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Photo Credit: Matthew Henderson

Canucks Army Monday Mailbag: September 25th

No, and that will just cement the NHL’s status as the whitest, most privileged big sport in North America. It’s unfortunate.

I live in East Van, so you go ahead and take a guess at that one.

It’s a little early to say, but on the Canucks Army Instagram, we posted a gif of a Michael DiPietro save that is out of this world. So let’s go with him.

That Elias Pettersson has two power play points in three SHL games is not concerning, no. It’s a very small sample, and he’s a point per game player in a league made up of adults. If I’m a Canucks fan, I’d be pretty excited about his production to this point.

I’m the wrong guy to ask.

Nikolay Goldobin has to show that he’s willing to use his speed to close gaps in the neutral zone and take away space in the defensive zone. I’d think that Canucks head coach Travis Green should be fairly aware of Goldobin’s offensive prowess, but it’s his ability to play outside the offensive zone that will secure him a full-time gig in the NHL. Another goal or two wouldn’t hurt, either.

As one of those poor souls who had to cover this team all of last season, I can honestly say that this season looks like it will be a much better one than last. Certainly from an entertainment perspective. I think that counts for a lot. It’s not like the scoring depth they’ve added will take them to the promised land. It just means they’re going to be vaguely entertaining for maybe a third of their games. It will be bad, sure, but not nearly as bad as last season.

As for what constitutes a win, is there any answer outside of the first overall pick that works? The Canucks sure could use a Rasmus Dahlin on their blue line.

If you asked me this question a month or two ago, I would’ve said that Jalen Chatfield’s best possible outcome was probably that of a sixth or seventh defenceman. And yet, he keeps scoring, albeit, in the pre-season, and looks even better defensively than when I last saw him in the Memorial Cup. It might not be unreasonable to project him into more of a four or five role.

With the training camp Chatfield has had, I could see him being one of the Canucks first call-ups if injuries strike, and that’s assuming he doesn’t force his way onto the team outright. Chatfield does have five points in two games, after all.

Nikita Tryamkin is almost certainly overrated by Canucks fans.

Yeah, that seems reasonable. I’d probably put Loui Eriksson in Sven Baertschi’s stead, but otherwise, this checks out. My hot take? It’s Brock Boeser who leads the team in points period.

I’ve not been impressed with the Canucks special teams, in either phase. The power play looks similar to last year’s. It’s a 1-3-1 setup, with more bodies down low and an added emphasis on using low-high passing to syphon shots through their blue line. The penalty kill is a little passive for my liking. I’m curious to see what systems changes we can expect when the Canucks have a full lineup and a few months familiarity with the scheme.

I’m really sorry, but I’ve answered this like a hundred times this summer. If you check any of my summer mailbags, you’ll have an answer to this question that’s more or less the same to the one I’d give you today.

I still think Olli Juolevi has top pair potential. There just aren’t that many people in the game who see the ice better than him. That’s going to take him a long way. It’s looking unlikely at this stage, but I’d like to think Juolevi’s ceiling is a high-end Dan Hamhuis with more offence.

Penance for something done in a past life.

How’s that for an understatement? Kole Lind is just terrorizing the WHL, albeit in a small sample. If Lind can score at about a 1.5 point per game pace, I’d say that bodes well for his future of NHL success in a top-six role.

Hartford Whalers, every damn time.

That doesn’t surprise me in the slightest. They’ve got a good staff. I’d like to write something on this topic, but timing might prevent me from getting to it while it’s at the front of everyone’s mind. It’s such a sensitive topic, too, and I honestly worry about whether I have the skill or tact to do it justice.

I’ll say this much: I stand with the athletes who are protesting systemic racism in the United States without any reservation. And I think the NHL as a whole has a lot of soul-searching to do.

When a player is on LTIR, the team who places them there gets access to that player’s salary as a cushion above the cap. So, for example, if the Canucks place Henrik Sedin on LTIR at the beginning of the season, they have access to a $7-million cushion above the salary cap.

think that’s the gist of how it works. If not, I apologize. This is a topic that Jeremy Davis and Ryan Biech are far better equipped to answer.

I wouldn’t say that Scottie Upshall is already beaten out of a spot. In fact, most of what I’ve heard/read suggests he has an alright chance of making the Canucks. It would be tough to fit him into the lineup, but not impossible. And Upshall can still play as a fourth liner, for whatever that’s worth.

The Utica Comets opening night lineup is probably going to look a lot like this:

Markus Granlund seemed to play well in those games.

Considering what Brendan Gaunce is up against this season, if he puts together another year where he’s really damn good defensively, with just a touch more offence, that’s a win. I doubt he’ll go to Utica for anything more than a conditioning stint. Gaunce would have to clear waivers to do so.

Skating has never been a strength of the Sedin twins or Thomas Vanek, no.

I doubt it, since they weren’t actually that bad.

I’d hope not, for the Canucks’ sakes.

I’m terrible at fantasy hockey, so take this with a grain of salt, but try and snag Andrei Burakovsky. He’s primed for a big year.

Usually, Europeans love it in Vancouver. Usually.

Pretty damn good, I would wager. I don’t think Boeser developing into a 30-plus goal scorer is unrealistic, in that span.

They’re looking pretty good. The only real hurdle will be the London Knights, who no doubt will want Juolevi to return to their team.

  • Killer Marmot

    Both Virtanen and Rodin in Utica?

    That seems suspect, given that there are 14 forward roster spots to fill, and Gaunce is injured and Boucher is on waivers. The numbers don’t add up. Either Jake or Anton, and perhaps both, will start in Vancouver.

    • Killer Marmot

      Allow me to expand on that. Here’s a proposed list for the 14-man forward roster on opening day:

      Sedin Sedin Sutter Eriksson Gagner Vanik Horvat
      Baertschi Granlund Boeser Virtanen Rodin Dorcett Burmistrov

      and here are the remaining forwards currently on the roster who would get sent down:

      Goldobin Megna Chaput LaBate

      So who would exchange between these two lists? Likely no one, especially with Goldobin’s uneven play last spring.

      It is possible that both White or Upschall get signed AND both make the starting roster, but that’s highly unlikely.

      Ergo, at least one of Virtanen and Rodin are on the starting roster, and probably both.

  • Killer Marmot

    No, and that will just cement the NHL’s status as the whitest, most privileged big sport in North America.

    The reason that hockey is as white as it is comes from two facts:

    1. Most hockey playing regions of the world (Canada, Russia, Sweden) tend to have few blacks.
    2. In the U.S., hockey has never been a significant part of black culture, even in the north east. Rather, basketball, football, baseball, and track and field have dominated.

    Tying it to “privilege” is not warranted.

    • Waffles

      I agree that culture plays a role, but it may be prudent to consider why those other sports are part of the culture and hockey is not. Consider the cost of equipment: skates, pucks, helmets, pants, chest protector, elbow pads, etc. Not only this, new equipment is needed almost every season for a growing kid. Plus you need access to ice. Even if you limit it to ball hockey, the skills don’t directly translate from running and playing with a ball to skating and playing with a puck.

      Now let’s examine the other sports. Football: all you really need is a football. If you play in a league you’ll need more equipment, but you don’t need a special, expensive arena to play in. Basketball: all you need is a ball and some runners. Baseball: all you need is a bat and a glove, maybe some cleats. Track and field: you just need shoes.

      Makes it look like it’s easier growing up and gaining skills in the sports you

      • Waffles

        It looks like it’s easier growing up and gaining skills in the sports you listed if you grow up in an impoverished area, rather than learning to play ice hockey. Therefore, white privilege may be relevant. Or maybe other cultures just aren’t as interested in hockey. Either way, it’s just something to think about.

        • KCasey

          This topic is such a deep subject to try and pin down to just one simple point of the cost of entry. It goes back to the heritage and history of it all that is engraved in the grass roots of kids growing up. In the shortest explanation possible:
          1. Hockey is played on ice. Ice is abundent in cold countries where black people historically dont generally immigrate too. (Obviously some did and still do, but given the choice between Miami or Moosejaw im gonna go ahead and say Miami wins 9/10)
          2. Given the history of this weather and the people that grew up playing it, players become famous from your hometown and kids wanna be just like them and thus the trend accelerates. Example: Ontario snows a ton, lots of pro NHL players grew up playing pond hockey with nothing more than a pair of moldy 3rd generation skates and a hockey stick with an inch of blade left on it. California of the other hand has sunny warm weather year round and therefore people play basketball, football and baseball year round and the generational trend associated with that repeats itself in the same way.
          3. To say that black people dont/cant play hockey on the mere merit of cost isnt quite fair cause as stated to play football or baseball cost just as much if not more in some cases depending on the level you play at. If cost is all that matter than where does swimming become a factor as it is literally free and world wide.
          4. This point is merely for point of reference but the only real ‘white privilage sport’ as its been coined is gonna be a hands down victory for polo due the the rediculous requirements to play. And the snobby people that tend to gravitate towards it.
          At the end of the day you may just have to come to grips with the fact people simply like what they like and play what there friends play in the enviroment they grow up in.

          • Waffles

            I 100% agree there are other considerations to take into account. I suggested a single factor to consider, but of course there are other aspects that explain a very complex topic. These include, but are not limited to, culture (as per Killer Marmot), cost (as per Waffles), climate/geography (as per KCasey). My suggestion was to get people to get out of the one-dimensional thinking box, but I may have been guilty of doing the same.

            P.S. Don’t know anything about polo, but sounds like it’s something to avoid

        • Killer Marmot

          You’re argument would make sense if nearly all blacks were poor.

          But they’re not. Roughly 70% are middle class. They have the where-with-all to play hockey.

          Why aren’t they? Because they choose not to. Even the relatively well off prefer other sports, likely because most don’t see hockey as a black thing. It’s not part of their culture.

          You can make the argument that it’s not part of their culture because blacks were very poor in the past, but that matters little if you’re claiming that blacks don’t play hockey today because of current white privilege.

          • truthseeker

            Source for that number?

            It should be obvious there is a racial and economic barrier to hockey participation just by looking at the fact native canadians are significant in the game. They most certainly should be.

            Add to that, Asians, who have a lot of wealth, don’t feel welcomed into the game. The Province, to their credit, has been doing some excellent pieces due to the China road trip. Participation levels are changing, but it’s still not a very inclusive sport.

          • sloth

            Marmot there’s no such thing as “past” or “current” white privilege. White privilege is a historical condition, the product of centuries of conquest, imperialism, exploitation, and oppression implemented on a complete global scale by white rulers for the benefit of their families, economic conspirators, and white subjects. The worldwide dispossession of land and resources from dark-skinned peoples, the mass possession and trade of dark-skinned peoples as personal property of light-skinned peoples, the legislated and mandated discrimination and oppression against dark-skinned peoples in Canada and the US, the continuing rates of poverty, violence, and incarceration in dark-skinned communities… these are not esoteric historical facts, they are real events which are inextricable from the creation of the society we live in today. And that society remains one in which white communities are privileged and prosperous whereas communities of the “other” are marginalized, erased, underrepresented, and physically exploited and abused by the modern state and economy.

            I think JD’s point is well taken, that the whiteness and Canadianness of the NHL (in addition to relative irrelevance in the US) make it less clear where the league and players should fit into this movement, but Bettman’s anti-political cowardice is silent support for the marginalization of certain societal groups for the benefit of others, and I would like to see the players and/or league take a stand against the most serious injustices in our society.

            Truthseeker raises a very interesting point with the roles and representations of Indigenous peoples in the major sports leagues. So much is made of the mascots in Cleveland and Washington by fans and academics, yet the political movements to recognize the actual oppression of Indigenous peoples have received virtually no attention in the mainstream sports narrative. The Red Maple Leaf is inherently a very different symbol than the Stars & Stripes, but in terms of representing injustices committed against identifiable groups they are comparable, yet most Canadians never think twice as we show “true patriot love” and “stand on guard” for “our home and native land.” It would be nice to see attention drawn to our own flag and anthem on a huge domestic platform like the NHL, but I don’t see that happening, as evidenced by our fixation on the racial trainwreck to the south and the collective ignorance about the extent and role of racism in shaping Canada as a state, economy, and nation.

            Let’s not forget (or let’s learn for the first time) that the Vancouver Canucks exist and thrive on the unceded and illegally appropriated territories of the Coast Salish nations. I assume many or most of us on this site are of settler ancestry, and our place in the society and territory of British Columbia is foundationally shaped by the actual physical genocide committed by the British Crown against the legal title holders of these lands we inhabit, as well as the subsequent erasure of this documented history and the varied and sustained attempts of the Canadian state to segregate and eventually eliminate the cultures and societies of Indigenous peoples as distinct and inherently righteous political bodies. Today’s settler-Canadians are not personally responsible for this tragic history, but it is a reality we cannot escape and should not ignore, because we continue to live in relative prosperity while Indigenous peoples struggle against the state to re-establish their cultures, societies, and legitimate nationhoods.

            Creating solutions for these problems is one of the great challenges facing modern society, and obviously millionaire athletes are not the revolutionaries the world needs right now, but they have an important platform to share information and should be supported in trying to create positive change in the best way they see fit. Sports fans who cannot handle the simple statement of socio-political realities do not deserve apolitical entertainment.

          • truthseeker

            Fantastic post sloth.

            Too many anti PC backlash types get all offended at the mere suggestion that institutional racism may exist. I’m not sure why that is. I suspect it’s an emotional response and misinterpretation that people are calling them racists. Actually I’m almost positive that’s exactly what it is.

            When the reality is, you can’t just waive a magic wand, say “OK racism is over so now you people can do whatever you want…good luck!”. It would be kind of like thinking someone who’s been a victim of physical abuse for 10 years would be able to “just get over it” and be able to function normally.

            We (as in the institutions of Canada, cause again…these people will take it personally) screwed over the native population in this country. It’s up to us to work with them and provide the resources to rebuild themselves. It’s not charity. It’s not welfare. It’s simply doing what is right for the original citizens of Canada. If you break someone’s window, accidentally or not, you offer to pay for a new one. It’s pretty sad if people can’t even rise to that level of basic moral equivalence, or live in a place of denial about what happened.

            And yeah….Canadians are every bit as propagandized as Americans. In some ways even more so. Our “patriotism” is far worse. Canadians don’t even entertain the ideas that we do tons wrong internationally (especially corporately) and domestically as a country. We’re a country of people who think our poop don’t stink.

            And I love your last sentence. Quite right. Politics is appropriate wherever a person or group feels it needs to be.

            Quite frankly, I’m so sick and tired of the past 20 years of the anti PC backlash angry (mostly white) male whiny attitude. It was boring then and it’s even more boring now that they feel emboldened. The “just shut up and play” types. Nope. Sorry. That’s not what freedom is.

            I’m amazed by how many of them hypocritically claim to be fighting for “freedom of speech” yet in the next breath try to stifle it. All the while not recognizing they are not in favor of freedom, but are in fact supporters of authoritarianism.

      • Killer Marmot

        I disagree about football. Organized football requires as much equipment as hockey, and proper gridirons to play on.

        Further, the other sports also require extensive resources in order to develop world-class players, which is what we’re talking about here.

          • Vchiu

            How many American high schools outside of Minnesota have hockey teams? Pretty much all of them have football teams. An athletic kid in the states is going to get funnelled into basketball or football by default unless other factors exist to push them into hockey instead.

            Also Polo is super fun. Similar to hockey in that you need to learn a separate form of movement (skating, horsemanship) and it’s a physical hand-eye ball and stick sport. It gets bonus points though for being training for sabre armed cavalry. The motion using the mallet to hit the ball is the same as cutting with a sabre. That said most people who are attracted to learn it during adult life are exactly what you expect.

  • Bud Poile

    I’m thinking the PGA all day long.
    re:
    “No, and that will just cement the NHL’s status as the whitest, most privileged big sport in North America.”

      • pheenster

        NASCAR is way out in front of the NHL here. Very few of those drivers didn’t have a rich daddy or sponsor who financed their way to the top of motorsports. NASCAR likes to convey the image of the good ol’ boy racing cars down on the farm who made it big, but that ended 30 years ago.

  • Chris the Curmudgeon

    I agree with Kaepernick and the protesters. One thing that I think could be said in NHLers’ defence is that a majority of them are Canadian or European, not American. In that sense, a lot of them are guests in this country, and may consider how they feel about its social issues to not really be their business to speak up about against their hosts, not to mention that it’s doubtful that the opinions of a bunch of foreigners playing a fringe pro sports would carry any weight. If you kneel down and no one even notices, it kinda makes you look dumb and diminishes the message.

    Also, I am of mixed feelings about whether white players in the NFL should kneel, or whether the hand-on-the-shoulder is more appropriate. The more socially conscious white players, ones who are sympathetic to that cause and who have given it serious thought, would also probably recognize that the faces and voices of the push to recognize racial injustice are and should be black Americans. White Americans should seek to be supportive, but not to try to be the story. In my opinion, this is not a situation that should have a white saviour moment a la every Hollywood movie about race issues, this is where whites should yield the stage to their black colleagues and teammates and make it clear they have their backs.

    • Rodeobill

      I see what you are saying. Alot of people are billing this gesture as unpatriotic, but people need to remember that the country exists for the people and not the other way. It is ultimately patriotic to expect and want to live in a country that treat people fairly and without oppression. When you country is falling short of those ideals (ie, the ones our ancestors fought and died for) It seems the patriotic thing to call it out and expect better. All people should be able to take a knee, not only to support “black” teammates, but because they do not want to live in a country that tolerates such injustice. Also, all too often we focus on the gestures rather than what they represent, and this recent media surrounding the issue is a classic example. More is written about the gesture than what it denotes. People get caught staring at a finger rather than where it is pointing.

    • TD

      I agree in principal with the protests against racism. My one concern would be doing so in a manner that may offend military service men and women. I do not know definitively if this protest is offensive to this who have sacrificed through their service or not. If it does offend the service men and women, then find another way to protest.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Teams in organized football tend to provide equipment, so it is not a barrier for most. Most competitive football is also played in school, where the equipment is provided.

    Bottom line: access to hockey in most US cities is limited to families with money. It is likely the most expensive team sport to play by quite a long way. There is also a chicken and egg problem: costs might come down if more people wanted to play (more arenas being built, readily available used equipment, development subsidy programs, etc) but until more people want to play the costs will remain high. Given that race is a correlated to socio-economic status, that leaves hockey as a game primarily for the white and wealthy outside of Canada (and some areas of Europe) where its popularity also makes it easier to access.

  • GODBLESSTRUMP

    “I’ll say this much: I stand with the athletes who are protesting systemic racism in the United States without any reservation. And I think the NHL as a whole has a lot of soul-searching to do.”

    You’ve lost my respect with this statement J.D. It looks like you are just virtue signalling to make yourself feel high and mighty rather than making the effort to truly examine the issue. The kneeling NFLers are millionaire Babies who have used the FLAG as a bargaining chip to advance a Narritave which is largely debunked. The FLAG represents freedom, liberty, police, first responders, and soliders who have spilt their blood so they could make millions playing a kids game – it is not a negotiating chip as has been used by Kaepernick and Co. I wonder how many of those kneeling NFLers really wanted to raise awareness by writing a letter to Congress, speaking to their local Police precent to understand the issues, discussing Police training manuals, attending public council meetings, or any other positive means of raising awareness and education within the system? (Probably none of them). Instead they deliberately choose the Incendiary and virtue signalling way to protest, by disrespecting the symbol of a Country that has given them everything. If they hate America so much, why don’t they leave?

    I applaud the NHL and Pittsburgh Penguins, because despite any political differences they may have with alleged systemic racism and the President, they deciding not to protest using the FLAG as hostage. They respected the office of the President, and will use their influence positively to create awareness and change while still respecting the FLAG and everything it represents.

    • pheenster

      “Virtue signalling” appears to be this week’s phrase of choice for Trump’s white trash base to defend their uneducated white trash opinions and denigrate people who are trying to change society for the better. I don’t watch Fox News but I bet that that phase has been figuring prominently. The only place these issues have been “debunked” is inside the alt-right echo chamber. Everyone else knows they are real.

      If JD’s words offend you I suggest you drop hockey and become a NASCAR fan. You’ll fit right in.

      • GODBLESSTRUMP

        So your clever response is simply to criticise my appropriate use of the phrase “virtue signalling”, in reference to a White Male Canadian who understands alleged systemic racism of Blacks in southern United States? I don’t doubt nor disagree there are individual cases of racism against Blacks by Officers (and other minorities). Statistical proof of institutional systemic racism just isn’t there (please proove me wrong with facts instead of your CNN mainstream media informed opinion). Look at Sheriff David Clarke (A Black man) who has clearly debunked this. Look at commentator Steven Crowder, who has debunked most of BLM’s alleged cases of Police racism with the facts that most of these Officers acted in clear self defence of defiant criminals who threatened their lives. Come at me with facts and proof and i’ll listen, unless you want to be the typical Liberal who just shouts Racist and walks away. By the way, I am a person of color and a minority. Calling me a Racist has little weight.

        • pheenster

          Sure you are. Funny how every Trump supported online is either a minority or has a Masters. Or both.

          Whatever I presented you would discount based on either source or content (as evidenced by your MSM reference). And Clarke and Crowder are inside your echo chamber, so of course you’re going to agree with whatever they spoonfeed you. So really, why would I bother? You’ve self-identified as to what you are. If you don’t want to get called on it I suggest you stay inside your nice warm cocoon and consume your propaganda pablum like a good little Trumpkin.

          • GODBLESSTRUMP

            Typical Liberal. Instead of having a true fact based conversation, you resort to ad-hominem attacks, use of feelings instead of facts, and name-calling before running away. Why are jobless liberals like you so afraid of facts and converstations? are you late for your ANTIFA meeting?

          • pheenster

            You’re entitled to your own opinion. You’re not entitled to your own facts. The problem with you people is you make up the facts and treat them as truth. Why would I bother arguing with that?

          • GODBLESSTRUMP

            Again, I present you facts and arguments, and you walk away from a conversation with your nose help up high dismissing my facts instead of presenting your own. If you are so touchy, thin-skinned an insensitive to have a simple conversation, then obviously your ‘facts’ are weak or not good. It should be simple for you to convince me if you had real facts and arguments to the contrary. A coward walks away while calling names. Thanks for proving my point.

    • Chris the Curmudgeon

      The flag represents all those things, does it? Would that include the FREEDOM to protest injustice or the LIBERTY to express ones self in a quiet and dignified fashion? And since when does it represent soldiers and police officers more than it represents every other American person? (Rhetorical question: it doesn’t, and most veterans will tell you that what they spilled their blood for was an ideal that allows people the freedom to criticize their own country, it’s called democracy you know.)

      Ah yes, the “love it or leave it” comment. Muhammad Ali chose neither of those. I’m going to go ahead and say that his way earned a little more respect than yours.

      PS: “Flag” is a noun, not an acronym, and doesn’t need to be capitalized. It refers to a piece of fabric. What that fabric represents is what matters, and when it represents a constitution that allows its citizens the right to express themselves without governmental interference (including the head of state), then that’s what they should be allowed to do.

      • GODBLESSTRUMP

        NFL crybabies do have the right to protest, even if by disrespect of the FLAG (bold for emphasis, in case you can’t understand nuances) and all that it means to each person. To MANY people, it represents freedom, unity, officers, peace, military, and spilt blood to give its people its rights. By the same token, the President has the right, and it is appropriate for him defend the sanctity of the FLAG and everything it represents. While it is the right of Millionaire NFL crybabies and their right to ‘protest’ using in such an incendiary and devicsive manner, it is my right to disagree with this childish behaviour of using the FLAG and anthem as a hostage to a completely ancillary issue- if they really cared to raise awareness there are much better ways to do that.

        • Chris the Curmudgeon

          I don’t think you know what the word “nuance” means. Everyone on the forum knows what a flag is, no need to emphasize that word. And I don’t think they are crybabies, Colin Kaepernick sacrificed his livelihood to make his protest, and did so knowingly. That takes a hell of a lot more courage than to complain about it on Twitter or an online forum. I’d also gripe with your description of the protests as devicsive (SIC), being that the solidarity of the players and some owners on their right to protest in that way has been probably the only unifying aspect of this whole situation.

          It is your right to disagree, most certainly. It is NOT the President’s right to suggest that those players be fired for it, however. The President represents a branch of government and the 1st Amendment of the Constitution is abundantly succinct that exercise of freedom of speech not make its practitioners subject to government punishment. He is not a private citizen anymore, and cannot legally act like one. I would welcome it if he returned to being one as soon as possible, upon which he can say what he likes without it representing official communique from the office of the President. Also, disrespecting of the flag (which I dispute that kneeling is) is protected under the 1st Amendment, as is burning it by the way, which no players have even come close to doing or advocating. The act of silently kneeling is about as innocuous of a protest as it’s possible to register. If you think it’s too much, I’d suggest you are basically saying that protesting should be disallowed. Again, 1st Amendment.

          There may be better ways to raise awareness of these issues, but the players have a very specific pedestal and are availing themselves of it. I think it’s pretty clear that your disagreement with the message is informing your disagreement with the medium.

          • GODBLESSTRUMP

            Its pretty clear that your disdain for President Trump is tainting your ability to discern legality and morality. The 1st amendment gives every American the right to free speech and protest, I never disagreed with that. The last time i checked, President Trump is also a citizen who also has the 1st amendment right to voice his personal ‘opinion’ and defend the flag and anthem as appropriate, which he has correctly done. One does not lose their personal rights once they are involved in government, and such a thought is absurd and unfounded in law. Further, Trump has not made it a law to ‘fire’ people for exercising 1st amendment rights, rather, he made a suggestion to a private institution (NFL) which has the right to fire or discipline their employees in accordance with labour laws and employment contracts (FYI, the NFL has punished players for having socks too high, putting stickers on their helmets, and acting immorally away from the field, so disrespecting the flag while at ‘work’ is fair game).

            Your opinion that kneeling before a flag is innoculous and non-disrespectful places you in the minority. I volunteer with a Veterans center, and every single veteran i meet is disgusted with kneeling and the thought they fought and risked their life for a flag in order for overpaid millionaire crybabies to disrespect it. If you think otherwise, i’m sorry you are clearly out of touch with society, and need to learn how blessed you are to live where you do.

          • Chris the Curmudgeon

            We’re going to bring personal experience into it? I have several Iraq War veteran colleagues, and have heard the opinions of several Vietnam veterans, and all agree with me that these players have an inviolable right to do what they are doing.

            And, your opinions on Trump’s speech are still within a legal grey area that has not been fully adjudicated. When Trump speaks, he speaks for the US government. Whether a call from him to fire someone over free speech issues constitutes a violation of the 1st Amendment, or simply extreme contempt for it, have not been resolved. It would behoove him to steer clear of it, in my opinion.

          • GODBLESSTRUMP

            Please educate yourself Chris re: Freedome of Speech for the President. What he simply “says” does not become Law. His ‘tweet’s don’t become law simply because he says it via tweet. There is NO gray area and you are sorely incorrect. Laws are enacted either by 1. Execute Order, 2. Via bill when it passes both houses of Congress and is signed by the President. There is NO law forcing players be fired for kneeling before a Flag, it is simply his opinion and right to express such, as with any other American.

            Your Iraq war friends may agree these NFLers have the ‘right’ to kneel before a flag. I agree they have his ‘right’. I implore you to ask how many of are not disrespected by it. They fought for that flag and risked their life for it. Kneeling before it cheapens what they sacrificed for it.

    • Dirk22

      Right…..so your plan to protest systemic racism is to discuss Police training manuals and attend public council meetings. That outta do it.

      Canucks Army – get this garbage off of here please.

      • GODBLESSTRUMP

        Yes, let’s protest racism by pissing on a Flag that represents Unity, Freedom, Military, and solidarity. You sound like Justin Trudeau, willing to disgrace the Canadian Flag and Soliders by paying terrorists 10M dollars. You obviously hate Canada, why don’t you leave you terrorist supporter

        • Chris the Curmudgeon

          Paying Omar Khadr was probably the single most respectful thing Trudeau has ever advocated. By doing so, he said, in no uncertain terms, that Canada is still a democracy and that every single person in it is bound by its laws. It was unfortunate that the circumstances led up to that, but he did the right thing even when it was very hard to do.

          • GODBLESSTRUMP

            You are a disgrace to every Canadian Soldier. You do not reward terrorists who are convicted of murdering your allies in war. Justine Trudeau unilaterally decided to settle the case, instead of seeing through to court and awaiting the outcome. Even If we lose the case in court, so be it. The message Justine Trudeau sends is one of pandering to terrorists, which is the wrong thing to do. He didn’t even have the courtesy of calling the wife of the Soldier Omar Khadr killed (Steven Harper did that and apologised for Justine). If that isn’t bad enough, then he ‘donate’s 20M to the corrupt Clinton Foundation ‘charity’. It’s clear to me you hate Canada as much as Justine does.

          • GODBLESSTRUMP

            pheenster, apparently you lost your sense of humor with your liberal derangement syndrome. Are you offended by my satirical use of a feminine name because you are really a woman?

          • Chris the Curmudgeon

            First off, please stop making everything about soldiers. I respect them and their sacrifices. Not every action and statement needs to hold their feelings and wishes sacrosanct above those of civilians.

            Facts are not on your side here. First of all, I dispute that a child soldier who (allegedly, as the witness accounts are disputed and inconsistent) threw a grenade as a defensive gesture at soldiers brandishing automatic weapons who had stormed the house he was staying in at the behest of his father with the intent of killing him, then who was taken captive, tried in absentia by a kangaroo court and coerced into confessing under torture, should necessarily be labeled a terrorist. But as to the Canadian angle, the courts repeatedly ruled that Mr. Khadr’s rights were violated by his government. By settling, they most definitely avoided a much larger payout, and in the process, made very clear that the government is not above the law and that Canadians’ rights are absolute and immutable. That precedent is extremely comforting to me, as the right of citizens must come ahead of the government’s wishes or political expediency, otherwise, the democracy is a sham. My personal feelings about Mr. Khadr, and those of PM Trudeau, are irrelevant in front of the law and the Canadian Charter, and by doing what he did, the PM acknowledged that and preserved the sanctity of that document, the single most important piece of paper that exists in Canada.

    • Billy Pilgrim

      Ugh. Why on earth would the “rights” of an arbitrary symbol (the FLAG) trump (no pun intended) those of real people? Perhaps the Government’s most important role is protecting the rights of its citizens. The players have the right to protest. People have the right not to be beaten to death by a cop because of the colour of their skin (or what neighbourhood they live in). Omar Khadr has the right not to be tortured. People should have the right to a good education and opportunity despite their socio-economic background. POTUS has the obligation to represent all people. President Trump has chosen to take a different path. Suggesting that it is appropriate for the President to belittle and bully people who are legitimately protesting systemic injustice is dishonouring the office and all the arbitrary values to attach the “flag”.

      • GODBLESSTRUMP

        on the same point, Cops have a ‘right’ not to be targeted and killed by BLM supporters, such as in Dallas. Please tell famliy of the Soldier killed by Omar Khadr about his rights before he decided to cowardly kill him? People elected Trump because they are tired of the status-quo corrupt politician, and they wanted someone who represented real rights and values. The people elected a President that has the courage to correctly call out ungrateful millionaire crybabies overpaid to play a kids game. The flag is not arbitrary, and shame on you for suggesting such, it is a valued and cherished symbol of freedom, democracy, and liberty. If the flag were arbitrary, why don’t you just burn yours and see how your neighbors feel about it?

        • GODBLESSTRUMP

          FYI, once you decide to murder someone, under the Canadian Charter, you ‘lose’ the right to unreasonable search and seisure (s.4). You goto Jail. Rights are not always immutable and definite, so you can stop supporting terrorists who targeted US and Canadian Soldiers, unless you prefer pissing on everything they fought for so you can rely on those ‘rights’ you claim.

        • Billy Pilgrim

          Cops do have that right. No one disputes that.
          Omar Khadr was a child soldier who was seriously wounded before he threw that grenade. As you said above, it was in the context of war. I abhor the fact that anyone had to die in this conflict. But it is a military conflict that took place half way around the world. It is not the same as an injustice occuring on US (or Canadian) soil and should not be treated as such.
          The values to attribute to the flag are very important. If you believe that your country is not living up to those values, are you not disrespecting the flag by accepting the status quo. The player protests are arguably the most patriotic and principled actions that they could take. God Bless America!

          • GODBLESSTRUMP

            SHAME ON YOU! Billy Pilgrim, Omar Khadar is NOT a Victim. He is a Canadian who willingly travelled abroad to engage in war against Canadian and American Soldiers to kill them. The fact he was wounded does not justify throwing a grenade for killing a US Soldier and shame on you for trying to aleviate that disgrace. Omar is relevant insofar as what you claim is ‘arbitrary’ – the FLAG – inter alia, represents Soldiers and servicemen who have DIED so you and millionaire crybabies can protest freely in the safety of their own countries. It is interlinked, yet you flip-flop saying it is ‘arbitrary’ now saying its values are not ‘important’. Make up your mind. If the Flag and its values are truly important to you, then you should respect it and all the soldiers who have fought and died for it and your freedoms, instead of cherishing NFL baboons (who are obviously beacons of righteousness and morality…lol) who disrespect it and piss on its values.

          • GODBLESSTRUMP

            Omar Khadr committed Treason against Canada and her Allies, you should lose your Canadian rights once you decide to do that. Your statement that players are the ‘most patriotic and principled’ is insulting to to Soldiers and servicemen who have served your country, and COPS who give up their right to safety and danger to protect you. Shame.

    • GODBLESSTRUMP

      Again, I present you facts and arguments, and you walk away from a conversation with your nose help up high dismissing my facts instead of presenting your own. If you are so touchy, thin-skinned an insensitive to have a simple conversation, then obviously your ‘facts’ are weak or not good. It should be simple for you to convince me if you had real facts and arguments to the contrary. A coward walks away while calling names. Thanks for proving my point.

  • Big D, little d

    Sigh.

    I remember when actual hockey analytics was discussed on this site and the biggest argument was “look at the numbers” vs. “watch the game”.

  • Gregthehockeynut

    The protest issue for is not about the cause, which is of course just, it’s about venue. Were these men active in the presidential campaign? Or in Senate/congress/mayoral elections? Bringing your politics into an entertainment product turns off fans in any sport. It strikes me as petulant, lazy tantrums in front of the cameras. If they worked hard at all levels of politics and summoned voter support before engaging in these displays their credibility would be exponentially higher.

    • Billy Pilgrim

      I would argue that their protest is having far more impact than any other political action could. Hell, we are talking about it on a hockey blog FFS. These are important issues. It is bigger than sports/entertainment. Which is exactly why the protests should be celebrated even by those who disagree with the argument. The player protests have resulted in far more awareness and introspection than just about any other political action in recent memory. The public sphere is engaged because some players are willing to put their livelihoods on the line to highlight injustice. Seems credible enough to me. I hope that at least a few NHL players have the courage to live these convictions if they share them — whether through an anthem protest, refusing a White House invitation, or simply sharing their opinions. For what it is worth, Canada should not be immune from similar protests — TRC anyone?

      • Tedchinook

        Philosophically I agree with you and with the athletes that are protesting. But from a practical perspective I don’t think it’s working. The discussion is all about the action itself and not the cause they are espousing. This board is an example – all the dialogue is about the protest, not the inequality. I don’t claim to have the answer, but I don’t think this is working.

      • Gregthehockeynut

        They need to be active in many venues, including the anthem protest to be more credible. Starting a movement perhaps called Black Votes Matter with black sports figures and celebrities uniting behind viable candidates with clear proposed solutions and platforms would mean a lot more. Putting their names and their money towards real solutions and not just protesting, in effect demanding some one else fix it for them.

  • defenceman factory

    If you enjoyed this comments section keep responding to this GodLess Trump Troll.

    The rhetoric spouting followers of narcissistic wannabe dictators usually require more than a few comments on a hockey blog to change their views. Don’t bother.

  • TheRealPB

    A big shoutout to Chris for taking on the troll. Earthquakes and hurricanes devastating the Caribbean, more people subjected to travel bans and healthcare continuing to fall apart and of course the ‘leader of the free world’ has the time to attack athletes for…disrespect. Yeah, I always take my lessons on patriotism from people who demonstrate their own by taking multiple deferments out of serving when they have the chance to and otherwise insulting POWs and Gold Star families when it serves them. This, by the way, is of course not the first time that the Orange One has been angry with the NFL — remember it was his lawsuit against them back in the 80s that basically bankrupted the USFL and caused them to fold and he was mad that he couldn’t buy the Bills just a few years ago.

    But when it comes to athletes and politics, hockey’s always been on the shy side — and both institutionally and culturally. It’s not just about race (though it is impossible to look at the treatment of minority players in the NHL and say that race doesn’t have anything to do with it) but Bettman has openly stated that he wants hockey players to be “apolitical” at their place of work (none of the other Big Five pro sports in NA have been so outspoken). That combined with the Canadian sensibility that dominates the sport here contributes to far fewer hockey players being politically vocal than you see in other sports. Some of the most politically active hockey players I can think of came from Eastern Europe — Larionov I remember taking a principled stand in not returning to the Canucks just because he didn’t want the payouts to Russia anymore.

  • I am Ted

    Sigh….I see Butthole Burke is at it again. I thought I’d come back close to season start to see if this site had anything of interest. A cuppa nice pieces then I get here. Ugh.

    Butthole Burke said: Usually, Europeans love it in Vancouver. Usually.

    Nice stereotyping. What an idiot.

    B. Burke’s initial comments regarding Tryamkin then backtracking when more info came out is another solid indictment of B. Burke. How he is still here is beyond me. Ah well. Time to gear up for another not so solid season. Hey, at least they decided to cover the pre-season. It’s more than I thought they’d do after the summer camp fiasco.

  • Presto

    JD tying hockey to white privilege is absolutely poor taste and just pathetic. Not surprising though as he’s a self proclaimed socialist. Stay in your lane and stick to hockey. You’re just embarrassing yourself.

  • Presto

    I find it funny people who use numbers to talk about a team or a player to back up their argument seem to hide from the same numbers that debunk this systemic so called race problem.

  • Dean S

    Please consider picking up Ty Rattie if he is available on waivers. He could really help with scoring in the future.
    He never had the opportunity for a scoring role in St Louis with their D- 1st system.

  • Cageyvet

    This is the harshest thread of all time. Where’s the fresh content, CA? I had to openly troll Flames Nation to talk Shinkaruk on the waiver wire, along with our good buddy Corrado. Suprisingly, there were over 100 comments from Flames fans and all of 1 of them even commented on Shinkaruk disappointing, and zero concern that he might get picked up. Speaks volumes of how far ahead their team is compared to the Canucks.

    • Gregthehockeynut

      Shinkaruk reminds me of an old Pat Quinn interview about Jim Sandlak in his rookie training camp. Quinn commented “He likes to take a big shot and go for a nice skate”. A left handed compliment if there ever was one… Shinkaruk has that impressive shot but he hasn’t put together the rest of the pro game. Granlund is way ahead of him in all around play but Shinkaruk is probably a better pure scorer, if he can add all the other pieces he has a higher ceiling but who knows if that will ever come together.

  • acg5151

    As an American, my country is more divided than at any other point within my lifetime. I agree that there is racism in the United States. There will and always will be those who are racist. And we need to do our best to convince them otherwise and teach the new generation that they’re wrong, and shame those who deserve to be shamed for it. I hear a lot of people criticizing the Penguins and Crosby for going to visit the White House. I personally do not feel that Presidents should be wasting their time meeting sports teams every year. That being said, meeting the President of the United States is a great honor no matter who the President is. So I don’t think that Crosby and the Penguins going to the White House is a bad move. I disagreed with Tim Thomas when he stayed home for Obama and he was pretty much vilified for that. I don’t agree that athletes should refuse a White House visit.

    As far as the kneeling controversy, I think it brings a lot of attention to the issue of racism, but in a way that is disrespectful to the flag, and that makes a lot of Americans angry, and rightfully so. There is a large chunk of the population that is very proud to be American despite our flaws, and when we see millionaires disrespecting our country we can’t help but shake our heads. Yes, police reform is badly needed in this country. But I think that there is a better way for athletes to draw attention to it. The thing is, police have been doing what they’ve been doing for a long time, and they’ve been doing it to white people as well as black people, so I don’t really understand why white people don’t get on the bandwagon when it comes to police brutality – for instance, I knew a guy that was beaten by cops to within an inch of his life. He sued and won about 10 million bucks, but it took him a long time to recover. It’s not just a black issue, it’s a white issue as well.

    • truthseeker

      In my opinion patriotism of any kind is a scourge on this planet. Canadian, American…whatever….it’s all disgusting. People who think they are better than other people simply because their parents had sex in a certain part of the world. Kneeling for a bloody song or for a piece of cloth doesn’t mean anything. It’s only offensive to the propagandized mind. Canadians and Americans are some of the most heavily propagandized people on the planet. Of course, they don’t think they are….but they are. Nobody ever thinks they’re the victims of propaganda. For sure the more patriotic someone is the more they fall for propaganda. It’s not even a question.