It’s time, once again, for PITB’s annual, exhaustive, retrospective compilation of all the major Canucks stories of the year that was, and in order to get a sense of this year, we turn you over to what we wrote about 2012.
“It was like 2012 didn’t even try,” we said. “Come on, 2012. You embarrassed yourself. (On the bright side, there’s almost no way 2013 can suck this much.)”
So, yeah. About that. 2013 was pretty bad. Was it worse than 2012? That’s debatable. But it’s close, and part of me suspects it might be our fault for saying it couldn’t be.
That in mind, let’s try a different approach this time around. At least 2014 can’t get any better, right? Here’s our year in review.
– JANUARY –
- Jan. 5 – Exiled to Sweden because of the NHL lockout, Mason Raymond scores his first and only goal for Orebro of the HockeyAllsvenskan.
- Jan. 6 – The NHL lockout ends, meaning Dale Weise’s time as the best hockey player in the country ends when he has to leave the Netherlands and report back to Canada.
- Jan. 7 – Zack Kassian appears on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Not in person, though. A classic image of his toothless face is used in a sketch called “Hockey mouth or meth mouth?“
- Jan. 9 – Brian Burke is fired as the GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs, and out along with him goes the trade for Roberto Luongo that he’d pretty obviously been quite close to completing. This will have repercussions.
- Jan. 11 – That GIF of the Sedins drinking and adjusting their gloves in freaky unison wins the first ever Unreal Canucks GIF tournament.
- Jan. 13 - The rosters are unfrozen. Time for Mike Gillis to go big or go home. He signs Cam Barker and Jim Vandermeer, so I guess he went home.
- Jan. 14 – David Booth hurts his groin. This will become a thing.
- Jan. 16 – The Lululemon corporation takes the official stance that the Canucks should trade Roberto Luongo.
- Jan. 18 – The Canucks re-sign Alex Edler to a 6-year, $30 million extension. NHL insider Mike Gillis breaks the news on Twitter.
- Jan. 19 - Ryan Kesler calls a season ticketholder at his office to tell him he’s been selected to drop the puck at the Canucks’ season opener. The season ticketholder is a doctor. Kesler called him in the middle of a pelvic exam. It is the greatest moment of 2013.
- Jan. 19 – The Canucks play their first game of 2013. Cory Schneider starts. They lose 7-3. Everyone misses the lockout.
- Jan. 27 – Jannik Hansen crosschecks a ref and totally gets away with it.
- Jan. 28 – Known for his leg-kick backhand shootout move, Alex Burrows tries to show Jonathan Quick a new look in the shootout. His new look is the worst thing ever.
– FEBRUARY –
- Feb. 4 - Sports Illustrated weighs in on the Luongo controversy, suggesting that “Robert” Luongo could get traded “to” Vancouver. It’s very confusing, but really no less informed or more accurate than most of the other stuff reported during this saga.
- Feb. 4 – Chris Tanev scores his first NHL goal, the overtime winner in a game versus the Oilers. It is glorious.
- Feb. 9 – Roberto Luongo appears on Hockey Night in Canada After Hours. It is the best. For example: When Scott Oake suggests that, at 34, Luongo might be fairly old in athlete years, he quips, “I’ve got still 8 more years on my contract.” The best.
- Feb. 13 – Mikko Koivu steals Alex Burrows’s glove. Huge moment. Turning point.
- Feb. 14 – The Canucks announce that they’ll be shutting down Manny Malhotra for the remainder of the season, due to concerns about his eye and his peripheral vision.
- Feb. 15 – Henrik Sedin becomes the franchise’s all-time leading scorer after setting up Alex Burrows for a goal with a brilliant, cross-ice pass.
- Feb. 18 – David Booth returns from injury for the first time.
- Feb. 20 – Jannik Hansen gets a one-game suspension for what appeared to be an inadvertent punch to the back of Marian Hossa’s head. Or maybe it was intentional and he thought, after avoiding any sort of discipline for cross-checking a ref, that he could do anything.
- Feb. 27 – The Canucks waive Aaron Volpatti to make room on the roster for Steve Pinizzotto. Two seconds later, they learn Ryan Kesler broke his foot blocking a shot and they didn’t need to expose anybody to waivers. But hopefully he clears.
- Feb. 28 - He does not clear. Canucks fans are angry, which is pretty funny, in hindsight.
– MARCH –
– APRIL –
- Apr. 2 - The Canucks acquire Derek Roy in a trade with the Dallas Stars, sending Kevin Connauton the other way. Almost everyone is excited about the move, which is actually pretty funny, in retrospect.
- Apr. 2 - The Canucks announce a four-extension for Chris Higgins and his famous abs.
- Apr. 3 – Roberto Luongo is not traded as the trade deadline passes, which upsets him. In a moment of raw emotion, he answers the question of why he thinks he wasn’t moved with, “My contract sucks”.
- Apr. 17 – We learn that the Canucks will be hosting one of six outdoor games in 2014. Is it too many outdoor games? Yes. Yes it is. There are so many outdoor games that, now, they’re just referred to as “games”.
- Apr. 23 – The Canucks defeat the Chicago Blackhawks, 3-1, clinching the Northwest Division title and letting fans clinch their fists because beating the Blackhawks is so satisfying. After a loss to the Canucks, a frustrated Duncan Keith gets into it with a female reporter and says some weird sexist nonsense.
- Apr. 24 – Cory Schneider is announced as day-to-day with a “body injury”.
- Apr. 27 – The Canucks play their final game of the regular-season, but “play” is too generous, I think. At least on its own. “Play terribly” is far more accurate.
- Apr. 30 – Two days after Henrik Sedin preserved his iron man streak with one 22-second shift in Edmonton, an old, rambling columnist cites Louis Armstrong in mustering hilarious, fake outrage.
– MAY –
- May 1 - The Canucks’ playoff drive begins!
- May 7 – The Canucks’ playoff drive ends!
- May 10 – The Sedins, Alex Edler and Dan Hamhuis head to the World Championships in Sweden, because they probably expected to play a little more hockey in May.
- May 14 – Jimmy Fallon names Roberto Luongo “Most likely to be the human version of Count Chocula” as part of a bit. It’s a pretty good bit.
- May 15 – Alex Edler is suspended two games for a knee-on-knee hit with Eric Staal at the World Championships.
- May 20 – The Sedins lead Sweden to a gold medal at the World Championships, finally proving they can win it all, so long as Zdeno Chara is busy with another tournament.
- May 22 – Alain Vigneault and the rest of his coaching staff are dismissed by the Canucks, because getting swept is for mess halls, not hockey teams in their Cup window.
- May 29 – Tom Sestito announces his own contract extension on Twitter, because everyone else is busy doing something more important.
- May 30 – David Booth finds a five-leaf clover. His brothers point out that it is, in fact, not a five-leaf clover, then say horrible things to him.
– JUNE –
- June 14 – The Canucks announce that their new affiliate will be named the Utica Comets, which is fine, except for the Utica part. But you work with what you can get.
- June 15 – The Canucks sign Joacim Eriksson. It is, without question, the most interesting thing that will happen in June.
- June 25 – John Tortorella is officially introduced as the new head coach of the Vancouver Canucks.
- June 29 - On the eve of the NHL draft, rumours being circulating that the Canucks might trade Cory Schneider rather than Roberto Luongo. Like that’s going to happen, we scoff. This is all just a play to inflate the asking price for Luongo at the last minute. A very transparent ploy. What do we look like, idiots?
- June 30 - Francesco Aquilini arrives at Robert Luongo’s house, just to hang out while they await the announcement of Luongo’s trade out of town. He orders Luongo to turn off the TV, probably because there’s no point in watching. Everybody knows what’s going to happen. Luongo will be traded. It’s obvious.
- June 30 – Just prior to the New Jersey Devils’ ninth pick in the draft, Gary Bettman announces a trade: Cory Schneider to New Jersey in exchange for that very pick. While we’re still gathering our jaws from the media risers, the Canucks use the pick to select Bo Horvat ninth overall.
- June 30 – The Canucks select Hunter Shinkaruk 24th overall. It’s the story of the draft.
– JULY –
- July 4 – Keith Ballard’s contract is bought out by the Canucks.
- July 5 – Roberto Luongo still hasn’t said much about his forced return to Vancouver, so when he heads to Vegas for the World Series of Poker, and Play Now solicits questions for the goalie — BUT POKER QUESTIONS ONLY — Canuck fans find creative ways to get their inquiries through.
- July 6 – The Canucks sign Yannick Weber and Brad Richardson on the first day of free agency.
- July 7 – The Canucks sign Mike Santorelli. Everybody shrugs, because everybody is a dope.
- July 10 – The Heritage Classic is announced. We are skeptical about it.
- July 22 – Roberto Luongo and Dan Hamhuis are invited to Team Canada’s Olympic Orientation Camp. Ryan Kesler is invited to Team USA’s.
- July 24 – At a season ticket holder’s event, Mike Gillis discusses his recent meeting with Roberto Luongo. It sounds like he’s describing the end of a romcom. “I told him how I felt about him,” he says.
- July 25 – Roberto Luongo fires his agent. Everyone wonders what it means. As it turns out, it means he fired his agent. Man, was this saga ever stupid.
– AUGUST –
– SEPTEMBER –
- Sept. 6 - The Canucks announce that they’ll be retiring Pavel Bure’s jersey before a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, which makes sense, since Leafs fans are pretty used to long, pregame ceremonies.
- Sept. 9 – Speaking of the Leafs, after going the entire summer without being signed, Mason Raymond heads to Leafs camp on a tryout.
- Sept. 10 – John Tortorella weighs in on “that damn Twitter”, which he may be confusing with that darn cat.
- Sept. 20 – David Booth, who has missed the entire preseason working his way back from injury, is announced as likely for the following day’s game.
- Sept. 21 – David Booth tweaks his groin in practice and does not play.
- Sept. 22 – Zack Kassian sees a setback in his bid to earn a job alongside the Sedins when he breaks Sam Gagner’s jaw with a stick-swing. He’ll be suspended for eight games. Granted, Gagner sees a setback in his bid to have a healthy and functional jaw, so I don’t think too many people are feeling sorry for Kassian.
- Sept. 23 – Dale Weise gets a three-game suspension for a hit to the head of Taylor Hall.
- Sept. 25 – In a great travesty, Roberto Luongo isn’t named among Sports Illustrated’s top 100 Twitter follows in sports.
- Sept. 26 – The Sedins make the front page of Wikipedia on their 33rd birthday. Is it their greatest accomplishment to date. And speaking of great accomplishments, David Booth survives a preseason game.
- Sept. 28 – The Canucks acquire Zac Dalpe and Jeremy Welsh in a trade for Kellan Tochkin, who isn’t even their best Kellan, so whatever.
- Sept. 29 – Jannik Hansen signs the exact same contract extension with the Canucks that Chris Higgins signed back in April.
- Sept. 30 – The Canucks fill out their regular season roster, sending Hunter Shinkaruk and Bo Horvat back to juniors so they can claim Ryan Stanton off waivers from the Chicago Blackhawks. We mock the waiver claim because it will obviously turn out to be unsubstantial.
– OCTOBER –
– NOVEMBER –
– DECEMBER –
- Dec. 3 – Alex Burrows’s bad luck continues. Not only has the winger yet to score a goal, but the Canucks announce that he suffered a broken jaw after taking a Chris Tanev shot to the face. It’s bad luck for our own Daniel Wagner too. He wrote a paper column on Burrows that reached obsolescence before it reached publication.
- Dec. 9 – The Canucks win the belt, a title that needs to be explained to everyone, but is still a huge, huge deal.
- Dec. 13 - The Canucks release the best Christmas card ever.
- Dec. 14 - The Canucks give us the best Christmas gift ever, a blowout win over the Boston Bruins, who are visiting Vancouver for the first time since winning the Stanley Cup here in 2011. It’s very cathartic.
- Dec. 23 - Roberto Luongo leaves a game versus the Winnipeg Jets with a groin injury, suspected to be a fake groin injury conjured up so Eddie Lack can play in front of his family, who have come over from Sweden. If it is, Luongo’s one Hell of a method actor, as the Canucks call up Joacim Eriksson to back up Lack a few days later. End scene, Lu. End scene.
- Dec. 28 - The Canucks finally listen to Mark G. and sign OHL over-ager Dane Fox.
- Dec. 30 - The Canucks end the calendar year with a 4-3 shootout loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. An an ironic twist, after a year dominated largely by goaltending controversy, their final game features a goalie tandem of Eddie Lack and Joacim Eriksson.
What was your favourite moment of 2013?
Tags: year-end retrospective