2012 in Review: An exhaustive Canucks retrospective

It’s time, once again, for PITB’s annual, exhaustive, retrospective compilation of all the major Canucks stories of the year that was, and let us just say this: compared to 2011, 2012 was lame.

Granted, when 2011 featured a run to the Stanley Cup Final, a boatload of NHL awards, and a nude Ryan Kesler, 2012 was in tough to come anywhere near it. But between the whole “getting eliminated in the first round” thing and the NHL lockout, which was a major buzzkill, it was like 2012 didn’t even try. Come on, 2012. You embarrassed yourself. (On the bright side, there’s almost no way 2013 can suck this much.)

But before we say goodbye to this crappy year, let’s take one final look back at the rise and fall of Cody Hodgson, the seeming end of the Roberto Luongo era in Vancouver, the Canucks’ second consecutive Presidents Trophy, and all the things David Booth killed. My friends, it’s all here (except for the stuff we forgot).

What was your favourite moment of 2012?

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Unreal Canucks Gif Tournament: ‘Sedins in sync’ vs. ‘Henrik Sedin, drum major’

Introducing the Unreal Canucks GIF Tournament, a quest to determine which Canucks GIF is the greatest in existence. We’ve narrowed it down to 32 candidates, divided into four divisions then seeded, one through eight. Now we need your help. An important note: this isn’t just something to do while the players and the owners waste time bickering over who should get what’s left of the money they’re burning — it’s also a super-important initiative. After all, if we don’t do this, how else will we know? AND WE MUST KNOW.

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Unreal Canucks Gif Tournament: Second Round Results

The second round of PITB’s first ever Unreal Canucks Gif Tournament, a lark we put together to pass the time between Canuck games, which is now at six months and counting, was a lot more predictable than the first. Round 1 saw upsets galore, proving that either the democratic process makes fools of us all (except for Nate Silver), or Daniel and I are just crap at rankings. Maybe our tastes are simply too outside the mainstream. It is entirely possible that we’re dorks. Oh no, what if we’re dorks!

Anyway. Let’s take a look at the results of round two.

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Jannik Hansen sets up a goal, gets thrown out for ‘violence’ and ‘behaviour’ in centre debut (VIDEO)

When we last checked in on Jannik Hansen (like, four hours ago), the locked-out Danish winger had recommitted to Tappara for the duration of the season and was in the midst of his first game as an SM-Liiga first-line centre. Well, that contest is over, and it didn’t go well. Tappara’s first game after the Christmas break was a 5-1 loss at the hands of HIFK. However, for our purposes, the game was a rousing success, because unlike Hansen’s previous 15 games, he was very visible in this one.

In Hansen’s debut in the middle, his line combined for 15 shots, with Hansen registering 5 of them. What’s more, he finished a goal shy of the Gordie Howe Hat trick. He assisted on his club’s first and only tally early in the game, a nice setup on a 3-on-2 rush where Hansen used his speed through the neutral zone to draw both defenders to him before feeding Ville Neiminen for the goal. And as for the fight, the first Finnish fisticuffs of Hansen’s SM-Liiga career: that was the result of Hansen taking a nasty run at an HIFK defender late in the game, once it had become a blowout.

Both the goal and the fight are included in this six-minute highlight package (which also features the abysmal Tappara goaltending that cost them the game). The goal comes at 1:10, the fight comes at 4:10, and I remind you that Hansen is wearing his usual number 36 for Tappara:

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Jannik Hansen extends contract with Tappara, shifts to centre ice

We haven’t heard a whole lot from Jannik Hansen since the Danish forward packed up and headed to Tappara in Finland to ply his trade during the NHL lockout, at least in comparison to the other two Canucks currently playing overseas. While Dale Weise continues to light it up in the Netherlands (he’s up to 42 points in 16 games now), and Cory Schneider is making appearances on the highlight reel, albeit as the victim, Hansen has just quietly fit into his team, the way he often does. The best we could do was an infographic on his sponsor-heavy jersey, which may as well have just been a full-page ad for Olvi soft drinks.

But we do have some Hansen news for you, finally.

First, while a number of NHLers used the Christmas break as a sort of drop-dead date for their overseas sojourns, with Erik Karlsson, SM-Liiga’s top-scoring defenceman, deciding on Thursday to be one of them, Hansen agreed on the same day to stay in Tappara for the remainder of the season (unless the NHL lockout ends).

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Watch Cory Schneider get bamboozled by Patrick Kane’s infamous fiftuple deke [VIDEO]

Like Christmas, Patrick Kane’s deke-tastic shootout move seems to only come but once a year (and appears to be a December special). The Chicago Blackhawks’ winger first debuted the move on December 14, 2011, drifting in slow, making more stickhandles in one rush up-ice than some guys make in a career, then beating a fully-undressed Niklas Backstrom.

Kane was forced to take his talent overseas due to the lockout this year, meaning his special move came not as a Blackhawk but as a member of Switzerland’s EHC Biel. The opponent: HC Ambri-Piotta, whose pipes are currently being minded by our very own Cory Schneider. Here’s the C-wall getting dismantled by Kane’s “Gordon Bombay on narcotics” hyper-dangles.

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Mason ‘Excellence’ Raymond unable to stay off feet, ironically; signs with Orebro in Sweden

Mason Raymond is known for his struggles to stay on his feet. It is his burden. But on Thursday, in a grand cosmic irony, we learned that the Canuck winger was having a hard time staying off his feet.

It’s for this reason that Raymond has become the fourth Canuck to say nuts to this noise and head overseas, signing a month-long deal with Örebro of Sweden’s HockeyAllsvenskan, the nation’s second-tier league.

(Again, that’s Örebro. Not to be confused with ouroboros, the snake that eats its own tail, or Cerebro, the mutant location device built by Professor Xavier and Magneto. Also, Örebro is not, as some have suggested, Oregon for bros.)

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Unreal Canucks Gif Tournament: ‘Dhalsim Punch’ vs. ‘Superman Punch’

Continuing the Unreal Canucks GIF Tournament, a quest to determine which Canucks GIF is the greatest in existence. We’ve narrowed it down to 32 candidates, divided into four divisions then seeded, one through eight. Now we need your help. An important note: this isn’t just something to do while the players and the owners waste time bickering over who should get what’s left of the money they’re burning — it’s also a super-important initiative. After all, if we don’t do this, how else will we know? AND WE MUST KNOW.

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Very merry Christmas from Pass it to Bulis

Happy holidays from the crew here at Pass it to Bulis — or, should we say, Pass it to Yule-is. (No, we shouldn’t say. That’s dumb.) We hope your Christmas is teeming with merriment, mirth, and mixed drinks. To get the party started, here’s your annual Chris Higgins Christmas card.

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Spitballin’ on the flying skate logo, newly locked-out Canucks, and Kevin Bieksa dressed as an elf

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.

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Unreal Canucks Gif Tournament: ‘Jarkko Ruutu, huge jerk’ vs. ‘Jannik Hansen, infrequent goal-scorer’

Continuing the Unreal Canucks GIF Tournament, a quest to determine which Canucks GIF is the greatest in existence. We’ve narrowed it down to 32 candidates, divided into four divisions then seeded, one through eight. Now we need your help. An important note: this isn’t just something to do while the players and the owners waste time bickering over who should get what’s left of the money they’re burning — it’s also a super-important initiative. After all, if we don’t do this, how else will we know? AND WE MUST KNOW.

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Unreal Canucks Gif Tournament: ‘Daniel Sedin gets Keslurked’ vs. ‘Ryan Kesler, Lord of the pommel horse’

Introducing the Unreal Canucks GIF Tournament, a quest to determine which Canucks GIF is the greatest in existence. We’ve narrowed it down to 32 candidates, divided into four divisions then seeded, one through eight. Now we need your help. An important note: this isn’t just something to do while the players and the owners waste time bickering over who should get what’s left of the money they’re burning — it’s also a super-important initiative. After all, if we don’t do this, how else will we know? AND WE MUST KNOW.

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The late Luc Bourdon honoured in his hometown with bronze statue

It was May 29th, 2008 in Lamèque, New Brunswick, just a few minutes outside of his hometown of Shippagan. Luc Bourdon lost control of his recently-purchased motorcycle and collided head-on with a tractor trailer.

He was just 21 years old.

It was a tragic end to a young life filled with promise and it was especially devastating to the community of Shippagan.

On Sunday, a bronze statue of Bourdon was erected in his hometown of Shippagan, New Brunswick in front of the same arena where thousands mourned his passing at his funeral. Despite his passing, Bourdon still stands as an inspiration for young hockey players dreaming of playing in the NHL despite coming from such a small town.

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David Booth responds to heated debate over his beliefs with Bible verses, of course

When it comes down to it, I think we’d all prefer to be debating David Booth the player than David Booth the prayer right about now, but as long as the day’s progress in CBA negotiations is little more than Bill Daly saying “yes” to a yes or no question about whether or not there will be a season and Donald Fehr saying “I hope he’s right”, hockey is still a ways off.

Thus, we have all the time in the world to have arguments about who David Booth is off the ice.

I said my piece yesterday and I stand by it. I disagree with the vast majority of what David Booth says, but I don’t think he merits the overreactions and attacks his words often draw. The guy’s usage of Twitter may be a public relations fiasco; he may be leaving himself completely wide open for attacks; and, he may align himself with some public figures — Mike Huckabee, Ravi Zacharias — that have espoused a handful of opinions I find loathsome (although I would remind that Booth has not pushed any these opinions himself), but the utter contempt some people spew at him is tactless and unnecessary nonetheless.

But here’s the thing: speaking of respectful disagreement, that piece saw plenty. And the discussion eventually made it around to Booth himself.

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Unreal Canucks Gif Tournament: ‘Sedins in sync’ vs. ‘Daniel Sedin, soccer star’

Introducing the Unreal Canucks GIF Tournament, a quest to determine which Canucks GIF is the greatest in existence. We’ve narrowed it down to 32 candidates, divided into four divisions then seeded, one through eight. Now we need your help. An important note: this isn’t just something to do while the players and the owners waste time bickering over who should get what’s left of the money they’re burning — it’s also a super-important initiative. After all, if we don’t do this, how else will we know? AND WE MUST KNOW.

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In defence of David Booth, who really shouldn’t need defending

One unfortunate aspect of professional athletes using Twitter is that it leads, invariably, to a greater insight into what they think.

Of course, this isn’t the end of the world if their views happen to line up with yours. But if they don’t, for many, that’s a problem.

I’ve never been quite sure as to why; an athlete’s worldview has no bearing on whether they can succeed at their sport. Unless the athlete is espousing a racist, violent, or homophobic (i.e. harmful) ideology, I don’t really see that what they believe is anybody’s business. But for some, it’s not enough for the athlete to do sports well — he or she also has see the world the right way (i.e. their way).

I think it’s a foolish approach to sports fandom that only increases the avenues through which a member of your favourite team can disappoint you.

Since descending on Twitter, David Booth has disappointed many. His right-wing views have offended the sensibilities of Vancouver’s left-leaning populace, and in the midst of this lockout, where he can’t possibly score the goals necessary to mitigate the importance of who he is off the ice (let’s call this “the Todd Bertuzzi effect”), public opinion of the Canuck winger only drops.

But it really isn’t fair. Sure, Booth’s opinions don’t reflect the consensus in Metro Vancouver, but the flak he gets over voicing them is completely unreasonable.

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Unreal Canucks Gif Tournament: ‘Lord of the Dance’ vs. ‘Woo!’

Continuing the Unreal Canucks GIF Tournament, a quest to determine which Canucks GIF is the greatest in existence. We’ve narrowed it down to 32 candidates, divided into four divisions then seeded, one through eight. Now we need your help. An important note: this isn’t just something to do while the players and the owners waste time bickering over who should get what’s left of the money they’re burning — it’s also a super-important initiative. After all, if we don’t do this, how else will we know? AND WE MUST KNOW.

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Kesler and Bieksa host street hockey game with Cabbie, are terrible actors [VIDEO]

A couple weeks ago, Kevin Bieksa and Ryan Kesler teamed up with Cabral “Cabbie” Richards for an impromptu street hockey game under the Cambrie Bridge (site of one of the great music videos of our time).

Also, Jason Garrison was there.

TSN waited until last Friday to put up Cabbie’s segment on the game and, this weekend, it finally made it to YouTube.. I’ve been a big fan of Cabbie since his days on The Score. He seems to always be able to get athletes to let down their guard, leading to great interviews and a lot of humour.

This time around, however, Cabbie doesn’t say a word through the entire segment, letting Kesler and Bieksa take the reins. That was either a horrible, horrible mistake or one of the best things he’s ever done, depending on how much you like the unintentional humour of terrible acting. We like it a lot.

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Unreal Canucks Gif Tournament: ‘Henrik Sedin, drum major’ vs. ‘Swedish twins getting down’

Introducing the Unreal Canucks GIF Tournament, a quest to determine which Canucks GIF is the greatest in existence. We’ve narrowed it down to 32 candidates, divided into four divisions then seeded, one through eight. Now we need your help. An important note: this isn’t just something to do while the players and the owners waste time bickering over who should get what’s left of the money they’re burning — it’s also a super-important initiative. After all, if we don’t do this, how else will we know? AND WE MUST KNOW.

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Unreal Canucks Gif Tournament: ‘Luongo likes it, puts ring on it’ vs. ‘Good night Detroit’

Introducing the Unreal Canucks GIF Tournament, a quest to determine which Canucks GIF is the greatest in existence. We’ve narrowed it down to 32 candidates, divided into four divisions then seeded, one through eight. Now we need your help. An important note: this isn’t just something to do while the players and the owners waste time bickering over who should get what’s left of the money they’re burning — it’s also a super-important initiative. After all, if we don’t do this, how else will we know? AND WE MUST KNOW.

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Frank Corrado, despite not being terrible, gets cut from Team Canada

Not long ago, Frank Corrado would have been a long shot to even get invited to Team Canada’s World Junior selection camp, let alone be in the running for a spot on the squad. A stellar season, as well as a fine showing for Team OHL versus Russia in the Subway Super Series, earned him the invite. After that, he let his play do the talking, scoring twice in exhibition while exhibiting his usual strong defence and physicality.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to earn a spot on a very deep blueline for Canada, as he was the first player cut on Thursday.

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Unreal Canucks Gif Tournament: ‘Roberto Luongo, handsome person’ vs. ‘Luongo’s oh face’

Introducing the Unreal Canucks GIF Tournament, a quest to determine which Canucks GIF is the greatest in existence. We’ve narrowed it down to 32 candidates, divided into four divisions then seeded, one through eight. Now we need your help. An important note: this isn’t just something to do while the players and the owners waste time bickering over who should get what’s left of the money they’re burning — it’s also a super-important initiative. After all, if we don’t do this, how else will we know? AND WE MUST KNOW.

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Unreal Canucks Gif Tournament: First Round Results

The first round of PITB’s first ever Unreal Canucks Gif Tournament has drawn to a close and it was everything we hoped it would be: fun, dramatic, and exciting, but most of all, a welcome respite from the doom and gloom of the ongoing NHL lockout.

There were a number of close battles and tight races, as well as a fair share of upsets. A few of our favourite gifs got eliminated. I swear, Harrison wept when “Luongo gives birth to Bieksa” got knocked out by “Good Night Detroit.” I was distraught to see “Maxim Lapierre’s Low-Five” brought low by the humble simplicity of “Woo!” But that is the beauty of this contest: what the people want, the people get.

Below, you will find complete results of the first round of voting, as well as match-ups for the second round, which is when things will really get interesting. Will any of our powerhouse number one seeds go down in the second round? Can any gif beat “Jarkko Ruutu, huge jerk”? Stay tuned.

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Patrick McNally kicked off Harvard hockey team for learning nothing from a class about Congress

Patrick McNally was the Canucks first pick in the 2010 draft, taken in the 4th round because Vancouver traded the three prior picks away for — brace yourselves — Keith Ballard, Steve Bernier, and Andrew Alberts.

McNally was a highly-touted prospect but he dropped to the fourth round because most teams were put off by plans to go to yucky ol’ Harvard. A degree from Harvard may impress, but they aren’t known for churning out NHL ready prospects.

The Canucks, on the other hand, love them some college players and snapped him up at 115th overall, fully comfortable with McNally playing for the Crimson and living the life of a Harvard athlete, which includes developing as a player, furthering himself intellectually, and having an idea for a social networking site stolen by a vengeful tech prodigy.

Unfortunately, McNally doesn’t play for the Crimson anymore. The offensive defenceman was one of four students kicked off the team’s 2012-13 roster for what appears to be his involvement in an academic scandal.

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Unreal Canucks Gif Tournament: ‘Ryan Kesler, Lord of the Pommel Horse’ vs. ‘Keslurk workout’

Introducing the Unreal Canucks GIF Tournament, a quest to determine which Canucks GIF is the greatest in existence. We’ve narrowed it down to 32 candidates, divided into four divisions then seeded, one through eight. Now we need your help. An important note: this isn’t just something to do while the players and the owners waste time bickering over who should get what’s left of the money they’re burning — it’s also a super-important initiative. After all, if we don’t do this, how else will we know? AND WE MUST KNOW.

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