Season Preview: Goats and Stars

Thomas Drance
September 27 2011 11:38AM

It's become a tradition: every year at the Nations Network, our writers and commenters pick their stars — that one player who they will praise without end no matter what — and their goats — their yearly whipping-boy; he who can do no good for the season.

And this season is no exception.

CanucksArmy has expanded in the past few months, and our roster of writers has grown along with the blog. Writing for the site this season will be: Jeff Angus, TinfoilTuque, Cam Charron, Thomas Drance, Remy Greer (aka Herbert Vasilijevs), Patrick Johnston and Alix Wright. 

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More Than a Word

Thomas Drance
September 27 2011 09:20AM


Photo Credit: Matt Slocum/AP

Editors Note: Shane (@socialassassin2) is an opinionated Canucks fan, and comedy aficionado. We disagree on most everything about hockey, but I've always respected his wit and argumentative style. I've invited him to post at CanucksArmy on several occasions because he thinks I'm a huge homer, and I like the idea of airing a dissenting opinion on the blog. This isn't that dissenting opinion, instead it's Shane's personal take on the Simmonds/Avery incident and how the presence of homophobia and gay-slurs in professional sports impacts a gay sports fan.

By: Shane M

Nobody loves sports more than I do. I'm the sort of emotional fan who lives and dies with my favorite teams. With every horrible throw Tarvaris Jackson makes, a little bit of me dies. When Mason Raymond wrists another weak shot into the goalie's pads, I consider putting my fist through the TV. When Wally Buono makes another bone-headed decision, I convince myself I'm done with cheering for the Lions. Ok, that all may be a bit over-dramatic but you get the point.

The funny thing is that, though I'm a huge sports fan, I'm also gay. Based on the (admittedly limited) interactions I've had with other homosexuals, there aren't many who share my passion for sports, although I'm sure they do exist...somewhere.

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Headshots September 26th

Thomas Drance
September 26 2011 02:32PM


The best part about Campoli signing with the Habs today? It's an excuse to post this again!

Headshots are a Canucksarmy feature where we link to the days freshest news, and other assorted Canucks web-goodies. If you've written a blogpost and would like it to be featured in our Headshots po sts please e-mail me at thom.drance@gmail.com.

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Pre-Pre-Season Thoughts

Thomas Drance
September 26 2011 01:32PM


Owen Nolan was cut yesterday. Was his "Recchi-like" presence something the team needed?

I didn't write a gamer last night, because frankly, if the Canucks aren't dressing a "Canucks line-up," why waste the effort? We've seen five preseason games so far this September, and only Marco Sturm among sure-fire top-9 forwards, and absolutely no top-4 Dmen have suited up for even a single game. The Canucks are resting their veterans, and the "Wolves in Canucks clothing" are getting dominated by the top-lines of legitimate teams. You have to feel for Eddie Lack and Cory Schneider who got lit up for four goals apiece in their respective games this weekend. Facing guys like Getzlaf, Perry, Thornton and Marleau behind a blue-line featuring names like Keith Ballard, Alexander Sulzer and Nolan Baumgartner isn't an enviable task.

The Canucks play the Ducks again on Wednesday and finally should dress some of their actual roster players. So lets call the upcoming two games this week the actual "pre-season," and categorize what's gone before as the "pre-pre-season." Here's some thoughts, on what we've seen in the pre-pre-season.

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The Lost Russians

Thomas Drance
September 26 2011 11:28AM


Remember Kirill Koltsov?

Editors note: Andrey Osadchenko is the senior Russian Correspondent at the Nations Network. He writes regularly in Russian at allhockey.ru, and has a series of web videos called "Joining the Rush" with Steve Dangle. Today Andrey catches up with some of the former Russian-born draft picks of the Canucks organization. The piece underscores why drafting Russian-born players has gone somewhat out of style; simply put, it's a risky proposition. 

For generations, Russia has been known as a "promised land" in terms of producing skilled hockey players. Among all NHL teams, the Canucks would know that. After all, they were lucky enough to have arguably the best Russian players in the history of hockey on their roster in Igor Larionov and Pavel Bure.

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