jerseys

Canucks Can Get Spark Back Through Rebuild

Aside from fast-forwarding five years in the future, there isn’t an instant fix to getting the spark back when it comes to the Canucks. The last era of the Canucks began its ascent around 2006 and the pinnacle as we all know was in 2011. That era wouldn’t have existed if it wasn’t for the one right before it during the West Coast Express run and it began forming a reality when the Sedins were drafted in 1999.

Success doesn’t happen overnight.

What the Canucks DO have in their possession are many successful models that have preceded them both in their own organization and in the rest of the league. The current lineup isn’t all that enticing and the prospects that are developing won’t truly come to fruition for a handful of years still. In typical Canucks fashion, management has a flair for the dramatic and that might just be what this team ultimately needs.

Trading Edler/Tanev right now

We get it, Alex Edler doesn’t want to leave. He said he wants to see the rebuild through and although that’s quite noble, that’s not how these things work. Edler has worked to get an NTC and he has every right to use it but the NHL has burnt itself by having this as part of the CBA. A modified version should be discussed in the next go around but that’s not what we’ll discuss here.

Chris Tanev needs to be moved before his modified no-movement clause kicks in July 1. The Canucks need to keep the ball in their court and maximize whatever power they have while the getting’s good. There have been rumours the Canucks could make a pitch for Jonathan Drouin in Tampa and everyone loves a change of scenery reclamation player. It frees the team of broken sticks and injuries that seem to be more common than not.

Trading either/both of these players is a significant move in the rebuild direction, happens all the time. At some point, they’ll both be moved anyway so why not actually get something for them? Vancouver has always made a splash in the trade market when no one is paying attention and it’s possible they set the summer up with the first domino.

Be the big player on July 1

Again, the Canucks usually get “their” guy but it’s been pretty obvious their guy is the wrong one. Loui Eriksson was a terribly kept secret and despite articles that myself and other Canucks blogs have published, he isn’t a long-term fit in Vancouver. T.J. Oshie might not be a home run either but offering short-term big money can give the Canucks a more reasonable threat up front and balance the top two lines to the degree people will actually notice them.

Keeping Ryan Miller for another two years isn’t a splash but it gives him stability for his family and it would be silly to pull the plug on a guy after he finally has shown results. Kicking him to the curb just starts the process over and it’s unlikely Jacob Markstrom can handle the load as the number one guy. At some point, Thatcher Demko will be ready to take over and two years from now he should be groomed well enough to make a charge in the NHL.

Going the offer sheet route is dangerous and can potentially create some enemies, which again points to making a splash via the trade market. Jim Benning has better than good rating as a trade partner, not great, but better than good. Hopefully, someone needs a defenseman.

Trade up in the draft/trade to add another first rounder

There seem to be a plethora of players at the 5th spot and the names could change instantly with the parity that are picks 3-10. Nico Hischier would be the guy I can see Vancouver targeting which probably means they’d need the first overall pick to solidify their player. If taking Hischier isn’t a reality then snagging another top-10 guy should be.

It’s not a secret a few of the teams in the top five are shopping their pick. Why not take advantage of teams that don’t necessarily need the players the Canucks clearly do? Every GM before Benning in Vancouver has worked some magic at the draft and this feels like a good time to put his signature on this team. Acquiring a center and a defenseman would be a shrewd move and with the players mentioned above, Benning could send one of them away to get a stud that can help the team move forward.

Olli Juolevi has a shot to make the Canucks this October and he is just one year removed from his draft year. Talent and circumstance have created an opportunity and freeing up at least one older guard get the team that much closer to contention.

I’ve heard there are some Kelowna Rockets that potentially could be had in the second round, just saying.

The Jersey

It’s already been designed and I don’t believe there has been a release date for the new Adidas NHL jersey but creating a demand for the new jersey and all the merch that goes with it keeps the spark alive. When the team released the current version of the Orca when the Reebok Edge uniform came out, it was the middle of summer but the fans ate it up.

With no alternate this season, the Canucks will need to be relevant once again to get back their fashion crown. The shame is there are so many other versions and color schemes that the Canucks will never have the look/feel that Edmonton, Calgary, Washington, and so many other teams get when they trot out one color and one color only.

If Johnny Canuck has arrived, fans will be able to tolerate a less than exciting product on the ice if they feel they look cool off it.

Play the kids… ALL OF THEM!

The Oilers did it, the Penguins did it, heck Calgary has tried their hand at the youth movement and wouldn’t you know it, it’s paying off! There are arguably seven or eight prospects and current young stars that could occupy spots on this team. If Vancouver is going to lose at least let us watch the players we want to see.

Brandon Sutter is the opposite of flashy and he’s a liability as soon as he arrives at Rogers Arena. Luca Sbisa has a good shot at being claimed by Vegas, Alex Burrows and Jannik Hansen are now gone and going the PTO direction again isn’t going to happen. The fans don’t mind a team that tries, or at least LOOKS like they’re trying. Travis Green has seen a handful of the players related to this topic and there may be some talent we don’t know exists yet.

Play the kids and bring on the actual rebuild, no more lip service.

The summer is long and staying relevant to Canucks nation will be a challenge this year but the Canucks have the tools to make the team fun again and some of the solutions aren’t all that hard.

photo – sportsnet.ca

Team Canada to wear German jerseys in Sochi

By now you have all heard Team Canada’s roster announcement. Its pretty good. It might even be so good you skipped your work day to bask in glory of your country’s genius decisions. Maybe you just went back to listening to your Ipod or downloading illegal copies of the latest Bachelor episodes online. Regardless of your life decisions after Team Canada was announced, you took notice.

Steven Q Yzerman put his picks out in the free world for all to see on Tuesday and it definitely was met with slight criticisms. For example, how in the blue heck was Todd Bertuzzi NOT on there? He played in 2006. Did he not impress? Were his late night strip poker sessions and hot tub parties too much for the Canada brass? We may never know. Why did Wayne Gretzky yet again miss the cut? Age? Maybe. Did he just feel he couldn’t compete anymore or was the fact that brat Sidney Crosby was already there turn him off?

I could ask questions all day about this, but I have been told its my bedtime soon so I’ll keep it short or short-ish. Mike Babcock will have quite the roster of talent going into Sochi and even though it may not be the best team ever assembled, it has enough leadership and overall talent to get the job done. 2010 was arguably the best team Canada ever brought to the Olympics and with a few of those players no longer in the league or too old to compete competitively, there needed to be a switch in mentality. Go young and make sure the guys that go are responsible with the puck. Not to mention, they can move it around better than the Sedins. Ok maybe thats a stretch but it wouldn’t hurt.

I don’t need to get into a big list of who made the team because quite frankly, you are smart enough to google it and I don’t need to waste my time typing the obvious. Seriously, grow up and google it! You want me to pour your cereal and feed you too? How about I do your laundry and wipe yo….ok im sorry. That was rude of me. Im just so gosh darn excited to see Team Canada repeat as Olympic Champion Overlords of the hockey universe. Aren’t you?

So lets tackle this jersey issue. You read the title of this little diddy and so far I haven’t even given you a hint at whats up. Ok check this out:

We will win gold Mein Fuhrer

We will win gold Mein Fuhrer

See that little red arm band? Lets just leave that thought alone for a second. Why would they put that there? Ok I broke my own rule there. Its of German relation lets just say that.

So back to the team. We have some pretty saucy names going to Sochi. Take for example P.K. Subban. He won the Norris trophy last year and he was great in the World Juniors for Canada. He would be on the Luongo level of criticism for being worthy of going but apparently the talent isn’t good enough for some reason. I’ll never understand that. Jamie Benn is going. Good for him. A great addition to the team and he will bring a physical presence up front. Chris Kunitz got the call as well and he can pretty much thank Sid for that. It makes me think why Mike Richards wasn’t asked to be on the team. Maybe he had too much snow being constantly stuck to his stick blade *wink*

Roberto Luongo will take up residence in Canada’s net again this time around and maybe he can buck the trend of losing that first game or playing bad enough to get the backup in for good. Don’t do it Strombone, DON”T DO IT!!! The last thing you need is one more reason for people to become idiots about your play.

Funny story, after his non invitation to play for Team USA, Bobby Ryan was asked to play for Team Canada. He will play along side Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf. No not really, but Brett Hull would sure get a kick out of that.

Is Canada going to win Gold at Sochi? You darn skippy they are! There isn’t a team that can fully contend with our beautiful symmetry of players and abundance of raw, unadultered talent. This will be a tournament for all time and Canada will reign supreme. I do ask one thing of the @strombone1, please please please, do not tweet any pictures of you kissing a man or anything resembling a man, they are on an anti-gay kick right now and I bet they ship you back to Canada. Just saying.

Hope you enjoyed the read, there should be more coming regularly now. Its about to become a beautiful friendship you and me. Lets go crazy together.

Follow my antics on twitter @hankthetank10 and make sure to follow @always90four as well. I’ll hunt you down if you don’t.