Nolan Baumgartner was preparing for his 17th season of professional hockey when the Canucks approached him with a better idea: retire, they said, and we’ll help you transition into coaching.
“I wasn’t gonna retire at all,” Baumgartner told us back in October. “I was gonna play a a few more years.”
Instead, Baumgartner seized the opportunity, which would allow him to get in his first reps as a coach in a great situation, as part of an organization he respected and under a coach he admired in Scott Arniel. Sure, he might have been able to play a little longer, but if coaching was in his future, this was a head start he couldn’t pass up. So Baumgartner retired, shifting from the Chicago Wolves’ blueline corps to their coaching corps.
I suspect the Vancouver Canucks are hoping the Manny Malhotra situation will have the same happy ending. Here’s a guy that has already shown the leadership, intelligence, and skill necessary to move behind the bench. He’s run drills for the team before. He’s mentored and instructed prospects on defensive positioning, posture and faceoffs. The organizations believes Malhotra’s got all the necessary tools to coach, and, since they also believe he no longer has the necessary tools to play the game safely, it would appear they believe now is the time to make that transition.
But Malhotra doesn’t appear to feel the same way.Continue Reading —›
The Canucks are going to be in a very strange and unfamiliar situation on Tuesday: everyone will be healthy. Or, at least, as healthy as they can possibly be this season, considering Manny Malhotra is evidently done. On Sunday night, Alain Vigneault made the announcement that David Booth was cleared to play and would be back in the lineup at some point during the Canucks’ upcoming four-game road trip.
Astonishingly, in the time it took Ryan Kesler and David Booth to return to game action, no one else on the roster suffered a new injury, meaning the Canucks needed to clear a roster spot to reincorporate the shoot-first winger. With Jordan Schroeder playing well, that left three options: Andrew Ebbett, Andrew Alberts, and Cam Barker.
Because the Canucks are committed to keeping both Alberts and Barker in the package, where they’ll be worth more someday, Ebbett was placed on waivers Monday. Like the rest of the Canucks, he’ll be heading to Chicago. Unlike the rest of the Canucks, he’ll be staying there, so long as he doesn’t get picked up by another team.
Let’s take a look at what Booth’s health means for the Canucks (beyond the fact that they’ll be able to play him now).Continue Reading —›
Last last month, Alex Burrows wowed everyone with an audacious shootout move versus the LA Kings, attempting a forehand spin-o-rama on Jonathan Quick, followed by a couple of late jukes and a seeing-eye snapshot just inside the post. Of course, it wasn’t “Wow, that was nifty,” so much as “Wow, that was embarrassing.” The move failed completely when Quick refused to bite — ironically — and Burrows wound up looking pretty darn foolish.
It was an eminently mockable move, and the hockey world took full advantage. Even Roberto Luongo joined in on Twitter. On Sunday, however, it was Luongo’s turn to look foolish and get mocked.Continue Reading —›