August 27 2015 09:43AM
He was a playmaking Swedish centreman whose pass-first approach both wowed and occasionally frustrated fans. Though you knew he could score, shooting always seemed to be his last resort, even passing on the occasional breakaway. Even though everyone know he was looking to pass, his vision was such that defenders were often powerless to prevent him from finding linemates in prime scoring position. It was the 1980's, and - wait a second, who the hell am I writing about?
Thomas Gradin was just one identical twin winger away from being the 1980's answer to Henrik Sedin. Hailing from the town of Sollefteå, only an hour away from Örnsköldsvik, even his accent is of the same dialect as the wonder twins. Add to this that he played for Modo in the years before arriving in North America, and he also has a brother named Peter who played hockey but was never drafted... The resemblance is some kind of freaky. He was basically a Sedin before Sedinery was even cool.
Gradin easily makes the cut for the Canucks' All-Time team. Let's find out why.
August 26 2015 05:12PM
So in the last few weeks we've had a rash of blog posts and commentary about Jim Benning's "plan" for the Canucks. The takes range from "Benning has a great plan and he's making great deals just like when Gillis brought in Sundin" to "Benning has a plan, and don't worry if it makes you uneasy because look at the dumb moves Gillis made in his first couple years, like bringing in Sundin."
Now, do I think Benning has a plan? Sure. He has a plan. I don't particularly think it's a great plan, but he has one. The question, really, is whether or not this plan to retool on the fly, rather than tear it down and rebuild it is the way to go.
The interesting bit to me, is that Trevor Linden doesn't seem to think the full rebuild can work in this market. That the fans won't put up with it. But I've been around here long enough to know that what this fan base really won't put up with, is unrealistic expectations.
Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
August 26 2015 02:56PM
Do you ever wonder what the Vancouver Canucks would look like if they wore green jerseys? Well, you'll have to keep waiting, but the Utica Comets gave a bit of a teaser as to what such a design would look like, revealing their third jerseys for next season.
August 26 2015 09:57AM
Banner courtesy: Matthew Henderson
When one talks about miles traveled in reference to hockey players, they primarily mean the physical toll that player has suffered over the course of their career. When one talks about miles traveled in reference to Vancouver Canucks prospect Alexandre Grenier, it is said literally and with the utmost sincerity.
For the first time since being drafted by the Vancouver Canucks with the 90th overall pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Grenier was able to ply his craft in the same location over the span of a full calendar year. Building on an uninspiring rookie performance with the Utica Comets in 13-14, Grenier posted a highly productive 14-15 campaign which now has him in the discussion among the Canucks' top prospects.
Representative of Mike Gillis' strange appreciation for overage players named "Alex" in the middle rounds of the NHL draft, Grenier checks in at eighth in our organizational prospect ranking.
August 26 2015 08:55AM
For as long as we've known him, Alex Burrows has been a shit disturber. Marc Crawford asked as much of Burrows and he's delivered with a consistency that has endeared him to Vancouver and vilified him elsewhere.
An undrafted former ball hockey player, Burrows certainly took the road less traveled. The Canucks scouting staff originally found this diamond in the rough by scouring the ECHL ranks, where Burrows was plying his craft with the Columbia Inferno. The pesky if illegible forwards star ascended to the NHL less than two seasons thereafter, joining the Canucks as a regular by the end of the 2005-06 season.