Spitballin’ on Canucks fan Dustin Brown, Vigneault’s next destination, and Burrows on Twitter

Spitballin’ (or Super Pass ITBulis: 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.

***

Dear Vancouver, Dustin Brown once loved you

With the Kings and Sharks set to play a Game 7 Tuesday night, Los Angeles Kings’ captain Dustin Brown was asked about any Game 7 memories he had from growing up. His answer was a surprising one. The 1994 Stanley Cup Final, which you’ll recall featured a certain local team:

“One memory I have was the ’94 finals,” Brown said, via Mayor’s Manor. ”I was a Vancouver fan then, everyone else in my hometown was a Ranger fan. We all know how that turned out.”

Brown was then asked why he was a Canucks fan, a reasonable inquiry since a) he grew up in New York, and b) we always assumed being a Canucks fan isn’t a choice, it’s something you’re born with, because who would actively choose a life at odds with a society that doesn’t understand?

Snot-nosed hockey fans like Li’l Dustin Brown, that’s who. His answer: ”By default of everyone else being Ranger fans.”

Considering how that 1994′s Game 7 ended, we’ll assume Brown learned a valuable lesson about cheering for the Canucks to upset others: when all is said and done, the only one that will be upset is you.

Relive the Canucks’ season with all the depressing parts taken out

Late next month, we’ll be starting in on our annual every goal series, where we take a look at each and every tally the Canucks scored, player by player, but if you want to see them all in order now, you can. Youtuber VanCanucksForLife (who we’ll assume, from that handle, is a Canucks fan), has cut them all together in three separate videos, sorted by month.

Here’s January:

Here’s February:

Here’s March:

We’ll assume he’s hard at work on April, and that, like many Canucks fans, he’s going to pretend May never happened.

Alex Burrows joins Twitter, which means he also joins the line

Alex Burrows signed up for Twitter last week, perhaps after watching his teammates make fun of him all season without the ability to jump in and make things worse. While his arrival probably won’t start to yield much comedy gold until next season, Roberto Luongo likely won’t be here next season, so he had to start in right away. Funny Bob welcomed Burrows to the club appropriately:

 

Awesome. But it occurs to me that this line is woefully incomplete. If being on Twitter gets you a place in line, there are several Canucks that need to be added to this naked conga, post-haste. Someone get on that.

On Mike “The Inheritor” Gillis

We’ve all heard the criticism: Mike Gillis didn’t build this team. He just inherited it.

But as Rob the Hockey Guy points out in a quality blog post, it’s an empty criticism, since basically every successful GM since the dawn of time inherited critical components. Recommended reading.

Alain Vigneault will probably have a new job soon

The Dallas Stars, like the Vancouver Canucks, are in search of a new coach. They have a leg up, too, since Alain Vigneault, arguably the best guy on the market, is allowed to be on their list of candidates. Are they interested? Yeah, probably, especially since Vigneault and new Stars’ GM Jim Nill go way back. From Mike Heika at the Dallas News:

Nill played with Vigneault while both were in the Blues organization back in the early ‘80s, and the two also were a part of the Ottawa Senators in the early ‘90s, when Nill was a scout and Vigneault was an assistant coach.

[...] “I think that’s always going to play a role in any hiring you do,’’ said Nill. “You’re always going to be more comfortable with someone you know.’’

Of course, Nill isn’t the only member of the Stars Vigneault knows well. Between the beloved Aaron Rome and his favourite comedian Vernon Fiddler, if Dallas comes a-courting, Vigneault will likely go a-coaching.

Jannik Hansen as Ric Flair? Jannik Hansen as Ric Flair.

Finally, thanks to Canucks Army for tipping us to this great post we missed at Smug Nation in which several members of the Vancouver Canucks are photoshopped onto the bodies of professional wrestlers. Jannik Hansen as Ric Flair is downright incredible:

Be sure to check out the rest. Daniel and Henrik Sedin as Owen and Bret Hart, respectively, is pretty fantastic.

Tags: , ,

22 comments

  1. mb13
    May 28, 2013

    It’s not an “empty criticism”. It’s a valid one.

    On his hiring, he was asked how close is the team to the Stanley Cup – he replied it’s not close.

    Then the team that goes to the Stanley Cup (and loses – unlike the other GMs mentioned) includes 2 goalies, 3 of top 4 dmen, 4 of 6 top two line forwards and a coach from the “not close” team.

    He would have taken ALL the credit if they won. It’s a two way street. I love seeing him hate his job now that he can’t deliver on his over-promising. He’s a joke of a GM and he’ll be more and more exposed as each year passes. It’s a results business and his results have been getting worse and worse as he has put more and more of his stamp on this roster.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: -8 (from 18 votes)
    • ikillchicken
      May 28, 2013

      ” It’s a results business” is just something people say to justify their knee jerk reactions when real, rational analysis of the situation does not.

      Right now you’re just playing games with numbers. If you look at who Gillis actually added instead of trying to boil it down to x/y players it becomes quite obvious how significant a change he made. Hamhuis is our best defenseman. He has been since we signed him. So yeah, it may have just been one addition but it was a pretty major one. And yes, technically Erhoff wasn’t a top 4 defenseman. But that’s because we had a wealth of excellent defensemen. Erhoff would have been a top 4 guy on most other teams. It was a major addition no matter how you choose to quantify it.

      At forward he made some important changes too. Samuelsson was big for us before getting hurt. And Higgins was an important pickup too who stepped into the top 6 after that. Torres was also a wonderful bargain pickup that gave us some great grit on the 3rd line. And of course there was Malhotra. You really cannot dismiss how key he was just because he was a 3rd liner. And then there’s Lapierre as well who ended up being a pretty key addition after Malhotra went down. Are any of these guys on their own complete game changers? No. (Hamhuis is). But the sum of their parts gave us a very much retooled middle 6 which was precisely what we needed to support our top line and Kesler.

      Without a doubt, Gillis did inherit a great top line a stellar goalie and a few good defensemen. But there are plenty of teams that have those things and yet fail to go to the finals. He added precisely the kind of secondary guys we needed to succeed. And it’s easy to dismiss this as minor but how many times did the previous regime FAIL to add these kind of players? If you need a reminder of just how atrocious we’d been at adding secondary guys just look at the title of this blog. Suddenly “just” adding Sammy, Higgins, Torres, Malhotra, Lapierre, Erhoff, and Hamhuis doesn’t look so bad.

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +14 (from 14 votes)
      • akidd
        May 28, 2013

        nice post, ikillcchicken! yup, gilis made some good calls and… some not so good calls. you can add garrison to the ‘good’ list. the ‘bad’ list has, besides the ballard/booth/roy obvious, strange selections like sturm, barker and sestito.

        there’s a jekyl/hyde element to gillis. sometimes he’s right on and sometimes he’s whacked.

        and ya, gillis hardly inherited a cup team. when he arrived the sedins had just become point-a-game guys and kesler and burrows were 3rd-line grinders. is gillis repsonsible for their ascension? you can’t say it’s all gillis but you gotta give him some credit for creating an environment and support so these key players could ‘be all that they could be.’

        it’s way to easy to just go pointing fingers when things go wrong. gillis has made a few mistakes. for sure. but he’s hardly a ‘joke’. that’s just ridiculous. best team in canuck history and the gm is a joke?!? it’s hard to take that kind of observation seriously. it comes off like ignorant bravado.

        he shoulda paid erhoff though.

        .

        VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
        Rating: +8 (from 10 votes)
        • Justin
          May 28, 2013

          I think I could jump on the GMMG is alright and this team is elite team if the Canucks regularly made it out of/past the first round. The thing is, he inherited a team that was on its way (much like how Burke inherited Brian Murray’s Anaheim team). While Burkie was able to put the Ducks over the top by having Neidermeyer and Pronger fall into his lap, Gillis wasn’t quite able to get the Canucks to the Promised Land. Winning the Stanley Cup is hard. Only one team can do it and there have been 9 different winners in the last 10 years (thanks to Chris the Curmudgeon for info and thanks to Gary Bettman for it not being 9 in 9). But the run to the cup is starting to look more like 82/94…an anomaly in an otherwise disappointing string of years. As much as I love winning President’s trophies, I would tear down every banner for a Vancouver Canucks – Stanley Cup Champions one.

          GMMG has been a bit too erratic for my liking. For every Hamhuis, there is a Demitra signing. For every Garrison trade, there is a Ballard trade. For every Higgins signing, there is a Luongo signing (with that said, I’d like to see Abs show up in the playoffs). I’m happy that everyone is now on the “this is Gillis’ team” train, as if it fails again, we know where to point the barrel. Bring on 2013-2014

          VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
          Rating: +5 (from 7 votes)
          • ikillchicken
            May 28, 2013

            I don’t know about that. I agree that Ballard was just a disaster, but otherwise…I don’t see nearly as many supposedly bad moves. Gillis has made at least 4 significant acquisitions (Hamhuis, Garrison, Erhoff, Malhotra), several nice depth pickups (Sammy, Higgins, Lappy, Torres, and maybe Alberts too to a lesser degree). Oh, and I forgot to mention before, Tanev. That was an absolutely excellent signing. And on top of that he’s locked up the Sedins, Kesler, Bieksa, Edler, Burrows, and Schneider all at well below market value. I guess to some degree it depends how you interpret his more controversial moves like Luongo and Booth. But even assuming those qualify as bad moves (I don’t think they do at all) I still think he’s clearly made many more good moves than bad.

            VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
            Rating: +5 (from 7 votes)
            • akidd
              May 29, 2013

              so if burkie was able to put the ducks over the top why wasn’t he able to put the westcoast express canucks over the top? it goes both ways. but gillis somehow was able to get the canucks to game 7 of the final. on the flip-flip-side the guy after gillis probably won’t be accused of piggybacking:)

              gillis has done really well in a lot of indirect but important ways aspects. he’s:

              1)attracted top free agents
              2)addressed west coast travel and sleep concerns
              3)gotten the most out of the players he inherited
              4) signed re-signed core under market value.

              he:

              4)has done great community things
              5) has made his owner tons of money
              6) completely captured the everyone’s attention in 10/11. completely.

              gillis has also:

              7) provided an entertaining product. this is huge. he knows we like to watch. he gets it. (and this is the key. the owners may just want to win at this point. pride. revenue. hence their tippet preference for the coaching job. that’s the battle that’s probably raging right now. can gillis stick to his guns and keep delivering attacking hockey? i sure hope so.)

              player-wise he was on the right track but hit a speed bump. some bad moves. av suffocating the young ‘uns. messing up coho pretty good. not all good i agree. but he’s signed some good dmen. and i still think kassian has a lot to give. booth and ballard were knee-jerk.(no more panthers mike! bad! stay away from the whole conference!)

              gillis has hit a bit of a dry spell recently but his record overall is still outstanding. perhaps this upcoming ‘biggest decision a gm can make’ will snap him out of it. the next coach of your vancouver canucks is a pretty big deal indeed!…indeed…indeed…….indeeeeeed……..!

              VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
              Rating: +1 (from 5 votes)
              • mb13
                May 29, 2013

                I love the euphemisms. His failures have been described as “dry spell”, “”speed bump”, etc.

                Remember, one Patrick Sharpe shot that doesn’t hit Luongo the crest and the Canucks are 3 straight first round exits.

                Anyways – how much credit can you give Gillis? How much did he contribute to Kessler, Sedins development? Lets see? Kesler was trending in points per game as follows: 2003/04 – .1785; 2005/06 – .2804; 2006/07 – .333; 2007/08 – .4625 … notice a trend here… trends like this tend to continue.

                Play the same game with Henrik and Daniel. Is Gillis now going to be at fault for the Sedins moving from 1.2 points/game to .9 points/game? Or did he inherit two excellent players coming into their absolute primes? and now has them during their downslope?

                I chuckle at all the Gillis love. Like I said, give him 3 years and we’ll see how good of a GM he is…. you know… when he has to find his own top line talent (can’t always pick up guys as free agents)… when he has to deal with aging veterans… and when he has to look within and wonder where all the young talent is… I’m going to grab my popcorn and enjoy this for the next couple of years – the best part will be PITB trying to justify why Mike Gillis is still good when he’s not :)

                VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
                Rating: +1 (from 5 votes)
              • Tom 1040
                May 29, 2013

                mb13,

                What an excellent post – IMO.

                I completely agree.

                I wonder if PITB and Gillis have crossed paths? I have asked Daniel if they have ever met but he chooses not to respond.

                Could you ask him as well?

                I find their Gillis love like Tony ‘the shill’ Gallagher’s: ridiculous.

                Anyway, enjoyed your post.

                VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
                Rating: 0 (from 2 votes)
              • Aaron
                May 30, 2013

                Awsome discussion guys! I know Booth didn’t work out so well and Roy dissapeared in the Playoffs but if some one told you before the trades that would have happened would you have believed it? (Were there any other good options other than Roy at that point) I think they were good moves that went wrong not bad deciscions. Now on to Ballard I still can’t understand why a D-man that can skate end to end score goals is forced to change his game against his strengths. I say he needs to be deployed the right way and he will flurish. If you dont want him on D why not as a winger? Finally Kassian shows a ton of promise I look forward to seeing what he can do in the future. Only time will tell. I say Give GMMG a chance this is where he will shine or fail!

                VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
                Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
              • Daniel Wagner
                May 30, 2013

                I thought Roy would do much better in Vancouver than he did, but I would have actually preferred that Mike Gillis pick up Jussi Jokinen on waivers for the third line centre role, which wouldn’t have cost the Canucks any assets. That said, it was thoroughly surprising how ineffective he was after the trade, particularly in the playoffs.

                VN:F [1.9.16_1159]
                Rating: 0 (from 2 votes)
  2. Sid
    May 28, 2013

    Well, at least Viggy will be reunited with Aaron Rome.

    And he can hang out and have some yuks with Fiddler, too.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +5 (from 5 votes)
  3. Ryley
    May 28, 2013

    “Brown was then asked why he was a Canucks fan, a reasonable inquiry since a) he grew up in New York, and b) we always assumed being a Canucks fan isn’t a choice, it’s something you’re born with, because who would actively choose a life at odds with a society that doesn’t understand?
    Snot-nosed hockey fans like Li’l Dustin Brown, that’s who. His answer: ”By default of everyone else being Ranger fans.”
    Considering how that 1994′s Game 7 ended, we’ll assume Brown learned a valuable lesson about cheering for the Canucks to upset others: when all is said and done, the only one that will be upset is you.”

    My life as a Vancouver Canuck fan summed up perfectly in a few short sentences. Pure brilliance.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +9 (from 9 votes)
  4. PB
    May 28, 2013

    Wow that will just add to the love for the Canucks around the league given how popular a player Brown is. Now that I know that he’s from Ithaca it all sort of makes sense since he has an undefinable Andy Bernard quality to him…

    Excellent link to the inheritor debunking. It’s nice to see an actual rational debate on Gillis’ merits — and to be sure he’ll be under the gun now, much as AV was this year. The Gillis bashing has reached bizarrely epic proportions from the armchair crew (see mb13 above). But of course if any one of THEM were in charge we would have championship teams year after year because running an actual franchise is exactly the same as EA or fantasy sports and you can always predict every time someone is going to end up becoming David Perron and not Patrick White.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +5 (from 5 votes)
    • J21 (@Jyrki21)
      May 29, 2013

      Andy is from Connecticut, though — he just went to Cornell.

      From my experience in the Finger Lakes, it’s Sabres’ territory, not Rangers. Was surprised to read that.

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  5. the real bob
    May 28, 2013

    AV to Dallas to be reunited with Rome, the greatest bromance ever told

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +7 (from 7 votes)
    • Amor de Cosmos
      May 29, 2013

      AV to Broadway? He’d be their kind of signing I think.

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
      • akidd
        May 29, 2013

        braodway makes more sense. basically, av has his pick so why go to dallas? big time coach, big time market, i’d think.

        VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
        Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  6. ktownfan
    May 29, 2013

    Yes, every GM inherits players. Nature of the business. But, unless things change the next GM sure as heck won’t. Where the Canucks have been very poor under the Gillis regime is going to rear it’s head over the next couple years.

    So far GMMG has had 30 draft picks since he took over the team. Of those 30, 1 is a regular NHL player, but not for our team. Cody Hodgson.

    Even the players on the cusp, Schroeder, Corrado, Gaunce (maybe) and Jensen, none of those are what would be considered difference makers. Hockey futures ranks the Canucks 29th out of 30 teams in prospects.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +1 (from 3 votes)
    • Tom 1040
      May 29, 2013

      It’s the trainers’ faults.

      (and good post ktownfan).

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  7. Tom 1040
    May 29, 2013

    On another note…

    Playoff pick update.

    Gee, I went 4 for 4.

    Pittsburgh in 5. Pittsburgh in 5 indeed.
    Boston in 6. Boston in 5.
    Chicago in 5. Chicago in 7.
    LA in 5. LA in 7 (Rats, I was cheering for SJ).

    After going 7 for 8 in the first round, I am a heady 11 for 12.

    ‘Moonacy’, absolute ‘moonacy’.

    Picks for next round, anyone?

    LA in 6.
    Boston in 6.

    And, I will likely repost this info. :)

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: -3 (from 3 votes)
    • ned
      June 1, 2013

      dude, nobody cares

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  8. mb13
    May 30, 2013

    What ever happened to Tom Larscheid?

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)