Canucks and Beyond

Random Reading Material & Goalie Notes

01/09/2009 at 5:34pm EST

—Lindsey Craig at CBC writes about the absence of visible minorities in hockey, and the various reasons, both sociological and economic. She also touches on the fact that—for minorities and everyone else—hockey is increasingly a tough sell for parents to involve their children in with the costs being so high. It’s a good article on a topic seldom addressed in any depth.

—For something completely different, I see that Jason Jaffray’s media blitz at Canucks.com indicates he’s addicted to online hockey sites, specifically NHL.com and tracking everyone’s stats. He’s also a big Jack Johnson fan—the singer, not the hockey player. (Weird, as I’d've thought Sitting, Waiting, Wishing… would be a scary song for a NHLer.)

Roberto Luongo’s recovery appears to be going well, his return to the ice seemingly just delayed in order to exercise maximum care. Regardless, his eventual return will present a goalie glut, and I thought I’d ask who most fans would prefer as backup in the coming weeks: Curtis Sanford or Jason Labarbera?

—Speaking of J.LaBraBra, I was listening to some TV pundit the other day (on Sportsnet, I think) yakking about how the Canucks’ newest netminder was basically “playing for his life” now, suggesting his career will be tanked if he doesn’t find a permanent spot on this team. But I’m not sure I agree with that assessment.

As far as I can tell, J.L. has already won that battle, his career essentially resurrected and people paying attention to his play—which has been better than good, and not under the easiest circumstances.

It almost doesn’t matter what decision Vancouver makes down the road, they now have an asset in their newest goalie, which is a win-win for both J.L and the team. General Managers around the league have been reminded (or enlightened) about how J.L. can perform when given a chance (and a functional defense) and unless something goes terribly wrong in the coming weeks, Mike Gillis will likely be getting offers for the guy if he decides not to hold onto him.

Come trade deadline time, there’s always someone in the NHL looking for a reliable backup goalie to bet on, heading into the playoffs.

After some rough times in LA, LaBarbera’s career potential appears to be well-ahead of where it was a couple weeks ago.

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