Canucks and Beyond
Entries with the tag: manitoba moose
I always liked Rick Rypien, and it wasn’t particularly because of his game or even because of his oft-celebrated fists. It was because of his struggles as a man, as an ordinary person facing very painful—and painfully ordinary—struggles, that he always held my attention during his tenure with Vancouver and Manitoba.
In a business that demands so much perfection, and where one is likely to endure so much condemnation for not achieving it, Rypien always struck me as a very courageous individual.
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.”
The Dallas Stars assigned left-winger Fabian Brunnstrom to the AHL’s Manitoba Moose on Tuesday.
Alas, not permanent, Canucks/Moose fans. The Dallas Stars have been funneling players into Manitoba since they lost their AHL team last year and don’t have their new one operating till next season.
Still, wouldn’t it be nice if the Canucks could hold him hostage or something? His legend may have been “invented” by the internet, by the boy’s got plenty of potential.
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.
A warning in advance—this post is more personal than hockey-ish. But that seems appropriate today.
When the news came in about Luc Bourdon’s death this morning, I had been idly writing a post I’d been pondering over the last few days. I’d been thinking on the subject of how hockey fans might sometimes benefit from a perspective served by less “analysis” and more “passion.”
I think that hockey fans—while blessed with a remarkable depth of media coverage (particularly online) of their favorite sport—also lose something with all that exposure. That after a point, perhaps the endless analysis and critique makes us cold to the emotional connection and passion we once had for the game.
And so hockey becomes something which is no longer about our childhood heroes and their beautiful, skillful plays. Instead we become preoccupied with the most finite statistics and breakdowns, and occasionally mean-spirited (rather than useful) criticism.
The young defender Vancouver Canucks Luc Bourdon died after a motorcycle accident in north-east of NB nearly Shipagan.
The circumstances of the accident have not yet been revealed.
Oh my goodness. Such awful news. More soon.
Update 10:56am PT: Other Vancouver-based media members are telling me they’ve received the same information and believe the report to be true.
I’m so very, very sorry to Luc’s family and friends. I can’t even put it properly into words. I expect hockey fans everywhere feel the same way.
Update 11:36am PT: via the Globe & Mail—
Bourdon’s sister, Eve Bourdon, confirmed the death but declined further comment when reached at the family’s home in Shippagan.
“Luc was a winner, he was a competitor,” said Kent Hughes, his agent. “There was no quit in him. He persevered through a lot. He was a great guy and a great teammate.”
Update 11:55am PT: Check in with TEAM 1040 at Noon. They’ll be reporting more, from Tommy Larscheid and others.
Update 12:25pm PT: A statement from Canucks GM Mike Gillis—
“We are deeply saddened by today’s news and on behalf of the entire Vancouver Canucks organization, I would like to extend my sincere sympathies to Luc’s family. Luc was an extremely talented player with a bright future. He brought great passion to the game and was a valued team member on and off the ice. He will be greatly missed.”
Update 1:25pm PT: According to TEAM 1040 reports, Bourdon only acquired the motorcycle two days ago. Predictably, this is sidetracking the conversation from Bourdon to issues of pro-athletes being restricted from motorcycles, etc. (Personally, I think this is a non-issue, today of all days. Besides, accidents happen all the time. He could have died in any number of ‘acceptable’ ways and it would still be the tragedy it is.)
Note: The NHLPA released their own statement, plus some background on Bourdon’s career. Earlier, Gary Bettman also expressed his condolences publicly on the NHL Hour on XM Radio.
Note: All times noted on this post are in PT. I’d accidentally noted them as ET initially, but now fixed.
Related: “Perspective on a Nice Kid”
It’s no secret that the Vancouver Canucks are running through a lot of changes lately—so what’s another one? From Ken Wiebe at the Winnipeg Sun:
Moose general manager Craig Heisinger confirmed the Vancouver Canucks will be supplying prospects for the upcoming season, but what Heisinger said—and more importantly, the way he said it—suggests an extension with the parent club might not be in the cards.
“We’ll be with Vancouver, we have one year left in our agreement and we will fulfil that obligation,” said Heisinger. “I said we will fulfill our obligation for one more year. That’s what we will do. At this time next year, we’ll re-evaluate that situation. It’s a completely new management structure there, so we’ll see how it goes.”
And some editorializing from Wiebe:
I spent most of the 2007-08 season snarkily referring to the Vancouver Canucks as ‘the best AHL team in the NHL’. Well, it turns out there was more truth to that than just my fatalistic humor, because now that they’re all actually playing in the AHL, they seem to have found their niche.
On a soon-to-be-determined date, the Manitoba Moose will be opening the first round of the Calder Cup Playoffs against the Syracuse Crunch, and with a notable list of players that spent a good amount of time in Vancouver this year. Including:
Kevin Bieksa (who, courtesy of eastern Canadian CBC commentators, probably responds to Beeksa, Beskia…. and any number of other mutations at this point) is back in the game.
The Vancouver Canucks, the NHL affiliate of the Manitoba Moose, announced they have assigned defenceman Kevin Bieksa to Manitoba for conditioning.
After a 46-game absence due to that freakish skate-blade-lacerated calf muscle, he should be on the ice for the Moose tonight in Chicago, or—at worst—Friday night.
Mason Raymond back in town. From the Vancouver Sun,
The Vancouver Canucks have recalled forward Mason Raymond from the American Hockey League’s Manitoba Moose, the Canucks announced Wednesday.
Going the other way are forwards Mike Brown and Rick Rypien, who are headed to Winnipeg.
Mike Brown was solid for his time up, but I don’t have any real theories why Rypien even came to town. The roster shifts to accommodate the acquisition of Kris Beech shall remain a mystery to my bottle-blonde hockey brain.
But regardless, it’s a good thing Raymond’s back—he has 3 goals in 23 games for the Canucks this season.
And on this team, that’s good enough to rank you in the Top-10 scorers.
Vancouver recalled Nathan McIver from Manitoba this past Tuesday, concerned with a possible injury to Alex Edler. Edler ended up able to play (scoring the GWG in a shootout that night, no less) and so McIver was shipped right back to the Moose on Wednesday.
Today, McIver has been recalled yet again… and Jason Jaffray has been sent back to the Moose.
Jason Jaffray is getting his first NHL game tonight at the not-so-tender age of 26—and his ex-boss took notice. From Iain MacIntyre at the Vancouver Sun:
The centre who spent his first five seasons in professional hockey exclusively on minor-league contracts, without a hope of playing in the NHL, will skate for the Canucks on a line with fellow Manitoba Moose callup Mason Raymond and veteran Taylor Pyatt.
Trying to absorb every minute of a day he’s been waiting a lifetime for, Jaffray went to the bench to watch the Ducks skate when he was spotted by Niedermayer, the four-time Stanley Cup winner and future Hall of Famer.
Six years ago, Jaffray was the captain of the Kootenay Ice, the junior team that is partly owned by Scott and Rob Niedermayer, who also plays for the Ducks.
“He knows the situation, knows it’s my first game,” Jaffray said. “He stops what he’s doing, comes over and shakes my hand and says ‘congratulations on the callup.’ That means everything to a guy like me - a young guy playing his first game - to have a Stanley Cup winner over and over stop what he’s doing to come and say hi to me.”
Mason Raymond? Oh yes, indeed—he’s got a Hollywood future.
But more on that in a second…
First, a quick review of the conga line of trashed hockey players filing their way off the Vancouver Canucks and into various health care facilities this week. As Vancouver assistant GM Steve Tambellini commented yesterday, “It seems to be coming at us in bunches.”
Earlier today, Jason Botchford at The Ice Hole reported that Roberto Luongo has been nursing a rib injury, forcing him to sit out Monday night in Los Angeles. Now the CP is reporting that the Canucks have also called up goaltender Drew MacIntrye from the AHL’s Manitoba Moose.
Luongo told reporters later he has been nursing a bruised rib all week after being injured Dec. 2 at Minnesota.
“It just got worse over the last two days, and I’ve been in pain all day,” he said. “I was trying to see how I felt in warmups, but it wasn’t good enough for me to go. It’s not broken, but it hurts when I breathe and it hurts when I move. It’s tough to do your job under those circumstances. It’s day-to-day right now. Hopefully it’s just a few days. It’s almost got to heal on its own.”
Additionally, Mason Raymond and Jason Jaffray were also called up from the Moose.
[updates added at bottom of post…]
First, the team has recalled Alexander Edler from the Manitoba Moose.
Speaking of the Moose, Cory Schneider didn’t have a great opening game to his professional career over the weekend, but still managed put a good light on it:
“It takes a lot to win at this level,” said Schneider. “The guys played great in the third period and kind of dug us out of the hole I helped put us in. If we play like that for three periods, we’ll be pretty good this year.”
See? He already sounds like a pro: “Not my best effort…blah blah blah… need to play 60 minutes… blah blah blah…”
[note: transactions updated 4:25pm PT at bottom of post]
For once, the NHL’s disciplinary committee hit fast and (I think) pretty hard:
Philadelphia forward Jesse Boulerice was suspended 25 games by the NHL on Friday for cross-checking Vancouver’s Ryan Kesler across the face, matching the largest suspension in league history.
For a comparison to other major suspensions, check here.
Personally, I have no problem with the length of this, but I fully expect there will be plenty of impassioned opinions—that it’s either: (a) not enough, or (b) too much.
Filed in: manitoba moose, nhl general, vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
Tags: alain+vigneault, jesse+boulerice, manitoba+moose, rick+rypien, ryan+kesler, ryan+shannon, the+crazy+canucks, vancouver+canucks
It seems the Vancouver Canucks have far too much goal scoring going on for them to need the services of Ryan Shannon...
Apparently the Vancouver Canucks are looking for more than just goals from Ryan Shannon. The Canucks on Thursday assigned Shannon to Manitoba of the American Hockey League despite the fact that the center has scored in two of Vancouver’s three games.
Acquired from Anaheim during the summer, Shannon tallied a power-play goal in the Canucks’ 4-3 overtime win over Calgary on Saturday before added another man-advantage marker in an 8-2 loss to Philadelphia on Wednesday.
There’s some brilliant ‘Plan B’ ahead, I’m sure… (ugh).
*more at Canucks.com