It's always a tad depressing to see the leaves changing to fall colors. The cold days of fall and winter are not too far off. But the biggest thing that kills the sadness is that NHL hockey is not far away! And, you know, skiing is sweet.
The Canucks' Training Camp begins this Wednesday, September 4 in Penticton B.C. Here is a link to the training camp sked in Pentiction.
The list of the 31 players reporting to camp can be found here. This camp will be more interesting than normal because we know the Canucks are going to inject youth into their lineup for the 2013-14 season. The defence is what it is, but Frankie Corrado is reporting to camp in the Okanagan to cement his status as the 7th-9th defenceman in the organization. Much like Chris Tanev, Corrado is a cool cat. He shows a lot of composure for his age.
However the biggest battles will be for the forward and back up goaltending positions. Is winger Niklas Jensen ready to make the jump? How about center Brendan Gaunce? I don't hold out much hope for Bo Horvat or Hunter Shinkaruk making the big squad this year but hey, you never know. Times are changing in Vancouver, and if the kids blow John Tortorella's mind, they will likely get a shot.
Who will be Roberto Luongo's backup, Joacim Eriksson or Eddie Lack? Lack has the one-way contract that Eriksson does not have. Eriksson has had a Canucks mask created for him by David Gunnarsson. Looks pretty sweet! David also recently painted Cory Schneider's new Devils mask. You can view that here. Lack is 25 years old with plenty North American experience and Eriksson is 23 with no N.A. experience. I can almost make assumptions here.
After the prospects camp ends on September 9th, the Canucks' main camp begins on September 11. That's where the prospects and the rest of the regulars duke it out.
The Canucks are slated to play the San Jose Sharks in preseason action on Monday, September 16 on Sportsnet Pacific. The Canucks' broadcast schedule in its entirety can be found here. The Canucks' regular season begins on October 3rd in San Jose against the Sharks at 7:00 pm PST. It will be aired on TSN.
One thing to keep in mind is that there are several decent free agents out there still. Look for the Canucks to invite a few of them to camp to see if they can prove they still belong in the NHL. Past invitees like Owen Nolan, Brendan Morrison, Peter Schaefer, Marco Sturm, etc, have not worked out, so perhaps they will stick with the kids. Zach Hamill is a guy that could turn heads.
And speaking of the damned Sharks...it doesn't feel like it has been all that long since the Sharks smoked the Nucks out of the playoffs, does it?
Are you ready?
Canadian actor / comedian Brent Butt is:
Bring it on!