Note: I feel over the last season and this summer more Canuck bloggers are popping up. As our small group of cosmically-tortured hockey fans with excellent to (like me) limited editorial skills grows, I wanted to reach out to some of the bigger Canuck bloggers out there and ask them what their take on the offseason is so far and what the next season is shaping up like. Also, if I don't have you in my blogroll and you keep your site (Canucks or otherwise) fairly well updated, drop me a line.
If you're scoured the series of tubes for hockey news and opinions, it's a safe bet that you have come across Jes Gőlbez. Jes started his own blog back in the dark days of 2004 and got his start with HockeysFuture.com before that. In addition to his own blog, he continues his stuff and extolling the virtues of Czech players (Pavol!) over at the NHL Fanhouse. While asking him for his opinion on all things hockey is not exactly original, I say screw it; the man knows his hockey.
Q1. Vigneault - thumbs up, thumbs down or a strong kick in the ass?
Jes: How about all three? The way he manages some players, especially through the media, leaves
something to be desired. The way the Canucks choked leads last season does smack of some bad coaching.I think Vigneault is an OK/average coach, but he's in serious danger of losing his job if his troops aren't tighter this season. Some say Luongo made Vigneault a great coach during his first season, but the Canucks were also a tight defensive group and great on the PK.
Q2. Naslund - We'll miss him badly or he can break a leg on Broadway?
Jes: Perhaps Naslund will be happier and play better, but I doubt it. He'll likely top out at his current level of production. We certainly won't miss his moping, especially with PAVOL!I know the Yaletown Yuppies will miss Naslund like they miss Bertuzzi, but who cares about them?The one player I'll miss more than Naslund is Morrison. Morrison was always pretty consistent with the Canucks, and the Canucks could have had him back fairly cheap.
Q3. Gillis - Better then Nonis or worse then a meth addict?
Jes: Way too early to tell.
Yes, Gillis seems like a giant douche, and he made way too much bold statements, but we can't say he's gone a good or a bad job at this point of time. Looking at the Canucks, they are doing OK compared to other teams during this off-season lunacy. One more scoring forward and the Canucks will look alright. I prefer to look at the results rather than the PR campaigns.
Q4. The new captain - Mitchell, Kesler, Ohlund, Fin or a stick with a mini jersey?
Jes: Fin should be harpooned. Mitchell seems the obvious choice. Kesler is a bit young and Ohlund is an evil Swede.
Q5. Your preferred first line on opening night
Jes: Either the Sedinbots with Bernier (the natural choice), or Demitra with Sundin and one of Raymond/Wellwood/Pyatt.
Q6. The '08-'09 record - Out of the NW basement or "With the first round pick, the Vancouver Canucks select from the Oshawa Generals John Tavares"
Jes: The Canucks aren't a bad team, but aren't current a great team, either. The Canucks should be in a fight for the playoff spot, much like the past two seasons.
Q7. Least favorite team to watch play against Vancouver and why:
Jes: Minnesota is always frustrating, and next year they'll be even suckier and more boring. I always hate seeing the Canucks lose to the Avalanche, so they'd be my #1 choice.
Q8. The absolute best part of next season could be:
Jes: Demitra lifting the Stanley Cup
Q9. The absolute worst part about next season could be:
Jes: Demitra pops his ACL in his first shift and is out the entire season :(
Q10. Best TV or movie quote you can think of to describe this offseason so far?
Jes: I'm not good with quotes, so here's a random one:
Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
"As long as people are still having premarital sex with many anonymous partners while at the same time experimenting with mind-expanding drugs in a consequence free environment, I'll be sound as a pound! "