The Canucks and the Ducks: historic, bitter rivals set to do battle in upcoming season opener!
While we wait patiently for the Canucks 48 game regular season schedule to be released, details are beginning to trickle out. Per Dan Murphy it looks like the Canucks will open the season on January 19th against Anaheim, probably at home since the Honda Centre in Orange County is booked solid with the "How to Train Your Dragon Spectacular" on that date. Needless to say the Ducks aren’t exactly a regional or traditional "rival", which set off rounds of complaining because, you know, Canucks fans. How dare the NHL give the Canucks a second tier opponent for their opening game, they’ve competely ruined the purity of a mid-January season opener!
Speaking of Canucks fans, Pass it to Bulis notices that a bar in Surrey has thrown "Trade Luongo" in big letters on the marquee of their establishment. I’d have recommended something like: "Thanks for everything best goaltender in franchise history," but that’s just me.
In "news that sounds familiar to us," Former Canucks General Manager Brian Burke was fired today and will be replaced by former Canucks General Manager Dave Nonis, which you probably knew about already. That is, unless you spent the day in solitary confinement, or in the 1920s, or outside, or I don’t know, somewhere else that sucks.
So did Burke’s reported unwillingness to trade for Roberto Luongo cost him his job in Toronto? Marc Spector says so, and Pierre LeBrun is buying that too. It could make a certain amount of sense, and at the very least the beat writers in both cities – from Botch, to Mirtle, to Cox – think a Luongo trade is more likely now than it was yesterday (when it was still pretty damn likely). That said, Bob McKenzie doesn’t quite buy it and I tend to trust his reporting above all:
McKenzie, Dreger both flatly state they don’t believe a Luongo trade was the reason for Burke’s departure.
— Jonathan Willis (@JonathanWillis) January 9, 2013
And neither does Dan Murphy:
If Burke was at such odds with MLSE brass about Luongo then how could he be completely shocked about the firing. Not sure i buy the Lu angle
— Dan Murphy (@sportsnetmurph) January 9, 2013
So like the CIA at the end of Burn After Reading, we’ve really learned nothing here.
One more embedded tweet from Craig Custance, who quotes Mike Gillis on the subject of Burke’s dismissal.
Mike Gillis on Burke news: "I think it’s terribly unfortunate. I know I was shocked when I heard the news. I wish Brian the best."
— Craig Custance (@CraigCustance) January 9, 2013
Finally, Jim Jamieson catches up with the Sedin twins, who you might remember were only able to stay together as NHL teammates as a result of Brain Burke’s hurculean efforts at the 1999 NHL entry draft. Understandably, they seem to like the guy.
More links, Canucks news and clunky humour after the jump.
Seriously, I’m not over it yet, do the folks complaining about a probable homeopener against the Ducks not realize that this game could feature Teemu Selanne in his last visit to Vancouver as an active player? Fuck me.
Following McKenzie’s lead, Dan Murphy and Tony Gallagher are both on the "Kassian should be given a shot with the twins" bandwagon. My favorite bit of Gallagher’s take? This line: "Most of Kassian’s goals in Chicago this year have been scored from positions where he might well receive a pass from one of the twins." So like, just about anywhere in the offensive zone?
As for Dan Murphy’s blogpost. He (presumably) puts in a lozenge and considers how he’d combine the Canucks’ forward lines, I really like his second line (Higgins, Burrows and Booth) but his third line seems a bit too finesse oriented for my taste (Raymond, Malhotra, Hansen). Interesting take nonetheless, and he’s almost surely correct when he points out that we should expect more than the usual amount of Alain Vigneault’s nervous tick line-blendering in Kesler’s absence. That should go over well!
If you missed it earlier, it looks like Frank Corrado is going to get a training camp invite. If we recall Gillis’ quotes about avoiding experimentation this season, and factor in that the Canucks are eyeing Cam Barker and Jim Vandermeer like a barfly at last call – well – one is possibly justified in believing that Corrado might actualy have a shot at cracking Vancouver’s roster.
ESPN’s Nate Greenberg profiles 10 potential breakout players. No Canucks make the list but Cody Hodgson does, of course.
Hey so, three times a week I write for the wicked on-line gambling site PlayNow.com. Maybe give them a follow on Twitter if you want to see some of the Canucks-related content that won’t end up on this site. Today, I looked at Vancouver’s big hole on the right-side of their defense.
Finally, when I saw Enrico Ciccone say that the Flyers were interested in Luongo I made a joke about it really being the silly season and disregarded it as farfetched. Of course then Adrian Dater and James Duthie confirmed it, and TSN.ca now has a news blast about it up on the site. So I guess this is a real thing? If Gillis can ignite a Luongo bidding war between two prospect rich and historically reckless organizations in big East Coast markets that would be… uh… pretty fucking awesome!