Shooting from the Hip with @PabloP74: Fantasizing about Weber and Cody’s Calder Chances

[Every week, Clayton Imoo sits down and talks hockey with a CHB follower and fellow fan. If you’re interested in being featured in “Shooting from the Hip”, send us a tweet at @canuckshockey or @CanuckClay.]

Paul (@PabloP74) was born in New Westminster, BC. He attended New Westminster Secondary School (Class of 1992) and took one year of post secondary at University College of the Cariboo, which is now known as Thompson River University in Kamloops. He then lived in Kamloops for three years and became a faithful follower of the Memorial Cup Champion Kamloops Blazers. He currently works in Public Transit (CMBC/Translink).

He has been married for 10 years and has two daughters who are boisterous, confident and loving. They are the sassy, sarcastic and dramatic but he wouldn’t want it any other way He is heavily involved in local theatre with his family but hockey is his first love. It’s a delicate balancing act for Paul to keep up with both his interests and family obligations. His love of the Canucks and hockey in general started in about 1981 when he was seven years old. His love of the game was then reinforced by the New Westminster Bruins for which he had season tickets. His father was a teacher at NWSS so he had a lot of the NW Bruins as students including Bill Ranford, Todd Ewen and even Mark Recchi to name a few of the NHLers. In 1989 when the NW Bruins were sold to Tri Cities and became the Americans, he was heartbroken.

1.  Where did the Twitter handle @PabloP74 come from?

My Twitter handle started out as @PabloPenguin74 but that garnered many questions from hockey fans such as: “Are you a Penguins fan?” and “Why Pablo? Are you Mexican?” Then they proceed in Spanish from that point! To clarify, the name was shortened from the original to accommodate the 140 character limit. As for where it came from, my favourite Disney short cartoon as a child was Pablo Penguin. A story about a penguin that hated the cold so he moved south. Some of us with young children may recognize him from the Disney Channel cartoon; Backyardigans, which represents his re-emergence. Pablo is my name, Paul, in Spanish. Enough about the Twitter handle though, there are real topics to talk about!

2.  We’re a week away from the trade deadline so we need to ask you: what (if anything) do you think the Canucks need to do at the deadline?

Let’s talk about trade deadline needs. I think that, overall, the team is good, however it requires
some minor tweaks to the forward lines and/or perhaps a defenseman with a strong accurate shot from the point as well as some solid physicality. Given the above, it may (or may not, but mostly will) involve a major deal with Nashville. I’m sure most of you have figured out the player I am alluding to is Shea Weber. This may be a pipe dream but I would be in hockey heaven if it were to come to fruition. I realize that this Shea Weber deal that I and many other Canucks fans have fantasized over would involve some major players like Raymond, Ballard, top prospect(s) and draft pick(s) plus some salary cap space. Salary cap space relief would involve minor deals to send Alberts for a cheap 4th line forward (depth player) or draft pick.

I mentioned some minor tweaks for the forward lines, and we can find them in the Chicago Wolves. Steven Reinprecht has a plethora of playoff experience having spent some time on the Colorado Avalanche Stanley Cup winning team in 2001. The only thing stopping him from being on the team is that he would have to clear waivers, exposing him to other opportunistic teams that could grab him.

3.  We’ve taken a one-week break from asking our Shooting from the Hip guests about Cody so let’s go back to it today: do you think his playing time and opportunities have been managed well by Alain Vigneault?

Ah yes, the next one: Cody “the G is silent” Hodgson. His play thus far has been among the best on the team despite his limited ice-time both on even strength and powerplays. He is often double and triple teamed on the boards and still emerges with the puck on his stick. He has also been arguably the most consistent rookie performer in the league, game in and game out. His candidacy for the Calder Trophy is firmly cemented but will he have enough ice time and exposure to the voting body this season to win it? I think the answer is blowing in an eastern wind, but not too far east. That award, should he stay healthy, will go to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

I am aware that Cody missed one year of development time due to a back issue and it seems by the work he has put in that he is trying to make up for this lost time. He seemingly makes the most of the ice-time he gets, which speaks volumes about his work ethic and attitude. If a deal were made that would have Raymond and/or another forward dispatched to another team, there is no doubt in my mind that Alain Vigneault would have no other choice but to grant Cody more time on the second line. Young Cody has displayed some immense patience despite his truncated ice-time; he is, after all, a chess master.

4.  I’m a big fan of improv comedy and I know that you went to see Whose Live Anyway? (based on Who’s Line is it Anyway?) right after watching the Canucks-Maple Leafs game. So I need to ask you which one was more funny to watch: the game or the show? Which team in the NHL is the funniest to watch?

I may be in the minority when I say that the 4 PM start time was much appreciated when Toronto (the center of the universe) visited Vancouver (the neglected middle child) last weekend. I am glad that the game didn’t go into overtime or the dreaded shootout as I had tickets to see Ryan Stiles, Greg Proops, Chip Eston and Jeff Davis perform their short-form improvisational comedy show, billed as Whose Live Anyway, to near perfection. For those unfamiliar with these folks all one would need to do is watch reruns of Whose Line is it Anyway? The show was side splittingly funny, they had the capacity-filled theatre rolling in the aisles. I laughed, I cried I nearly died one might even say: “The tears were streaming down my leg!”

The team that best lends itself to comedy is the Minnesota Wild. You can’t tell me that names like Cal Clutterbuck, Marek Zidlicky and Brad Staubitz aren’t at least giggle-worthy! I just can’t believe the Canucks were behind these guys just before Christmas time.

5.  Why should people follow you on Twitter? What can new followers expect?

If you like this beer as much as I like this beer you should follow me! You can expect some observational humour and some truths. At times I am a punster as Clay can attest to. I do prattle on about my family and how proud my girls make me but that comes with being a parent. If you are offended by sarcastic, straight out of the pocket commentary on virtually any topic, you have been warned.

Clay Imoo

Clay Imoo is a Canucks season ticket member and creator of Canucks parody songs. He is a co-host of the C4 podcast and writer of Things That Make You Go Hmmm and CHB's Top 10. More importantly, he is a husband and father.

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