It’s become a tradition: every year at CanucksArmy (and at our sister sites FlamesNation and OilersNation), 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.
Your soldiers working the trenches this hockey season, Cam Davie and Brian O’Neill, have submitted their goats and stars for the 2009-10 Canucks hockey season. Who will you pick?
Brian O’Neill’s Star and Goat
Star: Cody Hodgson
Cody has become the Golden Boy of Vancouver, yet to see regular season action, Vancouver fans are currently mining the bronze for his statue in front of General Motors place. Compared to Trevor Linden as the best Canucks prospect in years. Fans are losing patience waiting to reap the benefits of such a strong draft pick.
Fans will be patient with Mr. Hodgson as he is a brand new baby Canuck and the faithful are just looking forward to see him hit the ice. Expect a Stamkos, style season with a very slow start followed by a promising finish. (Assuming Shirokov doesn’t jack his spot.)
Goat: Pavol Demitra
Depreciating faster than a KIA driven off the lot. Demitra, despite his 20 goal season last year will continue to frustrate fans all year because of his Sami Salo durability and almost Luongo sized cap hit. Consider Demitra to be on Vancouver’s most wanted to be traded list. His $4mll of the Cap would give the team some breathing room.
Expect Pavol to put up similar numbers this year. Hopefully, he will have more of an impact if his shoulder issues are solved. However, until he starts lighting the lamp, I, amongst the rest of Vancouver, will consider Demitra an anchor limiting the range of motion the Canucks have in the standings.
Cam Davie’s Star and Goat
Star: Mathieu Schneider
The Canucks power-play woes were well documented and were never more evident than in the the Canucks second-round playoff loss to the Blackhawks. Schneider brings a ridiculous slap shot and a long history of quarterbacking successful power-plays. He also comes to the team at a very reasonable rate to the team. Even if he doesn’t reach 40 points, Canucks fans will just look at his cap hit and his age, and all will be forgiven. However, I think the elder Schneider will deliver as promised and lead a much swifter and more talented Canucks defence corps.
Goat: Pavol Demitra
Demitra has simply not delivered on many of the expectations of him, when he came to Vancouver last year. He’s fragile, he’s already starting the season hurt, and he has the third highest salary of the Vancouver forwards (behind only the Sedins). It is highly unlikely that he will play more than 60 games, and rack up more than 50 points. For someone making $4m, this is just huge underachievement.
Honourable goat mention: Sami Salo
The Finnish Glass Figurine will undoubtedly suffer several injuries this year. The Canucks brass, however, will insist on having him in the lineup as much as possible, and won’t ask him to waive his No-Trade Clause in order to move him to make room for a more durable defenceman, which they have in spades. The bright side is that he’ll likely be out of the lineup so often, that one of the younger D will get to play some decent minutes with the big club this year.
You can also read about the competition’s goats and stars: