Canucks and Beyond
NHL toughguy Rick Rypien returned to the arena where he played his minor hockey in Saturday just days after his sudden death in his southern Alberta home.
Close to 1,000 people turned out on a bright sunny day at Albert Stella Arena in this Crowsnest Pass community for the funeral for Rypien, 27, who was found in his home in nearby Coleman earlier this week.
There’s not much more I can say about Rick Rypien that I haven’t already said. But I do think a lot of people have been affected by his death, more than they might have expected, so perhaps something good can come out of this. Not to say there’s anything ‘good’ about this horrible situation in itself, but maybe we’ll all be a little more aware, in our own lives, when we see people we know are struggling.
Of course, none of us can ‘save’ people, but maybe there’s a lesson in knowing that it doesn’t matter how privileged someone else’s life looks like from the outside, they can still use our help and understanding. It’s certainly a lesson that’s resonated with me… and I didn’t even know the man. But his uncle did, and he had this to say:
According to Alex J. Walling at TSN, pretty much a done deal:
Newfoundland, which has plenty of Moose, is getting one more. The Manitoba Moose are coming to the Rock.
The Manitoba Moose will re-locate to the capital city of Newfoundland, St. John’s. [...]
The St. John’s Telegram says a tentative agreement is in place between Williams and True North Sports - the owners of the Manitoba Moose - and that True North has agreed to house its American League team at Mile One Centre for the 2011-12 AHL season.
The St. John’s Sports and Entertainment Centre is meeting to approve a deal between that body in charge of Mile One and the Williams group. The deal will be approved.
Earlier today, AHL president Dave Andrews released a statement on the Manitoba Moose, and left the future of the team as an open issue with this remark: “The future of the Manitoba AHL franchise will be determined in the weeks ahead, and we look forward to Winnipeg’s NHL club developing its top prospects in the AHL.”
Wherever the Moose go, they will be the NHL Winnipeg club’s new AHL affiliate. Canucks are on their own for a new affiliation.
Maybe I’m the only one who didn’t know this, but that caught me by surprise.
David Andrews, President and CEO of the AHL, released the following statement after today’s announcement by True North Sports & Entertainment in Winnipeg:
“The Manitoba Moose have been a flagship franchise for the AHL over the last decade, always near the top of the league in attendance, regularly going deep into the Calder Cup Playoffs, hosting the AHL All-Star Classic and developing countless National Hockey League players for the Vancouver Canucks, all while also maintaining a strong grass-roots presence in the Winnipeg community.
“While our league will not be the same without the Manitoba Moose, our loss will be the NHL’s gain. Mark Chipman has been an influential leader as an owner in the AHL, playing an important role in our expansion to absorb the former IHL and serving on the league’s executive committee for 10 years. He will be a terrific addition to the NHL Board of Governors.
“Manitoba deserves to have NHL hockey, and we have no doubt that the NHL will be successful in its return to Winnipeg. Our sincere thanks go to the Manitoba Moose fans who have supported the American Hockey League loyally and passionately for the past 10 years.
“The future of the Manitoba AHL franchise will be determined in the weeks ahead, and we look forward to Winnipeg’s NHL club developing its top prospects in the AHL.”
Speculation is that the Manitoba Moose would end up in St.John`s and would become the farm team of the Thrashers-Winnipeg franchise.
If Tuesday`s announcement confirms the move from Atlanta to Winnipeg, the St.John`s announcement could come as early as Friday at Mile One.
I’ve got no problems with AHL hockey back in Newfoundland. Sounds trippy. But who knows what to believe about any of this anymore.
Cory Schneider is the Vancouver Canucks star-of-the-future and he’s been tearing it up in the AHL so far this year to prove it. Still, Schneider has never played a regular season game in the NHL but that’s all about to change: he’s up tonight against the Flames on Hockey Night in Canada.
“I’m definitely excited, but at the same time I’m focused and worried about the game tonight because it’s a big divisional game so we need the two points.”
—Cory Schneider in the Vancouver Sun
I’ll bet he’s excited… especially if “excited” is code for “I nearly threw up when Coach told me. Oh my god, there’s gonna be how many cameras??”
Good luck to Schneider. One of the only upsides to Luongo’s injury was the opportunity for us to see what he can do in the NHL. I think I’m almost as excited as Schneider is.
From Jason Botchford at Canucks Nation in The Province:
[Ryan] Johnson learned Wednesday he has a fractured foot as well as a fractured finger, and is expected to miss the next four weeks.
The foot was apparently injured earlier in the season when Johnson was blocking a shot.
According to Botchford, the doctors apparently discovered the foot injury “when checking on his finger.” (The kind of doctors that ask you to take off your shirt when you mention a foot cramp, no doubt.)
Johnson will be sorely missed but it’s surprising this doesn’t happen to him more often, really. Throw yourself in front of a puck as often as he does, it’s a miracle you can walk at all most days.
P.S. A reminder: anticipating problems with Johnson, the Canucks did recall Alexandre Bolduc yesterday.
P.P.S. Dirty pictures of Fin to cheer you up.
Vancouver player movement this week:
- (Inbox) Kevin Bieksa— Last heard on November 13, Bieksa was due for two week layoff as he nursed a hairline fracture in his foot. The estimation was accurate as there’s a realistic chance he’s back in the lineup for Thursday against the Flames.
- (Inbox) Alexandre Bolduc— came up from Manitoba yesterday. 8 goals and a plus-8 thus far, he’s supposedly practicing with the team this morning.
- (Outbox) Ryan Johnson & Steve Bernier— Johnson’s injury is from (what else?) blocking a shot (or 50) a couple games ago, and Bolduc is on deck for him. Bernier’s damage is the result of running into the boards the other night instead of Brett Lebda. Bernier’s explanation:
According to Bernier, he was injured when he snagged his right foot on the Detroit net and was thrown off balance trying to thump Lebda, causing him to miss.
“I lost my footing and I went shoulder and feet first into the boards,” he said. “After that, I didn’t feel very well.”
Slapstick comedy at its finest. (Well, except for the emergency medical care required.)
Update 12:33pm PT: Johnson gets two fractures for the price of one. If you don’t want more bad news, don’t click.
As noted in the Vancouver Sun:
The Vancouver Canucks have called up veteran defenceman Nolan Baumgartner from the Manitoba Moose of the American Hockey League.
Baumgartner, 32, leads all Moose defencemen with six points (1-5-6) in 12 games this season.
Oh, and “Baumer” also happens to be the name of J.J.‘s dog. If Nolan ever retires, an entire sector of the professional hockey industry—not to mention that dog’s self-esteem—might entirely collapse.
According to TSN’s Ice Chips, the Vancouver Canucks have placed Michel Ouellet on re-entry waivers today.
In Manitoba, Ouellet has been steadily putting up the points so far this year, and his career numbers with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning the last few seasons are solid as well.
I’m not sure offhand what his salary is, but I can’t imagine he’s going to clear waivers. Any guesses on which NHL team picks him up?
Update November 4th: Welcome back, Michel...
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]