Zack Kassian’s floater pass is amazing, and even moreso if he meant to do it [VIDEO]

Watch Zack Kassian play a few games and you’ll notice a major difference between the Canucks’ prospect and many of the power forwards to whom he’s often compared: the kid can pass the puck. Kassian’s size tends to be his most discussed trait — which is fair, since it’s the first thing you see when you look at him — but he has superb vision and playmaking ability for a big man.

Case in point: the absolutely insane floater pass Kassian made during a visit from the Abbotsford Heat over the weekend, setting up Darren Haydar for a highlight-reel powerplay goal. This, friends, is incredible.

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The top 30 Vancouver Canucks goals of 2012 (30 – 21)

For the past two years, we here at PITB have closed out the year with the top 50 goals. But this past year simply had a lot less Canucks hockey than we’ve grown accustomed to.

In 2010 and 2011, the postseason lasted longer than 5 games. (Heck, in 2011, considering how deep they went and how many pretty goals they scored, we could almost have done a top 50 playoff goals.) And in both years, they started playing hockey again in the fall. But in 2012, instead of 9 months of Vancouver Canucks games from which to choose our favourite 50 tallies, we got 4. That fact sadly in mind, we chose to pare it down a little.

On the bright side, this is still the Vancouver Canucks we’re talking about, so even though they were only active for one third of the calendar year, and even though it was hardly a banner year (except for another Presidents’ Trophy banner! All right!) they still managed to score a wide array of pretty, pretty goals. Let’s take a moment to appreciate their best, starting with 30-21.

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How Darren Archibald got his groove back

You would be forgiven if you had forgotten Darren Archibald. It’s been two years since the Canucks signed the power forward prospect as a free agent out of the OHL and he had completely disappeared from the spotlight. Archibald didn’t even merit a mention on Hockey’s Future’s list of the Canucks’ 20 best prospects, while he barely snuck in at #19 on Canucks’ Army’s similar list.

Archibald needed a strong 2012-13 for the simple reason that his contract expires after this season. For him, the NHL lockout could not have come at a worse time, as it crowded the Chicago Wolves’ roster, sending him once again to the Kalamazoo Wings of the ECHL.

Now, however, Archibald is back with the Wolves and has found his scoring touch at the AHL level. In just 11 games, Archibald has 6 goals, tying him for third on the team. It’s exactly the kind of hot streak he needed to get the Canucks’ attention and prove that he’s worth the investment of a contract extension.

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Unreal Canucks Gif Tournament: ‘Jarkko Ruutu, huge jerk’ vs ‘Dhalsim punch’

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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