Archive for the ‘Canucks’ Category

The Canucks fail to party like it’s 1999

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It’s the turn of the century.  We’re all worried about whether or not our computers are about to crash and making jokes about “Hanging Chads” when known idiot George W. Bush wins the US Presidential Election to become the actual President of the US of A.  Thankfully as we all know it’s not like he’s going to be called onto handle a crisis or make any real decisions, right?

They year 2000  was a great year for Mats Sundin, the sort of year that any team in the NHL would have been wise to sign him to a lucrative contract and build a team around him.  A franchise player he’d have really been a big score for the Canucks to sign in the year 2000.

So it’s sort of a hilarious turn of events that eight years later, at the age of 37, he turned down a big money offer from the Canucks [vs].   That doesn’t mean it couldn’t possibly happen, but then why exactly would we want it to?  Didn’t we learn from the Mark Messier thing that bringing in a big money player in the latter stages of his career and trying to shape the team around him, only leads to pain and sadness?

I suppose they figure with Mike Gillis at the helm and pain and sadness 100% guaranteed, we might as well get a big name signing in to sell some jerseys.  Face it, it was either that or redesign the uniform again.

How far have the Canucks slipped though?  This should be a great market to play in.  We’ve got weather, a strong dollar, a rather casual attitude towards celebrity that allows players to live more anonymously than in other Canadian markets and a fan-base that doesn’t expect anything except for pain and sadness.  It seems like the perfect destination.

Maybe if we offer him a carbon tax credit.

Update: Oh hey and now we lost Nausland [vc].  Wasn’t the the point of appointing his agent as our GM, to keep him?  Well at least there’s the Vancouver Giants.

The ballad of Trevor Linden


Canucks Jersey Retro Linden – Back

Originally uploaded by Jeffery Simpson

Trevor Linden never won the Stanley Cup, never won a scoring title and is behind Marcus Naslund as the team’s all time scoring leader and yet I think everyone in Vancouver will agree that he is the greatest player the Canucks ever had. Yesterday he made his retirement official, he is no longer a Canucks and as fitting he is not going to be playing for anyone else. Twenty years to the day of being drafted by the Canucks he is finished with the NHL, and leaves Canucks fans knowing that we won’t ever see another player like him again.

Linden was always overshadowed by other players, during the 1993-1994 Stanley Cup run he was such an important part of the team, but the attention was focused on Pavel Bure’s remarkable bursts of speed. When he returned to the Canucks, following the ill-fated attempt to rebuild the team around Mark Messier, it was Todd Bertuzzi and Marcus Naslund who were seen as the team leaders. Naslund remained captain of the Canucks, despite the fact that Linden was once again the team’s natural leader.

Or maybe he wasn’t. The failings of the Canucks in the past few years has time and time again been the failing of trusting too much in natural skill and not enough in pure work ethic. In the dying weeks and months of this past season it seemed that Linden and goalie Roberto Luongo were the only players dismayed by game after game of sub-standard performances. A team that should have reached the late stages of the playoffs did not even make them.

Vancouver’s going to miss Trevor Linden, though it’s not clear that the Canucks themselves are. The new General Manager just happens to be Naslund’s former agent Mike Gillis, a situation that seems to promise that the Canucks will be missing the playoffs more often. Linden, like Ryan Smyth, was a player that would give everything he had to win a game, a trait that many of the Cancuks seem to lack, and a trait that they lack even more today.

Nobody would ever say that Trevor Linden gave anything less than everything he had on the ice. He may never brought the Stanley Cup to Vancouver, but in ’94 he came close and gave all Canucks fans some of their most cherished memories. He’s leaving and we will love him, for now and forever. Of any Canuck he’s the one we should be naming streets after, and building statues.

He’s our Captain, no matter who held onto the ‘C’.

Hockey Night In Canada changes theme songs and we all flip out

Martin Brodeur save

If you’ve been online in Canada today you might be excused for thinking that everyone on the internet has just had some sort of brain aneurysm as every blog you’ve checked, every news story at the top of your Gmail account and every email in your mailbox seems to be stuck on the fact that next year the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation might not use the same theme for Hockey Night In Canada that it’s used since the 1960s’ [rc].

From Reuters:

“The tune, which has opened the Canadian Broadcasting Corp’s Saturday night National Hockey League broadcasts since the late 1960s, will not be renewed as the broadcaster has chosen to move in a new direction…”

The best blog post out there that I’ve seen on it is from Miss604 [m604].

Let’s face it though, this is one of those things that people are going to get upset about for a few months and then forget about totally once a new song is used. After a few years with we’ll forget about it altogether because we’ve always been at war with Eurasia. Speaking of which wouldn’t it be nice if people got this fiery about poverty, Canadian troops in Afghanistan or the national debt?

I like the song as much as the average hockey fan, but please if I’ve not heard from you since we graduated high school I’m not interested in joining your damn Facebook group to save it.

Update: Buzz Bishop has a blog post on the subject that points out that nothing is official yet, and maybe we as a nation should just take a pill [bb].

Vancouver Five: Vancouver STFU

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There’s a few things that I’m tired of hearing about around town. Be warned these five things are on notice.

5) The Hollow Tree in Stanley Park [gm]:  It’s a tree, it was killed by God.  That’s the way nature works.  If it was torn down to put up a Starbucks, yeah then we can have some sort of fit about that.  It’s not a metaphor, it’s a damn tree.  Get over it.

4) The dollar: I get it, it’s crazy that our dollar is so strong against the American one.  Yet it’s been like that for months now.  You can also add any story about how Product X is so much cheaper in the US now because of the dollars’ values.  We all get it.  It’s boring now.

3) The Canucks: Let’s just ignore the losers and hopefully they’ll all return to Sweden and never come back.  Instead let’s talk about (soon-to-be) former Canuck Trevor Linden [bb] whose far more interesting.  Though keep it to a minimum, he’s getting pretty close to going on the list to.  Remember he’s a hockey player, he only walks on frozen water.  For a team that actually wins something try the Whitecaps [wcfc].

2) How the Olympics are destroying everything: People were homeless before we won the Olympics and they’d still be homeless afterwards.  Let’s be honest we as a society don’t give a shit about the problem of the homeless, and if 2010 was not going to be in Vancouver all the money spent on the Olympics would not instead have been used to feed and clothe those who need it.  The money probably would have been spent on magic beans, ferries that we’ll never use or a space program.  The Olympics make an easy target because it’s billions spent on things like watching men in superhero costumes slide down a frozen tube in a piece of fiberglass, but they’re nowhere near the root cause of the problem.  Show some intelligence and try to find that root instead of just raging against the wrong machine.

1) How the Olympics are really going to revitalize the city:  Right because the thing holding back Richmond from becoming a world class suburb was the fact that it didn’t have a giant speed skating rink. 

Vancouver Canucks :: the blog post-game show

Canucks Jersey Retro - Front

If you’ve been living in a cave, or only watching American television, for the last week you know that the Canucks are now out of the playoffs. Another year of dashed hopes and spoiled dreams, and it’s time to start talking about what needs to be done for next year [cbc].

Brendan Morrison and Markus Naslund are both free agents. Trevor Linden is most likely leaving, or if he stays will be little more than a totem on the bench having long past the days when he could drive the team game after game. Roberto Luongo fled town as soon as he could, one of the few players to do the jersey any credit this year.

So what’s the blogosphere say? Find out after the jump.

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The Vancouver Canucks: the team that fell to earth


skating through the trap

Originally uploaded by reservoir frog

The Vancouver Canucks are out of the playoffs [cbc]. The math does not lie, there is no way for them to win. There is nothing left to play for except for the remaining scraps of dignity that the position of first amoung the losers would grant.

Optimistic Canucks’ ads on the side of Skytrains aside, nobody really expected the team to win the Stanley Cup this year. We have a goalie, and that’s about it. The team has addressed neither the team’s ongoing need for a top level goal scorer, to replace the players that Bertuzzi and Nausland used to be, nor do they have the win at any cost mentality that took the Oilers to their last trip to the finals.

It was not just that this just was not our year, it was that the last five years haven’t been our year but aside from bringing in Luongo the team has only aged; not in the gaining more experience version of aging, but in the one day closer to retirement version.

The Canucks need to be torn apart and rebuilt. Build it around Luongo. Build it around a new Russian speedster with flair like Bure. This team will never win the Stanley Cup, and believing it will is just a waste of time.

Last Chance Canucks: PPV and Hurtful Humour

Our beloved TV voice of the Vancouver Canucks, Jim Hughson, had his last broadcast with Sportsnet last Tuesday since he’ll be over at the CBC going forward [CBC]. Tonight is another milestone (although a little less important), the last pay per view game of the season. Throughout the season Canucks fans have either had to purchase games through Shaw digital cable, head out to the local pub or simply listen to the game on the radio to avoid paying a hefty price for a service that isn’t much better than regular coverage anyway (hello, no HD).

If you ordered the game on March 17th when Shaw had the outage in the 3rd period, you will be getting a refund. I got my bill last night (which should have included that day) but apparently they’re applying the credit on the billing cycle that starts March 24th [ms604].

Shaw says they had a hardware failure that kept the cable feed from going out, while their StarChoice satellite feed continued with no problems… …Disappointed fans will get refunds, worth almost $200,000 dollars to Shaw. [News1130]


Photo: Miss604 on Flickr

Hopefully next year Shaw and CanucksTV will reevaluate their offering because for $12.95 x 16 games the fans should be getting a little more out of their coverage – including uptime.

With only two games left in the regular season, pay per view might not be the only thing that’s done for the season, I know (although we’re gonna make it, I just know it – and you’re all welcome on the bandwagon with me!) But for those of you ready to watch a nail drive into the coffin, here’s some “humour” from the Hockey News.

Top Ten Excuses for the Canucks:

10. We haven’t been the same since losing all-star Rory Fitzpatrick.
9. 21st in the NHL in offense would be OK if the league had 90 teams.
8. Just not enough confidence in Curtis Sanford to start him in that key March 28 game in Minnesota.
7. Markus Naslund and Brendan Morrison just can’t bring it on like the good old days.
6. Nashville wasn’t supposed to be this good – 88 points should have been enough.
5. We wanted Mats Sundin, but he doesn’t like the rain.
4. Maybe summer acquisition Ryan Shannon wasn’t the answer offensively after all.
3. The hockey gods just won’t let the Todd Bertuzzi curse go.
2. Goal-less Jeff Cowan didn’t go on the six-goal in four-game binge like he did last year.
1. Golf courses in greater Vancouver are far too inviting this time of year.

I found this via Alanah at Canucks and Beyond and hey, I just decided to share – these opinions in no way reflect my own or those of Metroblogging Vancouver.

Game day Canucks train


Skytrain :: The Spirit of Kelowna

Originally uploaded by Jeffery Simpson

I tend to finish work at around 6 on Sunday nights, so I’m always on the Skytrain just as people are packing into the train to get down to the Canucks game. Though the cars are always crowded by the time I board at Metrotown Station, I always enjoy those rides packed with jerseys.

I find that people are a bit more open then, and though I’m certainly not outgoing enough to talk to anyone, I enjoy listening in as people discuss the team’s recent form. Last night before the game against the Flames [vc], there were a few Flames fans dotting the car that I was in. Each time a red jersey would board the car high fives would be exchanged and the Canucks fans would grumble under their breath.

With the weekend death of an Italian football fan in sporting related violence in Italy [sh] it’s good to see that we can enjoy sporting rivarlies without anyone taking it too seriously. I mean, you know, except for the riots.

Vancouver Five: crazy things we’re buying

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With city council about to spend half a million dollars on new software that will cut down on gang violence and after hours bar incidents [cbc].  While software might stop people being drunk assholes, World of Warcraft stopped me from having a social life for about six months, it’s hardly going to cut down on gang activity at places that aren’t clubs or bars where most of the shootings have occurred.

Here are five other things we could be spending our money on:

5. Turning Robson Street into a Pedestrian Mall ::The Fremont Street Experience is one of the major tourist draws in Las Vegas [wp].  What would be better for the Olympic tourists than being able to experience the same thing on Robson Street?  Granted it would cost more than half a million, but boy would the tourists love it. 

4. Robots, Zombies, Pirates, Ninjas, and Sad Feist ::What just randomly using those words isn’t funny as of itself?  Dammit.  Ah well, at least our SEO went up like 2000%.

3. Destroy Beyond Robson :: Let’s face it Beyond Robson [br] is not only unpatriotic they’re probably all some sort of communists.  I’d say they’re zombies or pirates on top of that, but I’ve already been to that comedy well once today.  Either way I’m sure City Council would be far happier if they bought BR and put someone really really really excited about Vancouver in charge.  Someone uncritical who doesn’t really notice the homeless issue.  Someone like Kent Hurl [tv]. 

2. Buy the Cancuks a goal scorer :: Years, and years go by and we always are short a goal scorer once we get in the playoffs.  Why they figured it would be different this year I have no idea, unless the plan was simply not making the playoffs in which case we’re on track.

1. Inter-dimensional portal technology ::I was watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer and there’s an episode at the start of the third season where she runs away from home and lives in LA where an evil demon dimension is grabbing homeless and directionless youth off the streets of LA and using them as slave labour in their demon dimension.  I would bet good money that Sam Sullivan is trying to find an evil Wiccan right now to start teleporting the Downtown East Side residents to said dimension.  Sound far fetched?  Well now explain how Mayor Wilkins Sullivan got elected again [wp]?

Well that ended up being far more super nerdy than I had hoped.

Vancouver Five: Ways to fix the Canucks

With the NHL trade deadline approaching 24 Hours asked what would you do as GM [tfh]. Don’t worry if that link doesn’t work, apparently permalinks are still a mystery to some people, because I have the five things the Canucks need to do to win the it all this season.

5) Move to WHL: Being relegated down a league is a what happens to crappy teams in European soccer (football) leagues, why not the NHL? I really think the Canucks stand a chance of beating the Kelowna Rockets this season.

4) Bring back Brian Burke: Down in Anaheim he’s proving that he knows how to build a winning hockey team almost as well as Emilio Estevez. Think about how successful he would in a city where the crowd didn’t spend the entire game on their BlackBerries blogging about the Yahoo/Google merger. Oh, wait…

3) New rule nobody sleeps with the starting goalie’s wife: This will include the goalie himself as well as anyone else on his team. Seriously we lose all of our best goalies that way.

2) Give Trevor Linden steroids: The Trevor Linden we had in 1994 would have won us a Cup by now. This one is old and slow. I’m sorry but while I love him like a father I’ve never met and who pays no child support, he’s just not the player he was. I’ve had to rule out time travel, so made a dangerous regime of body enhancing drugs might work. Couldn’t hurt… much.

1) Change uniforms again: If the team’s not going to be able to sell jerseys based on how they’re playing on ice at least they could screw their fans over a bit more by making us all buy new tops yet again.

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