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Returning to recap the mess

Taking a quick spin around the Vancouver world…

The Province took an extra long look at Willie Mitchell who they dub "the most logical choice [to be the next captain]." Good to see we were on to something there a few weeks back.

My new favorite punching bag, Kyle Wellwood, got some ink over in the Sun. A glass half full view of Kyle skating early is that he’s taking that whole preparation and training thing seriously for most of the summer months. Then again, the glass half empty view comes directly from his own mouth:

"It's a hit or miss with me," Wellwood acknowledged Monday after skating with a few of his new teammates at Burnaby 8 Rinks."

Or how about this one?
"One thing we do know is that Wellwood will not be bringing a physical presence to the Canucks. He has not had a penalty of any kind his last two seasons. Quite simply, he is here to try and help kickstart a moribund Canuck offence."

A guy who has no faith in himself is here to "kickstart" what is universally known as a bad offense? Christ, don't let Roberto read that.

Last week the Sun also took a look at Steve Bernier, another guy who needed to step up his conditioning in the offseason. The article doesn’t say too much other then the normal "could blossom into a power forward, 30-goal guy" sort of thing we’ve heard before, but Bernier has probably the best upside of all the guys Gillis brought in this summer (you know, all six of ‘em?). So knowing he too has worked hard in the offseason and is getting ready for camp is promising.

Also worth nothing is that Ryan Kesler, Alex Edler, Matt Pettinger, Mason Raymond, Michael Grabner and Rob Davison were out there practicing with Bernier too. As was Brendan Morrison wearing his silly Duck uniform. I will save my venom for that until the season gets underway.

An aside: I was just looking at the official Canucks roster and 32-gamer Mark Cullen is squeezed in there. That's a glut of centers holding up the end of the playing chart (Krog, Shannon, Johnson, Cullen) to speak nothing of Hodgson, White and Bliznak on the farm. Should be an interesting camp to see who wants it the most.

The Sanford mask thing is trucking along with updates all over the place. Some people have some mad artistic skills (or maybe I am just amazed because I can barely hold a pencil). It’ll be interesting to see if more goalies go this route because this is a great PR move by the team.

Speaking of PR moves, the Canuck blogger contest is in the homestretch. Go check 'em out and vote if you have the time. Just don't forget to keep checking in on that clown who also sends blogs in for them. That guy sounds like a jackass.

This nugget of nothing was pretty good. I do enjoy when people hold Eklund’s feet to the fire for the asinine things he pitches. Until someone feels like doing some homework and puts an actual percentage denoting the success rate of what this guy writes, I’ll just continue to mourn the death of logic for those who pay a woefully grammatically-challenged individual to tell them absolutely nothing they can’t get for free.

...and around the league...

- It would appear Sakic is at least more decisive then Sundin. He’s holding a press conference in 48 hours to give an indication on his intentions. Me thinks he’s done and, if so, will end an absolutely amazing career. No one can question that.

- Geoff Sanderson is still looking for a home. I can’t imagine Gillis would take a stab at him as the 3rd/4th lines are full enough as is.

- Meszaros still has no contract. The CDC alone will keep this guy in a Canuck uniform until October. ()

And finally…it begins: the dreaded pre-season rankings. The comments at Kukla’s are spot on, especially Alan’s:

"Pre-season "rankings" are brutal in and of themselves. It’s just an excuse for hockey writers to pull stuff from within their rear orifices during the off-season."

Keep this in mind when my favorite hockey mind on the planet – Scott Burnside – drops his load in the coming weeks.

In fact, a minor bet: between TSN, Sportsnet, ESPN, Globe Sports, Sports Illustrated and Fox Sports, all of their respective pre-season rankings will have the Canucks on the outside looking in. The question, obviously, will be just how bad all the minds think it’ll get; I say the collective average will put them 11th in the West and last in the division.

But fear not: the last time the Canucks were so roundly bitched about before the season started they made the dance anyway.