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The top 15 most-read Vancouver Canucks stories of 2023

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Photo credit:© Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports
David Quadrelli
5 months ago
Christmas has officially come and gone.
As we prepare to ring in the new year this weekend, we here at CanucksArmy thought it would be fitting to go over the most-read stories of 2023 surrounding your Vancouver Canucks.
We’re going to start at 15 and work our way down to number one. Here we go!
15. Filip Zadina, now on waivers, was vital to the Canucks landing Quinn Hughes
July 3rd, 2023
It’s the story that Detroit Red Wings fans will certainly never forget, and it had another chapter added to it in July when the Red Wings placed Filip Zadina on waivers, basically ending his time in Detroit.
Of course, the Red Wings infamously passed on Michigan University’s Quinn Hughes with the 6th overall pick at the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, leaving him right there for the Canucks at 7th overall. After Zadina passed through waivers, he and the Red Wings agreed to end the relationship there, making him a free agent. Zadina would sign with the San Jose Sharks just a few days later, and currently has four goals and six assists to his name through 29 games played this season.
14. Vasily Podkolzin, Sheldon Dries, Akito Hirose among 20 players cut from Canucks training camp
October 1, 2023
Most say this is the most wonderful time of the year, but many would argue that training camp is that time for hockey fans. Training camp in Victoria was full of storylines, perhaps none greater than the Canucks deciding fairly early on into camp that going down to the American Hockey League was the best course of action for 22-year-old Vasily Podkolzin.
So far this season, Podkolzin has seven goals and eight assists through 19 games played with the Abbotsford Canucks.
13. ‘We really thought he was coming back’: Jim Rutherford on Ethan Bear
December 13, 2023
Most of us thought Ethan Bear was eventually coming back to the Vancouver Canucks after remaining an unrestricted free agent through the offseason after suffering a shoulder injury at the IIHF World Hockey Championship that required surgery to repair.
To the surprise of many, Bear eventually landed with the Washington Capitals, who he’s expected to sign a two-year deal with. Bear had already been practicing with the team, and reports today suggest he’ll be inking a two-year deal with an AAV of $2.062 million with Washington. Here was the quote from Rutherford, given in an interview with Rick Dhaliwal and Don Taylor of Donnie and Dhali — The Team.
“Patrik [Allvin] had regular communication with the agent. We thought we were the frontrunners,” Rutherford said. “You go back to last year when we brought him here and nobody in the league really wanted to deal for him. We brought him here and kind of helped him along with his game. Unfortunately, he got hurt. It didn’t make sense to sign him because he was getting insurance money from Hockey Canada because he got hurt at the World Championship, so he was covered that way. It got down to the end and there was a little bit of change. I’m sure it’s partly because of money. It’s a little disappointing because we put a lot of work in and we really thought that he was coming back to the Canucks, but he has the right to choose and I take it he chose another place where he feels that it’s best for him.”
12. ‘Worst Team Canada roster ever’: Myers takes cheeky shot at critics after winning gold at Worlds
May 28, 2023
Talk your s***, Tyler. After team Canada won gold at the World Championship, Tyler Myers took to Instagram to take a well-earned chance to fire back at the critics who doubted the Canadian team’s roster. Read the full story here.
11. Vancouver Canucks goaltender Collin Delia breaks his silence on Fartgate
January 23, 2023
As we will find out later in this list, the people yearn for fart/poop related stories.
As the person who put this story together, I take great pride in the fact that I was the first media member to break this story. That’s what you can expect here at CanucksArmy — real investigative journalism.
What started as a fun story turned into a lesson on the latest goaltending equipment trends, as I chatted at length with Spencer Martin and Collin Delia about why a skate would make such an audible fart sound. Read the full story here.
10. The Stanchies: The worst Canucks game of the season leaves Rick Tocchet speechless
January 26, 2023
Just three days after my Fartgate exclusive, we watched the worst Canucks game of the season (which will make another appearance later in this list), when the Canucks lost to the Seattle Kraken in Rick Tocchet’s second game behind the Canucks’ bench. The Canucks lost that game by a final score of 6-1. Despite being fairly new to the team, Tocchet didn’t mince words post game, after being left speechless at first.
The words Tocchet did come up with? Soft.
Remember those days?
9. Canucks’ Miller, Pettersson, Hughes, and Tocchet react to NHL OT rule changes
During the NHL’s latest GM Meetings, executives reportedly discussed possible tweaks to 3-on-3 OT rules that might limit or eliminate the most common strategy we see teams deploy in OT: Maintaining possession of the puck by skating it out of the offensive zone. This allows teams to make line changes and attack the O-Zone with speed, but it also kills time off the clock.
We had to ask the Canucks’ most commonly used OT personnel for their thoughts on the proposed changes, which gave us this golden quote from Elias Pettersson:
“It’s better to take it back because you have so much ice to work with. I don’t know if you can implement a rule where you have a time limit with the puck or whatever, I don’t think you can do that.
“I don’t know, it’s overtime. If teams are getting mad about the other team having the puck, maybe they shouldn’t lose the puck. I think it goes both ways. It’s hard to create a rule for that I think.”
Read the full story here!
8. Report: Canucks “working the phones big time” in attempt to reward players after hot start
October 31, 2023
The Canucks were heavily linked to Nikita Zadorov at the time of this story, and as it turned out, this is what Canucks management ended up having in mind!
7. Grading all six of the Vancouver Canucks’ July 1 signings
July 2, 2023
A quick refresher on what we graded each of the Canucks’ free agent signings:
Teddy Blueger: A
Ian Cole: A-
Matt Irwin: A
Tristen Nielsen: A
Zach Sawchenko: B
Carson Soucy: C+
Those all seem pretty accurate near the halfway point in the season, right?
6. What the Islanders’ elimination means for the pick the Canucks traded for Filip Hronek
April 29, 2023
Bo Horvat and the New York Islanders fell fairly early into the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs, after the Metro-winning Carolina Hurricanes eliminated them in six games. The Canucks traded that pick to the Detroit Red Wings in the Filip Hronek deal, and these events left Detroit with the 17th overall pick, which they used to draft Axel Sandin-Pellika.
5. Rutherford: Andrei Kuzmenko didn’t work enough to be in hockey shape
December 23, 2023
Not long ago, Jim Rutherford appeared on the Bob McCown Podcast to talk about the situation surrounding the struggling Andrei Kuzmenko.
“We’re a little bit disappointed,” Rutherford said. “He worked very hard this summer. I think, when you look at his conditioning and you compare him to another person his age, he’s in top condition. He prepared himself, he worked hard at it. Probably didn’t work at the kind of things you need to to be in ‘hockey shape’, and that affected him a little bit.
“He got a little bit more attention this year, coming off a terrific first year where he had 39 goals,” Rutherford continued. “But he’s a good player. He’s a highly skilled player that, right now, is not in our lineup. But he could go back in at any time and get things going again. I certainly don’t look at this player as a guy that, all of a sudden, can’t play the game. He certainly can. As of today, he’s part of the Vancouver Canucks.”
4. Vancouver Canucks announce relocation to Surrey, British Columbia
April 1, 2023
April Fools! I admit, this is going to be a tough one to top for April Fools Day in 2024. With real fake quotes from Fin on why moving to Surrey was a great idea, this story was a fun got em’ that seemed to fool a few people.
3. Eddie Lack offers free home in Arizona to first Canucks goaltender to put “pooping Heritage Classic Eddie on his mask”
December 11, 2023
As we said above, the people need their fix of fart/poop-related stories, and we are ready to deliver.
Fun fact, I had “clocked out” for the day — as best one can when working in sports media — and wrote this article in the span of 15 minutes because I had to hustle and get my puppy to his grooming appointment. In fact, because of his grooming appointment, I almost didn’t write the story! I’m glad I did, because its obscurity resonated as well with Canucks fans.
Read the full story here!
2. Rick Tocchet needed to be calmed down on a street corner at 2 AM after his second game as Canucks head coach
September 29, 2023
As mentioned above, the Kraken beat the Canucks so badly in Tocchet’s second game behind the bench that he was speechless post game. But the story didn’t stop there. In a preseason episode of the Frankly Speaking Podcast with Frank Seravalli, Tocchet told the story of what happened after that game when asked about how much he relies on his coaching staff.
“I remember last year we played Seattle in my second game, I think we lost 6-1 and I was like ‘Oh my God’ and I was pissed. And after the game, they pulled me aside outside the bus that dropped us off at two in the morning and we were on a street corner in Vancouver, and they were like ‘hey Rick, we just got here, relax. We gotta chip away,’ and that talk really calmed me down. I think that helped my demeanour the next day in practice, and I think it helped the team. There was a lot of emotions going on in that team when I took over and obviously they hit the wall in the second game, so I think that’s where I really rely on those guys. They know when it’s time to go and when it’s time not to go. I think that really helps.”
Tocchet and his coaching staff’s ability to know when it’s time to lay off his team and when it’s time to teach have been major reasons for the Canucks’ success this season.
1. Demko criticizes IIHF refs for making ‘worst call I’ve seen in a long time’
January 4, 2023
The number one story of the year comes courtesy of the Canucks’ starting netminder, who took to his Instagram story to express his displeasure over a call made at last year’s World Junior Championship.
Demko’s gripe came over a goaltender interference call the officials made against his home country United States squad during the second period of last year’s semifinal game against Team Canada.
The officiating crew at Scotiabank Centre in Halifax sided with the Canadian bench after they challenged for goaltender interference on Jackson Blake’s goal, which would have tied the game at three, at the 7:22 mark of the second period.
Team USA had another goal taken back in the third period and ultimately couldn’t get another one past Coqutilam’s Thomas Milic the rest of the way. Canada won by a final score of 6-2 to advance to the gold-medal game against Team Czechia.
You be the judge, was this goaltender interference?
Thanks for reading CanucksArmy this year, Canucks fans, and here’s to having playoff games to talk about in 2024!
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