Apr 142014
 
Joseph, Ariellle, Marie, Oggy, and me in an afro

Joseph, Ariellle, Marie, Oggy, and me in an afro

Last week, Trevor Linden was named President of Hockey Operations of the Vancouver Canucks. Arguably the most-popular player in the history of the franchise, Linden’s hiring ushers in a new era for the team.

Thus, as with any big Canucks development, I wrote a song about it.

Inspired by “Treasure” by Bruno Mars, we proudly present to you my latest Clay’s Canucks Composition: “Trevor” — a song that pays homage to the new President.

I’m blessed to be joined by four wonderfully talented friends, all of whom have appeared in previous videos of mine: Marie Hui, Arielle Tuliao, Oggy Luistro, and Joseph San Jose. Enjoy!

Apr 112014
 

In the Canucks’ first game in the Trevor Linden as President era, they lost 4-2 to the Colorado Avalanche and slipped to 12th place in the Western Conference, just ahead of the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers. On the bright side, as it stands right now, they look to be on track for another top 9 pick in this year’s NHL Entry Draft.

Read more #TGATT goodness past the jump.

Mar 262014
 
bert

Step 1: Draft hulking forward with average skating ability but flashes of offensive upside. Step 2: Thrust player into spotlight using unfair comparisons and unrealistic expectations. Step 3: Criticize said player’s slow development despite young age and minimal professional experience. Step 4: After a few years of disappointment, give player chance on second line or better because of a cavalcade of injuries. Step 5: Take credit for supposed 3-year plan when player succeeds.

And so goes the tale of the power forward – a much sought after, but rare commodity in the modern era of the NHL. These types of players often take longer to develop and can be frustrating as hell for management and fans, but with the right professional climate, can ripen into a force to be reckoned with. The Canucks have been searching for this type of player ever since they were bounced in the Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals by a group of nasty SOB’s in black and yellow uniforms.

Some of these guys fight, some of them drive wide, and some of them dole out bone-crunching hits. The bottom-line is they all do what they do with POWER.

The top 5 Canucks power forwards are:

5) Zack Kassian: The best is yet to come for this big-bodied winger, but this season has seen him take a step in the right direction. All but one of Zack’s 23 points have come at even-strength so just imagine what this guy will do when he gets a shot on the power play in the future.

4) Greg Adams: Not the edgiest player, but a big body and terrific balance, Adams lives on in Canucks lore for this famed goal that sent Vancouver to the cup final.

3) Ryan Kesler: He hits, he fights, he’s a big body and a terrific skater. Kesler doesn’t always get credit as a power forward but he does all the things a prototype power forward should. Solid on both sides of the puck, Kes often does battle with opposing teams’ power forwards as well.

2) Trevor Linden: The ultimate Canucks captain, Linden put his body on the line for the team time and time again. He was a major part of the Canuck run in ’94 and at times was dominant along the boards. Linden had excellent balance and what he lacked in skill he made up for in physicality.

1) Todd Bertuzzi: If a player is used as the model for the term “power forward”, you have to assume he was a pretty good one. Bertuzzi was dominant in the early 2000′s including posting a 46 goal, 97 point season on the Westcoast Express line. Despite this, Bertuzzi never really returned to form after being suspended in 2004 for the infamous “Steve Moore Incident”.

Mar 302012
 
Disappointed Trevor

If you smash a window, Trevor would be mad. He'll just be disappointed.

Vancouver seems to want to move away from public gatherings in the city and trying to move people to suburban areas but let’s face it, the downtown core will be packed as long as the Canucks are in the playoffs.

So when you’re out there this post-season, we here at CHB would like to remind you to have a great time but that if you do decide to start some trouble, your actions will have consequences. Not only will you make poor Roberto Luongo cry, but you might get a look like this from Trevor Linden. I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t want to disappoint a man that played on one leg to try and bring Lord Stanley to Vancouver. I’m sure he was pretty close already when people needed to be told not to torch their own city.

So don’t disappoint Trevor, folks. More tomorrow!

Feb 132012
 

This year, the Richmond Olympic Oval was the venue for the Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada festivities in BC. On tap were many events: various ice hockey games of all levels, skills camps, ball hockey, street hockey, floor ball and many interactive displays and exhibits.

Armed with a camera, a mic and our BlackBerrys, Chris, Clay, Lizz and I proceeded to cover the event, and in the spirit of Hockey Day in Canada, talked to many of the people who attended, including some prominent members of the hockey community, and asked them about their favorite hockey memories.

First up, legendary Canucks broadcaster, Jim Robson:

Then, we managed to get a couple of minutes with former Canucks captain, Trevor Linden:

And also, we talked to Richmond’s Mayor Malcolm Brodie and many hockey fans:

Dec 212010
 

It’s a sad day for Vancouver sports as we hear of the passing of Paul Carson after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

I didn’t know him personally, but we spent Christmases together through Sports Page’s Yulin’ with the Page year-end sports highlight package. And of course, he was instrumental in founding TEAM 1040, Vancouver’s first all-sports radio station.

RIP Paul. Thank you for what you’ve done to Vancouver sports and sports media. Our thoughts and prayers to you and your family.

*****

A quick trip down memory lane:

Another one:

(More Yulin’ with the Page here.)

Dec 112010
 

(Post by J.J., Chris Golden and Harrison Mooney.)

Even as Markus Naslund’s career in a Vancouver Canucks uniform was winding down – a career that saw him revitalize a moribund franchise, rewrite numerous franchise scoring records, become the longest-serving captain in Canucks history, and spend countless hours in the community – many fans questioned whether or not his jersey #19 was deserving to be raised to the rafters. Whether or not it deserved to hang alongside #12 and #16.

The fact is, many fans have come to compare Naslund’s accomplishments with Trevor Linden’s and Stan Smyl’s. And that’s certainly their prerogative. Naslund was an elite level player – an All-Star, Lester Pearson Trophy winner and Hart Trophy nominee – but was unable to take the Canucks as far into the playoffs as Linden and Smyl did. Linden and Smyl played with as much as grit as skill. Fair or not, Naslund was known more for his skill and finesse than anything else.

Because of these differences, however, it’s perhaps more appropriate to compare how they connected with Canucks fans. We can debate and dispute stats and playoff runs all we want, but there’s one thing that we may all be able to agree on – that Naslund connected with Canucks fans who grew up watching the team in the post-Messier era as much as Linden and Smyl did in their respective eras.

Chris:

Having grown up in Vancouver, I’ve been a diehard fan of the Canucks since Chris’ birthday plus one. But there’s something about kids from Alberta that I remember the most. I’ve cheered for an average guy from Glendon, Alberta who went by the name “Steamer.” I also hollered “HAR-OLLLLLLD” in the hope that the best ‘stache this side of the Rockies hailing from Edmonton would lay out to block a slapper. But it was a young kid from Medicine Hat that I first felt truly connected to.

Harold & Stan were already well into their own careers and I liked them because those were the players my Dad thought were the best. Yet, it wasn’t until 1988 when this 18 year old kid named Trevor first donned a Canucks jersey that I truly became excited about the team. He was skilled, yet understood the importance of a blue collar work ethic (as Jim Robson once said “who will play, you know he’ll play, he will play on crutches”). He was exciting to watch and wore his emotions on his sleeve.

But it wasn’t just how he performed on the ice that had me enamoured (I’m a confident guy, I can admit that). He may have been from Alberta, but he found his home here on the West Coast of British Columbia. He was the first face of Canucks Place, the player I remember seeing down in the caverns of the Pacific Coliseum talking to the fans, and the player who you’d walk into the most while around town. Some of the darkest days as a Canucks fan were when “he who shall not be named” traded Trevor away and some of the brightest days were after he came back.

And if there were ever an indication that the team got it right when they raised number 16 to the rafters, it’d have to be this – he was always the player that my friends and I ever dreamed we wanted to be when we picked up a stick. And I bet he’s still the player younger fans still want to be.

Harrison:

I watched the Trevor Linden jersey retirement ceremony with some emotional distance, as I never quite understood what he was to Vancouver. It’s understandable. In 1994, I was nine; I didn’t understand what my testicles did, either. Linden’s contributions were a bit beyond my comprehension. By the time I was old enough to understand those contributions–the ones that crafted Linden as the greatest Canuck–Markus Naslund was the guy making them. He was the face of the Canucks; the top draw; the best hope; the spiritual and emotional leader. Yes, Markus Naslund was the greatest Canuck I ever personally witnessed.

And it doesn’t matter that he never won a cup; Trevor Linden never won one either. Instead, these guys built their legends on great hockey matched by great work in the community. It’s a model for greatness that started with Trevor Linden; Markus Naslund took it and ran with it, and that’s where I recognized it. We’re all hearing the stories now, about how Naslund passed it to Daniel and Henrik Sedin, and the Canucks are just now reaping the benefits of their great leap forward into a similar role. In that respect, it’s important to recognize who Markus Naslund was: the guy that took Trevor Linden’s example and turned it into a tradition.

Let me put this in a way that you boomers might understand: Markus Naslund is the Trevor Linden of my generation.

*****

Giveaway time!

We here at CHB are partnering with Harrison and the Pass It To Bulis boys to give away a total of four (4) Trevor Linden lithograph prints.

(Print only. Frame not included.)

We are giving away two (2) lithograph prints here on CHB. (PITB is giving away another two (2) prints on their site.) One winner will be drawn from Twitter; another winner will be drawn from the comments section.

1) To enter on Twitter, send the following tweet:

RT/follow or enter a comment to win a Trevor Linden lithograph from @canuckshockey and @passittobulis. http://bit.ly/f1gbbu #Canucks

2) To enter in the comments section, write which one of Naslund, Linden and Smyl you connected with the most and why.

We’ll draw the winners on Tuesday, December 14th at 7:00 PM so get your entries in before then.

[update: 12/14/2010, 19:24 PM]

And the winners of the Linden lithographs are: @ArcVancouver and Amy N. (@ameecq). Email me with your mailing address at [email protected] and I’ll send each of you a print.

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