Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Is the NHL celebrity trendy these days?

So, Zac Efron started off little trend when he showed up with his young costar, Charlie Tahan, from The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud at a Canucks game a couple of weeks ago. Click the link for lots of photos. And I know that you are rolling your eyes at the name of Zac Efron, but please read this story by Lainey before you judge him.

And there was photos of Twilight's Taylor Lautner at the Stanley Cup Finals game supporting the Detroit Red Wings. He is from Michigan so I'll let the Detroit supporting slide.

And then, Taylor Lautner flew out of Vancouver this weekend after finishing up filming Twilight: Eclipse to LA to attend a LA Kings game with Taylor Swift.

And then photos show up of Claire Danes (albeit, she's not very relevant as a celebrity these days) with Hugh Dancy at a Rangers game.

There's tons more sightings from last year, obviously the
Kings' website has a ton of pics, there also some of One Tree Hill's Chad Michael Murray and True Blood favorite, Alexander Skarsgard with Mats Sundin at a Rangers game (while he was still deciding for which team he would play for). Photo from

So it makes me wonder, is going to an NHL game trendy for young stars these days?

Now it has to be noted that this is different from appearances of say Hillary Duff, Carrie Underwood or Elisha Cuthbert, as they date hockey players. A hockey girlfriend appearance at a game is not really a shocker, cause you are there to support your man.

But the appearances of Zac Efron, T. Lautner and T. Swift show young hollywood attending regular season hockey games to check out the game. I wonder if this will be a continuing trend with these young celebrity powerhouses and if so, who will we see next?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

This and That: Kesler, Burkie and the Monster!

So because Tronna fans can't stay up late at night, and they want a 7pm game, CBC has scheduled the Canucks/Leafs game to start at 4pm PST. That's right, the game starts at 4pm. I would advise just to get over the start time, our bitching really won't matter, Toronto will win this round.

This game on Saturday really has no great benefits to the Canucks, besides 2 points. But could you imagine if Vancouver loses?
Can you imagine the Toronto fans then? I don't want to imagine it, so instead, enjoy your news about the Canucks:

Kesler Contract Talk
Kesler's agent spoke to
Kuzma of The Province about the contract that he feels that Kesler deserves to sign. It's gonna be big money, because Kesler is the type of player that is the heart and soul of a great team. In my opinion, Kesler is captain material. If he wasn't in his last year of his contract, I would be saying that he should be the captain instead of Luongo. Overhardt brings up an interesting statistic that the Canucks "won 74.36 per cent of their games (26-10-3) when the twins had less time than Kesler."

Schneider Ready to Go...
...But he's gonna have to wait until Sunday's game against Edmonton before he'll be able to play because of IR regulations.

Burkie acts like a 5 year old
In a phone interview to The Province today, Brian Burke talked about how he wasn't going to make a big deal of the tampering accusations that were made by the Canucks, but in the end, well you know that he is Brian Burke, and he's making a big deal of it. As per usual, Burkie has some gold quotes:
  • “I’m certainly not going to pour any gasoline on a fire that as far as I’m concerned doesn’t exist. When other organizations talk or complain about the Leafs, I ignore it by and large.”
  • “We weren’t copied with any of the correspondence or made aware of it so when all this talking was going on we were mystified, it was like, what are they talking about?” Burke said. “If we were going to bring a tampering charge against a team we would copy the team on it, make them aware of it. That wasn’t done so we were kind of in the dark on this.
  • “If I didn’t see Mike, that wouldn’t be a snub,” Burke said. “In my building, I always go down and talk to the visiting GM, ask him if they need anything. I don’t know what Mike does. If I see him, I’ll say hi to him, but if I don’t see him I wouldn’t consider it a snub. . . . I’m not jumping off a bridge if I don’t see him and I’m not going to order a cake if I do.”
Now the last quote, it's like trying to figure out a girl is trying to say when she says "I'm FINE". Is he trying to guilt trip Gillis into hanging out with him? It's also kinda like when my mom says "Do what YOU think is right". It's just the ultimate guilt trip, you're so damned if you do, and damned if you don't.

The Monster!

"The Monster," Beauchemin said, offering up his best scary voice, albeit with a distinct Quebecois accent. "The Monster!
"-Globe and Mail

My favorite addition to the Leafs this year is definitely Jonas Gustavsson.
Well he's Swedish, his name is Jonas, and his nickname is The Monster! (with the exclamation mark!).


Those are three perfectly good reasons to love The Monster!

Reports out of Toronto that say that he
might be ready to go for the Vancouver game on Saturday afternoon. It's not likely, but it would be nice because Mirtle saying that Schenner might be a healthy scratch, and really Schenn and Gustavsson are the only two things that I like about the Leafs.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Grabner gets his first NHL goal!


If I didn't have 3/4 of a pumpkin pie in my fridge I would be so on making the kaiserschmarrn right now. But true to my promise, I will be making it to celebrate Grabner's first goal, soon. I'll have to pick another Austrian dessert for goal #2, maybe some Apfelstrudel next?

So this game, was pretty awesome non?

The Canucks get a powerplay goal from Steve Bernier, who if I may say, looks great with his new haircut and physique. More importantly, he was finally able to stuff in a puck from a rebound. The Canucks penalty kill looked pretty good too, keeping Chicago from taking many shots. Then, Mitchell had a fantastic legal open ice hit on Toews, who got smoked. Please enjoy the video:

Then, Kes takes a hit while bringing the puck into the offensive zone, but manages to get the puck to Grabner, who nets his 1st NHL goal! Woooo! Even better that the Moose was there in the crowd to cheer him on! And for the win, Samuelsson with an unassisted goal.

We did also did get some help in the end there by Antti Niemi, who really should have had Samuelsson's shot, but whatever, Hawks lose. Oh, and Luongo looked better, all big in his net and stuff.

Next game: Leafs at 4pm in the m-f-ing afternoon!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Grabner Called Up

The Canucks announced today that
Michael Grabner has been recalled from Manitoba.

Grabner is 22 and is one of the few hockey products out of Austria. He played in Austria until coming over to the Dub to play for the Spokane Chiefs. He was then selected 14th overall in the 2006 Entry draft by the Vancouver Canucks.

This year, he has had 4 goals in the last 7 periods of play with the Moose, which made a strong case for why he was to be the one called up for Friday night. He took the red-eye here, and found himself practising on the top line with Burrows and Henrik. He was practising on the 2nd powerplay unit with Kes and Wellwood. This is going to be Grabner's NHL debut for the Canucks and there's a lot of pressure on him to prove to the Canucks management and fans that he was a good draft pick as opposed to a bust. It's good to see that he knows what is at stake for him here: "They're great set-up guys and should be a lot of fun to play with. It just up to me to make the most out of it. It's been a long time coming."-The Province

I'm really hoping that he'll do well. In addition to wanting him to be play well to because he is a Canuck, I have another reason that I want him to succeed.

Bear with me here, I'm gonna go off on a tangent, then attempt to tie it in to hockey.

So back in the day, Austria and Hungary used to be one joined together called the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Now after WWI, the dual state was dissolved following their military defeat. Anyways, during the dissolution, the empire got chopped up into tiny countries, and their boarders re-drawn. So the effect of the re-drawn boarders, treaties that were drawn up by the Allies (very one-sided) caused devastating political and economic effects on the new countries.

So some of my family is from the different little countries in the former empire, ie. Austria, Hungary, Serbia, Croatia and I've had long discussions with them about the impact of the the changes on sport, specifically hockey.
Hockey is an expensive sport. Not only do you have to pay a ton for equipment, but you also have to have the location, ie. rink to be able to play. It is not like football/foci (soccer to you North Americans) where you can play anywhere, no hockey is a sport that required money, and the building to do it in. And those countries didn't have either, money or facilities for sport. That's why you don't see a lot of Austrian, Hungarian, Croatian etc players, because those kids didn't have the opportunity to play hockey growing up, but a lot of them really do love the sport. So for me, it's great to see a young Austrian getting a chance to play in the NHL. It was also awesome to see Hungary make an appearance at the World Cup last year, even though their team was made up of players that also had day jobs. They ended up losing to Canada 9-0, but they were just happy to be there and play.

So, the point to this rambling is to say how proud I am to see young kids like Grabner with talent and a shot at a chance to be in the NHL. It shows how far hockey has come along in places like Austria or Hungary and makes me hopeful for the future of hockey in those countries. So I'll be pulling for Grabner on Friday night hoping that he does well in his Canuck audition and maybe, if he scores, I'll make some Kaiserschmarrn to celebrate.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I'm pretty shameless...

Here is some shameless cross promotion:

I have wrote a few words for Cycle Like the Sedins' season preview feature called "The Sore Thumb" for the Vancouver Canucks. Click here to read my submission.

I may have spoken too soon when I wrote up my thoughts about the fragility of our team since Salo is now joining Demitra and Schneider on the injury list. Care to agree/disagree with my thoughts?

Tanner Glass love

Glass had been getting some media love these days. First there is was some love from Kuzma of The Province
here, and then yesterday he got some from the Vancouver Sun.

So who is this guy?

Tanner Glass, 25, was born on November 29th 1983 in Craven, Saskatchewan. He was played in the BCHL for Penticton before being dealt to the Nanaimo Clippers. He was then drafted in the 2003 entry draft by the Florida Panthers at 265th overall. He then went on the play for Dartmouth College for 4 years and even earned a History degree while he was there.

“I am a history buff,” explained the 25-year-old Saskatchewan native in the Canucks dressing room following a practice. “I studied the history of imperialism, the Roman Empire, the American Empire. You look back at major things that happened in the world and it’s interesting to see what led up to them and what caused them.” -Vancouver Sun

He then played just 4 games for the Panther's AHL team, the Rochester Americans before being called up to play for the Panthers. He has some injuries to his shoulder in his 2008-2009 season, had surgery back in February and spent much of his time in the AHL, and thus didn't get a qualifying offer from the Panthers.

Here is where the Canucks come in to the story. We offered him a two-way deal worth $500, 000, so he's a nice cheap addition, and so far so good.
He doesn't have a ton of skill, but he works hard, is scrappy and from what I've heard, has a ton of heart and soul.

This and That: Salo's injury,

Still no hockey for another 3 more days...and this madness is apparently due to Gillis' request of less travel for the Canucks...

Now for your Canuck news:
With the reassignment of Desbiens, I think we'll see either Grabner or Shirokov back up to add some offence. As for the defense, I don't think we'll see any call ups since we still are carrying Aaron Rome.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Salo Injury Watch: We may have #38

So, as everyone in Canuck nation feared when they saw Salo get in a collision with Jamie Benn during the Dallas game last night, Salo may be yet again injured. This would injury #38 if he misses the next game. But since to this weird scheduling of 1 game in 8 days, Salo still has a few more days of recovery time. If he's not ready to go by Friday for the game against Calgary, it is likely that Aaron Rome will dress, with Shane O'Brien getting more ice time again.

But this was expected non?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

This and That: Stuff to keep you busy during the 4 day break

Classy Montreal fans

No Canucks game until Sunday. Who designed this schedule? There is a perfectly good Friday or Saturday night that just begs for a hockey game. Alas, there is none, but there is an open practice the Canucks are having on Saturday morning, to tide your hockey fix over. You can find tickets on

Your Canuck news:
  • Hodgson has been told to stay off skates for a minimum of a month, maybe more as he deals with his back injury. He will be re-evaluted in Cleveland in 2 weeks and will undergo aggressive physiotherapy.
  • Shirokov has been assigned to the Manitoba Moose. I think this will actually be good for him to keep his play going since the boys will only be playing 1 game in the next 8 days. Gillis said that "He's not being shipped out on his own," added Gillis. "We're aware and want him to understand that this is part of a process and he's in it and we're very confident about him. And I think he knows that, based on our conversations." I think he will get another shot with the Canucks eventually, so let's hope he gets his play back while in Winnipeg.
  • According to Spike TV, Vancouver Canucks fans are 5th on his list of top 10 teams with the most annoying fans. Hate to break it to the writer, but has he not met a Leaf fan before?
  • Superfan Michael BublĂ© is interviewed by the Vancouver Sun and when asked about playing at MSG: “Madison Square Garden . . . it was a really wonderful night . . . [but] I kept looking up and seeing that stupid Stanley Cup banner, and all I could think was, f--- you.” Fantastic. Love Michael BublĂ©. He has a new cd out too, called Crazy Love.
And for your viewing pleasure, it's Rypien vs. the slow giant, USS Hall Gill

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Canuck questions on the Team Marketing Report Fan Cost Index

The new Team Marketing Report is out, which ranks, as the words of PD said "average cost for an obese, materialistic family of four to attend a game". The full pdf can be found here.

The prices for the Canadian teams have been adjusted to US dollars and the previous' years pricing to the current exchange rate.

Now if you can squint, no wait, look below, and look at the Pct. change in the Canucks average ticket for this year compared to last:

Are they are claiming that the ticket price for the Canucks have DROPPED 5.8% this year? Because I'm pretty sure they didn't. Back in March I wrote about how the Canucks are raising the ticket prices to 55% of the tickets, not dropping them. The only thing I can think that happened in their calculation is that in the adjusted of the price for last years tickets according to the value of the Canadian dollar last year vs. this years tickets, something was calculated incorrectly, or the value was compared incorrectly. Any thoughts?

In the end, while this report may be better for comparing the cost going to see US based teams against each other, I can't trust the dollar conversions for the Canadian teams.

Toronto fined for Wilson's comments, but cleared for tampering

Toronto got a slap on the wrist today. In a media release today, Bill Daly issued a statement that said that said that Ron Wilson's comments during the summer about the Leafs' interest in the Sedins prior to their contract being up, violated provisions of NHL by-law 15. The Leafs organization is being fined for his actions.

Though, the NHL has cleared Burke of statements that he made while on Leafs TV. Gillis pursued the NHL to look in to the matter for possible violation of the NHL's tampering rules.

An excerpt from the statement:

"That while unfortunate and inappropriate, the inclusion of a brief reference to the names of a pair of current Vancouver Canucks players in a television segment that aired once on Leafs TV last week did not constitute a tampering offense under League rules, and that no League action will be taken, or League sanction imposed on the Maple Leafs' organization as a result.

The Maple Leafs have been advised that the League likely would impose discipline for any future inappropriate conduct on their part that may cause, or may reasonably be perceived to cause, damage to the Canucks' franchise, or its relationship with its existing players and/or employees."

So the Leafs got away with a warning from the NHL about future conduct. If we know what Brian Burke is like, this issue will come up again. But since the Leafs have deep pockets, if all the team will endure is a fine, will this really stop Burke at a future press conference or media interview?

Bieksa is a Daddy!

Bieksa's wife Katie gave birth to a their second child, a baby girl named Reese today. He will play tonight if he's up for it, but since Cole is will be turning 2 at the end of the month, you can bet he's had no sleep. Hopefully he'll get the night off to enjoy the moment with the new addition to the family.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

This & That: Salo missing from practice, Tanner Glass in for Shirokov

Canuck news from today:

  • Clearly somebody gave Salo a high five or something because he missed practice today. No official word from the Canucks on whether he's injured, he was just absent from practice.
  • After losing 3 straight games, Coach V is making a lineup change with Tanner Glass in for Shirokov on the 3rd line with Wellwood and Bernier. Mason Raymond, who was one of the best Canucks last game, is getting a promotion to the second line. I hope Shirokov takes the game off to regroup and then have a strong game if he gets another chance. Tanner Glass likes to bring energy to the line as well as liking to drop the fisticuffs to protect his teammates...kinda like another Rypien.
  • Bob McKenzie didn't like the hit on Jared Boll by Hordichuk last game. Lame how he keeps writing pussy(cat) throughout this article, which just drops his credibility about the whole arguement. And does TSN think it's less offensive writing it like that? Or did McKenzie have to do that to get through TSN's filter?
And because in Vancouver, if you couldn't get Olympic tickets and think it's a cool idea to watch the game at Molson Canada Hockey House, tickets are only $500 per day! That's right! $500 per day. But why stop there? You might as well buy yourself a "season pass" for the Olympics for $8500!

And the organizers consider that a steal: "Based on the Superbowl, Formula 1 or the Ryder Cup, we're cheap,". Right.

If you buy tickets, someone should remind you, that you are just watching the game on TV at Hockey House. Those aren't even actual hockey tickets. Though it is catered by Wolfgang Puck (no pun intended) and includes "all-inclusive" drinks. Personally, I'm holding out for the Dutch and their
Heineken House.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Apparently, this was a "must win"

VC: "Look! They're cheering for Raycroft!"

Tempocrew: "Yeah, that's because he actually made a save"

Luongo let in 3 goals on 3 shots. So I guess if you are paying $100+ dollars to watch Luongo not stop goals, you might as well start cheering for something positive, like Raycroft stopping a puck.
Even with Raycroft's puck stopping skills, the Canucks lost 5-3 tonight to the Blue Jackets.

Jim Jamieson
called this game a "must win". It's game #3, and he's calling this a "must win", which was a bit of a stretch. Though I wouldn't want to turn on the Team 1040 right now to listen to the callers talk how the solution to 3 straight losses is to trade away Luongo, or fire Vigneault, or a combination of both them. Relax, it's only the 3rd game.

Something to celebrate? Sami Salo played his
600th game of his NHL career tonight and in 3 games, he hasn't injured himself (yet). It's taken him a bit longer than others, 10 years in fact for him to hit this point, which may have something to do with the 37 injuries he's had in his career. Just don't congratulate him with a high 5 or something, because you might break his wrist.

Next game: Weds Oct 7th, vs the Montreal midgets