The day after the NHL awards usually brings heartache across the Canuck – nation. It hasn’t been until the past few years where hard work and relative success has finally paid off. Throughout the ages we have had many great players come together to form championship form teams. There was usually a key cog or two that usually held them back.
With Henrik and Daniel winning back to back Art Ross trophies for the most points in one season, Henrik last year with the hart and Daniel this year with the Ted lindsay, Ryan Kesler winning the Selke, and having Luongo and Schneider winning the Jennings, the Canucks are getting recognized as the power house that they deserve. As a team they conquered the regular season as the Presidents trophy winners, leading the league in so many categories that its mind numbing. Through the playoffs they played valiantly until the final game of the season against the Boston Bruins, where they finally submitted to fatigue, injury and mental anguish. And to that damned tim thomas, this years Conn Smythe and Vezina winner.
It was a heartbreaking end to a season that seemed like it was theirs to win it all. But not all the stories written in history end with happiness. The Canucks can take in modest pleasure for their season but now, as always, questions remain. Who will GM of the year Mike Gillis re-sign from this group of free agents come july 1st?
#1. Kevin Bieksa – Last years whipping boy in Vancouver, came back with a performance that would have brought a smile to almost any coaches face. Clutch, but rare, offense has brought his level of game to a very high standard. Partnered with Dan Hamhuis they were the best shutdown tandem this year other than shea weber (who should have won the norris IMO) and ryan suter.
#2 Christian Ehrhoff – As much as I have been critical of his style, he was a great player when he was on his game. As long as he can remain calm and offensive while not turning over the puck more than a well turned german apple turnover, then he will have a team in Vancouver.
#3 Chris Higgins – Rarely has anyone looked so comfortable along side Ryan Kesler. After being acquired at the trade deadline, he moved from 4th line time filler to second line puck mover. Great defensively and accurate passing has made him a great line mate for someone who demands perfection and will eat souls to get what he wants
#4 Maxim Lapierre – yet again acquired at the trade deadline, not a single player made more of an impact filling in his role as a “replacement”. When Manny Malholtra went down in march with what everyone thought to be a career ending injury, Max stepped up and brought his unique ability to win faceoffs, piss off everybody on the opposing team and make great offensive plays while remaining great defensively.
Other Free agents include Raffi Torres, Sami Salo, Andrew alberts, Tanner Glass, jeff tambellini, jannik hansen, lee sweatt.
Off season acquisitions if I were mike gillis, would be a solid fast strong right winger. Simon Gange, or micheal ryder.
*EDITORS NOTE My choices did not make Gillis happy
Till next time!
During the Vancouver Canucks run to the stanley cup in 2011, I, like many others, grew a ritual playoff beard. With that being said, this “beard” consists of a goatee and a slimy cheesy mustache. The longer the playoffs went on, the worse it got. The more it reeked of the food I ate. The more of the random 4 inch hairs that sprouted up overnight. The more red hair all of a sudden became apparent.
So once the Canucks were eliminated in grand fashion by the Boston Bruins, I had a decision to make, stick with the goat/stache combo, one or the other or neither. So after consulting with important peeps I decided to rock just the nasty 80’s undercover cop mustache. Now at first, I admit, I was very self conscious about it. It felt odd, out of place and my chin was soooo cold. My first response was “ewwww get away from me” and then “you sir, look like a pervert”. But since then I have received compliment after compliment on it. I don’t get it! I personally think I look older and fatter, not to mention the creepy looking factor.
But for some reason, its a hit! Why? People at my work, family members, friends, seem to be 90% love and 10% hate. I’ve been called dapper, and handsome. My H-R boss did a double take. Why is it that so many people are taking a liking to this horrible expression of facial hair? I don’t know how long I can keep it up for, but one thing is for certain, it needs to see the Calgary stampede. That’s my next destination, and its going with a red plaid or paisley shirt and tight blue jeans.
Wish me luck