I know it’s already one month into this new season, and this is only my first blog. But, aside from the fact that I was extremely busy with work, there really wasn’t anything interesting for me to write about.
Since my last blog, Vermette signed back with the Sens for good, and other than the trade with Tampa which brought us Shane O’Brien and Michel Ouellet, nothing changed in the Canuck’s line-up.
The Canucks started the pre-season in top-form, but since then the team is back to mediocrity sitting at 4W 5L, and the bottom of the division. The team seems more interesting to watch, with decent scoring power. Kesler looks like a true leader, and at times, their line looks more like our top-line. Mason Raymond is truly a pleasure to watch, this kid is going somewhere, and can easily be named the best forward coming out of our development system. He can fly, deke and score. I surely hope he gets more ice-time in the near future, and prove to all Canuck fans that we are able to groom talent instead of trading for it. Another solid new-comer is Janik Hansen, finally earning a permanent (?) roster spot on Fric and Frac’s line.
Demitra, prior to being injured, has only been mediocre, and just when everyone thought that the Wellwood Project was a complete failure, Kyle played two decent games, scoring a goal in both. Bernier seems to have chemistry with the Sedins, but since the Sedins are producing themselves, Bernier’s contribution to the team is still limited, especially with his -2 right now.
The team’s superstar Luongo’s preformance is also just average, and can easily be judged as poor in his standards, 4W 4L SV% 0.9, and a 3.00 GAA.
So, looking up from the bottom of the pack, 23rd in 30 teams, is there any tricks up Gillis’ sleeves to improve this team? First off, I know it’s just 9 games, and there’s no need to blow the team up to rebuild or do anything drastic like that, but it’s also obvious that our team lacks certain elements for us to have any chance at making the playoff, let alone win the cup.
Thinking about this, maybe we can flashback to see what I’ve written in the past, and compare with the options we have now?
First off, Mats Sundin, yup, he’s still available, but equally un-decided. But now, with most of the initially interesed team moving on, quoting from The Hockey News’ article, his best bet right now is either the Canucks or the Maple Leafs. Maybe the best does go to those who wait?
Marian Gaborik. I also mentioned about his status and possibility in the past, and from recent news, it seems imminent that he will be traded sooner rather than later, but at least after he returns from his injury. If he’s to be traded today, most people will tell you that the Kings have the best chance, but the Canucks is still the underdog to bring him in, if the right package is assembled. However, with the way the Wild is playing lately, I don’t see what we can offer them in any deal for Gaborik.
Ilya Kovalchuk. Looks like Kovalchuk rumors are re-surfacing again, reported by the Ottawa Sun and The Fourth Period, in this article here, Kovalchuk at 25 with one-year remaining on his contract, is being shopped around. However, like the editor in TFP admits, the chance is slim for this to happen, and if it does happen, it will most likely be a superstar-swap, but unfortunately we don’t have those sitting around our dressing room.
So, it looks like nothing much has changed, Sundin, Gaborik and Kovalchuk are still being rumored to be signed or traded, the Canucks aren’t any better than they were last year and Jason Krog is still floating between AHL and NHL…etc
Well, maybe one thing has changed, remember that super-prospect we talked about many months ago…the fabulous one??? The web-created Super-hyped Prospect, The Next Alfredsson?? The one who we could have got, but lost out to the Dallas Stars?? Well, we are a bit more certain of his abilities now, and he’s looking very much like what his agent promised him to be, scoring a hat-trick in his first NHL game.
Sorry Canucks fans, we could’ve had him. I guess Aquilini and Gillis were wrong about the kid. Imagine if Nonis stayed on the team for one more month, Fabian Brunnstrom is wearing a Canucks uniform right now. With 5 goals, 1 assists in 8 games, and Stamkos just 1 point in 8 games, here’s to hoping Brunnstrom doesn’t capture the Calder this year.