Body movin’: Zack Kassian, Andrew Gordon down, Bill Sweatt, Nicklas Jensen up

On Saturday, the Canucks put in their most lacklustre effort of the season, losing to the Edmonton Oilers in less than 8 minutes. It was a demoralizing loss and, with the trade deadline just a couple days away, many Canucks fans are eager to see Mike Gillis shake things up by making a big move.

On Sunday, the Canucks called up Nicklas Jensen and Bill Sweatt from the Chicago Wolves and sent down Zack Kassian and Andrew Gordon.

It would be a mistake to connect these two days together by anything more than chronology. Fans and media alike were quick to call this a desperation move, but the roster movement doesn’t seem to be sparked by the loss in Edmonton. Instead, it looks like this roster move was caused by something that happened before the game even started.

Continue Reading —›
The nine craziest things from the in-bench brawl between Chicago Wolves and Rockford IceHogs [VIDEO]

The Canucks and Blackhawks have had one of the most heated rivalries in the NHL over the last 4 seasons. Three consecutive meetings in the playoffs tends to have that effect. So it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense that the Canucks have their AHL farm team in Chicago. It would be like if one of the Canucks’ biggest historic rivals had their AHL farm team in the Fraser Valley.

So when the Chicago Wolves, Vancouver’s farm team, meets the Rockford IceHogs, Chicago’s farm team, there is always a little confusion. Maybe that’s why, instead of having a bench-clearing brawl, like normal people, they had a bench-unclearing brawl.

This brawl was more than a little crazy, so here are the 9 craziest things that happened:

Continue Reading —›
Canucks make final training camp cuts, give the Wolves their team back

With opening night only a day away, the Canucks made their final training camp cuts Friday, trimming the roster down to the league maximum 23.

It was simple, really: they just gave the Chicago Wolves their team back.

The Canucks had borrowed 9 members of their AHL affiliate for training camp, not so much to actually give them a shot to make the team, but so they’d have enough guys to stage a scrimmage on Wednesday and Thursday night in anticipation for the real action on Saturday. Friday morning, they sent home 8 of them: Peter “Laser Eyes” Andersson, Darren Archibald, Joe “Debbie Downer” Cannata, Kevin Connauton, Andrew “Escaped mental patient” Gordon, Derek Joslin, Anton Rodin, and Bill Sweatt.

Of course, there was a few notable absences among this group. Jordan Schroeder and Zack Kassian didn’t catch the private jet home.

Schroeder was a surprise. A night after doing what some thought to be the impossible — turning Mason Raymond into an unstoppable scoring machine — it appeared as though Schroeder had done the truly impossible by convincing Alain Vigneault that the Canucks should ice a raw rookie over a trusted veteran in the top-six. Did he make the team?

Continue Reading —›
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.

Continue Reading —›
Hungry like the Wolves: Prospects scoring, team losing

Hungry like the Wolves is an ongoing feature on Pass it to Bulis during the lockout, wherein we keep an eye on the Canucks prospects and property currently playing for the Wolves as it’s the closest thing we’re going to get to Canucks hockey for quite some time.

Continue Reading —›
Hungry like the Wolves: Up the river with the Rivermen and Admirals

Hungry like the Wolves is an ongoing feature on Pass it to Bulis during the lockout, wherein we keep an eye on the Canucks prospects and property currently playing for the Wolves as it’s the closest thing we’re going to get to Canucks hockey for quite some time.

Continue Reading —›
Apparently, Eddie Lack has a signature dance move (VIDEO)

The NHL lockout has forced many Canucks fans to turn to the AHL affiliate Chicago Wolves for their hockey fix, and for many, this has yielded a valuable discovery. If you thought Cory Schneider was a likeable cat — and he is, to be certain — he’s got nothing on the next guy on the Canucks’ depth chart. Eddie Lack may be the Canucks’ third-stringer in goal, but when it comes to the Canucks’ all-Twitter team, he’s… well, actually, he’s still not the starter.

But he’s in the top two. Eddie Lack is a full-blown character.

And, like all great characters — Bart Simpson, Steve Urkel, Elaine Benes, the Bluth family, Carlton Banks, and me — Lack apparently has a signature dance. I give you: the Lack dance.

Continue Reading —›
Zack Kassian suspended for one game for ‘his actions’ [VIDEO]

The American Hockey League has suspended Canucks prospect Zack Kassian for one game, but are being remarkably vague about the reason why. Their official press release only indicates that the suspension is “a consequence of his actions during a game at Charlotte on Nov. 6.”

The Wolves, when contacted, indicated that as far as they know, the suspension is for accidentally running into an official on his way off the ice after taking a second period penalty, which sounds relatively innocuous. While pushing or hitting an official would certainly earn a suspension, players accidentally bump into officials all the time while on the ice. It seems certain that there’s more to the story.

Paul LaTour of the Chicago Tribune floated his theory that the suspension is for throwing his stick in the penalty box, hitting the off-ice official and cutting him.

Continue Reading —›
Hungry like the Wolves: Ice the Hogs, then split with Checkers

Hungry like the Wolves is an ongoing feature on Pass it to Bulis during the lockout, wherein we keep an eye on the Canucks prospects and property currently playing for the Wolves as it’s the closest thing we’re going to get to Canucks hockey for quite some time.

Continue Reading —›
Hungry like the Wolves: 3 Games in 3 Nights

Hungry like the Wolves is an ongoing feature on Pass it to Bulis during the lockout, wherein we keep an eye on the Canucks prospects and property currently playing for the Wolves as it’s the closest thing we’re going to get to Canucks hockey for quite some time.

Continue Reading —›
Hungry like the Wolves: Get out of the kitchen

Hungry like the Wolves is an ongoing feature on Pass it to Bulis during the lockout, wherein we keep an eye on the Canucks prospects and property currently playing for the Chicago Wolves as it’s the closest thing we’re going to get to Canucks hockey for quite some time.

Continue Reading —›
Hungry like the Wolves: Taking down the IceHogs

Hungry like the Wolves is an ongoing feature on Pass it to Bulis during the lockout, wherein we keep an eye on the Canucks prospects and property currently playing for the Wolves as it’s the closest thing we’re going to get to Canucks hockey for quite some time.

Continue Reading —›
Eddie Lack’s new pads are crazy and will hunt you down

While I never played ice hockey growing up, I regularly played street hockey with my friends. For some reason, I naturally gravitated towards being a goaltender, which was absurd given my small stature. But I had good reflexes, agility, and flexibility, so I stuck with it.

One of the best Christmas presents I ever received was a set of Ed Belfour street hockey goalie gear. They weren’t much more than foam with nylon wrapped around them, but I loved them. The baseball catcher-style chest protector was almost bigger than my entire body, so I didn’t wear it, leading to many bruises on my chest, but the light pads worked well with my agile, stand-up style.

Their best feature, however, was the image on the pads: half of Eddie “The Eagle” Belfour’s iconic mask was reproduced across each pad, causing them to form the entire mask when you brought the pads together. Besides being a helpful guide for knowing which pad to put on which leg, it also made the pads look exceptionally cool, which isn’t easy when it comes to cheap foam street hockey pads.

Why do I tell this story now? Because Eddie “The Stork” Lack has some new pads with a very similar design.

Continue Reading —›
Spitballin’ on stolen ice time, charitable giving addict Dan Hamhuis, and snubbing Jan Bulis

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.

Continue Reading —›
Is a lockout exactly what Zack Kassian needs?

In his first professional season, he seemed stuck between being too good for the AHL and not quite good enough for the NHL. While it might have been best for his development to play the full season in the AHL where he could play big minutes, he instead spent a large chunk of the season averaging around 11 minutes in ice time with the Canucks, with minimal success offensively.

Then, the CBA negotiations between the NHL and NHLPA stalled, and a lockout loomed. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Ryan Kesler, who had a fantastic season for the Manitoba Moose.

Wait, did you think I was talking about Zack Kassian? That’s an understandable mistake to make, considering I put his name in the title of the post and used vague personal pronouns in my opening paragraph. Sorry about that.

Continue Reading —›
Spitballin’ on Arniel hiring, departing free agents, and hipster Sedins

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.

Continue Reading —›
Your Canucks Bandwagon Fan Cheat Sheet, 2011-12: Appendix

The start of the NHL playoffs is an odd time for a hockey team’s fanbase. Co-workers and relatives that have never paid attention to sports will suddenly start conversations with “Big game tonight, eh?” Fans of teams who finished outside the playoff picture begin a slow and painful migration to half-heartedly cheering for another team. Even the casual fan will start following the team with a passion usually reserved for their significant others; meanwhile, those significant others resign themselves to suddenly having their schedules revolve around game time.

Yes, playoff time is the time of the bandwagon fan, and here at Pass it to Bulis, we are firmly pro-bandwagon-fan. We understand that not everyone is able or willing to follow every wrinkle of the 82-game regular season. While we appreciate those dedicated fans who watched every game with us this season, we also appreciate those who jump on board at the last minute. We get it: playoff hockey is incredible, while regular season hockey has the potential to be unbearable.

This is why we created the Canucks Bandwagon Fan Cheat Sheet a couple years ago, to inform such fair-weather fans of what they have missed. The Cheat Sheet tells you everything you need to know about each player on the Canucks so that you can easily fit in with the rest of the fanbase. It includes nicknames, what to expect, and things you should and shouldn’t say.

We published part one and two of the Cheat Sheet back in February as people first began hopping on the bandwagon, but there have been some changes to the team since then. Thus, it is now time for the Appendix, covering the new and potential additions to the Canucks so you can be just as well-informed about them as you are about the rest of the team.

Continue Reading —›
The Chicago Wolves’ playoff push could be made or broken this week in Abbotsford

The Chicago Wolves are back in town this Thursday and Friday for another two-game set with the Abbotsford Heat, and if you missed them the last time around, make sure you head into the Valley for one or both of these games. They might be the biggest games of the year for both teams.

We’re all a little spoiled here in Vancouver — it’s been a few years since the home team was locked in a nerve-wracking race to make the playoffs. But if it’s desperate hockey you want, the Wolves are where it’s at. There are 5 points separating 3rd from 10th in the AHL’s Western Conference, and the Wolves, in keeping with their wolfy nature, are a part of the pack.

Continue Reading —›
The Chicago Wolves are on Shaw on Thursday, coming to town in January

Some of you may have noticed that information on the Chicago Wolves is a little harder to come by than information about the Manitoba Moose. I suspect it may be because no one seems to cover the Wolves.

Frankly, why would anyone in Chicago want to? They’re a AHL team in the same city as an NHL team, and worse, they’re the affiliate of the NHL team’s greatest natural rival. It’d be like a gazelle doing a story on the lion cubs learning to hunt him.

But if it’s Wolves info you’re after, don’t lament the missing middle man — just check it out yourself. The Wolves host the Abbotsford Heat on Thursday, December 22nd, and the game will be locally televised.

Continue Reading —›

Vancouver has been carrying only 12 healthy forwards for a week now, a situation that almost got weird in California when Alex Burrows was a game-time decision and it looked as though Aaron Rome might have to play as a forward. Granted, Aaron Rome is a goal-scoring dynamo these days, but the Canucks have actual forwards under contract, right?

Right. But due to a string of seriously bad luck, they don’t have any they can use right now.

Continue Reading —›

The Vancouver Canucks announced today that Chris Tanev has been assigned to the Chicago Wolves of the AHL. This may initially come as a bit of a surprise: while Tanev hasn’t been outstanding, finding himself a healthy scratch twice, he also hasn’t been terrible. It appeared that Vigneault was rotating Tanev and Alberts in and out of the lineup depending on the opponent, with Tanev in against speedier, more skilled teams and Alberts in against larger, more physical teams.

This move wasn’t about how well Tanev was playing, however. Instead, it’s about his contract status. Since Tanev is on his entry-level contract and hasn’t played in enough NHL games, he’s exempt from going through waivers to get down to the AHL. The only other player on the Canucks’ active roster who is exempt from waivers is Cody Hodgson.

Continue Reading —›

Last week, we provided an update on Antoine Roussel, one of three young players that managed to parlay an invitation from the Canucks’ to the Young Stars tournament in Penticton into a tryout with their AHL affiliate in Chicago. Roussel had done what he set out to do, earning a contract with the Wolves.

At the time, there was no news on the other two invitees, Nathan Longpre and Karel St. Laurent, but with the Wolves’ first game of the regular season set for this Saturday, a decision on both players was expected by the middle of this week. That decision has been made. Despite a strong showing, Karel St. Laurent was unable to crack the Wolves’ goaltending depth chart, and has been released. Meanwhile, Nathan Longpre’s long shot continues, as the Wolves have signed the 23-year-old centre to a professional tryout (PTO) of their own.

Continue Reading —›

Of the handful of players invited to pad out the roster for the Canucks’ Young Stars team in Penticton, three impressed: Karel St. Laurent, Nathan Longpre, and Antoine Roussel. At the end of the tournament, all three were invited to main camp and, while they failed to earn contracts with the Canucks, each was eventually assigned to the training camp of the Canucks’ AHL affiliate Chicago Wolves.

Antoine Roussel has already made the most of the opportunity, signing a contract to join the Wolves forward corps’ for the upcoming season.

Continue Reading —›

The Canucks trimmed their training camp roster by 11 players today, and as usual, PITB is here to break down every cut. Here’s a detailed look at the factors that led to Kellan Tochkin, Anton Rodin, Alex Friesen, Prab Rai, and Taylor Ellington getting cut from the training camp roster.

Continue Reading —›

When True North Sports & Entertainment purchased the Atlanta Thrashers and moved them to Winnipeg, it had a profound impact on three other professional hockey teams. The Manitoba Moose became the AHL affiliate for the Winnipeg Jets and were shipped out to St. John’s, Newfoundland. This meant the Vancouver Canucks were without an AHL affiliate and the Chicago Wolves, former affiliates of the Thrashers, were without an NHL affiliate. Naturally, the two clubs came together to resolve the issue.

Of course, this means that Vancouver’s prospects will now play in Chicago, where, rumor has it, they’re not too fond of the Canucks. It’s like trying to make a good first impression with a girl who has been told by all her friends that you’re a violent chauvinist Nazi skinhead who wears a wig as a disguise. It’s a tough sell.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger... Continue Reading —›