?
The closer we get to the opening of the lockout shortened 2013 NHL season, set to begin for the Canucks in something like 52 hours (as of the time of this writing), the more likely it seems that Roberto Luongo will remain with the team to start the season. If that's the case, Alain Vigneault appears likely to start Roberto Luongo in one of the team's two games this weekend (against Edmonton or Anaheim):
AV: 'last 2 years, when both goalies healthy, I've split duties on back to backs. You can read into that what you want.' #Canucks— Jeff Paterson (@patersonjeff) January 17, 2013
To add to the mounting evidence that Luongo could remain in Vancouver: the Toronto Maple Leafs, long thought to be the most likely Luongo trade destination have recently gutted their centre depth by trading Matt Lombardi to Phoenix, losing Keith Aucoin on waivers to the Islanders, and waiving fragile offensive centreman Tim Connolly on Thursday. It's beginning to look an awful lot like Tyler Bozak and Nazem Kadri - the two most oft-rumoured Maple Leafs who might be sent to the Canucks in a Luongo package - will play key roles on the Maple Leafs this season.
So what are some of the advantages to keeping Luongo, and what's the potential downside? Could this really hapen or is Canucks General Manager Mike Gillis simply working to a particularly excruciating deadline as is his usual modus operandi?
January 17 2013 02:35PM
You may have heard: the Canucks played something akin to hockey Wednesday night. They are doing similar Thursday night. Here's a rundown of what it's like to see 'hockey' at the biggest barn in town.
The lockout took hockey away for longer than anyone wanted. Being offered up a free dose wasn't so bad, really, but an early preseason training match, even one featuring high-end NHL talent like this one, is always going to have warts. Finding a hot dog? That's supposed to be easy.
Yours truly trekked down to Rogers Arena on Wednesday night, carting along my new roommate, newly-arrived from the UK. He's been a gamer, trying to enjoy the weekly dose of NFL football at our place but he admitted he was seriously hoping to find more energy in hockey. A chance to watch a "game" for free? Done and done.
What follows is mostly about efforts to engage with fans as well as the actual on-ice product and a little bit about a new fan.
January 17 2013 11:35AM
Back in 2011, the Canucks dressed Cory Schneider over incumbent netminder Roberto Luongo for a critical game six in the Mad-House. You might remember it, since it remains the biggest single story in Vancouver sports history.
We all know what came next: the Canucks dominated the Blackhawks throughout the game, and Cory Schneider made some excellent saves but also some really bad decisions handling the puck. Ultimately he left the game when he cramped up following a converted Michael Frolik penalty-shot goal that tied the game. Vancouver went on to lose in overtime, before "slaying the dragon" in game seven.
In talking about that contest with Cory Schneider on Wednesday, Jason Botchford got Vancouver's presumptive number one goaltender this season to make a scintilating admission. According to Cory Schneider, when he cramped up in Chicago in game six it wasn't dehydration, it wasn't anything physical at all in fact - rather he was dealing with anxiety that forced him from the game.
Read on past the jump.