Now that the Chicago Blackhawks have loaned the Stanley Cup to Los Angeles for the year, it’s time for us to once again peruse the various also-rans in the NHL before the Hawks get down to the formality of reclaiming the Cup in June 2015. We continue our series with the Vancouver Canucks.
Legend has it that the Blackhawks and Canucks used to have quite a rivalry many years back. Every year they’d play a few angst-filled regular season contests and somehow end up meeting in the playoffs. And every year those playoff series were filled with drama and unparalleled action. Storylines for days.
Legend has it the Canucks were once so reviled in Chicago that Blackhawks fans actually cheered for a Boston team. “Hogwash!” you might say if you were an 1840’s prospector. Well, I can confirm these legends have some truth in them. Unfortunately, those days are long, long gone. The team that coined the pathetic rallying cry “Slayed the Dragon” has now been thoroughly and spectacularly slayed themselves; reduced to a smoking crater in hockey purgatory.
They get to play another soul-crushing season of hockey without Ryan Kesler, Roberto Luongo, Corey Schneider and a host of other former Canucks now scattered throughout the league. Let’s take a look at what’s left.
Gone is thorn in Andrew Ladd’s side and two-way pivot (when healthy) Ryan Kesler. Replacing him is a host of former Ducks and who knows what else. The Sedin twins still ply their creepy brand of psionics in Vancouver as they’re locked into contracts that will last until the western portion of North America drops unceremoniously into the Pacific Ocean.
They’ve added some people as if new General Manager *furiously googles ‘who the fuck is the canucks general manager’* Jim Benning opened up a shitty pack of hockey cards and was stuck with triples of…Linden Vey? Nick Bonino?
The Canucks now employ my most hated former Blackhawk of the last days of Bill Wirtz in Radim Vrbata. Not only was he a floaty piece of crap when he was here but he went onto Phoenix/Arizona to put up four 20 goal seasons. He’s still good for 50 points or so but he’s 33 now and hopefully the world will be rid of him soon.
They also still have Alexandre Burrows who, along with a defensemen we shall name shortly, remains the last bastion of unrepentant hatred when it comes to the famed blue/darker blue/black/gold/orange/green/red/orange-red/yellow of Vancouver. Last year he had 5 goals in 49 games hahahahaha that’s actually true.
This is probably the Canucks’ area of strength. They’ve got a group that’ll be tough to deal with and super-villain Kevin Bieksa is still around asking people “Hey remember when people cared about who I was a few years ago?” He’s still pretty reliable for a guy who looks like he ran his face through a golf ball washer.
Alex Edler, Dan Hamhuis, and Chris Tanev round out a solid top 4. Former Blackhawk farmhand Ryan Stanton is in there as well if you want to yell at Stan Bowman for some reason.
Ryan Miller couldn’t cut it in the pressure cooker that is St. Louis so he’s off to Vancouver where they’ve historically rolled out the red carpet for goaltenders. It’s not like they had the best goalie of the past 10 years and ran him out of town after a multi-year smear campaign. So good luck, Ryan. You’ve never given up a dream-crushing goal in Vancouver before, right? I’m sure it’ll be just fine.
They’re coming off a year where they had solid possession numbers as a team but couldn’t translate that into wins. No longer having to listen to John Tortorella who only showed up to games, they can thrive under the tutelage of *furiously googles ‘who the fuck is the Canucks head coach’* Willie Desjardins.
Willie? Come on.
They’ll miss the playoffs.
Tom Sestito begs for sex.
ARE THEY BETTER THAN THE CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS?
I’m sorry who were we talking about?