In this week’s edition of “Ask Katie About The Canucks”, Katie tackles questions on ex-Canucks, ex-NHL teams, boy bands, Bieksa and the “C”.
Stephanie (@axeguitar) asks: Who do you think the other three Ring of Honour nights will feature?
Katie: I would like to say Todd Bertuzzi, Mark Donnelly and the Green Men but I’m probably going to be wrong… Maybe Pavel Bure since they’re not retiring his jersey (what a lot of controversy THAT caused). I would also assume Kirk McLean will be honoured by the Canucks at some point.
Fiann asks: How will Morrison and Schaefer fit into the Canucks?
Katie: This is a conversation most Canucks fans and the media are having right now. Personally I think Schaefer is too small (he’s 5’11” 190lbs) and hasn’t played in the NHL for a couple of seasons so his career seems to be over, whereas BMo is fit, had 42 pts last season for the Capitals and will be much needed on the ice in terms of his discipline and leadership skills. I don’t really think Schaefer has a shot, but it was nice of Gillis to invite him to training camp. Brendan is another story: from how things are looking, the entire team and management seem to be excited about putting Morrison back in his old Canucks jersey. Mind you, Morrison would have to take a significant decrease in pay and ice time, but at 35, it seems he doesn’t mind, so long as he gets to play for his hometown team again at the end of his career. Brendan would mostly likely start on the fourth line as a centreman, and possibly move up to the third if he earns a spot. The fourth line can really use his level-headed decisions and leadership since that line was a complete undisciplined disaster last season. If there was a bad line change and the fourth was up against, say, the first line on the Penguins, we wouldn’t all have to scream at the TV and think “it’s all over” because BMo will be out there, ensuring rational decisions were made by his linemates. That’s where he’s valuable.
Josh asks: Will the band Hanson sing the national anthem on opening night?
Katie: That would pretty much make my life, but since they’re American, I don’t think so.
John asks: Were Winnipeg to achieve their dream and find themselves back in the NHL, what chance do you see for the Victoria Salmon Kings to move up to be the AHL affiliate of the Canucks?
Katie: Understanding the relationships between the ECHL, AHL and NHL isn’t my strong point. From what I do know, successful players on the Salmon Kings have the possibility to move up to the Manitoba Moose and then onto the Canucks. If the Jets return to Winnipeg, that doesn’t mean their NHL team will automatically take over the Moose, and I don’t think the ECHL can easily move to the ranks of an AHL team. They’re different leagues all together. I think it’s more complicated than that. I don’t know. I think I’ve gone cross eyed.
(Editor’s note: Players can be called up to the Canucks as long as they are signed to an NHL contract. – J.J.)
Jay asks: Why do they call Bieksa “Juice”? And will the captaincy removal and the new goalie coach make a big difference in Lui’s performance?
Katie: I like to think Bieksa is called Juice because he slams four litres of Hawaiian Punch before a game, but apparently it’s because his body is ridiculously ripped (not that I’d know).
I do hope that relinquishing the C will give Luongo the peace of mind and concentration he needs to mentally prepare for games, and that this will improve his performance this year, but it’s hard to say. This is why he is going to be under even more scrutiny this year by fans, circling like vultures to see if the C situation last season was the cause of his average performance or if it was an excuse.
I don’t know much about the new goalie coach aside from the fact that Luongo’s opinion wasn’t even sought about the decision. Either way, I think all of us will be hoping that last season was just a stroke of bad luck for Luongo, and can be left behind us.