Kukla's Korner Hockey
Former National Hockey League forward Patrick O'Sullivan tweeted on Thursday that Vancouver Canucks forward Alexandre Burrows mocked O'Sullivan's abusive relationship with his father during on-ice altercations.
O'Sullivan, 30, detailed his years of physical and emotional abuse under his father - a former minor-league hockey player himself - in Breaking Away, his memoir released in October, and again this month in an essay on The Players' Tribune.
In a discussion with his followers on Thursday morning about the place of fighting in hockey, O'Sullivan revealed his his interactions with Burrows.
I would like to hear from Burrows on this topic before passing judgment, but it sure does not sound good.
from Frank Servalli of TSN,
Here are five minutes with Prust on the Canucks’ struggles, how to right the ship, and his fight card this season:
TSN: How do you self-diagnose what’s been happening with the Canucks of late?
Prust: “It hasn’t been that easy to pinpoint. It’s kind of been a bunch of things. We’ve had some ups and downs. We’ve had some times we’ve looked great, where I think we look like a Stanley Cup contender. Then we’ve had slumps where we feel like a bottom-feeder. You know, we’re in one right now. It’s about getting out of slumps as fast as you can. We’re struggling to put the puck in the net. There’s a lot of games that we’ve been in. There’s been a lot of games we feel like we deserved to win, but we haven’t scored on our opportunities. (Tuesday night) that wasn’t the case at all. It was pretty lopsided. We have to rectify and realize what we’re doing wrong, getting our compete and battle level up.”
TSN: You’ve had a few games during this run where your team was almost never in it from the start of games. Can you put your finger on why? Is it a preparation issue?
Prust: “I think we’re well prepared. We’ve talked about getting off to a good start, something that every team focuses on, setting the tone. We just haven’t done that.”
from Ian MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun,
This may be the end of civilization as we know it for the Vancouver Canucks. The National Hockey League team appears headed toward another stone age.
Goodbye smartphones and Starbucks, hello cave drawings and fire. Goodbye Range Rover, hello roving the range hunting and gathering. Goodbye playoffs, hello draft lotteries.
It’s not just that Tuesday’s 6-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild was appallingly, humiliatingly, dishearteningly bad, it’s that we’ve seen glimpses of it several times already this season. And given that so many Canuck players seem too old or too young and this team’s long-delayed rebuild will not be quick, it is likely there will be more nights this season like this one.
After existing for most of the last 15 years among the NHL’s wealthy, successful first class, the Canucks are spiralling towards the franchise’s first dark era since the late 1990s.
via Ian MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun,
Canuck defenceman Dan Hamhuis was taken to hospital after taking a Dan Boyle slapshot in the face late in the game. Vancouver coach Willie Desjardins said Hamhuis probably suffered a broken jaw, which would keep him from playing for weeks.
from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province,
It’s not surprising that Brendan Morrison remembered where he was when the Pitt Meadows native won the hockey lottery.
“I remember the game clearly, the first time I played with these guys — it was in Detroit — and I was put into a phenomenal situation,” he said Monday of being aligned with Canucks teammates Markus Naslund and Todd Bertuzzi on Jan. 9, 2002.
“We clicked, and we kind of rolled from there. It was kind of a dream scenario. At that time, I don’t know if there were two better players in their positions.”
The line would score twice in the first period and combine for six points in an overtime loss to the Red Wings on that fateful night.
It was only a tease of what would become the following season for the famed West Coast Express.
They all hit career highs as rivals hit the panic button trying to contain Naslund’s quick and accurate wrist shot, Morrison’s playmaking and Bertuzzi’s intimidating presence as the game’s premiere power forward.
Below, watch some highlights from the "West Coast Express"...
from Thomas Drance of Sportsnet,
The Canucks have right wing Radim Vrbata and defenceman Dan Hamhuis on expiring contracts, and though both players are on deals that include no-trade protection, they could garner considerable interest at the trade deadline. As could fourth-line tough guy Brandon Prust.
Based on the way the first eight weeks of the season have unfolded, netting quality future assets for veteran pieces who don’t fit into the club’s long-range plans should be a necessity. Exploring the possibility of swapping out an inconvenient contract with a longer-term commitment to an aging player, like Chris Higgins or Alex Burrows, could also add some worthwhile flexibility going forward.
The rewards for being awful aren’t quite what they used to be, but the top of the draft is where NHL teams are still most likely to find elite talent. And there’s a large handful of intriguing names that will be called in the top-five at the 2016 draft, even beyond consensus first-overall selection Auston Matthews.
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Sun,
The larger question here concerns the relationship between Desjardins and team president Trevor Linden and Linden’s relationship with the Aquilini ownership group. Desjardins was Linden’s hand-picked man. He’s just barely into his second season on the job and the first — while conveniently ignoring the playoffs — was a significant success.
The problem is last season no longer seems relevant to the Canucks’ current state and the Aquilinis have demonstrated an itchy trigger finger when things go bad. LInden and Jim Benning were supposed to usher in a new era of calm and reason. They were supposed to be the architects of a master plan and they were supposedly given autonomy to execute that plan.
Now, they’re facing their first major challenge. Yes, on one level it’s just one sour, six-week stretch. But it feels like a lot more than that.
When asked about the fine for spearing Brad Marchand, Prust responded with "best money I ever spent", perhaps half-joking.
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
It's hard to know what constitutes a full-blown crisis in this market because such weighty issues as the fourth-line's ice time is often enough to trigger mass hysteria among the faithful.
Still, there's something about the Canucks' current situation which registers as something far more serious than those petty talk-show intrigues which pass for controversy.
Saturday night, in a game head coach Willie Desjardins billed as a must, well, something for his team, the locals surrendered a goal on the game's first shot —to arch-villain Brad Marchand no less — and meekly capitulated to the Boston Bruins 4-0.
The Canucks now have three wins in their last 16 games, which is concerning enough.
But it's the larger image — the lifelessness, the lack of initiative, the sense that this team has run out of ideas 27 games into the season — which is far more troubling.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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