Wednesday, November 17, 2004

News Conference Details

Here are some rough notes on the news conference...

Aquilini group is purchasing 50% of the assets of Orca Bay Sports Entertainment. According to Aquilini, his group is "committed to being investors not managers." The current management group will remain in place.

Both McCammon and Aquilini avoided any specific details regarding the sale. No financial details were disclosed, Aquilini simply stated that the deal is fair and that they are very happy.

When asked why purchase a franchise in a league that is losing money and is currently in a labour dispute, Aquilini responded that they view the purchase as a long term investment and they believe that hockey will be successful in Vancouver. Neither party is concerned with the reaction of the NHLPA or the NHL and they are acting out of self-interest.

Aquilini became interested in purchasing the Canucks nearly 3 years ago. He has been a season ticket holder for 15 years and the deal is both a business decision and one based on being a hockey fan.

The Aquilini Group is involved in real estate, property management, hotel management, as well as cranberry and blueberry farms.

When asked about the possibility of an increased payroll, the response was basically that management will make recommendations and "we'll look at it at that time."

So what does all this mean for a Vancouver Canuck hockey fan?

Well that's hard to say. It definitely means that the Canucks are not moving anywhere, but of course that was unlikely to happen regardless of this deal. Will this mean an increase in payroll? This is essentially an impossible question to answer without knowing the details of a new CBA. Personally, I believe both ownership groups are committed to winning, with the caveat that winning corresponds to financial success. Don't expect a dramatic increase in payroll, but I think you can expect the team to continue its committment to keeping star players as they have with the Bertuzzi, Naslund and Jovanovski deals.

Thats all for now... but here is a reminder that the Manitoba Moose are opening their new building tonight and you can see the game on Rogers Sportsnet at 5:30pst.

Canucks Partially Sold

After a bit of a hiatus I'm back with some real Canuck news. Francesco Aquilini, of the Aquilini group, is buying "half" of the Canucks. Rather than speculating on the specifics, I'll have more info after the 11am news conference.

In the meantime here is an article from the Vancouver Province (it's available to non-subscribers).

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Jason King Named Player of the Week

Jason King was named AHL player of the week. King had 7 goals and 2 assists in only 4 games. Here is a story on Jason King from the Winnipeg Free Press.

Other news

The AHL voted to expand the roster size from 17 skaters, to 18. The Moose voted against the roster expansions because the number of veterans allowed to dress was not increased. The AHL could be doing a lot more to capitalize on the lockout, allowing more veterans would have been a good decision IMO.

The game recap from Saturday's victory over Cleveland is now available.

The Canuck's 2004 first round pick Cory Schneider, won his first career start for Boston College.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Moose Weekend Roundup

The Moose had three games over the weekend, managing to win the first two before dropping the third on Sunday afternoon. The Moose(3-1) now sit in first place in North Division, 1 point ahead of the Hamilton Bulldogs(2-0-1).

Friday at Rochester Americans

Manitoba defeated Rochester 7-2, scoring 5 goals in the second period. Forward Lee Goren led the way with a hat-trick and an assist. Ryan Kesler had 3 points(1g,2a), while Kiril Koltsov also picked up a goal and 2 assists. Wade Flaherty got the win.

Game Recap from Moosehockey

Saturday at Cleveland Barons

Manitoba picked up their third victory of the season defeating Cleveland 6-4. This time it was Jason King leading the way with a hat-trick, Peter Sarno added 3 assists, while Nolan Baumgarter added a goal and an assist with 7 shots on goal. Alex Auld stopped 22 of 26 shots for his first win of the season.

There is no recap for this one but here is the game sheet.

Sunday at Hamilton

Despite outshooting Hamilton 36-29, the Moose dropped their fist game of the season, losing 4-3. Wade Flaherty picked up the loss, while Jason King had a goal and an assist. King now leads the AHL in scoring.

Game Recap from Moosehockey

Next up for Manitoba is their home opener Friday night against the Edmonton Road Runners. The first televised Moose game will be on Sunday October 31st.

Finally here is a story on Moose defenseman Jonathan Aiken. Aitken was picked 8th overall in 1996 by the Boston Bruins, he signed with the Canucks in the off-season.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Manitoba Moose Win Opener

The Manitoba Moose defeated the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 6-3 Wednesday night. Wade Flaherty stopped all 16 shots he faced in relief of Alex Auld, who allowed 3 goals on 4 shots. Moose veteran Jimmy Roy had a pair of goals, including the game winner, along with an assist. Jason King also had 2 goals and an assist, Peter Sarno picked up 1 goal and 1 assist while Ryan Kesler also picked up a goal.

The Canucks first round pick from the 2000 draft, Nathan Smith, was injured in the 3rd period and did not return.

The Moose are now off to Rochester where they will play the first of 3 games in 3 nights, Friday through Sunday.

Recaps from

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Moose re-assign McVicar

The Manitoba Moose have re-assigned goaltender Rob McVicar to the Columbia Inferno of the ECHL.

Not surprising. With Alex Auld returning to Manitoba because of the lockout, and with the signing of veteran Wade Flaherty there was simply no room for McVicar.

In his first year as a professional McVicar had a good year, splitting time between Columbia(17gp 10-4-2 2.67gaa .898sv%) and Manitoba(10gp 4-3-2 2.67gaa .905sv%).

The former Brandon Wheat King was Vancouver’s fifth choice, 151st overall, in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft.

11 Moose Games on Sportsnet

Rogers Sportsnet will air 24 AHL hockey games this season, 11 featuring the Manitoba Moose. The action starts October 31st, with the Manitoba Moose visiting the Hamilton Bulldogs. Also of note, on November 17th the first game at the brand-new MTS Centre in Winnipeg will be televised.

Press Release and Full Schedule

Am I the only one a little disappointed with the number of games? With the NHL lockout, I was hoping for at least 20 Moose games. It's not like Sportsnet has anything else to show during the winter. This seems like a missed opportunity for both the American Hockey League and Sportsnet. Oh well, 11 will have to do.

Other Moose Notes:

The Winnipeg Free Press has an article on Vancouver's 4th round pick in the 1998 entry draft, Justin Morrison

The Moose season is set to get underway Wednesday when they visit Wilkes-Barre. Before then, they have two exhibition games Friday and Saturday. After the exhibition games team management will be making cuts.

And finally here is a story on Canucks goaltender consultant Ian Clark and his work with Alex Auld and Wade Flaherty.

Oh and when I get a chance, I will have something on TSN's proposed solution to the NHL lockout. In the meantime, check it out for yourselves.

Monday, October 04, 2004

The TSN Solution?

TSN is airing their 'solution' to the NHL's collective bargaining situation. TSN's proposed solution is "the general framework for a new economic system that could - or should - be the jumping-off point for earnest negotiations to save the 2004-05 NHL season."

It should be interesting to see what they come up with. It sounds like a lot of people, on both sides of the issue, were consulted. Anyway, the solution is set to air on Sportscentre today at 3pm pst, I would also expect it to be re-run on Sportscentre throughout the evening.

More Information

Manitoba Moose Training Camp Update

Today the Manitoba Moose re-assigned 11 players to the Columbia Inferno of the ECHL. No notables were sent down.

The Moose also wrapped up their intra-squad games yesterday.

The team has the day off today, they will resume camp with a practice tommorow.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Manitoba Moose Open Training Camp

The Manitoba Moose started training camp yesterday, with players who were not at the Canucks prospect camp taking their physicals.

Mike Keane, Trevor Kidd, former Canucks Ryan Bonni and Lonni Bohonos, were involved in an informal scrimmage with players attending Moose camp.

After camp was officially underway, the players were divided into two teams and will have seperate morning practices followed by afternoon scrimmages.

For the full recap of day 1 check out

There is also an article from the Winnepeg Free Press on the fierce competition for jobs at camp.

Finally, another article on the AHL's veteran rule and it's effect on the Manitoba Moose. Specifically, Mike Keane and Tyler Bouck will be excluded from camp.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Manitoba Moose News

The Manitoba Moose have agreed to terms with 11 players...

  • G Alex Auld
  • D Johnathan Aitken
  • D Nolan Baumgartner
  • D Joe DiPenta
  • F Lee Goren
  • G Wade Flaherty
  • F Jeff Heerema
  • F Ryan Kesler
  • F Jason King
  • F Justin Morrison
  • F Peter Sarno

Press Release

The Moose have also agreed to terms with tough guy Wade Brookbank. Press Release

Moose training camp opens today with players reporting for physicals. On-ice sessions get underway on Thursday.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Not Much News in Nuck Land

So there is not a whole heck of a lot going on right now, but hopefully that will change soon as the Manitoba Moose are set to open training camp this week. With the NHL lockout most of the content here will be Moose related (Your probably already sick of CBA talk anyway).

So here is the first Moose story:

Moose sign former Flame Josh Green

In case you did not know, the American Hockey League will be experimenting with a new rule restricting the puck handling of goaltenders. The experiment will last for 7 weeks, and then hopefully it will be forgotten. Full Details.

Other rule changes, that I do like, are the tag up offsides and no-touch icing.

The AHL will also be introducing a new shootout format to decide games which are tied after overtime

For those not familiar with AHL (and to educate myself), I will try to come up with a list of AHL rules which differ from the NHL.

I will also try and find the schedule for televised Moose games. Sportsnet should have a few more this season.

Interested in the Swedish Elite League? If you are check out for live game updates. There are also complete rosters and stats if you surf around a bit.

And finally, Brian Burke has joined TSN's hockey crew. During the lockout TSN will be showing classic games on Wednesday nights, I 'll let you know if/when there are any Canuck games.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Goodenow Gets His Turn

So what did you think of Bob's turn?

Here is a summary:

  1. The players want to play.
  2. The owners locked the players out(again).
  3. The owners set the player salaries in a free market system.

Repeat ad-nauseum.

Unfortunately, in contrast to Bettman's session, the quality of questions was rather poor and it was essentially a rant session. The players make too much money... blah blah blah. This was extremely frustrating to watch.

From what I managed to watch:

  • No one challenged the PA on their stance regarding the Levitt report.
  • No one challenged the PA on their "substantial" offers to the NHL.
  • No one challenged Goodenow on what he claims the NHL's issues are.

I'll give credit to Goodenow on his position that a salary cap doesn't necessarily work and that the NFL's players have a really crappy deal... but of course he ended up sticking his foot in his mouth on most of the issues, especially when he called fans JEALOUS.

I also have to take issue with his stance that there is no relation between player salaries and ticket prices. I'll try to make this quick:

  • Yes, there is no guarantee that ticket prices would go down if salaries did the same.
  • Yes ticket prices are determined by supply and demand.
  • Over the past ten years, ticket prices have risen at a rate far higher than inflation.
  • This is a gate driven league, the only way to cover rising salary costs(which, also, have risen at a rate much higher than inflation) is to increase ticket prices.
  • The high ticket prices have yet to adversely affect demand because most fans realize that high ticket prices are a requirement in order to pay the high salaries.
  • However, if players were making an average of 800k rather than 1.8m, fans would not be willing to pay the ticket prices they are now. In other words, the DEMAND would be less, as fans would know that the owners are essentially pocketing the money. They would not accept the ticket prices, whereas currently they understand that ticket prices must be high in order to pay the high salaries.

Anyway, here is the CP recap from TSN.

Quote of the day:

Doug Maclean: "My owner, who has invested 110 million in the franchise, made less money last year, than Jody Shelley."

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Bettman States his Case

Well did anyone catch Gary Bettman on CBC last night? I was pleasantly surprised to find that the questions asked, for the most part, were intelligent and were actually coming from people who had an understanding of the issues/situation. I also thought that Peter Mansbridge did a good job of not letting Bettman off the hook on most of the questions.

Bettman also did a pretty good job presenting his case. At times he was repeating himself too much(we know the numbers Gary!), but other than that I thought he presented his case well and put the ball in the NHLPA's court. In my opinion the NHL's best point, if you will, is the Arthur Levitt report and the NHLPA's dismissal of the report. The NHLPA has dismissed the report, without stating any specific reasons other than the fact that the report was commissioned by the NHL and was not independent. To me this is ridiculous. A man with Arthur Levitt's reputation is not going to put that reputation on the line for the sake of the NHL. Levitt stands behind his report but the NHLPA refuses to accept the report(or even speak with Levitt about the report). This can certainly support Bettman's statement that the NHLPA has their head in the sand.

There were a few other interesting points:

  • There IS a gag order in place for NHL clubs. Clubs can talk about their own situation however they cannot talk about what they want in a new CBA or about the CBA negotiations. Interestingly this was voted on and implemented by the board of governors and there are significant fines(Bettman did not deny the possiblity of 1 million dollar fines).
  • Gary Bettman denied the, widely reported and assumed, fact that he only needs 8 votes from the owners in order to implement his plan. This was interesting considering how the media has been continually stating this as fact.
  • Bettman rightfully dismissed the suggestion that fans should be at the bargaining table. What a ridiculous question. Can you name another industry where the consumer should have a seat at the collective bargaining table? Should beer drinkers have a seat at the table when the union and breweries have disagreements? Of course not.

Here is a CP recap of the town hall session (TSN)

NHLPA executive director Bob Goodenow will get his turn to respond tonight.

In other, rather bizarre news, the OSHL is not suspending play despite an earlier news release stating the league was suspending play. It appears the news release did not come from the league.

Full Story (TSN)

Two words: Who Cares?

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Bettman on CBC's The National

National Hockey League commisioner Gary Bettman will be on the CBC's The National tonight. NHLPA Executive Director Bob Goodenow will get his turn tommorow night.

Hopefully there will actually be some intelligent questions asked, but it is more likely to consist of uneducated fans whining about the players making too much money or the owners being stupid, etc. etc. etc. This will be followed by Bettman and Goodenow restating the same things they have been talking about for the past couple years.

Should an intelligent question be asked, it won't really matter as Bettman will surely dodge it and Goodenow will spin it in his favor. Either way something interesting may happen, so tune in if you are interested.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Lockout Day 2 - Madden Backtracks.

Predictably the NHLPA sent a few goons over to John Madden's house to rough him up a bit.

After his encounter with the PA's henchmen, Madden is now following the company line, saying his comments were taken out of context.

"I was asked if my union decided to go along with a cap, would I accept that and I said, 'yeah, I'd go along with my union.'"

Really John? I seem to remember reading something like:

"The only problem I'm having with things is believing whose numbers are right and whose numbers are wrong. Those are the big issues. And if it needs to have a cap, give it a cap, you know... There's a problem that needs to be solved. It's not my final decision to say whether a cap's going to be involved, but I'm just saying we need to fix the problem. There needs to be a season. We have to find a common ground. And that's where I'm willing to go -- the middle of the road -- with everything..."

Hmmmm, there seems to be plenty of context in that statement... the union must have some scary goons, did they threaten to smash up your Porche or something?

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Lockout Day 1 - Cracks in the Union?

It appears not everyone in the National Hockey League Players Association, is totally against a salary cap. New Jersey Devil forward John Madden has this to say: "The only problem I'm having with things is believing whose numbers are right and whose numbers are wrong. Those are the big issues. And if it needs to have a cap, give it a cap, you know... There's a problem that needs to be solved. It's not my final decision to say whether a cap's going to be involved, but I'm just saying we need to fix the problem. There needs to be a season. We have to find a common ground. And that's where I'm willing to go -- the middle of the road -- with everything..."

Full Story (TSN)

Well at least someone in the player's union is willing to negotiate.

There is a compromise to be made somewhere here, however both sides need to get over there stubborn stances on a 'salary cap'. The NHL is dreaming if they think they can get a 31 million dollar salary cap(aka $1.3 million average salary). Likewise the NHLPA is dreaming if they think their proposals will have any long term benefit to the owners.

Whatever they do, the first step is to agree on league revenues. Easier said then done, but please, start doing it already!

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Canada Wins World Cup

As you already know Canada won the World Cup last night 3-2 over Finland. I thought I would go over the keys to the game I posted yesterday.
  1. Canada was much better in the nerves department but the young guys were still coughing up the puck a little too much for my liking. I thought Scott Hannan and Jay Bouwmeester had very rough games and I was quite nervous whenever they were on the ice. Those two were great for most of the tournament but IMO their game slipped in the semi-final and final.
  2. It took Canada quite a while to get a consistent forecheck going, but it finally paid off early in the 3rd period when Shane Doan scored the tournament winning goal.
  3. Surprisingly none of Canada's goals were the result of traffic in front of Kiprusoff. Joe Sakic opened the scoring after some beautiful passing between him and Lemieux. Niedermayer scored on a very weak goal by Kiprusoff. Finally Shane Doan scored by taking Thornton's pass and walking around Kiprusoff, who had no one around to help him out.
  4. I thought Canada did a reasonable job of sticking to their gameplan. The Finns played a great defensive game and actually established a very strong forecheck. Canada was caught icing the puck often but as the game went on the Finns had trouble sustaining their strong forecheck.
  5. Canada gets a failing grade in this department. The first goal was a direct result of Scott Niedermayer, who had a terrible game, failing to clear the puck when he had an opportunity. The wingers were much better at helping out the D, but the defense core had a terrible time dealing with the Finnish forecheck.

So there you have it. Canada, while not having a great game, still had a strong enough game to pull out a close victory. The Finns showed up and played very well. With better goaltending they could have easily won this game. Before I finish this post off, I have to mention the contribution of the "DDT" line. Chris Draper, Joe Thorton and Shane Doan were absolutely outstanding. It's too bad they can't give the MVP award to an entire line.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Final Game of 2004 - Finland vs Canada

Well here it is folks, the final hockey game of 2004. Finland vs Canada for the World Cup of Hockey. It will be hard to top the emotion and excitement of Saturday's semi-final game, that game will go down as a classic. Tonight's game may not be as exciting, but there is still a lot on the line. The Finns have nothing to lose in this one, they are already national heroes back in Finland. Meanwhile, Canada has the weight of a nation on their shoulders...

The Canuck Fan's Five Keys to the Game.

  1. Canada must shake "the nerves" early and start playing their game. Versus the Czechs, Canada was sloppy for the entire first half of the game and never really recovered. The young guys like Brad Richards and Scott Hannan must handle the pressure better.
  2. Canada must forecheck hard. The Finnish defense is very good at moving the puck quickly, however they have a weakness in this part of the game. Mikka Kiprusoff is not a very good puckhandler. Canada has to exploit this weakness by dumping the puck in and forechecking hard.
  3. Get traffic in front of Kiprusoff. Talk about stating the obvious. We all know what Kiprusoff can do, however he isn't unbeatable. When Kiprusoff can't see the puck his ability to control his rebounds is greatly reduced. Guys like Ryan Smyth, Dany Heatley, Joe Thornton and Jerome Iginla have to go to the net as often as possible.
  4. Be patient. Canada has to approach this game like their quarter-final match-up against Slovakia. They must remain patient and stick to the game plan. The Finns are going to trap, trap, trap. The game is likely to be very tight checking. Canada has to avoid the urge to open things up and take chances. Stick with the game-plan and eventually the goals will come.
  5. When you have an opportunity to clear the zone, you must get the puck out. This was nearly the undoing of team Canada in the semi-final. The wingers must help out their defensemen, they cannot start cheating out of the zone, yes I'm talking to you Mario.

If Canada can do those five things they will win. Yes the Finns have a guy by the name of Kiprusoff, but hey guess what? We happen to have the best goaltender in the world. Martin Brodeur, even at 80% is going to be extremely difficult to beat, especially for a Finnish team that has trouble sustaining offensive pressure. Brodeur's puckhandling ability alone is going to be a huge challenge for the Finns.

And finally here are a couple things to be thankful for, on what is most likely the last hockey game we will see this year:

We will not have to hear Greg Millen gushing over Kiprusoff every thirty seconds, the Americans cannot win, the Leafs aren't playing, and finally, we shouldn't have to hear Gretzky's daughter sing our National Anthem as if it were an audition for American Idol.

Enjoy the game and GO CANADA GO!!!

Canucks Close to Being Sold

According to Gary Mason of the Vancouver Sun, a deal is in the works that would see businessmen Tom Gaglardi and Ryan Beedie purchase the Vancouver Canucks and GM Place. According to "sources close to negotiations" the deal is for around $250 million.

This isn't much of a surprise but it should be interesting to see the ramifications of this sale, especially where it concerns team payroll.

Story From Sportsnet

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Canada 4 - Czech Republic 3 (OT)

Was that a great hockey game or what? The Czechs gave Canada all they could handle and probably deserved to win. The Czechs out-shot, out-chanced, and out-played Canada, but in the end Canada managed to pull it out. Vincent Lecavalier ended it 3:45 into overtime. This was a "what goes around comes around" type of win for Canada as like the Nagano '98 semi-finals, the better team did not move on to the finals.

Before Lecavalier scored the Czechs had several chances, but Roberto Luongo came up with some huge saves to keep his team in the game. Luongo was between the pipes in place of Martin Brodeur who could not play due to his injured wrist. Luongo was great at times but he also let in a couple he should have stopped. At the other end of the rink, Tomas Vokoun was solid making some great saves, but like Luongo, he also gave up a couple he would like back.

The young Canadian team looked nervous and tentative throughout the hockey game. It seemed like they had more giveaways in this game than all the others combined. Was Brad Richards using some kind of rubber blade, because every time he touched the puck it seemed to bounce right off his stick. On defense, Robyn Regehr had a great game playing against Jagr, unfortunately he was victimized on the Czech's 4th goal. Jay Boumeester had another strong game and IMO if Wade Redden is ready to play on Tuesday, he should replace Scott Hannan not Bouwmeester.

Canada will now play Finland in the final on Tuesday. Expect some updates("The Brodeur watch") and a game preview. In the mean time here are some post game stories from around the web...

Friday, September 10, 2004

Dave Nonis on the Team 1040

Dave Nonis was on the Team 1040, here is a rough summary of what he had to say...

- During the season he didn't "hear a peep" out of the Sedins regarding their ice-time.

- Says they did recognize that they got more ice time than they deserved early in their careers.

- Considers the Sedins' desire for more ice time as a positive. Says they understand that they will get ice-time as long as they are performing.

- When asked about the Sedins lack of playing time at the World Cup he said that it did not factor into his decision at all and he added that he thought team Sweden wasn't "handled well, period".

- Talked to Naslund about the World Cup but not about the future.

- Also mentioned that Naslund's contract is now "well north" of 5 million because of the bonuses he has hit

- On Alex Auld: says the contract gives Auld security and makes sense for the Canucks long term, also says "it's Alex's job to lose."

- On Paul Kariya, believes Paul won't make a decision until after the CBA* is negotiated. Did not deny(or confirm) interest in Kariya but from his tone I gather that they have talked.

* Note: According to David Pratt, Kariya is a Group V free agent, which means under the current collective bargaining agreement he cannot receive a no trade clause, which he is rumoured to want.

One other little NHL tidbit, Scott Stevens says he has recovered from post-concussion syndrome and wants to play hockey this season. Good to hear.

Canucks Resign Sedins and Auld

The Canucks have resigned forwards Daniel and Henrik Sedin to one-year contracts and have also signed goaltender Alex Auld to a multiyear deal.

The Team 1040 is reporting that the Sedins have signed for $1.35 which can go as high as $1.7 depending on performance bonuses.

Jagr Questionable, Brodeur Hurt, Redden Ready?

Nothing much new on the Jagr front, should hear something more today but as it stands right now, it sounds like their is a very good chance he will not be in the Czech lineup Saturday.

Meanwhile Wade Redden skated yesterday and looks close to returning to the lineup. This is a surprise to me, as shoulder injuries usually take a while to heal. The question is do you take Bouwmeester, who has played well, out of the lineup in order to insert Redden who is probably only at 80%? We should find out more today when Redden takes some contact in practice.

Okay so you're probably wondering what's up with Brodeur? Brodeur hurt his wrist against the Slovaks, an MRI showed that the wrist is not broken but swelling could keep Brodeur out of the lineup. Take this for what it's worth:

"According to sources, the MRI result was completely negative for any break and both the coaching and management staff fully expect Brodeur to be in the net tomorrow night when Canada takes on the Czech Republic in a semifinal. Brodeur has a deep bruise and likely won't practise today, but will be ready to play tomorrow night."

Should Brodeur not be able to play, Roberto Luongo will get the call. Not a bad backup I guess ;).

Here is the full story from the Toronto Star

Finland Vs U.S. - Semifinal

This could be a great semi-final matchup or it could be a trapfest, either way it's win or go home for both teams when they faceoff in St. Paul(4pm pst, CBC & CBC Radio One).

The key for the Americans should be staying out of the penalty box and maintaining their focus. The key for the Finns will be to keep the game close while frustrating the Americans, in particular Keith Tkachuk and Doug Weight. In net, Kiprusoff can expect a lot of traffic as the Americans are going to be going after him at every opportunity.

So you want a prediction? How about this one, whoever scores first will win ;). That's a bold prediction considering the bizarre stat of the winning team scoring first in almost every world cup game. The Americans will probably win this game but I think it will be close, how's that?

Here's a preview from CBC

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Bring On the Lockout!

... and let the PR campaign begin.

The NHLPA submitted their proposal today and predictably the NHL promptly rejected it.

Here's what NHL executive vice-president, chief legal officer and grandmaster-arguer-guy Bill Daly had to say:

"We are extremely disappointed with what the union presented to us today. Not only did the Union's proposal fail to move the process forward toward a resolution but, in fact, represented a step backwards in the process... Nothing more clearly demonstrates the union's unwillingness to acknowledge or meaningfully address this league's problems than this recycled proposal. No further meetings are scheduled at this time."

Yay, I can't wait to here Trevor Linden spin this one, so we can here how the poor impoverished players cannot accept such poor working conditions and salaries. Then, later we get to here Bill Daly complain(again) about the NHL losing 300 million dollars even though the man at the helm, losing all this money, received a nice fat contract extention.

Wonder what there is to do this winter, any ideas?

Update: Here's Bob McKenzie's take on today's proceedings.

Jagr Misses Practice

Not much news from the World Cup today but it appears Jaromir Jagr may not be able to play Saturday against Canada. The loss of Jagr would be a big blow to a Czech team that will be in tough against Canada.

Full Story

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Bring on the Czechs!

Canada took care of Slovakia with ease, winning 5-0. Slovakia hung around early in the game but Canada exploded in the second. Lecavalier opened the scoring early in the second period and it didnt take long for Canada to put the game out of reach(or to put on a nice show)... The Lemieux, Sakic, Iginla line was fun to watch, some beautiful passes by Lemieux... Vinny Lecavalier was also outstanding in what many are calling his "coming out party".

Here are some post-game links...

Back with more tommorow...

Canucks Prospect Camp

The Canucks prospect camp gets underway tomorrow, with a total of 37 players looking to impress coaches and management. Check out the Canucks press release for more details.

The complete roster has also been released. There are definately some notable prospects to keep an eye on, including Thomas Mojzis, Kiril Koltsov, Marc-Andre Bernier, Brandon Nolan and of course Nathan "Probable First Round Bust" Smith. The list also includes semi Canuck regulars Alex Auld(I guess you can consider him a 'full' regular now), Ryan Kesler, Jason King and Nolan Baumgartner.

Of note Fedor Fedorov and not surprisingly Brandon Reid are not on the list.

If anyone reading this is planning on attending any of the scrimmages I would love to read some of your impressions/thoughts. Post a comment or send me an email.

So with the pending lockout you might be asking what's the point of having a prospect camp? Well for one the Canucks would like to get a look at the progress their prospects have made over the offseason. With no NHL season on the horizon guys who can still play in minors(without having to clear waivers) get a chance to play and practice, while some other guys also get to audition for a spot on the Moose. One interesting 'battle', if you will, might be between the pipes. Alex Auld will obviously be the number one man for the Moose if there is no NHL season, that leaves newly acquired veteran Wade Flaherty battling it out with Rob McVicar. McVicar had a solid year last year splitting time between Manitoba(10 games) and Columbia of the ECHL. Flaherty meanwhile was brought in to replace Tyler Moss and give the Canucks some depth in case of injuries.

BTW the Manitoba Moose camp gets underway September 29th.

U.S. Eliminates Russia

Well so much for my prediction... The U.S. defeated Russia 5-3 last night, in what was arguably the best game of the tournament. The veterans on the U.S. squad came to play as Tkachuk was in on all 5 goals and with his fellow linemates Modano and Guerin, combined for 11 points. The game was up for grabs in the 3rd period when Zubrus tied the game 2-2, 36 seconds into the period. It looked like we were in for a great finish until the U.S. got two quick goals after a couple turnovers and bad bounces for the Russians. The Russians couldn't score with the net empty and Tkachuk picked up his 4th goal of the night on an empty net'er.

The win by the U.S. set up a semi-final matchup with Finland. The game will take place Friday in St.Paul at 4pm pst.

Canada takes on the Slovaks later tonight, back with a preview later...

Note: This post is a little delayed due to having some issues this morning.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Sweden Eliminated

Well it's official Sweden has been eliminated. The Czechs hammered Sweden 6-1, scoring the first 5 goals of the contest. A dissapointing tournament for the Swedes... hey atleast it wasn't Belarus.

Of note Jagr left the game with an "undisclosed injury".

TSN Recap

CBC Recap

A couple other notes from the World Cup... Brett Hull will not play for the U.S. tonight... Wade Redden skated today but I would be shocked if he plays again in this tournament...

Labour Day Weekend Wrap Up

Hope everyone enjoyed the long weekend. I didn't get a chance to add anything to the blog, however I did get to watch two full games of hockey! After an entertaining game between Finland and Sweden, saturday night saw team Canada take care of the Russians with relative ease, winning 3-1. The game was fairly entertaining although it didn't feel anything like a classic Canada vs Russia confrontation. Perhaps that had to do with the complete lack of atmosphere at the Air Canada Centre. Too bad the rest of the games aren't in Montreal or somewhere out west, it would be nice to have some noise in the building.

The 'exhibition' games finally ended yesterday as Finland narrowly escaped embarrassment with a 2-1 victory over Germany. Nice to see the Germans put up a solid fight. Before the game defenseman Janni Niiniimaa left the team after a conflict with head coach Raimo Summanen. An interesting time to bail on your team, to say the least. From what I have read it sounds like Summanen is the Finnish equivalent of Mike Keanen and most Finnish fans are siding with Niiniimaa.

The other European quarter-final is currently underway, the Czech Republic is leading Sweden 2-0 after one period of play. It appears the Czechs have finally gotten their sh*t together after a lackluster start to the tourney. Sweden meanwhile would be tremendously disappointed if this score holds up. Many picked the Swedes to take the European division but of course their question marks in goal continue to be a serious issue. Of note, it appears that the Sedins have not seen any action in the tourney. This is due to their current contract status, no contract = no insurance.

Later tonight Russia takes on the U.S. in St Paul. Can the Americans get it together? I don't think so, I fully expect Russia to defeat the Americans. At this point the Russians have shown that they are more talented and simply want it more. Of course anything can happen...

Thursday, September 02, 2004

World Cup of Hockey - Day 4

Wrapping up yesterdays action...

I missed most of the game but it looks like Canada had an easy time winning 5-1. Here is a game wrap up from TSN.

Once again the news wasn't all good for team Canada as they have now lost Wade Redden with an apparent shoulder injury. Jay Bouwmeester and Scott Hannan are now the 5th and 6th defenseman... check out what Bob McKenzie has to say about the Redden injury and the possible ramifications.

Earlier yesterday Sweden handed the Czech Republic there second straight loss. The Czechs were down and out early, but they came on strong and made a game of it in the third. Here is a recap from CBC

Updated Standings

North American PoolGPPts
United States10
European PoolGPPts
Czech Republic20

Todays Games

Finland takes on Germany (10:30am pst)

Russia takes on the United States (4:00pm pst, CBC). Should be interesting to see what the Russians have to offer and the game will be a good test for the Americans. CBC with a preview

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

World Cup of Hockey Day 3

Canada vs Slovakia

Canada(1-0) takes on the injury depleted Slovakia(0-1) tonight(4pm pst CBC). Slovakia will be without Peter Bondra, Michael Handzus, Ziggy "Ballfy"(CP typo) and possibly Ladislav Nagy who is nursing an abdominal injury. Scott Hannan is expected to draw in for Ed Jovanovki, Kris Draper is in for Brendan Morrow and Jose Theodore is expected to back up Brodeur, although I wouldn't be surprised if Theodore starts. Kirk Maltby, Patrick Marleau, and Jay Bouwmeester will be the odd men out for a second straight game.

Yesterday I mentioned that Canada's games would be broadcast on the Team 1040, but that was incorrect. They are however on Mojo Radio.

Czech Republic vs Sweden

The European game today(10am pst CBC) is the Czech Republic vs Sweden. The Czechs(0-1), who have not played well, will be in tough against Sweden(1-0). Can the Czechs pull it together or will Sweden take care of them with ease? My money is on Sweden but you can't count the Czechs out. Vokoun was pretty good between the pipes against Finland and he could easily steal a game if Jagr and company can get it together. We will find out shorly...

Canada Defeats U.S. - Lose Jovo

Well it was nice to see some hockey again and it was even better to watch the Canadians beat the US. A pretty entertaining game all around(we even got to see a fight) in what should be the start to a great tournament... lets just hope we have seen the last of those terrible jerseys. It wasn't all good news for team Canada as Vancouver Canuck Ed Jovanovski is likely out for the remainder of the tournament. Expect Jay Bouwmeester to take Jovo's spot although it is being reported today that Scott Hannan will be in the lineup tonight.

As for the Americans they got off to a rough start but took over in the second half of the game. It was obvious their strategy was to get under the skin of Martin Brodeur, but Brodeur came up with several big saves to maintain the lead. The U.S. had an injury of their own losing Mike Modano to a "lower body injury". That's a tough blow to the Americans.

Anyway a preview of tonights game will be up shortly...

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Sweden defeats Germany 5-2

Sweden defeated Germany 5-2 earlier today. The German trap could not keep the Swedes off the board, Sweden put the game away in the second and cruised to victory in what I imagine was a very boring 3rd period of hockey. Of note to Canuck fans, Daniel and Henrik Sedin were healthy scratches(I wouldnt read anything into that).

CBC game recap

TSN game recap

World Cup of Hockey - Day 2

Day two has Germany taking on Sweden (10am pst, CBC & ESPN) and the USA taking on Canada(4pm pst, CBC ESPN2).

It looks like Canada is counting on a physical game from the Americans at the Bell Centre in Montreal tonight. Kirk Maltby, Patrick Marleau, and Kris Draper will be scratched up front in favor of the bigger trio of Brendan Morrow, Joe Thornton and Shane Doan. I'm a little surprised that Morrow is in, but again, the Americans will be physical and the size up front will be put to use. On defense there aren't any surprises as the young boys Jay Boumeester and Scott Hannen will be out.

Betweeen the pipes, Martin Brodeur will be starting for Canada, and Robert Esche will be backstopping the American squad.

TSN has a CP article

Back with more later...

Update: Team Canada games can be heard online via The Team 1040.

Note if you use Windows Media Player, you can enter this url in your Media Player rather than the stupid html window This also allows you to save this to your "media library" so you can easily play it again without visiting the website. Oh and for during the regular season(if there is one) you can do the same for CKNW with mms://

Monday, August 30, 2004

World Cup of Hockey Under Way

The World Cup of Hockey got under way this morning with the Finns defeating the Czechs 4-0. Did I not say to watch out for the Finns? ;). The Czechs managed only 12 shots on goal... Sami Salo had an assist on the Finns 3rd goal.

Germany takes on Sweden tomorrow(10am pst) and of course Canada is up against the United States(4pm pst). Expect a game preview some time tomorrow or later tonight.

Other notes from the World Cup... Peter Bondra is likely done for the tournament after breaking his wrist while blocking a shot against Canada on Saturday, the Slovaks are in tough now....Russia will be without G Evgeni Nabokov as he has not fully recovered from minor surgery...D Chris "Dirty Bastard" Chelios was named captain of the American squad.

Anyone else annoyed at the start time for Canadian games? Its bad enough that there isn't a single game west of Ontario(Minny doesnt count) but we also get 4pm Pacific start times... would it really be too much to ask for 5pm pst/8pm est start times?

Friday, August 27, 2004

Note to Internet Explorer users

Just a quick note to Microsoft Internet Explorer users, right now the layout is a little buggy in IE. When I get a chance I'll work out the kinks(Firefox is fine btw).

Rumours, Rumours, Rumours...

If you are familiar with the Canuck online community you are probably aware of a couple rumours floating around. The first involves the sale of the Canucks and the second involves the signing of free agent Paul Kariya.

It's no secret that the Canucks have been up for sale. It's also not much of a secret, that one of the potential local ownership groups includes a Mr. Gaglardi, the owner of the Sandman hotel chain. However there is a bit of 'new rumour' in this one, and that is McCaw willing to sell 100% of Orca Bay. It seems logical that anyone wanting to buy the Canucks would also want Orca Bay, and in turn GM Place, perhaps McCaw has come to the conclusion that he must give up the whole thing if he wants to sell any of it.

The other rumour is the potential signing of free agent, home town boy, Paul Kariya. Again anyone could make this rumour up, as its pretty obvious that the Canucks would be interested in at least talking with Kariya and Kariya would probably enjoy the Canucks' style of play, not to mention playing in his hometown. The rumour is that Kariya wants a long term deal with a no trade clause(something the Burke regime would have been unwilling to do, has Nonis changed this policy?). Last season Kariya demonstrated that money isn't his top priority(he made boat loads in Anaheim) and that the style of play and a chance to win is very important to him. An interesting tidbit in this latest rumour is that Kariya didn't sign with Vancouver last season because he doesn't like Brian Burke. I am not aware of any history between the two but hey, there are a lot of people who don't like Brian Burke. So how much does Kariya help the Canucks? Well that's a debate for another day.

While these rumours are just that, they are definitely believable and their roots have been around for awhile. Remember the rumours, that started almost a year a go, of Brian Burke leaving the organization? Many wouldn't believe them, even up to Burke's final days... and look what happened.

"Where there's smoke, there's usually fire"

Thursday, August 26, 2004

This blog is ugly!!!

Yes its not that great and it does not fit the Canuck theme, I am well aware of that. I hope to have a nice Canuck theme up ASAP, in the meantime I hope you can put up with this current version.

Its all about the content anyway isnt it? (or maybe that sucks too ;))

UPDATE: Ok I couldnt stand that other theme so I decided to whip something up. It's not great and it's definately not complete but hey it's better than nothing. Plus I doubt anyone is reading this yet anyway. I'll keep chippin away at the design...

Phoenix and Calgary Swing a deal.

The Phoenix Coyotes have signed Petr Nedved to a 3 year deal and they have also dealt Daymond Langkow to Calgary for Denis Gauthier and Oleg Saprykin.

TSN with the story.

Looks like Calgary has found a replacement for the loss of Conroy although Langkow has never lived up to his potential. Obviously Sutter was never a fan of Saprykin but it's interesting that they would give up on him after his breakout season and surprsingly strong playoff perfomance.

With the signing of Nedved, Brett Hull and the acquisition of Mike Comrie the Coyotes are looking to put a competitive team on the ice this year(well if there is a season, more on that below). I must say Gretzky and company are doing a pretty solid job down in the desert. It started with changing those terrible uniforms and now they are acquiring some nice players to complement their new jerseys and new building.

In other NHL news, it looks like labour negotiations are getting nasty(again) this time NHL VP Bill Daly had this to say: "I'm very frustrated and concerned right now because I think we're engaged in a charade.... The union is not willing to negotiate with us"

Enjoy the world cup folks, cause it's the only hockey we will be getting for a while.

And yes I am aware of the Bertuzzi news, but I am keeping this a "Bertuzzi Free Zone" until the day he is back on the ice.

Vancouver Canucks at the World Cup

Well the World Cup of Hockey is set to get underway next week and there will be several players representing the Vancouver Canucks.

Team Canada will have Ed Jovanovksi patrolling the blue line. With Rob Blake and Chris Pronger both out of the tournament, Jovanovski will play a very important role on what is an unusually young Canadian defense core.

The Canucks will have four Swedish players in the tournament led by Canuck captain Markus Naslund. Joining Naslund are Mattias Ohlund and the Sedin twins. I don't know about you folks but I am very much looking forward to seeing how much progress Daniel and Henrik have made this offseason. I have also considered staring up a pool to see who can guess how many times Bob Cole will refer to the "Sundins"(and while I am at it how many times do you think Cole will refer to the Swedes as the Finns?)

There will be two Canucks playing for the Czech Republic, that is if you still consider Martin Rucinsky a Canuck. Joining Rucinsky will be Marek "The Gentle Giant" Malik as well as former two time Canuck Jiri Slegr.

Some of you may be surprised to know that the Canucks also have a representative on team Slovakia. 27 year old Jaroslav Obsut will add some depth to the Slovaks defense. Obsut had a pretty solid year(65gp 11g 26a 37pts) on what was a pretty bad Manitoba Moose team.

Artem Chubarov will join a depleted Russian squad who will be without the likes of Sergei Federov, Valeri Bure, Alexei Zhamnov, Evgeni Nabokov and Nikolai Khabibulin. Chubarov will most likely center a checking line although he could see some time with some of Russia's many skilled wingers.

Rounding out the Canucks World Cup contribution are Fins Sami Salo and Jarkko Ruutu. Watch out for the Finns folks. Backed by very strong goaltending this team can match up with any other team in the tournament and are likely to surprise a few people.