Canucks prototype jersey shows up on eBay, reveals a dodged bullet

It would be an understatement to say the Canucks have had a troubled jersey history. The franchise has completely changed jersey colours multiple times, have had four different logos — although calling the Flying-V a logo is a stretch — and no one seems to agree on what the best jersey would be.

Some fans want a return of Johnny Canucks as the primary logo, harkening back to the team’s pre-NHL days. Others want to see the skate logo, aka. the spaghetti plate, come back thanks to their nostalgia for the early 90′s. Some like the current colours, but want to get rid of the “VANCOUVER” arced across the top of the orca logo. Some want to keep the colours, but use the alternate third jersey that uses the stick-in-rink logo as the primary jersey.

Heck, I still like the Flying-V jerseys, though sometimes I feel like I’m the only one.

That said, I think we can all agree that we and the Canucks dodged a massive bullet, since they didn’t go with the prototype jersey that popped up in a recent eBay auction.

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Stick in Link: Pearn’s power play, Hamhuis hits hard

It’s time for “Stick in Link”, the feature where we just plug in a bunch of stuff written by others! Featuring a smattering of links from around the Smylosphere and beyond every Tuesday and Thursday. Warning: our links are so hyper, they change colour when exposed to heat. (Have something for us to share in the next edition? E-mail us at passittobulis@gmail.com, tweet us @passittobulis, or just come over and write your link on a pad of paper, I guess.)

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Horvat back practicing; where does he fit in the lineup?

The current five-day break between game days is torture for Canucks fans, who are eager to see their team continue their winning ways. It’s definitely a bit of a wacky way to start the season. The Boston Bruins will have played 6 games before the Canucks even get to their third. Considering the way they’ve started the season, they may be wishing they had a five-day break instead.

It has been very useful, however, for Bo Horvat, who is back practicing with the team after his pre-season injury and has only missed two games because of the odd schedule. Earlier this week, Willie Desjardins said that he expects Horvat to be back by the weekend, which could mean he gets in the lineup as early as Friday against the Edmonton Oilers or Saturday against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

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The Prospector: Cassels, McCann, and Forsling off to great start

The Prospector is a semi-regular feature on Pass it to Bulis where we pan the Canucks prospects pool in search of gold. This time around, we look at Cole Cassels, Jared McCann, and Gustav Forsling.

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The PITB Podcast, Episode 6: First Impressions and Leonard Cohen

The Canucks are off to a 2-0 start, which has Vancouver optimistic and hopeful for the first time in a while. Sure, those first two wins have come against the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers, but the new Canucks coaching staff is making a good first impression on the fanbase.

We talk about those first two games, the experience of coming together to watch hockey with strangers, the systematic differences between Willie Desjardins and John Tortorella, and constantly go completely off-topic. Also, Harrison talks about Leonard Cohen and “Hallelujah.”

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Burrows’ assist on Bonino’s goal was not a hand pass

The Canucks have been getting their fair share of breaks to start the season, including a string of 7 consecutive power plays against the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night. But there was one other break that had Oilers’ fans crying foul and several hockey blogs buzzing.

On Nick Bonino’s second period goal that reduced the Canucks’ deficit to 3-to-2, it was readily apparent that the puck went off Alex Burrows’ glove before it was collected by Dan Hamhuis and sent towards the net for the tip-in. As fans, we expect that kind of play to be immediately blown dead for a hand pass. Instead, play continued and the goal counted.

Was it the wrong call? Should the score have remained at 3-1? If so, could the Canucks have still come back to win or would they have dropped their home opener, leading to mass hysteria in Canucks nation and a massive over-correction from the coaching staff to dead puck era, trapping hockey?

No. It wasn’t the wrong call because it wasn’t a hand pass according to the NHL rulebook.

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I Watched This Game: Canucks 5, Oilers 4 (SO)

This game alone was more exciting than the entire 2013-14 season. It was high-flying, defence-be-damned, entertaining hockey. There were fights — non-staged fights! — hits, goals, saves, controversy, an entirely-too-intense overtime period, and even a shootout for you heathens out there that enjoy that kind of thing.

But the real highlight of this game — the thing that made watching it completely worthwhile — was the Dry Scrape. For the first time this season, we got to see the zambonis come on the ice before overtime, rather than before the shootout, and scrape the ice clean without flooding it so that it didn’t need time to freeze. Truly a momentous occasion.

It was a privilege to witness such an historic event when I watched this game.

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Game of the Week: Canucks vs Oilers, October 11th

The Canucks play just two games between now and next Saturday morning, which doesn’t give us a lot of choice for our first ever “Game of the Week.” Should we choose this game against the Oilers or that game against the Oilers? So many options!

With no difference in the opponents, we’ll have to go with everything else surrounding the game, which makes it a clear decision. The Game of the Week has to be the home opener tonight, the first Saturday night game of the season, nationally televised on CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada.

Or, more appropriately, Rogers’ Hockey Night in Canada. Rogers paid out $5.2 billion for exclusive national broadcast rights of the NHL in Canada for the next 12 years, but kept the Saturday night broadcast on CBC.

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Spitballin’ on small sample sizes, shootout practice, and Todd Bertuzzi: lounge pianist

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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Canucks of the Week, starring Burrows, ref cams, and Willie

Canucks of the Week, written by Kevin Vanstone, examines who and what is keeping hockey in Vancouver interesting these days. That’s right: who and what. It need not only be players. After all, we are all Canucks. All people, places, things, abstract concepts, ideas, emotions — if it’s a noun, proper or common, it’s a Canuck, and it’s eligible to be a Canuck of the week.

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Real Good Tweets, featuring @KentBaskyNM and his monkey theory

You folks made some good tweets last week. Some real good tweets.

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Big Numbers: Burrows scores early, Edler leads Canucks

Every now and then we like to take a break from all the words and just post some numbers. And some words describing the numbers, as otherwise it would just be a whole bunch of numbers with no context, which would be really weird. Big Numbers is a weekly feature on Pass it to Bulis in which we identify the numbers and statistics that really matter or, frequently, the ones that don’t matter at all but are still pretty interesting.

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Parody of intermission Canucks interviews is hilarious, sweaty [VIDEO]

The 2014-15 regular season kicks off tonight and you know what that means: lots of intermission interviews that tell us the team needs to get more shots on goal in the upcoming period.

Intermission interviews are a wealth of no new information whatsoever. That makes them ideal fodder for parody and funny folks Kiah & Tara Jean stick the landing with this great video that nails every aspect of intermission interviews, particularly their sweatiness.

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The 2014-15 Canucks: A super-cynical season preview

Last season was one of the worst in Canucks history, with the team coming just short of setting a franchise record for fewest goals in a non-lockout season. It was ugly, uninspiring hockey and it cost both the coach and the GM their jobs.

“Change is Coming” the Canucks said and, on the surface, that appears to be true, with a bevy of new players joining the team. Ultimately, however, those changes amount to putting lipstick on a pig. And not particularly nice lipstick either. Like, slate grey lipstick.

“At least things can’t get any worse,” says the naive Canucks fan. So very, very naive. Things can always get worse. This season is going to be horri-awful.

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Stick in Link: Bieksa’s health, Desjardins’ craziness, and Lafayette’s memories of ’94

It’s time for “Stick in Link”, the feature where we just plug in a bunch of stuff written by others! Featuring a smattering of links from around the Smylosphere and beyond every Tuesday and Thursday. Warning: our links are so hyper, they change colour when exposed to heat. (Have something for us to share in the next edition? E-mail us at passittobulis@gmail.com, tweet us @passittobulis, or just come over and write your link on a pad of paper, I guess.)

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The PITB Podcast, Episode 5: Season preview and sophomore albums

Kiss my butt. Roll Tide.

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Canucks anthem singer, Mark Donnelly, wipes out mid-anthem in Penticton [VIDEO]

It’s pre-season for the Canucks, but it’s also pre-season for a lot of other people: referees, arena staff, zamboni drivers, and, apparently, anthem singers.

While warming up for the start of the NHL regular season at a Penticton Vees game, Canucks anthem singer Mark Donnelly tripped over the carpet in the middle of “O Canada”, crashing to the ice. Like a true professional, however, Donnelly didn’t skip a beat, continuing to sing from his rear end.

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The second line’s other winger is a bigger question mark than its centre

Radim Vrbata with the Sedins is looking like it could be magic. Dan Hamhuis has been reunited with Kevin Bieksa and Alex Edler looks rejuvenated with Chris Tanev on his right side. The Canucks have a multitude of options for their bottom-six and should be able to create two solid lines that can contribute with scoring, defensive play, or physicality.

The biggest question mark right now is the second line. We knew it would be as soon as Ryan Kesler was traded and the Canucks made it clear that Nick Bonino would replace him as the second line centre. But Bonino has been good all pre-season and currently has four points in his four games, so he’s not the issue right now. Bonino and Alex Burrows have been a consistent pair throughout the pre-season and it seems clear that they’ll be starting the season together on the second line. The most uncertain aspect of that line, amazingly, isn’t the guy in the middle — it’s who will be the other winger, as they have had a different linemate every game so far.

Who will be their linemate at the start of the regular season next Thursday? Let’s run down the five candidates based on who’s played with them (and will play with them) in the pre-season.

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I Watched This Pre-Season Game: Canucks at Edmonton Oilers, October 2, 2014

I am so, so sorry.

It’s all my fault. When I wrote an article on Wednesday about how the Canucks could use an injury in the pre-season, I only meant that an injury to a veteran depth forward who already had a roster spot sewn up would make it a lot easier for the Canucks to keep one or two of their promising prospects — Nicklas Jensen, Hunter Shinkaruk, and Bo Horvat — in Vancouver.

Clearly, the hockey gods thought I was mocking them and ensured that just one forward left the Canucks game against the Edmonton Oilers: aforementioned promising prospect Bo Horvat.

I did it. Me. I take all the blame. It was incredibly selfish of me to tempt fate like that just to make what I still think is a completely fair point about how difficult the Canucks’ roster decisions are going to be. But it wasn’t worth it. It…wasn’t worth it…

I watched this game.

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The Canucks could use an injury or two in the pre-season

The Canucks are down to a 27-man roster, now that Joacim Eriksson has been sent down to Utica. By the start of the regular season, October 8th, they’ll need to be down to a 23-man roster. Assuming they go with the usual contingent of 14 forwards and 7 defencemen, the Canucks need to cut three forwards and one defenceman in the next week.

Or, alternatively, they’ll need three forwards and one defenceman to go down with injuries that place them on the long-term injured reserve list. That may seem far-fetched, but they’re partway there already, with Brad Richardson, Zack Kassian, Alex Edler, and Frank Corrado all missing time with injuries so far this pre-season.

Edler is back already, of course, but Richardson, Kassian, and Corrado all missed practice Wednesday morning, though Richardson and Kassian skated with another group prior to practice. It’s entirely likely that all three will be fine by the start of the season, but even one player on the IR would make decision-making easier for Willie Desjardins and Jim Benning.

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Camp Cuts: Canucks re-assign Joacim Eriksson to Utica

Joacim Eriksson will not be the third head in the Canucks’ goaltending Ghidorah, as he has been re-assigned to the Utica Comets. This shouldn’t be a huge surprise: he was arguably the fourth best Canucks goaltender in the pre-season, assuming reports that Jacob Markstrom made 21 saves on 23 shots against the San Jose Sharks in Stockton can be believed.

Now Eriksson will be competing with Markstrom for starts in Utica, assuming he doesn’t cut and run to Sweden.

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I Watched This Pre-Season Game: Canucks vs Arizona Coyotes, September 29, 2014

The Arizona Coyotes of Phoenix in Glendale may have a new team name, but they look an awful lot like the Phoenix Coyotes of old: defensively sound, difficult to break down in the neutral zone, and not particularly exciting to watch. As pre-season games go, this was one of them.

That’s not to say there weren’t moments of excitement. For instance, apparently a couple got engaged during a break in the action. That’s exciting, right? I mean, a meaningless pre-season game against the Coyotes isn’t really the most romantic of occasions to pop the question, even for the most die-hard Canucks fan, but love is worth celebrating.

Not worth celebrating: this game. I did not pop open any bottles of champagne when I watched this game.

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The PITB Podcast, Episode 4: Final Cuts and the second Babe movie

With 28 players still on the roster, there are just five players left for the Canucks to cut before the start of the season. We discuss which players are the most likely to get cut and what that means for the roster.

Joacim Eriksson is an obvious cut, as is Cal O’Reilly — or is he? Is Bo Horvat going to spend the entire season in the OHL or will he work his way up from the fourth line? Will Nicklas Jensen start the season on the second line ahead of Zack Kassian? Has Hunter Shinkaruk’s exciting pre-season snared him a spot or is it more prudent to send him down to the AHL because he doesn’t have to go through waivers?

But before all that, we talk about Saturday Night Live and Babe: Pig in the City, which is one of the most underrated sequels of all time.

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Spitballin’ on sneakiness in Stockton, prospect battles, and Shinkaruk’s goofiness

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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Jacob Markstrom clears waivers; what will happen now in Utica?

There was a lot of hand-wringing in Canucks nation yesterday when Jacob Markstrom was put on waivers. After all, he was part of the return for Roberto Luongo, a return that was already panned by many fans as being insufficient value for the best goaltender in franchise history. Take away Markstrom and the return becomes just Shawn Matthias.

We’ll ignore for the moment that Luongo had been labeled untradeable because of his contract; there’s plenty of cognitive dissonance among hockey fans. Let’s just admit that losing Markstrom to a waiver claim would not have been ideal, which is why the Canucks were entertaining the thought of keeping him on the Canucks roster.

Let’s all take a deep breath and relax: the Canucks’ third-string goaltender cleared waivers. Everything is beautiful and nothing hurts.

Except now the Canucks have three goaltenders on their farm team, one of whom could bolt to Sweden if he’s unhappy. Nothing’s ever easy for the Canucks, is it?

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