Nov 252010

Now that the second Peter Schaefer era in Canucks history is over, it’s easier to comment on the team’s decision to sign him in the first place.

To recap, Schaefer and Brendan Morrison both attended the Canucks’ training camp in Penticton on a tryout basis.

Morrison shone throughout camp and the preseason. He showed his versatility. Schaefer wasn’t horrible, but at the same time, he was only average.

By the end of it of course, Morrison was released and Schaefer was given a two-way contract.

While Schaefer cleared waivers yesterday – and placed on waivers a second time today for the purpose of releasing him – Morrison has thrived in Calgary, giving the Flames exactly what the Canucks need.

In 21 games, Morrison has 15 points (4 goals and 11 assists). On the Canucks, only Henrik and Daniel have more points.

He’s played some center and some wing. He’s played mostly on the Flames’ bottom-six but has, on occasion, moved up to the first two lines.

After missing Burrows for the first month of the season, losing Bolduc in the season opener, and getting inconsistent performances from the likes of Schaefer, Bliznak, Glass and Rypien, how good would Morrison have looked in their place?

Good on Schaefer for trying to resurrect his career. Good on him for succeeding, even if the ride lasted for just 16 games.

But with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, I wonder how much better the Canucks would be if they had signed the player who played better in camp, and as it turns out, continues to play well in Calgary.

Nov 242010

It’s probably not a surprise that the Canucks made a couple of roster moves yesterday and shuffled their lineup in advance of tonight’s game against the Colorado Avalanche.

After attending training camp on a tryout basis and then beating the odds and making the team’s opening night lineup, Peter Schaefer was placed on waivers yesterday. This morning, the Canucks assigned him to the Manitoba Moose though CKNW is reporting that he may simply retire rather than go to Winnipeg.

In the meantime, Jeff Tambellini, who was starting to hit his stride with the Sedins before the numbers game and waiver rules forced the Canucks to send him to Manitoba, has been recalled. In 7 games with the Moose, he has 7 points (5 goals – 2 assists).

The Canucks are also shuffling their forward lines to hopefully inject some life into what has been a brutal stretch of listless games. Burrows will re-join the Sedins, Tambellini will join Kesler and Raymond, Samuelsson has been demoted to the third line with Malhotra and Torres, and Hansen has been placed on the fourth line with Perrault and Glass.

Perhaps more disappointing than the Canucks’ 4-game losing streak itself is how, overall, they’ve played for two weeks now. When the Canucks had their 6-game winning streak, they were tough to play against. In the last two weeks, they’ve played softer than Kyle Wellwood on a pizza diet.

I think it’s safe to say that, a quarter of the way into the season, we’ve seen the best and the worst of the Canucks.

Is it time to panic?

Maybe not. As Tony Gallagher pointed out this morning, we’ve seen this story before.

Maybe these latest moves up front, along with Vigneault’s (long due) decision to stick with the same defensive pairings for a while and let them build chemistry, will serve as a wake-up call.

Oct 092010

Amidst much anticipation, elevated expectations and dreams of the team’s first Stanley Cup, the puck finally drops tonight for the Vancouver Canucks’ 2010/2011 season.

Can the Canucks live up to their top billing or will they wilt faster than Kate Gosselin’s career? They won’t answer those questions tonight. This team will be judged on the games they play this spring. But they need to get there first, and tonight is step one of that process.

As we count down the minutes to game time, here are some links to tide you over:

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