The Canucks have a history more unfortunate than anything Lemony Snicket has ever created and yet we follow their every move and complain when things don’t go their way like it’s a foregone conclusion the NHL and, life really, have it out for them. I just finished “100 Things Canucks Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die” and it’s not a big surprise but the Canucks have had a pretty tough go well before they even entered the NHL. A great book, you can be sure, it dictates every travesty Canucks Nation has ever endured. (Still read the book, don’t be a cheapskate!)
Over and over, Vancouver misses the boat by what seems like inches and end up becoming miles. Gilbert Perreault going first overall in the 1970 Entry Draft to the expansion Buffalo Sabres and not the Vancouver Canucks after a Steve Harvey-like mishap from then league president Clarence Campbell.
There was theatrics from day one which is a microcosm of the Canucks history, really. When it came to the standings, the Canucks were never bad enough to be last and secure the top pick and spoiler alert: they’ve never been good enough to win the Stanley Cup either. So why does this year feel like the year Vancouver finally breaks their pattern of luck and wins the first overall pick to select Rasmus Dahlin, an absolute stud of a Swedish defenseman?
Throwing the Canucks a bone is one reason. Everyone will remember after the lockout when Sidney Crosby was the prize for the draft lottery. The odds from the season prior to the lockout were set and the teams were counted down. The Canucks were still in it with 10 picks to go and after the commercial break wouldn’t you know it, the Canucks were awarded pick number 10.
Because, of course.
After all, isn’t it flat out luck that the lottery balls fall in their favour on decision day? It sure is. Playing the Draft simulator is nothing that hasn’t been done by pretty much every Canucks fan at one time or another in the last few years, hey, even Jim Benning (former Canuck player) got in on the action. Once a Canuck, always a Canuck I guess. The misery follows us all and even former players know what’s up. The NHL Draft Lottery Simulator has received heavy media attention over the years and despite its ability to show which teams could potentially win the first overall pick, the actual draft lottery has had other ideas.
Take last year for example:
The Canucks had a 12.124% chance of selecting first but based on how the lottery works, there are multiple draws, and wouldn’t you know it the Canucks ended up with the fifth pick for the second year in a row even though they finished with the second-worst record in the NHL last year. What was even crazier was that the New Jersey Devils had an 8.5% chance and the Philadelphia Flyers had a 2.20% of netting the first pick and they proved that just missing out on the playoffs was better than “tanking” and the Devils took Nico Hischier first overall and the Flyers selected Nolan Patrick with the second pick.
It’s as random as Tide Pods being a food craze in 2018 (this year is going to be so messed up) which is one reason the Canucks will win out this year. “Even a broken clock is correct twice a day” is said from time to time and even the Canucks are due for some good luck every now and then. Brock Boeser is a great example of that as is Elias Petterson. Two players that had zero business being available when they were and yet look how far each dropped.
Don’t let that little bit of good luck change you though, there were prizes available both years that could have set the Canucks up to succeed sooner than later but history reminded the club that wouldn’t happen. Luck has punched Canucks fans in the face over and over from the Cam Neely trade, to the Wayne Gretzky signing that never happened, Todd Bertuzzi trolling the Minnesota Wild fans in 2003, the Nick Lidstrom goal, the Martin Gelinas goal, Cory Schneider getting dehydrated and even Cody Hodgson’s back.
OK, the Gretzky thing wasn’t really luck, that was just plain stubbornness. So what about that Dahlin kid?
The 2017/18 World Junior Championships were a perfect showcase to display Rasmus Dahlin’s talents with Sweden and the fit he had with Petterson just felt right. If Dahlin were to become a Canuck, one final season from the Sedins and 82 games being mentored from, believe it or not, Alex Edler could pay enormous dividends. Here’s just a sample of what Dahlin is accomplishing this year:
Rasmus Dahlin is the projected first overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft. His highlight reel is insane 😱🔥pic.twitter.com/wZpVqpwMMn
— Gino Hard (@Ginohard_) January 12, 2018
Rasmus Dahlin with some moves at the blueline vs HV71 today…. pic.twitter.com/SSVJeDW6YN
— Robert Söderlind (@HockeyWebCast) January 11, 2018
— BarDown (@BarDown) January 1, 2018
Chris Tanev, among other players, could be dealt this season and that hole could instantly be filled by a playmaking, sniper on the backend. Sometimes the cards just feel like they were meant to fall in your favour. Of course, I say that every week when I purchase lotto tickets for my office.
Vancouver has lucked out numerous times when it comes to injuries, cap space, and eventual opportunities for many of its stars and the ultimate horseshoe would be at the Lottery. Going back to 2011 is a great example of how simple luck on the injury front and a bit of hard work with understanding the salary cap put the Canucks within a win of the Cup.
That season could have gone very differently if everyone was healthy. So what does this wheel do besides give hope?
Heading over to NHL Lottery Simulator, it took 12 tries in my latest voyage to get the Canucks the first overall pick. It doesn’t mean anything and is in no way affiliated with the NHL. It wastes some time in your day and gives you the hope that the Canucks might just get their lucky number. There have been so many instances where Vancouver has been given a raw deal and it just feels like it’s time that changed, if only for a day.
All it is is luck. The Canucks are due for some good news and once, just once, it would be nice to have the shiniest toy on the playground.
Photo – Vancouver Sun