Canucks post season musings
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!