The hockey season is nearly upon us, signaled as always by the approaching Young Stars Classic which begins this Friday at the Okanagan Events Centre in Penticton. The event is sure to be appointment viewing for any fan who has been jonesing for Canucks hockey this summer.
The Young Stars Classic has lost a bit of its shine this year, with both the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers dropping out; but will sport the best crop of Canucks prospects since the event’s inception in 2010. Elias Pettersson will be the main attraction, but there will be plenty of additional talent attending as well. Outside of Elias Pettersson, which player(s) are you most excited to see in action at Young Stars 2018?
Last week I asked: What games will you be circling on your calendar this year and why?
Not one game, but a series. From October 9 to 24 the Canucks will play in succession Tampa Bay, Florida, Pittsburgh, Winnipeg, Boston, Washington, and Las Vegas, all of them playoff teams last year. Washington apparently did quite well.
Someone in NHL scheduling hates the Canucks.
I moved to Northern BC last year so I won’t be taking in any games in person this year, for the first time in awhile. I’ll watch the CBC hockey night in Canada games as they stream free, but I cut cable awhile back and am not paying extra to watch this terrible team night-in and night-out. From 2007 to 2015 I never missed a game, but I have better things to do with my time than watch bad hockey.
I’ll catch Boeser and Pettersson doing exciting things on the NHL.com highlights, watch the free games, and save myself the headache.
Utica Comet games and the last 20 games of the Canucks season. That will give us early insight on what we have assembled to date.
This year is going to be very interesting to watch. It is a huge test for coach Green. He has a lot of options and I can’t wait to see how he responds. Will he go full Willy, take no risks and play only veterans or will he push the young guys into the line-up and force Benning to move out some vets? Can Boeser score 40? Where does Pettersson play? Does Sutter actually get more of an offensive role? Does he earn staying there?
The first 20 games are going to be fascinating. If it’s a disaster what will Aquilini do? What will happen at the trade deadline? How many rookies will get a call up?
I don’t share the complete doom and gloom of some although I don’t expect to challenge for a playoff spot either. There is no shortage of interesting story lines to follow and new players to evaluate I just couldn’t pick which games would be the best to watch. I’ll watch every game I can.