Spitballin’ (or Super Pass It To Bulis: All In, if you love adventurous acronymizing) is a feature that allows us to touch on a multitude of things really fast, because in the world of hockey, there are always lots of things to find and colour. Here are a few topics that deserve mention.
Perry for Hodgson, Raymond and Ballard? No.
The moment Anaheim Ducks’ GM Bob Murray announced that, save Saku Koivu and Teemu Selanne, no one was safe if he decided to go Evil Midnight Bomber What Bombs at Midnight on his team’s core, you had to know that trade speculation was going to spring up involving the Ducks and Canucks. It has indeed, as many Canuck fans started sharing a rumour that the Canucks were close to pulling the trigger on a move sending Mason Raymond, Cody Hodgson, and Keith Ballard to Anaheim for Corey Perry. Is there any truth to it?
No. While I’m sure Gillis has asked what it would take to get Perry (as has everyone), he’s not throwing Hodgson into this deal.
There’s no such thing as an untouchable player and no such thing as an untradeable player, but Cody Hodgson’s not getting moved unless a skill center’s coming back. In case you haven’t noticed, Hodgson’s emergence has allowed the Canucks to level up: they’ve graduated from two scoring lines, a checking line and a fourth line to three scoring lines and a checking line. Neither Maxim Lapierre nor Manny Malhotra have the skill to turn a checking line into a scoring line, meaning that the removal of Hodgson causes the dynamic of the team to regress drastically.
Furthermore, I would be dubious of any move that saw Hodgson on the way out for a centre that wasn’t born around the same year. Cody is ten years younger than Henrik Sedin and six years younger than Ryan Kesler. In a league where depth at centre is perhaps the most important thing, I’d be shocked if the Canucks handicapped their future by moving their only elite centre prospect.
Alain Vigneault finds your comment less than wise
Alain Vigneault spoke yesterday on a number of topics, from the Bruins game to Mike Duco’s callup to David Booth and Aaron Rome’s status. But the money quote here comes at 1:53 after someone feeds him Claude Julien’s claim that Brad Marchand was just “protecting himself” from notorious headhunter Sami Salo. We compiled the evidence to refute that claim Sunday, but Vigneault took a much simpler route: “That’s stupid,” he said, “That’s a stupid comment.”
Hilarious. Sometimes Vigneault gets blasted for not saying what he really thinks. One imagines that criticism will see some time off.
By the by, Claude Julien responded to Vigneault’s direct response on Monday morning: “I guess we’re stupid,” he said sarcastically, “We’re idiots. They’re so much more intelligent than everybody else. That’s the way they act.”
Alain Vigneault to the All-Star Game?
Speaking of the Canucks’ coach, if you thought Monday afternoon’s tilt with the Florida Panthers was just two points, well, there’s more riding on it than that: a win sends Vigneault to the All-Star Game as the coaching representative for the Western Conference. From NHL.com:
If the Vancouver Canucks defeat the Florida Panthers, Canucks coach Alain Vigneault will be behind one of the benches at the 2012 Tim Hortons NHL All-Star Game in Ottawa.
If the Canucks lose in regulation or overtime, it will be San Jose’s Todd McLellan earning the final coaching spot in the All-Star Game.
The spot is determined by which team has the greatest points percentage in the Western Conference through Monday’s games. Rangers coach John Tortorella wrapped up the Eastern Conference’s spot Friday.
While I’m sure Vigneault will speak highly of the honour should he get it for the second straight year, coaching a team with no interest in backchecking must be torture. I’m sure he’d rather have the time off, too. If the Canucks come out flat versus the Panthers, they’re just following orders.
Newell Brown hatches a sneaky plan
Since Newell Brown joined the Canucks as a special teams coach, their powerplay has been the best in the NHL. In other words, he’s pretty good at what he does. Why? Because he’s always dreaming up shifty new scheme. Here’s a photo in which, I presume, he’s doing exactly that. I captioned it for you.
Oh Dale Weise, you so crazy
There wasn’t much from the Canucks’ side I didn’t like in Saturday morning’s game against the Boston Bruins, but Dale Weise’s runaway bride routine on Shawn Thornton was deserving of the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty it drew. I didn’t like that at all. If you don’t want to fight a guy, then don’t act like you do.
I don’t quite buy Weise’s explanation of the incident, either. Here’s what he had to say, from Ben Kuzma at The Province:
“You know what? Me and [Adam] McQuaid were having words and I was under the impression that we might have went and I guess he [Thornton] thought I was challenging him,” recalled Weise. “But at the end of the day, that’s not really the type of guy I want to fight.”
Weise is right that Thornton’s not the type of guy he should be fighting (less experienced fighters, for instance, are much better opponents for him), but, while Weise’s Twitter account has long indicated that he isn’t above picking up two dates at once, the rest of what he said doesn’t fly. The wheels came off this explanation when he went on to explain that the Horton fight had really worn him out:
“You don’t realize when you’re in it,” he added. “You just keep going. I got in the box and we exchanged a couple of words and I realized how tired I was. And when I got out of there, I still couldn’t catch my breath and that’s why a couple of other guys were challenging me. It was like: ‘Let me catch my breath.’
So, in short, he was too tired to fight Thornton but not too tired to fight McQuaid? I’m not buying it. The code is stupid, and Weise was under no obligation to fight Thornton — until he indicated that he would.Tags: spitballin