[Every Monday, Katie Maximick takes your questions and gives her take on the Canucks in her own cantankerous style. If you have any questions about the Canucks, send it to her via Twitter (@KMaximick)]
After spending the weekend on Bowen Island I realized how close to Vancouver this little getaway spot was – and not a lot of the island is populated, making it easy for elusive creatures to hide there, like a sasquatch or the notorious “wolf dog” running wild on Bowen right now, or even former NHL players who needed somewhere to go and forget their problems.
Which brings me to our first question…
Caylie (@CayKing) asks: What ever happened to Dan Cloutier?
Katie: After his failed attempt to return to the NHL, then even the AHL with the Rockford IceHogs, Clouts made the decision to retire from hockey last August due to reoccurring injuries (however, he did re-emerge in Vancouver for Markus Naslund’s retirement ceremony in December).
He could very well be living on Bowen Island. I did go explore a cave with a flashlight and came across a frog, salamander, a set of chairs and unlit candles. That may or may not have been Cloutier’s living room and pets.
However, as fun as it is to imagine Clouts or the likes of Jan Bulis hiding away on some small island along the west coast, my research suggests that Cloutier is currently in Barrie, Ontario. Why? Well, he’s the goalie coach for the OHL team, the Barrie Colts. He is finishing off a one-year contract with the team. It is not known whether this will be extended or not.
At least he has a home on Bowen if he ever needs a place to hide out. He can befriend all the dolphins I saw on the ferry ride there.
Stephanie (@axeguitar) asks: Did you take photos of the dolphins?!
Herve (@1stLineCenter) asks: What is the news on Malhotra?
Katie: Unless you live under a rock, you’d have heard that Malhotra will not be returning to the roster this season, not even for playoffs.
Dave (@merlynbc) asks: Can the Canucks fill the void caused by Manny Malhotra’s injury?
Katie: This is a big loss for the team, yes, but will his absence prevent the team from going far in the playoffs? I doubt it. Yes he’s our face off guru, an amazing leader and great for penalty killing, but one reason the Canucks are estimated to go so far this season is because of their depth and team cohesion, and it’s this depth and solidarity that’s going to make the difference this post-season. In fact, Kesler told The Province on Monday that Malhotra’s injury will bring the team even closer together because they’re one big family. The Canucks also said that Malhotra’s leadership will not be missed because it will not be gone; Malhotra plans on being an off-ice leader as best he can during his recovery.
No he cannot be replaced, but the recent acquisitions of Lapierre and Higgins is looking like quite the blessing for the team right now. Lapierre joined the third line in Malhotra’s absence against Phoenix and was 64 per cent in face offs. Not bad, and if this arrangement doesn’t work out, Higgins can always take a turn with Torres and Hansen.
The Canucks also have a talented pool of call ups in Manitoba itching to play. Nonetheless this classy player will be missed by fans and players alike. All the best to Manny, and let’s all hope for a speedy (and full) recovery in the off season.
Tony (@smoboy) asks: What is a poor Canucks fan to do with so much time between games?
Katie: Do what Oilers and Sens fans have been doing this season to forget their troubles – drink! That or expand your mind with extensive reading. Your call.
After this semi-long break the Canucks’ next game is a 4:30 start on TSN, Wednesday versus the Detroit Red Wings – and Todd Bertuzzi, of course. Katie like.