Trade Deadline Insanity…

Forget about College Basketball March madness and try on the NHL’s version of March Madness which is the ever looming trade deadline…March 5th, 2014 for size. Pure insanity is about to break out as teams make the drive to find their missing piece and fans speculate like crazy what MAY or may NOT be…

Welcome to March Madness 2014

aka March Madness NHL Style

I don’t know about you, but I have a love/hate relationship with the trade deadline. The part that I hate the most and drives me the most crazy is how quickly the rumor mill spins spreading before you can ever possibly catch up with the actual facts. The social media web better known as the sensation of twitter is best at speeding up how quickly rumor can become “fact”. Some of those “facts” will be proven to come true and others will be proven to be fiction as always happens this time of year.

This year has been no different. Rumors have been rampant all season long just like they are every year. Every team will have to make the decision to make or not to make what appears to be an insane deal in acquiring what they deem the missing piece OR to simply stand pat.

I will not participate in speculating any trade rumors of any kind until any of the said rumors become fact and the deadline passes at 12:00 PM (PT) on Wednesday. The media and twitter speculate enough without my help. Speculating what could happen will not change what DOES happen on Wednesday. I will say the following:

Trades are a part of the game. Sometimes you LOVE what a trade brings to your team and sometimes you HATE what it takes away. The truth is there will never be a way to please everyone. No matter what happens once the trade deadline passes, some will be very happy and some will be very upset with whatever their teams decide to do or not do. Some decisions will be predictable and some will shock you with their unpredictability.

Welcome to Trade Deadline Insanity…when the NHL turns into fruit basket upset as players move back and forth. Will you be watching or staying far away until the madness subsides? More than likely most deals will happen in the last moments before the deadline expires and twitter will explode. I will hold off making any comments in regards to trades until trades have happened or not happened and the deadline passes. It’s sure to be an interesting few days to say the least for hockey fans across the league no matter what the outcome.

The question is to stand pat or to be bold? We will see what’s in store for the 30 NHL teams and their fans as the trade deadline ebbs ever closer and moves are made or not made.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

Old news is still news right?

Old news is still news right? That how it appears this NHL off-season. It has been very quiet in the hockey world as of late with the exception of the endless re-living of the Gretzky trade that happened 25 years ago.

Yes that trade was and still is a major deal but it happened 25 years ago. Yes it forever changed the game when the Oilers shocked the hockey world when they traded the BEST player of the game to the LA Kings. No player before or since has yet to tie or break Gretzky’s points records [2857 points -894 goals/1963 assists] and I’m not sure any player will ever break his points record. Gretzky was the greatest player to play the game that much is fact and will never be in dispute. I am simply tired of hearing every radio and sports channel re-play footage/interviews from “the trade” and a rehash of every repercussion that was a result of “the trade” as well as all the “what-ifs” had “the trade” never happened or happened with a different team. Enough is enough, let’s stop talking about the past and talk about the present!

You know its been a quiet off-season when the biggest news headlines for weeks at a time are things like: “30 teams in 30 days” or “10 questions that _______ will need to answer to be successful in 2013-2014” or “Will _____ help lead their team to playoff success?”

In Canuck related news, will the Canucks please, just announce the re-signing of CHRIS TANEV already?! This signing is taking forever!  Rumor has it, he has been getting interest from teams in the KHL and Switzerland while contract talks have been nearly non-existent. The longer it takes to officially sign Tanev, the more likely it is that another team will sign him to an offer sheet forcing the Canucks to match.  Last year Philadelphia forced Nashville’s hand with a 14-year offer sheet for Shea Weber that saw the Predators match the long-term offer. I am not comparing Weber to Tanev in any way other than to say that much like last year with Weber forcing Nashville’s hand, Tanev could force Vancouver’s hand if he signed an offer sheet.

Rumor also has it that the Canucks and Douglas Murray are in talks. We will have to wait and see how this plays out in reality.

When the Canucks return to the city for training camp and pre-season, all eyes will be on Roberto Luongo who will make the return that many did not expect. As I have said all along, I am LUONGO fan through and through, so I am very excited to see #1 return to my Canucks.

Perhaps we will see his sense humor much like this that he shared in his Canuck poetry:

and hopefully we will hear many #LUUUUUUUUUU cheers this season, following many saves much like these 5 sensational stops:

It has been very quiet in the hockey world as of late….almost a little too quiet news wise. The best the media has come up with is talking nonstop about a trade that happened 25 years ago and discussing as always the endless potential of rumors.

Can I say it again?..the off-season is dragging! Only 4 1/2 weeks until pre-season & less than 2 months until the regular season! #isitoctoberyet

Can hockey just come back please?!

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

Unofficially Official

Unofficially official is how the media is calling it with their prediction of John Tortorella being named as the next Head Coach of the Vancouver Canucks officially at a press conference being held June 25th 1:00PM. I say let’s wait and see what happens with Torts at the helm before deciding it will be a disaster or success. You never know, Torts could take us all by surprise! Welcome to #CanuckNation TORTS! It’s bound to a be an interesting relationship between you and the fans, and you and the media. Next question…who will his assistants be?[I’d love to see someone like Linden fill such a role]

Look out Canucks fans, media days just got a WHOLE lot more colorful…it will be an interesting ride to say the least. Perhaps @stombone1 can save us all a seat at the press conference or in the very least provide us with an entertaining twitter commentary as always!

Rumors of the LA Kings trading Jonathan Bernier went from the rumor mill to FACT Sunday morning when it became official that the Kings had traded Bernier to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for goalie Ben Scrivens, forward Matt Frattin and a second round draft pick. Toronto’s GM Dave Nonis says that this is the beginning of the changes coming before July 5th. What does the acquiring of Bernier say about about James Reimer’s future with the Leafs will he be playing tandem or relegated to the role of backup? I feel bad for Reimer who all year had to prove himself to the Leafs and the league alike and still it seems as though it may not be enough.

The Phoenix Coyotes have called a press conference for June 28th to make some sort of announcement regarding their future. Will they be re-locating or staying in Glendale?

Speaking of continued NHL off-season movements have you heard that Philadelphia is just using one of their compliance buyouts on Ilya Bryzgalov but also using the 2nd one to buyout fan favourite in Philly: Danny Briere. I don’t know how realistic the possibility would be of Briere coming to Vancouver, but I think he’d look great on a line with Kesler and Higgins[or Schroeder]! Off-season changes are coming for many teams and will be happening more rapidly as the NHL draft and the JULY 5 free agency frenzy draw closer.

The drama of the off-season will only intensify as the Stanley Final draws to a close tonight. Chicago stunned Boston with two late goals 17 seconds apart to CLINCH the 2013 Stanley Cup. Congratulations to both teams for a heck of a series and congratulations to the Chicago Blackhawks who completed their storybook season with the best possible ending.

The off-season has arrived hockey fans and its about to get very interesting with the numerous possible compliance buyouts, trades, and re-signings that are coming. As one season ends, the build up for the next begins in the off-season. #isitOctoberyet

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

Call Me Maybe: AV to NY 4 Torts to VAN?!

Do hear that ever growing loud buzzing noise? Those are the whispers regarding the newest potential Canucks head coach getting louder. First it was Dallas Eakins as the front runner until he struck Oil in Edmonton as a great fit for a young core team. Next in the front runner positions are John Stevens who is currently an assistant coach in LA, Lindy Ruff who was fired earlier in the year by Buffalo and former head coach of the NY Rangers the ever colorful John Tortorella.

The most interesting of the three candidates is perhaps John Tortorella not just because of his colorful way of dealing with the media but because former Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault has reportedly signed a 5-year contract with the New York Rangers [rumored to be worth $10 million].

Could it be former Canucks head coach headed to the Rangers & for NY Coach Tortorella to Vancouver?

CoachTortsCould it be with former Canucks head coach AV headed to the Big Apple & that former NY Rangers coach Tortorella will be headed  to Vancouver?

Wouldn’t it be something if these two switch places? I know I am not the only one who would be slightly amused by role reversals. Both cities are hockey markets where the fans and media alike have expectations on the daily basis from both the coach and the team. It is not yet official as to who will be the next coach for the Canucks but the rumors regarding Torts to Vancouver are getting louder with each day that passes. Best of luck in New York AV!

What are your thoughts #CanuckNation about the possibility of Torts coming to the Canucks as head coach? He has Stanley Cup experience[Tampa Bay], and has worked in a hockey mad market[New York] and can more than handle whatever the media tries to throw at him. Perhaps he could be a the trigger to light a fire under this team or perhaps not. Imagine Torts addressing the media…can you picture it? I think he would have tone down his colorful commentary slightly but sometimes the media in this town are crazy and should be called on it.Maybe he will be the next head coach or maybe Gillis and company will go another direction [Stevens or Ruff or perhaps a former player will be added to the mix!]. All that being said the team will hopefully name a coach prior to the draft and free agency madness.

Any of you still watching the Stanley Cup Final? Its a hard match up for me to watch as a Canucks fan..but because I am a fan of the GAME itself I have watched. Currently 3 games done and Boston leads the series 2-1. The first two games both went to overtime [stretching over 10 periods of hockey!]. The third game has been the only one to end in regulation and Boston taking the series lead. Rask is a huge part of the reason why Boston has been so good this post-season and he proved that in game 3 posting his 3rd shutout in the last 7 games. Game 4 will be a series changer if Boston takes the 3-1 series lead OR if Chicago finds their scoring touch and returns to Chicago with a tied series. I will not pick a side in this series but it will be interesting to see how the rest of this series goes as a hockey fan.

In other NHL news, Logan Couture has inked a new 5-year contract worth $30 million [an annual cap hit of $6 million] and Pavel Datsyuk has signed a 3-year contract extension worth $22.5 million[an annual cap hit of $7.5 million]. Rumor has it that LA is preparing to trade back up goalie Jonathan Bernier with Toronto and Philadelphia emerging as the frontrunners in that race. For Philadelphia it would be great to give Bernier a chance as a starter and to push Steve Mason. For Toronto it simply raises more questions regarding their goal-tending situation as it seems no matter how good James Reimer plays it is never good enough. Then again, LA was supposedly going to trade Bernier last year.

The drama never seems to end in the hockey world. By next week’s end the Stanley Cup Final will be over and the draft about the start. Trades pace the NHL draft prior to the start of the craze that is free agency beginning July 5.

I will sign off today, asking you #CanuckNation: who do you think will be the next Canucks head coach? Drop a comment with your choice/reason regarding the coach you’d like to see behind the bench!

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

“OH Danny Boy…”

In the midst of Ryan Kesler’s return to his former self and the fact that with him in the line up means the Canucks actually have a power play that works everyone has forgotten about Daniel Sedin.

Daniel has been quietly sneaking up on the Canucks all-time points list sitting just ONE point behind Markus Naslund[prior to the game in St.Louis] and will very soon be solely number two in the Canucks record books behind his brother Henrik. Earlier this season, Henrik surpassed Markus Naslund’s record and it was only a matter of time before Daniel joined his brother in the elite company, after all they seem to do everything together.

SedinTwins

Daniel has followed his brother's foot steps once more to tie a record set by former Canuck Captain Markus Naslund. Tomorrow he will look to surpass that record.

Daniel has followed his brother’s foot steps once more to tie a record set by former Canuck Captain Markus Naslund. Tomorrow he will look to surpass that record.

Henrik won the Art Ross in 2010 and Daniel won it 2011. Henrik surpassed Markus Naslund’s record in February and Daniel will do so within the next few games [perhaps also against Dallas JUST LIKE Henrik?!] Daniel DID tie Naslund’s record during the Blue’s game with an assist on the Edler goal and will be looking to surpass 756 points in the game against Dallas. Can you script this story any better? They won back to back Art Ross trophies and Daniel also has the chance to pass Naslund’s record in the same fashion as Henrik did. When one achieves something great, the other is quick to follow.

The Sedins really are special players despite what some people say about them, they probably wish they could have these brothers on their own teams. Sure there are brothers playing together in the NHL, but these two have something unique in the fact that they have played EVERY level of hockey of their careers TOGETHER.

Throughout their careers their regular season stats look like this:

Daniel Sedin: 290 Goals, 466 Assists [756 points] /902 games played/ 378 penalty minutes

Henrik Sedin: 182 Goals, 607 Assists [789 points] /935 games played/ 532 penalty minutes

Season after season since the 2005/2006 season they have put up respectable numbers averaging more than a point per game. Since the 2005/2006 season, Henrik has 643 points in his last 617 games and Daniel has 605 points in his last 587 games! Canucks fans are very lucky to have not one, but BOTH Sedins as part of their team’s history. It will be quite a story when/if they are able to go all the way and get that ring.

Following a disappointing effort in St.Louis, the Canucks will look to close out the road trip with a win and one step closer to closing in a playoff berth and the division title. Are you ready for the final countdown? There are just 5 games left before playoffs begin and anything can happen. Daniel WILL reach his milestone, the question remains will it be in Dallas or when they return home against Detroit? Personally I think it will be in Dallas and it will be a night full of #sedinery.

Rumor has it that the NHL will be announcing an outdoor Stadium series that will feature NOT one but SIX outdoor games in 2014: [including one featuring the Canucks!]

1. January 1st – The WINTER CLASSIC – Detroit vs. Toronto @ Michigan Stadium

2. January 25th – Anaheim vs. LA @ Dodgers Stadium

3. January 26th – New Jersey vs. New York Rangers @ Yankee Stadium

4. January 29th – New York Islanders vs. New York Rangers @ Yankee Stadium

5. March 1st – Pittsburgh vs. Chicago @ Soldier Field

6. March 2nd – VANCOUVER vs. Ottawa @ BC Place

What are you thoughts? Are you excited about the potential for MORE outdoor games next season? Will you attending any of the games or boycotting them? It will be interesting to see if the NHL goes through with this plan [to win back fans] and how the fans in the various city will react.

Amidst the excitement for the playoffs some teams are surprising fans around the league. The New York Islanders and the Toronto Maple Leafs are on the cusp of reaching the playoffs for the first time in over 5 years. The Columbus Blue Jackets are fighting for 8th with the Detroit Red Wings. The Canucks have an opportunity to catch Anaheim in the standings if they get on a roll in their final 5 games and the Ducks win just 2 of their remaining games. It’s an exciting time of year for hockey fans and it is only just the beginning as each team closes out this final stretch before the playoffs begin!

I am excited to see what the Canucks will do in the final 5 games and beyond. There is an air of excitement that comes every year at this time as fans around the league await the playoff match-ups and every city colors their cities in their team colors.

As always, until next time nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

T’was the night before the NHL trade deadline…

T’WAS THE NIGHT BEFORE THE NHL TRADE DEADLINE:

T’was the night before the NHL trade deadline,

when all through the league not a GM was supposed to stir,

when suddenly more than 10 deals were made and the quiet was but an echo

as teams began making deals in the days prior to deadline day.

Hockey fans and media alike thought themselves ready for the circus

while they made dream predictions for their teams and their prospective playoff hopes

and coaches hoped that the difficult decisions would not be theirs to make or break the team

as they prepared for the media storm that would inevitably follow a busy trade deadline.

When all of a sudden one team made a move that shook league to the core,

fans and media sprung to sports centre and social media to share their collective reactions

as the players looked to each other as to what this would mean to their team and their playoff hopes,

and the hours became minutes, and the minutes became seconds as the eve of the trade deadline slipped away as all must now see what will follow each move.

These are but a few thoughts surrounding each team tonight as we all wait to see what tomorrow’s circus shall bring. We do not know what it means just yet, but many teams have begun to make big moves prior to the big day which is slightly out of the norm.

So far the notable moves are these:

Jarome Iginla was traded from the Calgary Flames to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for prospects and a 1st round draft pick.

Brendan Morrow was traded from the Dallas Stars to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for a prospect and a draft pick.

Douglas Murray was traded from the San Jose Sharks to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for two draft picks.

Jaromir Jagr was traded from the Dallas Stars to the Boston Bruins in exchange for prospects & a draft pick.

Kent Huskins was traded from the Detroit Red Wings to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for a draft pick.

Jordan Leopold was traded from the Buffalo Sabres to the St.Louis Blues in exchange for two draft picks.

Michal Handzus was traded from the San Jose Sharks to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for a draft pick.

Jay Bouwmeester was traded from the Calgary Flames to the St.Louis Blues in exchange for two prospects and two draft picks.

Robyn Regehr was traded from the Buffalo Sabres to the LA Kings in exchange two draft picks.

Marc-Andre Bergeron was traded from the Tampa Bay Lightning to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for Adam Hall and a draft pick.

Derek Roy was traded from the Dallas Stars to the VANCOUVER CANUCKS in exchange for a prospect and draft pick.

Ryane Clowe was traded from the San Jose Sharks to the New York Rangers in exchange for three draft picks.

There is bound to be a media storm in the final minutes of the deadline tomorrow as the clock winds down to 12 PM[pacific time]. What will happen? Will your team be improved? Will favourites be moved? Will new favourites emerge? Will one team steal all the thunder with one big move? Will any teams stand pat? All will be revealed and once that clock strikes 12, all rosters will be set until the end of the season. We will have to wait and see what this trade deadline has in store for us!

I would like to say WELCOME to CANUCK NATION, Derek Roy! We look forward to seeing you help the Canucks down the stretch this year! This is a great pick up by the Canucks and will help address a gaping hole in centre and also allow the option of having Kesler play wing when he returns. Rumor has it that MR.RK17 could be slipped back into the line-up this week. Roy is expected to arrive in Vancouver for practice with the team tomorrow. In acquiring Roy, the Canucks gave up defense prospect Kevin Connauton, best of luck in Dallas!

In other Canuck news, today marks Chris Higgins re-signed with the team. He signed a 4-year $10 million contract extension[an annual hit of $2.5 million]. This guy plays with so much heart, great to see him get rewarded.

The Canucks are officially 3/4 through this shortened season. The team sits tied with the Minnesota Wild in points and are locked in a battle for the division title. The stretch drive begins now. #GoCanucksGo!

Keep your eye on the trades tomorrow as you never know what will happen, and the most active time will be in that final hour as some teams may surprise us!

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

Rumors, Trades, and Facts

March Madness continues to pick speed as the April 3rd trade deadline approaches. Now that Anaheim has settled the matter of signing both Getzlaf and Perry, the rumor mills are picking up speed every day in regards to the fate of Jarome Iginla. Everyone seems to believe that he will be moved by the trade deadline, it just a matter of where. It seems Calgary management may be willing to part with their eternal Flame[admitting that it is time to rebuild] and Iginla willing to admit that the Flames are nowhere near being the contender they want to be and he deserves to play with a contender. Iginla gave the Flames the green light to wave his NTC[no trade clause] and supposedly also a list of teams he would be willing to go to. Teams rumored to be Iginla’s list are: Pittsburgh, Boston, LA, Detroit and Chicago[even Vancouver has been mentioned but that is a highly unlikely destination]. The movement of Iginla is sure to upset many fans but at this point moving Iginla and beginning their rebuild seem to be their only options. Last night may or may not have been his last game as a Flame, and only time will tell which destination becomes his next reality. Following last night’s game, Iginla refused to comment on situation not wanting to add fuel to the fire. Reports have suggested that in exchange for Jarome, Calgary would like one young promising prospect and two draft picks. The rumors will only grow louder as more and more players are thrown into this fruit basket upset that is known as the trade deadline draws ever closer.

Speaking of rumors, the whispers became fact yesterday when the Pittsburgh Penguins acquired [now former] Dallas Stars Captain Brendan Morrow in exchange for a draft pick & defensive prospect Joe Morrow. Add the the San Jose Sharks to the trade talk mix as rumor has it that they may be looking to move Ryane Clowe, Dan Boyle or Douglas Murray as the team has struggled to find that consistency they had at the start of the year. Make the SJ trade talk official as the Pittsburgh Penguins continue to push for an extensive playoff as they have acquired Douglas Murray from the Sharks in exchange for two 2nd round draft picks. The Penguins have been the most dominant team of the East with the dynamic duo of Crosby & Kunitz, as well they are currently on a 12 game win streak. Looks like the Penguins will be the ones to beat the East. The question now for San Jose is do they continue to sell in order to collect draft picks or do they make one or two BIG moves prior to the deadline in the hopes of making a playoff push?

Outside of the growing trade talk madness, this weekend also marked Tampa Bay’s Guy Boucher as the latest coach to meeting the chopping block. The firing comes following a second straight disappointing season leaving many to suggest that either veteran coach Lindy Ruff or the Tampa AHL affiliate coach Jon Cooper will be asked to take his place.

Back to my Canucks.The Canucks have returned home having completed a 3 game road trip with a perfect 3-0-0 record and are back atop the North West Division [Minnesota is only 2 points behind & have 2 games in hand, they will play tonight]. With the road trip success it brings the Canucks win streak to 4 in a row, and I must say it is much more fun to watch win streaks than losing ones! The last two victories came with the Canucks missing Alex Edler on defense as he was forced to sit both of them out due to a two game suspension[he will return to the lineup March 26th]. With Edler out of the line-up the rest of the defense had to step up and they did. Also it certainly helped that Cory Schneider seems to have found his game again and that consistency that everyone came to expect from him last year! Welcome back Schneids! It will be fun to watch both him & Lou down the stretch over the next 4 weeks as they both drive one another to play better.

In other Canucks news, they learned this week that David Booth will be out for the season following season ending surgery [small sliver of hope he could be back for playoffs], and with his absence the Canucks have had to recall Schroeder who has been EXCELLENT since his be recalled. Jordan Schroeder when combined with Jannik Hansen and Mason Raymond has had great chemistry. It is extremely fun to watch those three play together! The Canucks also had to call upon defenseman Keith Ballard to play forward for a couple games as they were short-handed in the forward department. He played fairly well and had some pretty decent scoring chances.

May I also take this moment to remind you that it is nearly time for Ryan Kesler to return to the lineup as the Canucks prepare for the stretch drive. He could return as soon as within the next week but probably not until the first week of April. The Canucks could definitely use some extra depth at center, particularly in the face-off circle! Wanted: Ryan Kesler 100% healthy and beast mode ready.  #RK17

And just in case you missed this beauty of a gem last night, here it is, Alex Burrows GWG[P.S. that was the 23rd game winning goal of his career!] What a goal!! Enjoy.

Let’s hope that as the Canucks return home they are able to continue their recent success and continue to fight Minnesota for that NW Division leading spot! #GoCanucksGo

Trades, rumors and facts = March Madness indeed! Only time will tell the drama that is sure to continue to unfold as the April 3rd deadline nears and teams make moves for that elusive playoff run.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.