As we wind down the 2011-12 NHL season, it’s only fitting to take a moment and pay our respects to the “dearly departed” – those teams we know will be golfing in a couple of weeks. Here now is a quick look at each of the teams looking ahead to 2012-13 already, in reverse order of today’s standings. Columbus Blue Jackets What went wrong: Pretty much everything. James Wisniewski’s 8-game suspension crippled the team out of the gate. Coach Scott Arniel tried switching his team’s approach from an aggressive to conservative style mid-season, but the results were too poor to save...Click here to read more.
Tagged: Michael Grabner
Season’s Greetings, CHB readers! In honour of the season, we got together and thought we’d give you a lump of coal …err, a festive edition of our Fantasy Hockey Pool update. How did our rankings shape up as of Wednesday morning? Read on: Goose is my Wingman (Chris) – 89.5 points (current rank: 1st) If there is one thing that I’ve learned during my meteoric climb to the top of the standings, it’s definitely humility. I’ve been called a drunken boater by Lizz, had my strategic draft process mocked by Ed, seen my definition of an A-list actor trashed by...Click here to read more.
[Every weekend, Canucks Hockey Blog goes out of town as Tom Wakefield (@tomwakefield88) posts his thoughts on what’s happening around the NHL.] With two weeks left until the end of the NHL regular season, it’s pretty easy for fans to get caught up in the race for the final playoff spots. But those teams who scramble to the finish line rarely make it all the way to the Stanley Cup final. Vancouver, Detroit and San Jose in the West, Philadelphia, Boston and Washington in the East – these are your Stanley Cup favourites heading into the Spring. Each of these...Click here to read more.
Let’s pause for a minute before we call Michael Grabner the next great Canucks prospect that got away. With his hat trick yesterday, Grabner now has 24 goals for the season, including 15 goals in his last 14 games. Today, he was named the NHL’s 1st Star of the Week. So did the Canucks give up on him too early? Maybe. Maybe not. To be honest, Grabner wasn’t on the Canucks’ long-term plans. It was clear they valued Mason Raymond more than they valued the former first-round draft pick when they worked out a two-year contract extension with Raymond just...Click here to read more.
[Every weekend, Canucks Hockey Blog goes out of town as Tom Wakefield (@tomwakefield88) posts his thoughts on what’s happening around the NHL.] Photo credit: Pesonen and the Pens Growing up in the `80s there were two camps: Wayne Gretzky vs. Mario Lemieux. The Great One vs. Mario “Le Magnifique.” To idolize one was to idolize a “great Canadian” – a small-town Ontario boy who grew up playing on a backyard rink. Wayne? He was humble, hardworking and personified brains over brawn. To idolize the other was, at least in my neighbourhood, almost traitorous. Mario? He was arrogant and aloof. He...Click here to read more.
It’s no secret that the Canucks’ biggest need this off-season was to beef up their defense. UFA-to-be Willie Mitchell’s return was uncertain and defensive prospects Kevin Connauton and Yann Sauve were at least one, maybe two or more, years away from making the big club. So yesterday, on NHL Draft Day, GM Mike Gillis sent the Canucks’ 1st round (25th overall) draft pick, Steve Bernier and Michael Grabner to the Florida Panthers and acquired Keith Ballard and prospect Victor Oreskovich. The Canucks filled a need by acquiring Ballard. He is a legitimate top-4 defenseman with the ability to play big...Click here to read more.
The Canucks take their show on the road with the series tied at 1-1. Can they play better than their 19-20-2 regular season road record indicates? Without the benefit of last change, how can the Canucks contain Drew Doughty? Can Demitra prove that he’s no Justin Williams? Can the Canucks stop taking stupid penalties? Time to shed road kill reputation. [Monte Stewart, AOL FanHouse; Gordon McIntyre, Vancouver Province; Jeff Patterson, Georgia Straight; Greg Beacham, AP via Washington Post] Doughty is dangerous. [Iain MacIntyre, Vancouver Sun; Tony Gallagher, Vancouver Province;Click here to read more.
Canucks unleash triple trouble (Cam Cole, Vancouver Sun) Taking care of business (Iain MacIntyre, Vancouver Sun) Police ready in case Canucks fans turn frantic (Mary Frances Hill, Vancouver Sun) Lesser lights shining as well (Ben Kuzma, Vancouver Province) Winning is only the beginning (Tony Gallagher, Vancouver Province) Sundin, Kariya likely both out (Ben Kuzma, Vancouver Province) Sundin’s status unclear for game 4 (Matthew Sekeres, Globe and Mail) Canucks smell sweep (Terry Jones, Edmonton Sun) St. Louis Blues down but not out against Canucks (Jeremy Rutherford, St. Louis Post-Dispatch) Kariya’s status unsure for tonight (Norm Sanders, Belleville News-Democrat) Moose put focus...Click here to read more.
Centres of attention (Elliott Pap, Vancouver Sun) Lines are drawn (Brad Ziemer, Vancouver Sun) Bernier latest to see double (Jim Jamieson, Vancouver Province) ‘This will be a good line’ (Gordon McIntyre, Vancouver Province) A smaller, righty version of a Sedin (Ed Willes, Vancouver Province) Ohlund’s contract status another hot potato for GM Gillis (Jim Jamieson, Vancouver Province) Forwards show they’re ready to put their countries on the hockey map (Matthew Sekeres, Globe and Mail) All’s not well in Wellwood’s world (Barry Macdonald, 24 Hours)Click here to read more.
The Crazy Canucks podcast crew were guests of the Vancouver Canucks in suite 519 last night. Needless to say, it was an excellent experience and it gave John, Rebecca, Dave, Alanah and I all an opportunity to meet the team’s marketing group and brainstorm on potential partnerships this season. (Plus, the popcorn was damn good.) It also gave me a chance to form some first impressions on the Canucks. I don’t know if it’s the players or their system, but the Canucks looked faster in their first two preseason games. They made a lot of plays off the rush –...Click here to read more.