Canucks and Beyond
This morning I had a chance to interview LA Times columnist Helene Elliott for Kukla's Korner. Ms. Elliott was the first female journalist to be honored with a plaque in the Hall of Fame of any major professional sport, and it was a great pleasure to speak with her. Secondly, I also participated in an interview (with Paul Kukla) chatting with CBC's Kelly Hrudey a little while ago. I hope you enjoy them both! P.S. Go Senators! P.P.S. My apologies for not being around this week. A couple personal issues have made my schedule unexpectedly difficult.
I had a chance -- with Paul Kukla -- to interview Jim Hughson early this afternoon. He's been doing the play-by-play duty for CBC's Hockey Night in Canada, covering our Vancouver Canucks during these playoffs, and was nice enough to speak to us briefly immediately after the pre-game skate today, from sunny Anaheim. P.S. He says that Luongo is in a "surly, surly mood today." Guy doesn't like losing, as we know. (I figure it's a good sign!) You can download the audio file here, or play it on the video player below.
Game Day Updates
Okay, not exactly. But I did interview the very entertaining and informative Michael McKinley a few weeks ago, discussing his book Hockey: A People's History. The interview has just been posted online today at Kukla's Korner. We discussed some history, the playoffs, the current state of the game, some gossip about the Stanley Cup (did you know a Red Wings player once defecated in it? perhaps I shouldn't be surprised... but good God!) and so on. Anyway, Michael's also a huge Vancouver Canucks fan, and an optimistic one as well. I hope you'll enjoy his thoughts as much as I did.
I participated in the NHL’s media conference call with Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo a few minutes ago. I was able to ask a couple of my own questions, which Roberto was good enough to answer. Paraphrasing from memory, I asked:
(1) You’ve mentioned numerous times this season that you’re not seeking individual records, but more concerned about the team’s performance. But is it perhaps exciting to be closing in on Bernie Parent’s record for season wins?
He responded “No, not really,” and pointed out that with overtime wins and shootout points, he doesn’t really feel like his achievement could be compared to a record like Parents’.
(2) Now that you’re assured your spot in the playoffs, will your focus now change to mentally preparing a game plan thinking of the different possible opponents you might face?
He responded that he isn’t thinking of any one team at all yet. Given that things are so bunched up in the standings it could be any of 4-5 teams they could be facing, so it’s not something he’s focusing on at this point.
Numerous other media members asked interesting questions about Luongo’s excitement as he heads into his first post-season. The complete transcript should be available here in about an hour or so.
Update Added 1:10 pm PT: Interview Transcript
(questions asked by various media members)
Today is Open Practice at GM Place, an event at which around 19,000 fans will be watching the Vancouver Canucks do their practice drills. (Crazy, no?) Unfortunately the event is sold out -- free tix with just a $2.50 handling fee disappear quickly -- but I'm sure some scalper will take pity on you if you want to be there; maybe hand you a ticket for a price of a nice dinner for six. Anyway members of The Crazy Canucks podcast will all be there today, as the Vancouver Canucks have invited us to bring in our equipment and do some live recording around the concourse and in the stands. So if you happen to be there and spot us (which shouldn't be too hard; we'll be wandering around with microphones and beer for godsakes!) be sure to come up and say a few words. Perhaps say something inspiring like "Colorado Sucks!" and you may end up as a guest star. Here's the latest episode, by the way, recorded on Tuesday. And these are all the members of the crew. Later.
I've been negligent with decent updates for a few days, but hell, I've been busy. I hope you find the results to be a great new resource for hockey information online. I've had a ton of stuff sent to me in the past week because of this project, and wasn't able to respond to all the emails. Hopefully I got all your favorite sites on the page though. Anything you think I've missed, let me know. P.S. I never got to see the game last night, the first one I've missed completely all year. I was entertained to watch Kevin Bieksa in this highlight however. Penner's such a punk.
Yesteday, Temujin mentioned 'C-Cup' (in the comments) as a reasonable new nickname for new Vancouver Superhero, Jeff Cowan. I like it. Anyway, The Crazy Canucks Episode #24 is online. We do the usual rundown of the previous week, but in the end, it all comes down to a whole lotta talk about women's lingerie and how many bras we figure will be hitting the ice next home game...
I usually prefer to bring up ESPN only when there’s a choice reason to make fun of that network—they certainly provide me with enough opportunities (competitive dominoes anyone? or how about fantasy fishing?!). But today I’m considering the more serious aspects of ESPN’s dominance in sports television coverage.
As NY Metroblogger Chris Baldwin asks, “If a sporting event takes place and ESPN doesn’t have a stake in it, did it really happen?”
Vancouver Canucks acquire Bryan Smolinski from Chicago for a 2007, 2nd round draft pick. More details to come. Update 2:07pm PT: Information received via Sportsnet.ca text message. No press release or other confirmation online at the moment. Update 2:14pm PT: Sportsnet sends this update: "VAN is closing on Bryan Smolinski, and has NOT acquired the C. Disregard previous alert. SN apologizes." (Good God, Sportsnet...) Also being reported online now. Update 3:27pm PT: Being reported by Michael Russo at the Star-Tribune in Minneapolis-St.Paul -- "Bryan Smolinski looks like he’ll soon be a Vancouver Canuck. This would explain why the beloved Marc Chouinard was thrown on waivers today by the Canucks. He’ll clear at 11 a.m. tomorrow — or get taken elsewhere, which would clear space for a Smolinski addition." (C&B Note: If there is a deal in place, waiting for Chouinard to clear waivers -- or get picked up -- might explain the delay in confirmation.) Update 4:56pm PT: TSN confirms that Bryan Smolinski has been acquired today by the Canucks, along with Brent Sopel from the Kings...
The Vancouver Canucks jumped the deadline in acquiring former Canuck Brent Sopel from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for a 2nd and 4th round draft pick. In addition Vancouver added veteran centre Bryan Smolinski from the Chicago Blackhawks for a conditional 2nd round pick. The Canucks, considered a cap team were, able to manouver these trades by finally placing injured forward Ryan Kesler on long term injury.
About Canucks and Beyond
Alanah McGinley has been blogging hockey since 2003 (with a notable gap in time through 2010, kicking it with new baby Lucy while living knee-deep in chaos while reading "parenting for complete idiots" during every spare minute) sharing opinions, rants and not-so-deep thoughts with anyone who will listen.
In addition to writing Canucks & Beyond and helping manage Kukla's Korner, Alanah was one of the founders and co-hosts of The Crazy Canucks Podcast. She has contributed pieces to FoxSports.com and the New York Times Slapshot blog, as well as other stray destinations in cyberspace.
So that's me. Who the hell are you?
Alanah's Twitter: [@alanah1]