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Nucks Misconduct Roundtable: The Don’t Horse (Medicine) Around Edition

Taking a look at Brandon Sutter’s Long COVID recovery among other things this week.

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NHL: APR 29 Canucks at Maple Leafs 33 during the second period of the NHL regular season game between the Vancouver Canucks and the Toronto Maple Leafs on April 29, 2021, at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, ON, Canada. (Photo by Julian Avram/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It’s time for another edition of the Nucks Misconduct Roundtable. We get our writers together and ask them a number of questions about the state of this team we’ve been cursed to follow. Sometimes they play it straight, sometimes it’s Westy and Jimmi, but you’ll always get the unvarnished opinions on the Canucks here.

Ottawa Senators v Vancouver Canucks Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images

1- We’ll start off with the Brandon Sutter article in the Vancouver Province. In it, Sutter details his post-COVID recovery attempts, that include his admission that he’s currently using Ivermectin, a horse medication that has been thoroughly debunked by medical professionals. Your thoughts?

Markus - I’m no medical expert, but it seems that the Sutter article was spreading some, at best, shady information. I wish Sutter nothing but the best recovery, and I obviously can’t speak to what he’s going through, but I think it’s a tad concerning that some of his statements went largely unchecked in that article. I’m not entirely sure Brandon Sutter knows what he’s talking about, but I just hope he gets better, for his sake.

Westy - Desperation does create some weird circumstances. Sutter has been dealing with long-Covid for so long, I guess he is willing to try...anything. I guess he doesn’t know that it probably won’t work.

jimmi - Terrible to hear from Sutz about the horrible long-covid symptoms he describes. If I could play a doctor on the internet, I’d prescribe Westy’s Righteous Rum. It’s just as effective as horse de-wormer or other placebo, but tastier, safer and cheaper.

Beggsy - I found it interesting that he said it’s helping him...but he didn’t really get into how it was helping him.

Hey, I won’t sit here and say I haven't put a weird foreign substance in my body before, so who am I to judge...Like everyone here at NM, I’m just hoping that Sutter recovers so that he can enjoy time with his wife and three kids.

Kent- Hoo boy. Where to start? Well, how about we start with the Vancouver Province, who put out an article with zero pushback on any of the unfounded, and thoroughly debunked claims and viewpoints made by Sutter in this article. It’s an amazing combination of laziness and ignorance that should never have happened. As Beggsy said, he also doesn’t say how this has helped him. And his assertion that he feels ‘100% better’ yet is still unable to resume workouts should be the poster child for ‘People Who Don’t Understand How Statistics Work’.

It sucks he’s going through this, and that his career is in all likelihood finished. As someone who works in healthcare, I cannot muster a lot of sympathy for people who deny science, and have allowed this virus to continue to destroy lives around the globe.

Canada v Denmark - 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images

2- After getting put on blast in a statement from the Canadian National Women’s Team, there is now a call for Hockey Canada’s leadership group to resign coming from former NHL’er Sheldon Kennedy. What should Hockey Canada do to try and fix this god-awful mess?

Markus - I mean, what can they do besides entirely overhauling their leadership team? They’ve screwed this up so badly and caused so much harm that trimming around the edges just won’t work. My hope is that there’s advanced government oversight from the feds, a complete replacement of the current leadership team, and actual accountability measures in place to change the culture. The cynic in me thinks they’ll fire a couple executives, change the logo, and set up a tip line or something, but I hope I'm proven wrong with structural changes.

Westy - Maybe a logic exercise needs to arranged to try and re-think Hockey Canada.
1. What is Hockey Canada supposed to do? 2. Who oversees that they actually do it?

Obviously, these two questions have been ignored for...decades and some people had too much power and were able to keep some horrendous behaviour out of the public eye.

I think there still needs to be an ongoing conversation about the junior league system that sends these players to Hockey Canada in the first place. Toxic behaviour isn’t just created in a World Junior environment.

jimmi - I grew up (some say not enough) in a toxic hockey culture, where systemic abuse of power by gatekeepers was just how things were done. I grew up in Canada. We start playing hockey for the love of the game. For the fun of skating around at 6AM while an adult screamed insults and threatened a bunch of 7-year-olds. But there was also a dark side.

Competitive sports can be great to push limits - to exceed them. But sometimes the limits exceeded are not in sport, but in basic respect for human rights, equality and dignity.

Hockey Canada can’t solve the toxic culture behind the toxic behaviour in junior hockey. But they do not have to condone it by creating multi-million dollar slush funds of ‘hush’ money - to maintain the facade of nice Canadian boys playing our national game.

Why hide the despicable behaviour of certain young players from public scrutiny? Career implications? Or the vital need to keep the Canadian hockey myth alive generating sponsor revenue? We’ve got questions. Hockey Canada has legal representatives.

Institutionalized hypocrisy is perhaps not what Hockey Canada strives for. But it’s now what they are known for.

Everyone involved in the entire organization, including former players and coaches. might want to pursue some soul-searching, simple honesty and personal accountability.

Or they can perform a perfunctory executive purge, some rebranding and pretend the systemic issues are a systemic PR issue.

Beggsy - Jimmi summed this ugly situation up beautifully. I’m not sure what exactly is going to change hockey’s toxic culture, but enabling teenagers to commit sexual assault ain’t it.

We all do dumb shit as teenagers, but there’s dumb shit and then there’s manipulating young women and forcing them into situations where they could be sexually assaulted. The CHL has had a toxic culture of gross, overt masculinity and it’s bred many teenagers to believe they can get away with anything. That has to change, and it needed to change yesterday.

Kent- Not a lot more to add here from what Jimmi said. The fact that not a single person has lost their employment over this yet, especially after the jaw-dropping arrogance shown by the leaders of HC at the question sessions with members of Parliament is particularly galling. I work with parents who have kids in minor hockey who have expressed their disgust that the fees that they pay directly to Hockey Canada go into a fund that pays off settlements for these incidents. It has to change, and that change can only happen with a massive purge of the people who put success over everything else, including human decency. And they also need to address the hazing problems in youth hockey, while they’re at it.

3- The Canucks made a post featuring the numbers of five new additions to the team next season, and a couple of them are noteworthy, as they were being used by Michael DiPietro and Brandon Sutter. We all assumed that Sutter was not returning, but this has to be a sign that DiPietro will be traded imminently, right?

Markus - I mean, I suppose it’s possible DiPietro just isn’t attached to his #65, but yeah, I think he’s most likely gone. I think it’s unfortunate his development got so badly hit by COVID and the taxi squad and whatnot, because I think there’s some talent and potential in there. But at this point, my guess is he’ll either be shipped away for next to nothing or he’ll be a throw into a larger deal.

Westy - Martin and Silvos made DiPietro expendable, not Covid. If he has value on the market and get the Canucks a 3rd or 4th rounder....ship him out.

jimmi - I didn’t calculate all the numbers. Fancy math just doesn’t add up for me. Maybe it was a deliberate tell of a trade. Or maybe it was just a typo at the print shop. What I want to know is how does this numeric fracas hints at an improved Nucking D. Show me the numbers.

Beggsy - I think the Canucks just forgot about DiPietro, which wouldn’t be a departure from what’s transpired over the last two years...

Kent- Miller and DiPietro to the Islanders for Noah Dobson. The Canucks get a solid piece on the back end for the future, and the Islanders get a potential hundred point man AND a chance to remove the hex of the Rick DiPietro contract (which pays him $1.5 Million until the end of the 2028=29 season). Everyone wins!

Tampa Bay Lightning v Florida Panthers - Game Two Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images

4- The Calgary Flames went from a flaming wreck to a force to be reckoned with in the eyes of many after pulling off an impressive deal with the Florida Panthers, getting Jonathan Huberdeau and Mackenzie Weegar for Matthew Tkachuk. Are the Flames the team to beat in the Pacific?

Markus - I think “a force to be reckoned with” overstates the Flames. Yeah, they completely ripped off the Panthers given how little leverage they had, but they’ve still lost a star forward on balance. They have some onerous contracts (see: Lucic, Milan; Monahan, Sean), we’ll see how Jacob Markstrom holds up after a terrible second round, and we’ll see how Huberdeau does without a star centreman like he had with Aleksander Barkov. I think they could win the division, but if they’re struggling to stay in the race, I’m not sure I’d be stunned.

Westy - Edmonton would like a word with Kent. I think losing Johnny Hockey will have a huge effect on this team scoring as much as last year.

jimmi - Ummm... not to put too fine a point on it, but all the teams in the division are the teams to beat. Cowtown is just another one on the list - same as last season. Been fun watching the Flaming drama - this time without our former players stealing the media lights.

Beggsy - Don’t listen to your peers Kent, I liked your witty sentence, and I do agree that the Flames are the best team on paper in the Pacific. The Flames arguably have the best defence/goaltending combo in the entire NHL. I think that’ll make up for some of their losses up front.

Let’s be real, the five teams who should compete for the Pacific Division crown all have flaws, but Calgary should be the favourite ahead of the rest.

That being said, over the past few years, every time I thought Calgary was going to be good, they’ve sucked. Here’s hoping I’m “wrong” again...

Kent- I’m not entirely convinced that this changes much in Calgary, to be honest. At best, it’s a lateral move to replace the players that have departed, and that puts a ton of pressure on Weegar to elevate his game. Are they favorites in the Division? At the moment, sure. With a lot of time for teams to craft the lineups they’ll start the season with, it’s not a given they’re going to be as dominant as people thing, though.

Calgary Flames v Edmonton Oilers - Game Four Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images

5- And speaking of Tkachuk, put on your GM cap and offer up your best Canucks deal for the pesky forward (and yes, Westy I want an actual offer here).

Markus - I think any Canucks package likely starts around Bo Horvat or Brock Boeser, with significant assets around the edges. I think something like Horvat, Jack Rathbone, and a 1st gets you into the ballpark. It’s less than Florida gave up, but still not bad. They get an impact centre, a 1st, and a top defence prospect. Would either team do this? Maybe not. Depends how much Calgary believes in Elias Lindholm as a 1C, and how much the Canucks want another winger. But something around that feels around the best they could reasonably do.

Westy - You don’t trade big assets within your division Kent.

And if you are forced to write about imaginary events, you don’t trade Bo Horvat to Calgary. (Sorry Markus) Horvat would perform much better in a Sutter coaching environment than Boeser. So Boeser, Rathbone, a 2nd this year and a 3rd next year. Throw in DiPietro for fun.

jimmi - Oh hypothetical GM... sounds like fun. Hypothetically I wouldn’t trade for Matty. Instead I’d have traded JB before 2016 draft. Then the new GM - totally under my control - would have selected Tkachuk instead of Juolevi. Then the new GM - totally under my control - would have traded Mad Matty for Cale Makar.

Beggsy - Well, now that he’s been traded, we know that the Canucks wouldn’t even have had the assets to pull this off. The trade would have been something like JT Miller, Tyler Myers, Jack Rathbone and a 2024 1st round pick.

Plus, after being passed by the Canucks for Olli Juolevi, Vancouver might be the only team Tkachuk would want to play for less than he did Calgary.

Kent- Now that we’ve gotten over Westy being no fun, I would have offered up Nils Hoglander, Jett Woo and DiPietro plus a 1st rounder.

Los Angeles Kings v Vancouver Canucks Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images

6- And we’re just gonna let you comment on the news that the Los Angeles Kings are going to be putting a statue of Dustin Brown in front of Arena after retiring his number this season...

Markus - Listen, retiring his number, sure thing. The Canucks have Stan Smyl and Trevor Linden's numbers retired. Retrying the jerseys of beloved, heart and soul captains (who won two cups) feels like a standard practice. A statue though? Other Kings statues include Wayne Gretzky and Luc Robitaille. So do with that information what you will.

Westy - I think Kent spelled “Kobe” wrong.

jimmi - Oh the timing for this couldn’t be better. An arena sponsored by a crypto exchange company with an interesting record in a ponzy scheme shady market has a hockey player with an interesting record renowned for shady plays as their brand mascot er... statue. Fascinating.

Beggsy - I for one, am excited to see the Dustin Brown statue.

Kent- I have seen numerous people trying to justify this by pointing to Brown’s tenure, his role in their Cup wins, etc. It’s just wrong, and should be openly mocked at every opportunity. Jersey retirements are for those exceptional players who stood out for a franchise. Statues are for legends, and Brown, in spite of how Kings fans and media feel about him, falls far short of this measurement. A statue for him and not Marcel Dionne is offensive, honestly.

Dustin Brown will have the most legendary statue of all time outside of the arena.