Afternoon Headshots: February 14th

Thomas Drance
February 14 2013 04:07PM

The Japandroids sport Canucks gear during a live show.

So over at, they've reached "phase II" on project NU2 which aims to replace U2's "Where the Streets have no Name" which the Canucks have used as entrance music since as far back as I can remember, with another track by one of six artists. There is only one right call and it's the Japandroids and their song "House that Heaven Built." This isn't even close, guys, the other songs are legitimately not good and the Japandroids track is perfect as a new entry song. First of all the band themselves root for the team, secondly, the lyrics are about defiance and maintaining a sense of yourself in spite of pressure and thirdly there's a catchy bit that everyone can sing in unison as the team skates onto the ice. Please go vote Japandroids (and not Nickleback). []

Read on past the jump for more links and Canucks news.

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Mike Gillis on the Team's Decision to Place Malhotra on the IR

Thomas Drance
February 14 2013 03:42PM

Following today's announcement that veteran Canucks centreman Manny Malhotra was going to be placed on Injured Reserve for the balance of the season, Mike Gillis addressed the situation with the media. The way Mike Gillis' comments leaked out slowly on Twitter from the mainstream Vancouver media was, I think, a little bit confusing. I don't blame Vancouver's sports reporters on this, because the point Mike Gillis was making was very nuanced. It dealt with quality of life issues, adaptability and risk management, and issues as complex as those don't really translate well to 140 character snippets.

To put it as briefly as I can from listening to the audio on the Team 1040, Mike Gillis made a judgement call. After wrestling with this decision for nearly a year (at least) Vancouver's General Manager ultimately decided that Malhotra's lack of vision put him at risk on the ice at the NHL level. It was a risk that Mike Gillis " wasn't prepared to live with," in his own words.

Read on past the jump.

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Manny Malhotra Placed on Injured Reserve, Won't Play Again this Season

Thomas Drance
February 14 2013 12:53PM

The news trickled out mid-day on Thursday that Canucks centreman Manny Malhotra - who nearly lost his left eye as a result of a freak accident during the 2010-11 NHL season - has been placed on injured reserve, and will miss the rest of the season. Here's the press release from that quotes Canucks General Manager Mike Gillis as saying "The long term health of Manny Malhotra is of utmost importance to our organization" and adding that "Manny will continue to be a valued member of our organization.”

This post is now updated to include analysis so click past the jump.

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Chris Higgins and the Value of the Role Player

Jeff Angus
February 14 2013 11:51AM

Canucks fans didn`t have much in the way of expectations for Chris Higgins after the club acquired him and Maxim Lapierre at the 2011 trade deadline.

Those two moves were largely overlooked at the time and Higgins and Lapierre were described as "depth players" and "insurance." But Higgins and Lapierre were integral parts of Vancouver`s Stanley Cup run and almost two years later, they are both playing consistent minutes for Vancouver. Higgins, in particular, has found a home with the Canucks as its Mr. Everything (a title he shares with Jannik Hansen). He can play on the power play and on the penalty kill. He is a great skater, he hits, and he is one of the best Canucks at winning one-on-one puck battles along the boards.

Let`s take a bit of a look back at Higgins and his journey over the past few years.

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Canucks GM Mike Gillis blames “some guy in his mother’s basement” for Luongo buyout talk

Jonathan Willis
February 14 2013 10:44AM

On Tuesday, Canucks GM Mike Gillis did an interview with Hockey Central, ostensibly to talk about the Canucks’ new 10-year deal with Sportsnet, which hosts the show. Unsurprisingly, the discussion soon turned to Vancouver’s goaltenders, with the bulk of the focus falling on Luongo, who has been a staple in trade rumours for most of the last year.

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