Both Canucks nation and the NHL lost one of the best characters in the game on Sunday evening.
Former Canucks defenceman and coach Jack McIlhargey passed away on Sunday after a battle with cancer. The Edmonton native played a hard 393 NHL games with the Vancouver Canucks, Philadelphia Flyers and Hartford Whalers. That included a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals in his first NHL season, where the Flyers bowed out against the Montreal Canadiens, who would go on to win their first of four straight Cups that year in 1976.
He then went on to coach in the AHL, with the Flyers and of course, with the Canucks. His coaching career spanned nearly 30 years from 1982 to 2010. That included two separate stints with the Canucks from 1985-91, and again from 1999-2006.
Fans from my generation remember him as the smiling coach with one of the best moustaches in the game, who helped the Canucks enjoy a string of success in the early 2000s.
If you’re going to read one obituary from him, check out the concise and well-written piece from “The Sport Doctor” himself, Greg Douglas. [NHL]
- In other Canucks news, Sportsnet trolled the Vancouver fan base with the documentary on Boston’s 2011 Stanley Cup Finals win. Ed Willis did a reflective piece on that. [The Province]
- Okay, that’s enough of that. Cam Robinson of Elite Prospects and Dobber Prospects recently hopped on The Area 51 Podcast, and he begrudgingly offered his three comparables for the top Canucks prospects.
I'm feeling generous.— /Cam Robinson/ (@Hockey_Robinson) July 21, 2020
Vasili Podkolzin = Mark Stone
Nils Höglander = Brendan Gallagher
Jack Rathbone = Alex Goligoski
(each player is unique. these are playing style comps. comparables mostly suck. wash your hands) https://t.co/UR3lGnC0OB
- The Minnesota Wild’s SB Nation blog over at Hockey Wilderness had a good preview of the goaltending battle between the Canucks and the Wild. [Hockey Wilderness]
- Going around the NHL, there was some good news on Monday, as the league announced that there were only two positive tests among 2,618 tests given to more than 800 players,
NHL statement on COVID-19 testing results: pic.twitter.com/C137laTvbH— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) July 20, 2020
That’s certainly great news, but it makes me wonder if this whole “Unfit to Play” rule is causing more harm than good? Every day it seems like there’s rampant speculation around the NHL about someone not practicing. Also in the matter of public safety, you could argue that at this point, the public should be aware of who has the virus.
Anyways, let’s just hope for more positive news with the players now mere days away from entering their respective bubbles.
- And finally, the broadcast schedule for the Round Robin has been released in more detail. [Sportsnet]