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Let's Check in On Some Former Canucks

With all the scrutiny on the Canucks and their "colossal" slump I figured I would try to distract our minds from the team's recent efforts by looking into what some former Canucks are doing. Ready? Yeah you are.

Cody Hodgson

Hodgson has played 9 games with the Sabres, has no points and is a -4 with only 13 shots on goal. His ice time has ranged from over 21:00 in a game, as coach Lindy Ruff is trying to get him going, all the way down to 11:07, and starting on the Sabres' 4th line. Hodgson recently had a one on one talk with his coach at a practice where Ruff told him not to get frustrated. The coach told the media:

"He's gone through a real tough stretch," Ruff said. "I played him some real heavy minutes in Ottawa. I saw a little bit of fatigue there, and I don't even know if his fatigue is on the physical side for sure; I think there's some mental fatigue there of what he's gone through and the emotions of being traded and the circumstances around it.

"I just said, 'Don't get frustrated.' I said, 'You went from the most minutes maybe in Ottawa to lesser minutes last game. Part of that was how well [Tyler] Ennis, [Marcus] Foligno and [Drew] Stafford have played.' And I said, 'Just let it happen. Don't look for points or cheat for points. Just play your game."

Hodgson's scoring touch will return. The Sabres are 6-2-1 with Cody

in the lineup and are 3 points out of a playoff spot in the East.

My fave Hodgson moment is kind of obvious:

My second favorite moment is when he got traded. HA! I kid.

Alexander Sulzer

The German defenceman who couldn't buy ice time in Vancouver is getting plenty of it in Buffalo...with the other German Christian Ehrhoff. Sulzer recently played 24:00 against the Habs. He is a +2 in 6 games with the Sabres and has 1 goal and an assist in his last 2 games.

Mikael Samuelsson

Son Of Sam is hot right now in Florida. 1 goal and 2 assists in his last 2 games, including a 2-point night Thursday in a win over the Bruins. Hell yea! We like that, Sammy. He has 9 goals and 12 assists in 37 games with the Panthers. It took him 8 games to score his first goal there. He is a +2. There is some range to his time on ice but it seems to be settling down to the 14-16 minutes mark. He averages 2:43 of power play time on ice per game. After a rough stretch for the team recently, the Panthers have now won 3 straight, are leading the Southeast Division by 3 points and trail the sucking Bruins by only 2 points.

One of my fave Sammy moments in his tenure here (besides his interviews):

Marco Sturm

Sturm spends time on the 3rd and 4th lines in Florida where he is producing nothing offensively. He has 2 goals and 1 assist and is a -8 in 32 games for the Panthers this season. Sturm has not registered a point since December 3.'s split stats says Sturm is averaging just over a minute of power play time on ice and shorthanded time on ice.

Jeff Tambellini

After not being signed by any NHL team last summer, Tambellini decided to sign with Zurich of the Swiss National League. Not surprisingly, he is doing pretty good there. In 50 games played he had 23 goals and 45 points, which led the team. The Lions are now in the playoffs and Tambo has 2 goals and 1 assist in 4 games. Round 2 of those playoffs begins on Saturday. Man, I'll never forget that speedy backcheck on Erat in Round 2:

Mario Bliznak

Signed with Sparta Praha in the Czech Extraliga in the summer. He scored 11 goals and 29 points and was a +18 in 52 games for them. He is currently leading the Sparta team in playoff scoring with 3 goals and 5 points through 4 games. Their series is tied 2-2 with Kometa.

He only scored 1 NHL goal, and it was pretty sweet:

Guillaume Desbiens

"The Goods" has spent the majority of this season with Calgary's affiliate team the Abbotsford Heat. But lately, he's sticking with the big club. He's an energy guy. He just bangs guys and fights. In fact, he has fought in 3 consecutive games now vs Paul Bissonette, Ryan Clowe and Matt Kassian. Wow, look at those Flames...they've won 5 in a row! All attributed to Desbiens creating energy with his fights, right Mr. Charron?

Raffi Torres

Sometimes when players leave the Canucks and join other teams they become dead to me. Not Raffi. Not ever. Many of us (including myself) wondered if we'd see Raffi get a massive suspension this season due to a head shot after what we saw last season. Nope. Raffi seems to have kept it between the lines. 50 PIM's in 68 games. But more importantly, he has scored 13 goals and 8 assists...averaging just over 11:00 of ice time per game as well. (He scored 14 goals with Vancouver last season.) Torres is a versatile guy and the Coyotes were wise to sign him. He can play top or bottom 6 and I have seen coach Tippett do both.

I think Coyotes fans will like him in the playoffs. I know we did:

Sergei Shirokov

Turning down a $500,000 deal with the KHL to defect here. We had high hopes for him but they never materialized at the NHL level. The Canucks traded his rights to Florida for Mike Duco's rights this summer, and Shirokov decided to sign a 3-year deal with CSKA Moscow earlier, where he has had a productive season: 18 goals and 48 points in 53 games. That is the best on the team. CSKA recently lost their opening playoff series 4 games to 1. If Wiki is correct, Shirokov holds the Manitoba Moose record for consecutive games recording a point (12).

I still remember his first and only NHL goal:

Yea, when he does something like that you think he'd have a lot more of that in him.

Christian Ehrhoff

Sometimes I miss the Angry German. When the power play becomes anemic, for example. When the scoring dries up as another example. But I sure as hell would not have signed him for a $4 million cap hit until 2021. Ehrhoff scored 50 points and was a +19 in his final year as a Canuck. This season he has rewarded the Sabres with 5 goals, 30 points and a -3. He is on pace for his lowest points total since 2008. 5 goals on 132 shots! Wow. ONE power play goal? What the?

Will miss the 12 points that he got for us in the playoffs last season but not his -13. Good luck with this guy, Buffalo.

Huh, I don't remember seeing this earlier this season, but here is Torres absolutely decking Ehrhoff back in November:

Dan Cloutier

He's outside shoveling the snow off my driveway. Lucky for him though it's a short driveway so he shouldn't have any problem with it. Sorry, Dan. I'm just kidding.

Anyway, that's all for now. Hope I distracted you a bit. Lord knows we need some of that right now.

I'll have more on how other recent ex-Canucks are doing sometime soon. Maybe. You know, like how much Michael Grabner sucks.