Archive for the ‘Vancouver Canucks’ Category

The 2003 NHL Entry Draft, perceived as one of the best in league history, churned out a bundle of cornerstone players in the first round–a few were also snagged in round two. And to think, such a coveted collection of players was forced to be put on hold for one year due to the lock-out. That distinction should have went to the class of 1999.

Going No.1 overall, Marc-Andre Fleury was chosen to fill the void in the Pittsburgh Penguins’ net. Ask, and you shall receive. The 27-year-old has decently done what he’s supposed to–the Philadelphia Flyers beg to differ– after a rookie season that saw much trial-and-error experimenting within the club.

As the second player to have his name called, Eric Staal went straight to work with the Carolina Hurricanes by amassing 100 points as a sophomore and sparking the group towards a Stanley Cup. Florida picked up Nathan Horton and while he wasn’t exactly a leader, he wasn’t a bust either. Nikolai Zherdev, as talented as they come offensively, didn’t solidify his selection with the Columbus Blue Jackets. (more…)

Zero.

As of this moment, that is how many suspensions Matt Cooke and Steve Downie have served together this season. No, it is not a typo and there should not be a one added to it. Suggesting, prior to the regular season, that neither player would be forcefully withdrawn from a game or involved in a serious incident from October to April would be classified as a pipe dream.

Lo and behold, it is now a reality. Cooke and Downie, both of whom got their Ontario Hockey League start-up with the Windsor Spitfires, toned down their physicality and adjusted their playing styles. In contrast to some of their previous on-ice choices, they couldn’t have timed this one any better. (more…)

For years, the Buffalo Sabres have built from within. One peek at their roster reveals a team that places extreme importance on drafting players and properly preparing them for the future. For better or for worse, it is a strategy that both the general manager Darcy Regier and head coach Lindy Ruff have stood by.

Strangely, and perhaps in desperation, Buffalo broke away from that tradition at this season’s trade deadline. Involved in two separate deals on the rather underwhelming day, their second one grabbed the headlines and was perceived to be the major transaction of them all. Before the deal in its entirety was shared, the two confirmed names that switched sides were Cody Hodgson of the Vancouver Canucks and Zack Kassian. (more…)

“Right from the day he first stepped on the ice for the Vancouver Canucks, he wowed the city.” –Pat Quinn

“What Pavel brought at the time, the team never had before. And that was a superstar that was young and I wouldn’t say the word overly confident but he wasn’t afraid to say ‘Look I’m going to score 50 goals’, and he went out and did it.” –Cliff Ronning

“Some of the things that Pavel did at high speed, I couldn’t do it walking through it sometimes. Players are always fooling around before practice or during practice to try different things. But when Pavel did this, it was all at a high speed and he did it in games.” –Stan Smyl

“He was scary with the puck, I mean he could do stuff that made other players look like they were in another league. It would be boys playing with men sometimes”. –Arthur Griffiths

“Pavel was the type of player, and there’s not a lot of guys that can do that, but literally bring people out of their seats and incredibly explosive. He just made things happen when you didn’t think anything could happen.” –Trevor Linden

“He’s the most talented hockey player I’ve ever played with in my life and that I’ve ever seen period.” –Greg Adams (more…)