Best of the Nation - 11.11.12

Jonathan Willis
November 11 2012 10:27AM

Photo: Hakan Dahlstrom/Wikimedia/CC BY 2.0

It's Hockey Hall of Fame week, so we lead off with a question: should the Canucks retire Pavel Bure's jersey? From there, the conversation goes all over - NHL equivalencies, the impact of the lockout on AHL attendance, whether rebuilding actually works, the U.S. presidential election, how to win an Evander Kane autographed stick and jersey, NHL '13, puckhogs, the demise (or exaggerated demise?) of the Sedins and much more.

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Checking in on Joseph LaBate

Jeff Angus
November 09 2012 08:36AM

Canucks prospect Joseph LaBate has gotten off to a slow start this season at the University of Wisconsin. He is seeing more ice time compared to last year, but the Badgers have struggled out of the gate.

To find out why, I called on friend of the blog Andy Johnson, the editor of Wisconsin sports blog Bucky’s 5th Quarter.

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Why the Canucks Shouldn't Retire Pavel Bure's Number 10

Thomas Drance
November 08 2012 01:12PM

This weekend Pavel Bure will be going into the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, and it appears that the Russian Rocket - the most exciting player to ever don some variation of a Vancouver Canucks sweater - will be honoured at long last by the team as well. Late on Wednesday evening, Jason Botchford reported that the Canucks are likely planning on retiriing Pavel Bure's number 10 at some point when hockey is played again.

Based on what Bure meant to the franchise, to the city and the sport this should be a no-brainer. There are, however, other factors that make this decision a tricky one for the Canucks.

Read on past the jump.

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It's Time To Become Familiar With Joe Colborne

Dimitri Filipovic
November 08 2012 09:40AM

With no NHL hockey being played, Canucks fans haven't been left with too many alternatives to consume their time as these dreary Fall days drag on. Sure, there are some big names playing in the KHL - and its legitimacy is being supplemented by the wonderful highlight packages Steve Dangle and Andrey Osadchenko have been doing - but it's just not the same. 

I'm sure you'd prefer to be spending your time looking for suitable trade partners for Keith Ballard on Cap Geek as he's glued to the bench, or making fun of Mason Raymond for displaying the on-ice stability of an intoxicated 16-year old girl. But both of those will have to be put on hold for the time being.

For now, fans of the team will have to settle for two particular forms of entertainment to get by: following the Chicago Wolves as the team's top prospects continue to develop, and playing armchair GM in the anticipation of the inevitable Roberto Luongo deal. We have been covering the Wolves on a regular basis thus far, providing you with game recaps for every contest to-date.

But let's focus on the other topic, which Thomas Drance has wittily coined "Strombabble". In the months since the Canucks bowed out of the playoffs, there has been no shortage of rumours floated around. Unfortunately, there has been nothing definitive and thus, there's still plenty of uncertainty. What we can agree on is that three suitors have separated themselves from the pack - the Leafs, Oilers, and Panthers.

We all know about the big names from each of those teams that we'd like to see in a Canucks uniform, but chances are that Gillis won't be able to pry any of them loose. Instead, we'll spend the next few weeks taking a look at some of the more intriguing players that may actually be available. The name Joe Colborne has popped up in recent weeks, as a potential return for Luongo. But who exactly is Joe Colborne? And should Canucks fans care?

Read Past the Jump for More.

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Protecting Themselves: A Closer Look At Team Specific CBA Clauses

bookofloob
November 08 2012 08:29AM

NHL owners are a fickle bunch. They're savvy investors, skillful prognosticators, overall captains of industry. But what Joey Middle Class and Johnny Blue Collar fail to understand is that these billionaires who preside over the day-to-day actions of the NHL franchises we all know and love and used to watch play hockey is that they too are human. Behind the steely gaze of a Murray Edwards or brash bravado of an Ed Snider is a small, withered, insecure husk of a man who wants everyone to like them and hopes that no one is around to embarrass them when they try to talk to girls.

Part of that insecurity we have to acknowledge as hockey fans is that these owners are prone to mistakes. Proprietorship over a club is like having that whole collection of Ninja Turtle action figures you had as a kid, except on a much larger scale where there are real people involved. Who you control. Safe to say, that power can go to your head. Owners who fall prey to their own egos will test the limits of what is accepted or rational or allowed, just to see if anyone tries to get in their way and stop them (Exhibit A). Naturally, this can get owners in trouble, and unfortunately, they don't see the errors of their ways until it's a little bit too late (Might I once again remind you to take a gander at Exhibit A?!?!)

But, as luck would have it, these executives are empathetic and tend to look out for each other, as if they let one man go down based on his own merit as a billionaire, that's one less person they can play laser missile squash with at their secret rich guy clubs that we're not supposed to know about. As such, they band together, looking for ways to safeguard their power and vast influence from their single greatest nemesis:

Themselves.

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