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, 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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Jason Gregor
September 26 2011 09:51AM


Most Canadians at some point in their lives have dreamt about being in the NHL. Whether it was through your own eyes, the eyes of a parent as you took your child to a 6 a.m. practice, or even as your infant sits on your lap while you watch Hockey Night in Canada, most of us have fantasized about being directly involved in the NHL.

Often we watch those who have accomplished the near-impossible dream and wish we had their life - millions of dollars, millions of fans and seemingly no real-life issues.
However, no amount of money and fame can protect you from the harsh realities of life.

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Player types: The defensive liability

Cam Charron
September 25 2011 10:56AM



Earlier, I introduced on The Nations Network a new way of looking at a player's plus/minus rating, specifically to do with on-ice shot differential, in an effort to learn more about teams and players.

This month, somewhat regularly, I will break down types of players and teams in an effort to localize player talents and figure out exactly what certain teams need. There's definitely more to a hockey player than simply being "good" or "bad" and by how much, so today I will profile the defensive forward.

(Previous: The two-way forward, the defensive forward, the offensive liability and the no-way forward)

We move today into the higher event category for players. Remember, high-event players are the ones who drive and allow a lot of shots at both ends when they're on the ice. In short, some of the most exciting players in hockey fit into these next two categories. The first we'll deal with is the Defensive Liability.

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September 25 2011 12:08AM


This week you can tell that The Nation Network really is starting to grow. Columnists from The Winnipeg Sun, Edmonton Journal and Vancouver Sun all weigh in during this week's episode and there is even time to laugh - er take a look at - the Calgary Flames roster in this here 2011-12 preseason.

This is NationRadio.

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