Lockout or not one thing remains true: I need to get my hockey on VHS tapes converted to DVD / YouTube. Slowly over the coming months I will be doing this. A few weekends back I was going through a tape of highlights I had of the NHL in 2000. That season, the Canucks acquired Brendan Morrison and Denis Pederson from the Devils in a deal that saw them ship Alexander Mogilny the other way. Little did we know that the West Coast Express line would be formed soon after, and little did we know the impact the BC boy would have in his first game as a Canuck:
The Canucks had Mark Messier, Andrew Cassels, Artem Chubarov, Pederson and Morrison at the center position. The gifted Cassels would stick around a couple more years. Not Messier. He was almost on his way out. There was some guy named Henrik Sedin now in the Canucks' system anyway (drafted in 1999).
The speedy / skilled Mogilny, who seemed enigmatic and frustrated in his latter stages in Vancouver, fit right into the Devils' structured system, and won a Stanley Cup with them that same spring. The Canucks missed the playoffs, but better times were on the horizon.