Heres the winning blog by Canucks Fan, Dave Jansen INCREDIBLE WORK!
West Coast Weather
As unpredictable as a sudden snowfall or rainstorm on the west coast, the 08-09 edition of the Vancouver Canucks have their sights set on the beginning of a new era.
Gone in the abyss of organizational restructuring are the likes of “The West Coast Express”; Brian Burke/Dave Nonis, Captain Nazzy; JovoCop and of course all-time favourite Trevor Linden. Long-time fans of the club will have a new list of names to adore; a new list of expectations and a probable chance of unfulfilled promises.
As we sit a little over a month away from the start of training camp (can you even call two days in Whistler a “Training Camp”) the Canucks have several gapping holes that still need to be filled. The likes of Steve Bernier and Pavol Demitra will surely fill their respective roles however, the fact remains that if you combine either one of those two with the Sedin act, you simply have a formidable NHL second line. Does anyone else see a problem here?
Clouds may turn to sunny periods on the third-line as GM Mike Gillis has put together something of a nightmare (for the opposition). Last season Ryan Kesler and Alex Burrows were known to several NW Division opponents as super pests and with the addition of Darcy Hordichuk this threesome is sure to add some spark to the line-up.
On the fourth-line, things appear to return to instability. Free agent pick up Ryan Johnson may be the only bright spot and you can slot in the likes of Jeff Cowan, Rick Rypien, Mike Brown or whoever else can lace up a pair of skates.
As we move to the backend of the line-up stabilizing the forwards is something that the Canucks defence were unable to do last season. The injury bug took its toll on a defence core that many suggested was within the top 5 in the entire league. Kevin Bieksa’s freak leg laceration along with Alex Edler and Sami Salo taking pucks to the face in the same game were only the icing on the cake, not to mention the recent death of up and coming star, Luc Bourdon.
Despite the rash of injuries the Canucks (or shall I say Manitoba Moose) defence core was able to keep this ship afloat and push for a playoff spot well into the final weeks of the season.
Bright skies remain in the forecast between the pipes for the Canucks’ as Roberto Luongo will surely rebound from what many may call his most inconsistent season of his NHL career. As for back-up Curtis Sanford, he appears to be the only goaltender since Kay Whitmore that enjoys the view from the bench in Vancouver however, this season early indications are that “the Sandman” is going to be relieving Luongo on a more consistent basis.
Despite all the instability there is still one interesting dynamic that may further change the face of this long struggling franchise. GM Mike Gillis shocked the NHL world with his July 1 offer to Mats Sundin an offer that has the 38-year-old center pondering his hockey future while leaving the rest of the NHL hanging in the balance.
Many faithful may be calling for the GM to pull the offer and move on to Plan B, however, the advantage of having Sundin in the line-up would benefit this hockey club greatly. They many not be contenders as we sit right now but it Mats is looking to join a club where he can be a key to their success, Vancouver is by far the team that needs him the most. His addition to this club would allow coach Alain Vigneault numerous options in writing his game day line-up.
As for Plan B, I think Plan B is in addition to Plan A and will happen regardless if Mats joins the Canucks or not.
This new era of Canucks hockey is something to watch closely like a storm that moves across the ocean. Is there a ridge of high pressure to block out the rain or are the winds of change just too strong, we can only wait and see.
'til next time, keep your head up