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Precious Memories

As this summer has crept along inch by baseball-saturated inch, fans of the Vancouver Canucks have been rather split as to the direction of the team. A good chunk of fans are eyeing the new defensive-minded changes as a great way to score the #1 slot in the 2007-08 draft while, in contrast, many see the post-season as a lock because Roberto Luongo will get 50 wins easily and may score a hat trick against the Panthers just to irk Keenan.

While the debate of the future goes forward, I think it's important from time to time to also cast an eye in the rearview at what has been. And in this inaugral posting (christ) I just wanted to review the putrid time known as the Vancouver 2005/06 NHL trade deadline.

With the Canucks reeling from several key losses and trying to stay in the playoff mix, GM Dave Nonis used the 2005-06 trade deadline to snatch up three veteran blueliners and a key back-up goalie. Sounds good right? He certainly got high props for it. We all know how the season what is to be said of the four guns-for-hire that came along at the very end?

Keith Carney (traded for Brett Skinner and a second-round pick)
The Bertuzzi-looking clone was brought in to help shore up the injuries on the blue-line. While Carney wasn't terrible, he wasn't stellar either (in 18 games, he had two points and finished -5). Carney quickly absconded for the Minnesota Wild this off-season.

Sean Brown (traded for a fourth-round pick)
Typically the idea of getting a defenseman from NJ would be a good thing, but if you blinked at all, then you likely missed Brown in the 12 pointless games he was in for Vancouver. Sensing the Canucks weren't the best match, or the NHL for that matter, Mr. Brown signed on to anchor the blueline for the Hamburg Freezers (yes...go Freezers!) Deutsche Eishockey Liga in the offseason.

Eric Weinrich (traded for Tomas Mojzis and a third-round pick)
Perhaps Nonis had a brain freeze and thought it was the early 1990's when Weinrich was solid as a rock, but the aging blueliner (who was drafted in 1985; for comparison Ryan Kesler was a year old at the time) was a car wreck for Vancouver, going pointless in 16 games while recording a -13 in the process. How does one adequately follow that outing? Simple…by retiring! Weinrich mercifully announced his resignation today and promptly joined Kevin Dineen's coaching staff on the AHL's Portland Pirates.

Mika Noronen (traded for a second-round pick)
Mr. Mika backed-up or replaced Alex Auld in net an incredible four times - winning once and losing once - and yet let in 10 goals in total as a Canuck. After Nonis blew up the roster and landed Roberto Luongo, Noronen was reportedly unhappy with the move (although perhaps he went online and caught what his future looked like) so, rather then hang around the end of the bench in Vancouver, Noronen is moving on to Ak Bars Kazan of the Russian elite league next season.

I don't care if Vancouver is the worst team in the NHL next season (ok scratch that, I'll care and be enraged and make my local bars exceedingly happy) but at the very least I won't have four clearly obvious targets for said anger.

I'll focus, instead, on the NY Rangers. Yes, welcome to my delusional existence.