Markus Naslund Hires Former Canucks Assistant Coach to Fill Same Role for Modo

Thomas Drance
April 24 2013 09:35AM

Naslund introduces Modo's new coaching staff including former Canucks Assistant Barry Smith (sporting a blazer in the middle).
Screenshot via

Nearly five years ago, with his future with the Canucks organization still uncertain following the hiring of new General Manager Mike Gillis to replace Dave Nonis (the man who'd originally hired him), Alain Vigneault told his longtime assistants Barry Smith and their other colleague Mike Kelly that their expertise would no longer be needed in Vancouver. The Canucks retained Vigneault and one assistant coach in Rick Bowness in a move that, at the time, suggested that Alain Vigneault had passed a grueling examination from the incoming General Manager and would be retained.

Since then Barry Smith, who was a Canucks assistant coach when current Modo General Manager Markus Naslund captained the Canucks from 2006 to 2008, tragically lost his wife, moved to Europe, and coached the Danish and Dutch men's national hockey teams. Now he'll be an assistant to Anders Forsberg next season in Örnsköldsvik, coaching Modo the former club team of the Sedin twins, and working for the Swedish sniper whose number nineteen hangs in the rafters at Rogers Arena.

Read past the jump.

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Canucks AHL Affiliate Won't be in Abbotsford Next Season, Looking at Other Options

Thomas Drance
April 24 2013 07:50AM

To the surprise of many, both the Heat and the Rivermen might still exist next season.
Photograph by: Gerry Kahrmann , PNG files

The Canucks, who recently purchased the Peoria Rivermen amidst much speculation that the club would move the team to the Fraser Valley and supplant the Flames affiliated Abbotsford Heat, will ultimately not have a farm team located in Abbotsford next season. As first reported by Dan Kinvig of the Abbotsford News, that much is clear, though it's reportedly not for a lack of trying on the part of both the Canucks organization, the Flames organization and the city of Abbotsford itself.

So what went wrong and what are some possible fallback options for the Canucks? We'll look into it on the other side of the jump.

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Duncan Keith: Sexist? Or just a jerk?

Patrick Johnston
April 23 2013 10:29AM

Yes, this is a very flattering picture of Duncan Keith

Twitter blew up on Monday night, and the blogosphere blew up on Tuesday morning, about an exchange between the Team 1040's Karen Thomson and Blackhawks dman Duncan Keith during the post game scrum on following Monday night's Canuckw victory. It was an exchange that focused on Keith errant slash of Daniel Sedin during the latter's scoring the third goal of the game.

Keith framed his comments as asking Thomson whether she had ever played the game. Did he do that because he figured, as a woman, she'd never played sports? Or did he do it because of the tired, 'oh, you're just a reporter, you couldn't possibly know what it's like to be in the heat of the moment during a game, since, obviously, you've never played the game.'

Many jumped on the former bandwagon, but is that really the case?

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Canucks Pulverize the Blackhawks

Thomas Drance
April 23 2013 01:46AM

LoL Duncan Keith
Photograph by Jeff Vinnick via NHLI/Getty

The Canucks have been reeling somewhat of late, partly as a result of injuries along their backend, but they got some relief on Monday night in the form of Chris Higgins. Higgins' presence alongside Derek Roy and Ryan Kesler in Vancouver's top-six was key to a dominant first period performance for the Canucks. The Sedins took over from there, and Vancouver's club didn't look back, completely crushing the Blackhawks by a three to one score that flattered the away side.

It was something of a cathartic victory for the Canucks, and a memorable one that included Daniel Sedin moving into second place on the all-time franchise points leaderboard, and Frank Corrado's rather impressive NHL debut.

Read past the jump for more analysis and scoring chance data.

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Game #46 preview: Hawks @ Canucks

Patrick Johnston
April 22 2013 03:20PM


It's amazing how a narrative can be lost in a short season, but perhaps you've forgotten about just where things are betweenthe Chicagos and the Vancouvers...

These teams hate each other. The last time out, Jannik Hansen bashed Marian Hossa in the head. He was jumping to grab the puck but got all noggin instead. Intentional or not, it was reckless. (It also turned the game - Chicago was leading 3-1, Hossa had two goals and five shots.)

Chicago went on to win that game in a shootout, preserving their consecutive-points streak and tying the previous NHL standard of 16 games. They are roaring along again, having won 9 of 11 games.

Hossa and Hansen's encounter was the second meeting. The first game was two weeks before, at the beginning of February, in Vancouver. The Canucks took that tilt 2-1 in a shootout, despite being woefully outclassed in that game too.

Round three goes tonight; the playoffs are just around the corner, will either team go at the other as hard as they did in the previous two encounters?

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