No, this isn’t a photo of a young Daniel and Henrik Sedin. (Although would it surprise anyone if they had full, bright orange beards, even as toddlers? I always sort of assumed they did.) You’re looking at a picture of twin boys Asher and Nolan, who will be going out this Halloween as the Wizards of the Coast themselves.
According to the boys’ mother, Tracey, who passed this photo on to us, the twins were born prematurely, at just 26 weeks. “They spent five months in the hospital and now both have cerebral palsy from being born so early,” Tracey says. “But they’re doing awesome and they love the Canucks, as do we.”Continue Reading —›
During last year’s AHL playoffs, the Abbotsford Heat swept the Milwaukee Admirals, earning them a berth in the second round against the Toronto Marlies. After winning the first game, the Marlies won the next three, making game five one of the greatest events in hockey: a playoff elimination game.
With the Canucks already eliminated from the playoffs, the Heat were hoping that hockey-hungry fans would flock to the Abbotsford Sports & Entertainment Centre to take in the action. Instead, a paltry 1360 fans showed up for what turned out to be a thrilling overtime game. I was one of the few people in attendance and it was thoroughly depressing to see so many empty seats.
I understand why it happened of course. It was risky to plant the AHL affiliate of the Calgary Flames in the heart of Canucks country and the terrible branding and marketing did little to separate the Heat from the Flames in the minds of most fans. Their more recent slogan “Our Town. Our Team.” that I’ve seen on signs around Abbotsford is far better, but it’s too little, too late for many. Most Canucks fans just can’t wrap their minds around the idea of cheering for the affiliate of one of the Canucks’ biggest rivals, even during an NHL lockout where the Heat are the only professional hockey within driving distance.
Let me help you remove that roadblock: if you cheer for the Heat, you want the Flames to be terrible. Becoming a Heat fan won’t make you into a Flames fan by proxy; instead, it will simply heighten your hate.Continue Reading —›
Originally published on October 31, 2011, this list of last-minute Canucks Halloween costumes holds up remarkably well a year later. It’s also just as useful. Let’s face it: not everyone is as well-prepared for Halloween as Dan “Community Man” Hamhuis, whose adorable Winnie the Pooh costume from several years ago is simply too much cute for most people to handle.
The rest of us, who are half the man Hamhuis is or, in the case of the women, none of the man Hamhuis is, have likely left our Halloween costume ideas to the last minute. While most of the last-minute NHL-themed costumes out there this Halloween will simply involve a team jersey with a picture of a lock over the logo, Pass it to Bulis is here to provide you with some more creative options.
It is a little alarming how many of those options involve shaving your head, however.Continue Reading —›
Good news and bad news, friends.
The good news is that the content of this blog, which has been Dale Weise-centric for the last week or so, will finally see some sweet variety: Jannik Hansen has become the second Vancouver Canuck to say “nuts to this noise” and opt to play out the lockout overseas.
The bad news is that Hansen has signed not with a team in the Danish league as some had expected, but with Tappara of SM-liiga, the Finnish Elite League.
Now, maybe this isn’t bad news to you, but when you run a super-juvenile hockey blog, the news that Hansen’s jersey won’t feature any advertising from the amusingly-named, Danish government-owned DONG Energy company (shown above) is a disappointment.Continue Reading —›
That’s it: now I’m mad. Up until now, I’ve been remarkably blasé about the lockout. I mean, it’s upsetting that the games have been cancelled, but I’ve been filling my time with Abbotsford Heat games, more time spent with my family, and the baseball playoffs. As long as the entire season isn’t cancelled, I told myself, I could live with it.
But now? Now the lockout has taken away Sami Salo. And that’s just too much to handle.
While I was fine with Salo signing with the Lightning from a rational perspective, from an emotional perspective, it was a kick in the teeth. Salo, with his humble attitude and continual persistence in coming back from injury after injury, was one of my favourite Canucks of the last decade.
I didn’t get to see his return to Vancouver, because I didn’t watch this game.Continue Reading —›
Hungry like the Wolves is an ongoing feature on Pass it to Bulis during the lockout, wherein we keep an eye on the Canucks prospects and property currently playing for the Wolves as it’s the closest thing we’re going to get to Canucks hockey for quite some time.Continue Reading —›
One of the major differences between this NHL lockout and the lockouts that occurred in 2004-05 and 1994-95 is the advent of Twitter, giving teams, media, and players a direct conduit to fans. The NHLPA has encouraged their constituents to communicate their frustration with Gary Bettman and the owners through Twitter, to the point that many of the player accounts seem completely homogeneous.
There is one player’s Twitter account, however, that will always be completely and utterly unique: strombone1. The all-but-verified account of a certain French-Italian-Canadian netminder for the Vancouver Canucks is an endless source of bizarre non-sequiturs , love for reality TV, and an obsession for literal toilet humour, generally at his own expense.
No other NHL player would start a hashtag full of terrible pickup lines entirely making fun of himself. The pseudonym’d Roberto Luongo distracted hockey fans nation-wide from the lockout with the #StrombonePickupLines hashtag and the results are ridiculous, hilarious, and frequently filthy. Be forewarned.Continue Reading —›
Okay. Canucks versus Stars. But first some real talk (NSFW link).
I was really hoping that we would only be writing the “I Didn’t Watch This Game” feature until the end of October, but while I was putting this one together, the NHL cancelled all games through November 30. Granted, I’ve expected this since the last offer came in, since I suspected all along that the last two weeks have had nothing to do with real, meaningful negotiations. You can’t even say that at least the two sides found a middle ground at 50/50, as some are saying, because the NHL’s offer was hardly a real offer. Here’s what I believe happened: the NHL’s 50/50, 82-game-saving offer was a Trojan horse. They knew full well that it would be rejected. But it looked good on paper and online; it made them look conciliatory and helpful and, a day after their focus group had been leaked and two weeks after they cancelled the first block of games, this was necessary way to get inside the players’ P.R. fortress.
By setting up a situation where the league looked interested in saving the full schedule, then letting the players inevitably reject it, the NHL effectively restaged the cancellation of that first block of games and had people re-experience the frustration, this time with animosity directed towards the unyielding union. In short, nothing happened these last two weeks except a perfectly orchestrated ploy to win the P.R. tug of war ahead of today’s batch of cancellations. Here’s Bill Daly’s statement on the cancellations, which basically gives the whole plan away:
“The National Hockey League deeply regrets having to take this action. By presenting a proposal to the NHLPA that contemplated a fair division of revenues and was responsive to Player concerns regarding the value of their contracts, we had hoped to be able to forge a long-term Collective Bargaining Agreement that would have preserved an 82-game Regular Season for our fans. Unfortunately, that did not occur.”
I suspect that, if Bill Daly’s son was Max from Liar, Liar and today was the day after Max’s fifth birthday, this statement would be very different. If I weren’t such a diehard, these last two weeks would be enough for me to walk away from the game forever. Unfortunately, I am a diehard, so it pains me to no end to say that I didn’t watch this game.Continue Reading —›
While their may not be any NHL hockey right now, Nicklas Jensen is still giving Canucks fans something to get excited about. The Canucks’ first round draft pick in 2011 is in Sweden playing for AIK of the Elitserien (Swedish Elite League) and will apparently being staying there for the entire duration of the season, even if the lockout ends. That’s not exactly a bad thing, as he is currently making the most of his opportunity.
Jensen currently leads AIK (Allmänna Idrottsklubben Ishockeyförening) in goals, points, and shots on goal. He has 8 goals to go with 3 assists and has yet to go two games without a point. His 11 points in 15 games makes him tied for 15th in the SEL and he is 2nd in goals.
What’s remarkable is that he’s still only 19-years-old and playing against men. He leads all junior-aged players in goals, points, and shots and is second among junior players in average ice time, which Google awesomely translates as “Ice Age.”
The only potential red flag is his minus-3 rating, but it’s worth noting that AIK is one of the worst teams in the league with a 5-11 record and has below average goaltending. Jensen is far from the worst on his team and plus/minus is a tough statistic to judge out of context, but it’s something to keep in mind.
While you can catch highlights of all of AIK’s games on the SEL’s video site, I have compiled all 8 of Jensen’s goals into one nifty highlight package:Continue Reading —›
Tuesday night would have been the seventh game of the Canucks’s 2012-13 season, and already their fifth on the road and their fourth road game in six nights. It would have been the second night of a back-to-back after a tilt versus the Detroit Red Wings on Monday. It would have been against a Pittsburgh Penguins team represented by both Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin for the first time since November 17, 2010, an offensive powerhouse that the roadworn and weary Canucks would have had to face without Jason Garrison, Alex Edler or Ryan Kesler, who are all still injured. That’s one third of their defence and their best defensive centre out of the lineup for a matchup with Crosby and Malkin.
In short, the Canucks probably would have lost. But, because of the lockout, they didn’t lose, because there was no game. Thanks for looking out for us, lockout! Because of you, I didn’t watch this game.Continue Reading —›
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 quick topics.Continue Reading —›
On Monday night, the Canucks didn’t have their first meeting of the season with the Detroit Red Wings. Last season the two teams finished with identical 2-1-1 records against each other thanks to each team picking up a win after regulation. This means, of course, that the two teams are so evenly matched that absolutely nothing would have happened in this game, which, incidentally, is exactly what actually happened.
It would have been a complete stalemate, which would have been avoidable if the Canucks hadn’t traded Cody Hodgson, chess master, away. Way to go, Gillis.
I didn’t watch this game.Continue Reading —›
Two weeks ago, Dale Weise became the first (and, to date, only) Canuck to go overseas during the lockout, joining, of all teams, the Destily Trappers in Tilburg, Netherlands. The Trappers play in the Eredivisie, otherwise known as the Dutch hockey league, which Weise, along with many of us, only became aware of when they offered him a contract. After Googling it — and perhaps forgetting to specify “ice” hockey and coming across photos of the gold medal-winning Dutch field hockey team — the Canucks’ fourth liner couldn’t say no.
Okay, considering he brought his girlfriend along, he probably didn’t do it for the women. More than likely, it was the opportunity to be a star on par with Joe Simons. It’s hard to blame him for wanting to play as a big-minute skill guy for a little while, especially after a season in which the Canucks made it clear he’d be plying his trade in the NHL primarily as a fourth-line ruffian.
Look at him up there, ogling his number 88 jersey. Dale Weise is the Eric Lindros of Holland.
Weise got off to a hot start in Tilburg, scoring 34 seconds into his first shift. You can watch that goal as part of this video feature he did with Dutch media outlet NOS, who followed him on his first game day from his apartment to the Stappegoor IJssportcentrum Tilburg where the Trappers play.Continue Reading —›
By now, you could probably publish an anthology of the digital ink that’s been spilled speculating on Roberto Luongo’s next destination, and not just some sissy course-pack. This thing would rival the Norton Shakespeare with the writing of Thomas Drance alone — in the past month, at that.
Yeah, we’re still talking about Funny Bob. If you thought that the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement and the delay in getting a new one might put this topic on the back burner — especially since it’s literally impossible for Luongo to be traded right now — think again. Last week, John Shannon got things started right back up by saying that a deal to the Toronto Maple Leafs “done”.
What he meant, since he’s as aware as anybody that you can’t trade players without a CBA and hockey totally doesn’t have one of those right now, was that it’s “all but done”. I spoke to him on the phone over the weekend, and he clarified: “Here’s what I truly believe: with the information that I have, once the collective bargaining agreement is done and all the rules and regulations are in place, that a deal between Brian Burke and the Canucks will be made.”
Mike Gillis has since issued a full denial of Shannon’s report, but Shannon stuck to his guns in a Sportsnet piece over the weekend. Granted, this line tripped me up somewhat:
“I do not know who or what [Luongo] will be traded for, and believe it or not, I don’t think general managers Mike Gillis and Brian Burke know either. The rules of any new collective bargaining agreement will dictate the actual transaction.”
In other words, the deal is only all but done in the sense that it’s not done at all? Right on.
Gillis and Burke are negotiating, though, and I would suggest that the last five days aren’t just evidence of that — they are that. This deal, like the CBA, is being negotiated in public.Continue Reading —›
It’s remarkably easy to forget about a game that didn’t happen, particularly when your thoughts are occupied with games that did happen. On Friday and Saturday, the Canucks’ prospects were back in BC to play the Abbotsford Heat. Harrison was busy doing colour commentary, while I was busy taking notes and writing game recaps. We both completely missed the game that the Canucks didn’t play in Columbus on Friday.
We both panicked. How could we have forgotten? How could we write an I Didn’t Watch This Game post when we didn’t actually watch the game? Wait, hang on…
I didn’t watch this game.Continue Reading —›
Hungry like the Wolves is an ongoing feature on Pass it to Bulis during the lockout, wherein we keep an eye on the Canucks prospects and property currently playing for the Chicago Wolves as it’s the closest thing we’re going to get to Canucks hockey for quite some time.Continue Reading —›
Hungry like the Wolves is an ongoing feature on Pass it to Bulis during the lockout, wherein we keep an eye on the Canucks prospects and property currently playing for the Chicago Wolves as it’s the closest thing we’re going to get to Canucks hockey for quite some time. When the Canucks’ AHL affiliate flies [...]Continue Reading —›
The charity game between Bieksa’s Buddies and the UBC Thunderbirds was a massive hit, raising $100,000 for the Canucks for Kids Fund, Canucks Autism Network, and the Canucks Family Education Centre that was matched by a generous donation from Michael Bublé. It also gave an outlet for Canucks fans desperate to watch their favourite players actually playing hockey.
The game featured many of the elements you would see in a normal Canucks game: wizardous Sedinerie, a terrible second period, and a photograph of Chris Higgins’ remarkable abs. Well, actually, four photos of Chris Higgins’ abs.
So, here they are, I guess. If you’re into that sort of thing.Continue Reading —›
On Thursday, the Vancouver Canucks didn’t travel to Nashville to face the Suter-less Predators. They didn’t dole out the usual clichés about playing a simple road game and getting in on the forecheck. They didn’t show the game on TSN, Sportsnet Pacific, or Sportsnet One.
On the plus side, Henrik Sedin didn’t suffer a career-ending injury, Zack Kassian didn’t get suspended for the remainder of the regular season and playoffs for roundhouse-kicking Ryan Ellis in the face, and Cory Schneider didn’t come to blows with Alain Vigneault in the dressing room, leading to Schneider being traded to the Blackhawks just one day after Luongo was traded to the Leafs, leaving the Canucks with just Eddie Lack between the pipes.
All of those things would have surely happened during this game, if not for the lockout. I didn’t watch this game.Continue Reading —›
Wednesday night’s Bieksa’s Buddies charity event had a little bit of everything for Canucks fans. A stunning, five-goal third-period comeback capped off by wizardous sedinerie. Aaron Volpatti on defence for some reason. There was even goaltending controversy, what with Cory Schneider’s shaky play and that time UBC used three guys at once. But one thing [...]Continue Reading —›
The Vancouver Canucks showed an unprecedented level of support for the LGBT community this summer when they sent Jason Garrison and Manny Malhotra as representatives of the team at the Vancouver Gay Pride Parade, alongside Fin, You Can Play’s Patrick Burke, and openly gay hockey team the Vancouver Cutting Edge.
Now they’re going to be making another big statement: in honour of GLAAD’s Spirit Day on Friday, October 19th, they’ll be lighting up Rogers Arena in purple.Continue Reading —›
Here’s yet another reason that the NHL lockout needs to end right the heck now: the labour stoppage has robbed us of the glorious ending to the Roberto Luongo saga. It’s completely unfair and borderline torture to be left hanging in this way, like AMC making Breaking Bad fans wait a full year for the second half of season 5.
But, like that Youtube guy that perfectly predicted the season 4 finale, Sportsnet’s John Shannon claims to have figured out how this whole ordeal ends. On Wednesday, in a televised discussion with Nick Kypreos, Shannon said that the Canucks had a Luongo deal in place with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and the only thing holding up the deal is that, thanks to the lockout, Luongo doesn’t currently play for them.
Supposing the NHL’s current proposal is accepted and the season begins next month, Shannon had the following to say: “‘Roberto Luongo is staying in Canada, and will be a Toronto Maple Leaf by November 2nd.”Continue Reading —›
The Bieksa’s Buddies charity game was a massive success for two reasons: first, the event raised $200,000 for Canuck Place, the Canucks Autism Network, and the Canucks Family Education Centre — half of that from ticket sales, the other half when Michael Buble chose to match the total just before the cheque presentation and they had to scratch out the amount on the giant novelty cheque and double it.
The second reason the game was a success: it supplied a brief Canucks fix to the other victims — the poor, hapless fans that have long since forgotten how to spend their free time from October through April. Sure, it was fleeting and essentially meaningless. Bieksa’s Buddies only resembled the Canucks at times (like, say, when Cory Schneider was surrendering 3 goals on 9 shots because that’s what the Canucks’ starting goalie does in October), but it was just enough to scratch the itch. Count me among the scratched. I watched this charity game.Continue Reading —›
The Bieksa’s Buddies charity game goes Wednesday night at 7pm at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre at UBC. We’ll be there. So will Cathy Miller, who won our ticket giveaway. And, thanks to Wacey Hamilton, brother of UBC player Wyatt Hamilton, we’ve finally got some insight into who else will be in the house.
Bieksa has been hinting for weeks that there would be some surprises among the cast of characters that round out his team, and he wasn’t kidding. Here’s your full roster.Continue Reading —›
After the NHL faced the PR disaster of their market research focus group documents going public on Monday, they needed to do something quick to fix their image among hockey fans. The announcement of a new, seemingly reasonable CBA proposal with the aim of saving full 82-game season? That ought to do it.
While there is still a lot of work to be done in negotiations and time will tell how truly reasonable the offer is, the fact remains that this is the first real glimmer of hope that a deal could get done in time to save the 2012-13 season. The key for the owners, however, is that this offer is contingent on a deal being reached within the next 9-10 days, as they want a full 82-game season and all the revenue that entails.
In order to cram all those games in, the NHL schedule would need to get a lot more compressed, meaning more back-to-back games, more fatigue, and more risk of injuries.
Which means Mike Gillis might not want to trade Roberto Luongo after all.Continue Reading —›