November 13 2012 11:00AM
If you're a longtime Vancouver Canucks fan born from the mid-1980s on, you came onto the team in one of two distinct eras. The most recent is the West Coast Express era, one that ended a trend of sagging attendance and teams at General Motors Place. The West Coast Express era was known for Markus Naslund's near-miss as the league's top scorer, for Heavy Eric's ode to Todd Bertuzzi, and for regular callers on Vancouver sports radio decrying the Sedin twins as not providing ample secondary scoring.
The first is the Pavel Bure era. I have a few cognitive memories from the 1992-1993 season, but unlike the time between 2007-2010, the gaps in the era aren't due to excessive alcohol consumption through undergrad, but rather because I was too friggin' young to know anybody on the team.
November 13 2012 07:27AM
A past-his-prime Scott Gomez. Tom Pyatt. Michael Busto. An over-the-hill Olli Jokinen. Brandon Prust. Evan Oberg. A third round draft pick. Those are all of the assets that Chris Higgins was traded for over the span of two years, as he transitioned from being a former lottery pick to a journeyman who couldn't find a place to stick.
As the story goes, the Canucks weren't even all that interested in Higgins in February of 2011, when they acquired him from the Panthers at the trade deadline. They had their sights set on another player, but wound up making a deal for Higgins - who was on the shelf with a hand injury at the time - in the final minutes before the deadline in an attempt to bolster themselves on the wing for a long playoff run.
Once he arrived in Vancouver, Higgins was able to lay claim to something that not many others could: he had called five different cities "home" over the course of the previous 20 months. Since then, he has proven to be an exceptionally valuable commodity for the Canucks, and a darling of the advanced stats community. But still, I feel that there are far too many hockey fans out there who don't appreciate what he brings to the table, and it's time that we change that.
Read Past the Jump for More on Chris Higgins.
November 12 2012 03:18PM
The glory of the rush
In the hundred years of the NHL, there have been few players who lifted fans out of their seats. Many are just names from the past, but others are visceral images. Names like Richard, Morenz, Lalonde, Cook, Orr, LaFleur, Coffey...all remind us of the thrill of the end-to-end rush.
There's a spike of adrenaline in that moment, where you begin to overflow with excitement. Seeing a player wind up at one end and then take their patented explosive first stride to gain the neutral zone is just the beginning; you hope there will bemore. The player gains the red line, the defence is retreating, then the blue line and...
November 12 2012 11:59AM
Rogers Sportsnet does a lot of things very well, employing Michael Grange or hosting the Marek Versus Wyshynski podcast for example. Their digital content arm however, lags somewhat behind the offerings hockey fans get from the Score, Yahoo and NBC (among others).
Today, they're jumping off of Jason Botchford's take on Canucks fans booing Justin Schultz from this past weekend, and plugging the post as Justin Schultz saying that "picking the Oilers over the Canucks was the best decision of his career." Sounds racy, huh? Except that the actual quote itself is anything but.
Click past the jump for more.
November 12 2012 09:51AM
With complicated CBA negotiations, you have to use your mind.
The CBA negotiations are ongoing. They're tedious. They're confusing. Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr have proven that as long as they're leading negotiations, the tires of progress are going to continue to spin in the snow. They need a push, they need solid conclusions, and for that a mediator has been brought on board. His name is Tom Smykowski, he's known for his people skills, and he has a brilliant idea:
Despite the pessimism of Samir and Michael, Tom has been asked to take this idea and apply it to the NHL lockout, similar to what he did for the Canucks last season.
Here is what he's come up with. Click through to JUMP!