Canucks and Beyond
Entries with the tag: willie mitchell
Missing the playoffs last year was a nightmare, but there’s one thing to be said for it: at least we weren’t in a constant state of fear anymore. Our suffering was already over.
But this year we’re “lucky”—playoff action for all. Tons of fun! Except when it’s terrifying.
Fortunately, some Port McNeil school kids are doing their part to cheer the team on, and it’s a proven fact: cute kids doing cute things to support our team is good for our stress levels. The Hockey Gods might hate the Canucks (and Canucks fans) but surely they can’t hate cute kids?
Well, personally, I’m a pushover for them. I first heard this on CBC Radio One a couple days ago, and today the Times-Colonist here on Vancouver Island tells more details about the arrangement here. Sunset Elementary was once home to Willie Mitchell, and that’s where the video below was shot. The lyrics are below as well.
Vancouver, April 13, 2009— The Vancouver Canucks surprised many last week, returning to the playoffs after a one year absence, landing in sixth spot, the result of a series of big wins in the final weeks of the season.
“We knew we were in a position to decide our own fate,” said coach Alain Vigneault. “It was a matter of staying focused and getting some big performances from unexpected sources.”
The Canucks certainly got that. After the blockbuster acquisition of Mats Sundin last December, many expected the multi-millionaire late addition to single-handedly be the catalyst that would boost this team to the next level, but instead the Canucks went into a January nosedive that few expected them to pull out of.
“I’m shocked they were able to manage it,” said Scott Burnside in his report filed on the ESPN website over the weekend. “My feeling in January was that they had no chance whatsoever to make the playoffs.”
How’s that for a cliché title? But the choice of a new Vancouver Canucks captain is not a cliché at all—in fact it’s one heck of a shock.
Now… did anyone predict that?? Not a chance.
Update 2:39pm ET: Assistant captains—Ryan Kesler, Mattias Ohlund, and Willie Mitchell. Coach Alain Vigneault also states they did advise the NHL this morning that they chose Luongo, and while there is no rule preventing a goalie from being named a captain, he won’t be permitted to have a ‘C’ on his sweater.
More updates below.
A note from Tim Wharnsby at the Globe & Mail hockey blog today:
Vancouver Canucks defenceman Willie Mitchell was unable to attend the funeral of young teammate Luc Bourdon in Shippagan, N.B. earlier this week because he was in Toronto to begin proceedings on a grievance hearing with his old club, the Minnesota Wild.
Mitchell, of Port McNeill, B.C., claims the Wild owes him his $1.775-million (U.S.) salary from the 2004-05 lockout because he suffered a neck injury while playing for Canada’s gold-medal winning entry at the 2004 IIHF world championship. He spent the lockout rehabbing his ailment.
I wasn’t aware of this. Wasn’t there another player who sued—and won—his salary for that season based on an injury prior to the actual lockout? It seems to me there was, but I can’t remember who…
Note: as someone just pointed out to me, ‘suing’ is probably the wrong word—he’s filed a formal “grievance.” Anyway, you get the point.
“They’ve always been a good line, but we were just trying to spread our wealth a bit and we’ve got to be fair with Markus in that sense. He was trying to develop younger players and push them along, but he also needs to play with good players.”
Well, no kidding. I mean, whether you like Nazzy or not, you might as well make use of a guy taking up $6 million of space on your roster.
From the CP (via Canada East Online):
Vancouver Canuck defenceman Willie Mitchell is sidelined with a fractured vertebra in his back.
Mitchell said Tuesday he won’t accompany the NHL team when it leaves Wednesday on a four-game road trip.
Mitchell, who has already missed three games, said he hurt his back after being checked during a game against Calgary after Christmas. He played nine games before the pain became too great.
Update 2:45pm PT— CBC:
There is no specific recovery time for this type of injury — a stress fracture to the L2 vertebra in Mitchell’s back — but Vigneault said it could affect him for up to five weeks. Vigneault also said Mitchell could play through the injury without aggravating it, though the pain might be too much.
“All the doctors that checked him, have all came to the same conclusion, with this type of stress fracture, if he can endure the pain, there is no way he can aggravate it,” the coach said. “It shouldn’t be that much longer, knowing Willie Mitchell, in my mind anyways.”
From Iain MacIntyre at the Vancouver Sun,
“I call it taking the candy,” Mitchell said Monday, explaining his ability to bait opposing forwards. “The game of hockey is all about putting someone in position where they react, so they’re taking the candy.
“When I have my gap [defending an opposing forward], I hold my stick real close to my body, so it looks like there’s a lot of ice in front of me. The forward wants to make his move as close to the defenceman as possible because he wants the defenceman to bite so [the forward] can go around him. They come in to make a move—they take the candy—but then I move my stick out and poke the puck away. On a rush, that’s how I play it.
“In the defensive zone, it’s the same way. I’ll give them the pass and they think: Oh, I’ll make the pass backdoor. But I gave them that space. Now they make the pass; they take the candy. And I’ll put my stick there and break it up.”
So now you know his secrets.