Welcome to 2010 in review, PITB’s exhaustive, retrospective compilation of all the major Canucks stories that held your attention in the year that was. Remember when the Canucks boycotted CBC after the Ron Maclean hatchet job? That’s in here. Remember Michael Grabner’s first career hat trick in Anaheim? That’s in here. Remember when Guillaume Desbiens forgot how to make a fist? Oh, you’d better believe that’s in here. It’s all here (except the stuff we forgot–feel free to jog our memory in the comments). And so, without further ado, here is what made the news in 2010:
January 2 – In Dallas, Alex Burrows begins a crazy goal-scoring streak that sees him score 15 goals in the month of January, including four multi-goal games, and two goal streaks of three games or more.
January 5 – Alex Burrows scores a hat-trick against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
January 7 – Alex Burrows scores his second consecutive hat-trick against the Phoenix Coyotes. By this time, Burrows is streaking so hard GoldenPalace.com asks to advertise on his back.
January 10 – A fan shines a bright green laser at Miikka Kiprusoff during a Flames’ visit to GM Place. It annoys everyone.
January 12 – Following a tough loss to the Nashville Predators, Alex Burrows criticizes the officiating and, more specifically, Stephane Auger for following through on a threat to “get him back” for an embellishment that took place in a previous game. Things get messy.
January 16 – Ron Maclean launches a hatchet job on Alex Burrows, using clips of him diving and chirping to assassinate his character and thereby prove his claims of Stephane Auger false.
January 16 – Willie Mitchell plays his last game in a Canucks uniform after suffering a concussion from an Evgeni Malkin hit from behind. Instead of doing his job and going after Malkin, Colin “Lord Chaos” Campbell goes after Sephiroth during nine uninterrupted hours of Final Fantasy VII.
January 23 – In the most badass news story of the year, the Canucks respond to perceived mistreatment of Alex Burrows with a boycott, denying CBC access to interview their players and coaching staff during the following week’s Hockey Night in Canada telecast.
January 25 – Brad Lukowich scores his first and only goal in a Canucks uniform. It is undeniably beautiful, and signifies the high point of his time with the organization.
January 26 – The Kurtenblog posts a series of photos of Chicago Blackhawks players, shirtless, in the back of a limousine with some Vancity gals. These photos will later inspire Twitter superstar Paul Bisonnette to tell Ian Walker that John Madden has a body like a bag of milk.
January 27 – The best Canucks moment of 2010: in a morning media scrum, a reporter asks coach Alain Vigneault if he feels Wellwood played, the night prior, “Like a man possessed.” Vigneault doubles over in laughter at the very thought.
January 27 – The Canucks embark on the longest road trip in NHL history. They won’t play another home game for three months. One day later, Darcy Hordichuk realizes he has accidentally forgotten his toothbrush and, rather than buying a new one, spends three months secretly using Shane O’Brien’s.
February 12 – The Winter Olympics begin. They go on to be the best thing ever to happen in Vancouver.
February 21 – Ryan Kesler makes himself public enemy number one in his own hometown after he tells an NBC interviewer that he hates Canada. It is an awesome moment of competitiveness, but Vancouver fans briefly lose their heads and demand he be traded immediately.
February 21 – After a 5-3 loss to the United States, Martin Brodeur loses Team Canada’s starting goaltender job to Roberto Luongo.
February 26 – Roberto Luongo makes an incredible save on fellow Canuck Pavol Demitra to preserve a 3-2 win over Slovakia and send Team Canada to the gold medal game.
February 28 – Roberto Luongo brilliantly backstops Team Canada to a gold medal against the US, making 34 saves in the victory. Sidney Crosby also scores a humdrum goal in garbage time, if anyone cares.
March 3 – Canucks acquire Andrew Alberts from Carolina in exchange for a 3rd-round pick. Alberts plays badly in his first year with the Canucks, but threatens Shane O’Brien for the best stable of nicknames with A Minor, AHLberts, and Barabbas.
March 3 – Canucks assign Brad Lukowich to the Moose, and he is never heard from again. Some speculate that “Assigned to the Moose” is sometimes code for “Quietly assassinated.”
March 9 – Mikael Samuelsson records a hat trick as the Canucks stage a major comeback against the Colorado Avalanche.
March 13 – Canucks return from longest road trip in NHL history, which began in late January. All the single guys throw away the houseplants they forgot to get someone to water.
March 17 – Canucks sign 1st round pick Jordan Schroeder to an entry-level contract.
March 19 – Ryan Kesler continues his career-long tendency to sign contracts he won’t deserve for nine months, agreeing to a 6-year deal. In keeping with club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed, despite release being issued two hours after the media had already disclosed the full terms of the deal.
March 19 – To celebrate his massive contract extension, Kesler immediately goes home and makes a baby. Do the math.
March 29 – In a story of true humanity, Shane O’Brien is sent home after being late for practice. Photos later surface of the big D-man getting his party on at the Roxy.
March 31 – The Canucks add three defensemen to their system by signing Chris Tanev and Lee Sweatt to free agent contract out of the NCAA and Europe, respectively, and inking Yann Sauve to an entry-level deal. Harrison later suggests that Lee Sweatt may be the next Brian Rafalski. Harrison is an idiot.
March 31 – Ken Campbell does his part to negate the Henrik Sedin love-in, claiming Henrik doesn’t deserve the Hart because he has too many second assists. Word is he was bribed to make this argument. By Daniel Sedin.
April 2 – Michael Grabner records his first career hat-trick in a shootout win over the Anaheim Ducks. The Canucks clinch a playoff berth with the win.
April 10 – Henrik Sedin sets Canuck single-season record for points with 4 assists in the final game of the regular season, securing the Art Ross Trophy in the process. His final assist comes on perhaps the finest goal ever scored by a Canuck, and most certainly the goal of 2010.
April 12 – Pass it to Bulis begins its full-blown assault of the blogosphere. No one is safe.
April 15 – Alex Edler nails Drew Doughty. The rare moment of physicality from the Iceman is hailed as the next step in his development into a star defender.
April 15 – Mikael Samuelsson scores an overtime game-winner in game one of the Canucks’ playoff series with the LA Kings. Samuelsson goes on to score 8 goals in the six-game series.
April 28 – Canucks sign Kevin Connauton to entry-level deal.
May 7 – The Green Men bring a cardboard cutout of Vince Vaughn in a Canucks jersey to the game against Chicago and taunt Dustin Byfuglien with it. Vaughn is unamused, however, and sends somebody down to them to buy it for $250.
May 9 – A puck hits Sami Salo in the testicles. Initial reports indicate it is ruptured. Though these reports turn out to be false, an urban legend is born.
May 10 – The following day, the NHL selects Kevin Bieksa’s goal, rather than Sami Salo’s exploding nut, for their History Will Be Made series. It is a gargantuan failure of imagination.
May 12 – Kevin Bieksa perpetrates the infamous “double slide.”
May 12 – The Canucks are knocked out of the playoffs or something. The real tearjerks is that Kyle Wellwood plays his final game as a Vancouver Canuck.
May 13 – Four months after suffering a near career-ending headshot, Willie Mitchell rips Colin “Lord Chaos” Campbell for his inconsistency in handling headshots, concussions, and suspensions.
June 2 – The Canucks resign Corey Schneider to a one-way, two-year extension worth $900,000 per, which was probably a no-brainer for Ginger Jesus once he calculated how much he’ll make per start.
June 9 – Former Canuck Brent Sopel carries the Blackhawks to the Stanley Cup with no help from anyone else whatsoever.
June 21 – After Scott Arniel wins the job as coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Canucks hire Claude Noel to manage their farm team. That makes three coaches in a row that has graduated from the Moose directly to NHL vacancies.
June 23 – Henrik Sedin wins the Hart trophy just months before it is renamed the Sidney Crosby trophy and defaults to the Pittsburgh Penguin for the duration of his career.
June 23 – Ryan Kesler does not win the Selke. After losing to Canada in the gold medal game and being ousted by the Chicago Blackhawks, it’s his third major loss of the year.
June 25 – The Canucks acquire Keith Ballard and Victor Oreskovich from Florida in exchange for Michael Grabner, Steve Bernier, and their 1st round pick.
July 1 – The Canucks sign Dan Hamhuis, Manny Malhotra, Jeff Tambellini and Joel Perrault on the first day of free agency.
July 3 – The Canucks announce the list of young men attending their prospect camp. The Vancouver media celebrates when Cody Hodgson is not on the list and proceeds to continue the great tradition of selling newspapers through fear-mongering.
July 6 – GM Place is renamed Rogers Arena. It is indubitably the most mundane news story of 2010.
July 7 – The Canucks hold their annual summer summit and announce, among other things, the impending retirement of Markus Naslund’s jersey and their plans for a Ring of Honour. They debut their new 40th anniversary sweaters and introduce Dan Hamhuis, who wryly observes that there are more fans in the stadium for this glorified press conference than Nashville gets for games.
July 23 – Word gets out that Sami Salo tore his Achilles tendon playing floorball. It is hilarious and sad.
July 23 – Jannik Hansen is awarded a one-year, $825,000 contract in arbitration. He may be worth more than that now. Stop talking about what a great forechecker he is; he’s a UFA next season.
July 26 – Mason Raymond avoids arbitration by signing a two-year, $5.1 million deal with the Canucks, thereby making it a much bigger deal that Robin from How I Met Your Mother once got to meet him.
July 29 – Tommy Larscheid’s retirement is announced. Ed Willes later suggest a Gillis-led conspiracy to oust him, but we suggest an even larger conspiracy: Ed Willes is Mike Gillis. Is it just a coincidence their names rhyme? PITB says no.
August 3 – The Canucks announce the hiring of Newell Brown to manage their powerplay, as well as the ousting of motivational guru Ryan Walter.
August 18 – Struggling to deal with the utter dearth of Canucks hockey, Harrison briefly convinces himself he likes baseball.
August 18 – Two hours later, Harrison remembers that he doesn’t.
August 19 – In keeping with their long tradition of employing brothers, the Canucks sign Bill Sweatt after the Maple Leafs screw the pooch and let him go to free agency.
August 25 – Willie “Bill Pickle” Mitchell signs a two-year deal with the Los Angeles Kings. Skeeter gets bummed.
August 25 – The Canucks continue their long tradition of employing lovable weirdos by signing Raffi Torres to a one-year deal. Because he is not Willie Mitchell, Canucks fans continue to mope.
September 2 – Harrison notices that Gary Bettman looks a lot like the Hypnotoad.
September 8 – Canucks defense prospect Yann Sauve is hit by a car while using a crosswalk, proving that crosswalks are death traps. Sauve is okay, but it turns out being hit by a car can severely set back one’s development, as he won’t get into the Manitoba Moose lineup for three months.
September 12 – A long offseason officially ends with the first Canucks’ contest of the YoungStars tournament.
September 13 – Roberto Luongo relinquishes the captaincy, ending an insane barrage of scrutiny and criticism around something people outside the Canucks’ locker room know very little about.
September 16 – Word breaks that former West Coast Express centre Brendan Morrison will be attending Canucks training camp on a player tryout contract. Though he doesn’t fit anywhere in the lineup, people (myself included) briefly lose their minds and convince themselves that he does.
November 2 – Alex Burrows returns to the Canucks’ lineup after offseason shoulder surgery.
November 2 – Raffi Torres scores his first career hat-trick against the Edmonton Oilers, his former team. He looks goofy in every hat.
November 4 – Guillaume Desbiens breaks his hand punching a Cody Mcleod’s helmet with an improperly formed fist. It’s possible the helmet would have broken his hand even if he hadn’t tucked his thumb, but he guaranteed himself a busted metacarpus when he forgot how to fight.
November 6 – Andrew Alberts levels Pavel Datsyuk and it’s sweet.
November 10 – Mike Gillis gets a Twitter account and achieves 4000 followers without tweeting a single thing. @passittobulis, on the other hand, tweets comedy gold every damn day, and has yet to crack 700. #SourGrapes
November 11 – The Canucks attend the Remembrance Day ceremony in Ottawa. Every Canuck, even Christian Ehrhoff. (Just kidding, of course. As Mikael Samuelsson said, Remembrance Day is about humans remembering humans who fought for what they thought was right, and it was neat that Ehrhoff’s presence wasn’t a story.)
November 11 – Mario Bliznak scores his first NHL goal. It’s a beauty, but because it comes at the end of a blowout, nobody cares.
November 11 – Forgotten Canucks’ properties Andrew Peters and Nathan Paetsch, on loan to the Rochester Americans, break curfew and are kicked off the team. The Moose refuse to take them, indicating that nobody gives a crap where these poor guys are, as long as they’re home by midnight.
November 12 – The world gets its first look at Undresler, the gratuitously nippletastic photo of Ryan Kesler sans overwear. The best reaction award goes to Tanner Glass, who quips, “Oh wow, was this airbrushed?”
November 22 – PITB issues an open challenge to a game of Scrabble with Tanner Glass, laughing at the ridiculous notion that he’ll ever hear of it, let alone accept it. Not possible.
November 24 – The Canucks cut ties with Peter Schaefer, the soul-patch wearing PK specialist. The Shoulda -Birds come out in full force, squawking about how we shoulda signed Morrison.
November 25 – The Canucks grant Rick Rypien a leave of absence for personal reasons.
November 27 – Dan Hamhuis obliterates Douglas Murray with a hip check of Biblical proportions. Yes sir, lots of hip checks in the Bible. Check out this one God lays on Jacob.
December 1 – Mason Raymond gets his second career hat-trick against the Calgary Flames, who love giving up hat tricks to Canucks more than they love winning.
December 3 – Roberto Luongo is blessed by Head Poke Kid while coming out from the tunnel for a game in Chicago. He proceeds to shut out the Blackhawks. The Canucks are 9-1-2 since this blessing.
December 7 – In the shocking twist of the year, Tanner Glass accepts the PITB Scrabble challenge, which leads to some major media coverage, including the Province, the Vancouver Sun, and Hockey Night in Canada.
December 9 – After putting together a fabulous string of games, Cody Hodgson suffers yet another bizarre medical setback after a high-stick in practice breaks his orbital bone.
December 9 – Mason Raymond breaks his thumb in a game against the Anaheim Ducks. Because he needs his thumb to hold his hockey stick, he misses some games.
December 11 – Markus Naslund’s jersey is raised to the rafters. It’s a great moment for Canucks hockey. The only negative aspect: in a massive break from character, he speaks for too long.
December 13 – The Canucks sign Darren Archibald, which is interesting, I guess.
December 15 – Ryan Kesler scores his first career hat-trick.
December 18 – The Green Men cap an inspired year of prop comedy lunacy by throwing waffles at the penalty box glass during a visit by the Toronto Maple Leafs
December 19 – Ryker Kesler, the baby conceived on the day his father signed a $30 million contract extension with the Canucks, is born. He is immediately welcomed and loved by his father, despite being born on Canadian soil.
December 20 – Aaron Volpatti scores his first NHL goal after Tanner Glass takes out Alex Pietrangelo with a cross body block.
December 28 – After a drubbing of the Philadelphia Flyers, the Canucks briefly boast the highest winning percentage in the NHL.
December 29 – Gianni Luongo, son of Roberto and Gina Luongo, is born by Caesarean section in Florida.
December 30 – Doubles tennis legend Daniel Nestor is awarded the order of Canada. Also, some guy named Trevor Linden.
The Canucks are down 2-1 to the Flames in the playoffs, which means it's time for everyone to start second-guessing Willie Desjardins. The number one topic is his use of the Sedins, who are averaging less ice time than they had in the regular season, apparently to keep them "fresh". […]
The Canucks are back in the playoffs and facing an old rival in the Calgary Flames. This year, the playoffs feel wide open, with no prohibitive favourite to win the Stanley Cup, giving Canucks fans hope that they can defy the odds and go on a long playoff run. […]
The Canucks defeated the Kings in a crucial game on Monday night, potentially leaving the defending Stanley Cup Champions outside of the playoffs. It was close and hard-fought, proving that the Canucks can compete with the Kings if they do end up meeting in the first round. […]
It's the home stretch of the season and the Canucks are in a precarious position, with both the Calgary Flames and Los Angeles Kings right behind them in the playoff race. In an ideal world, the Kings would miss the playoffs entirely and the Canucks would face the Flames in the first round, but it's possible the Canucks could face the Kings or miss […]