The Polaris Shortlist, Free Agency, Etc.
July 15th, 2009

Well well well. Looks like I wound up going 5/5 for the Polaris Short List. I guess it would’ve been more impressive had I guessed a full ten, as that would’ve made me look far more visionary or whatever. Glad to see my personal tastes have been validated by a jury of Canadian music journalists. I mentioned that I was going to sit down and listen to K’naan and I have to say that the album is pretty goddamned good. It’s going to take the Polaris Prize, much as I would’ve loved to have seen Malajube walk away with it. Oh well.

I apologize for a lack of content, but I’ve been looking for work and have been busy working on a longer project that probably won’t see the light of day on here, hence the complete disappearance from yours truly. I had gone on a nifty little streak there back in June, right? Anyway, I’ll try to throw up some stuff soon for the millions (and millions) of nonexistent people completely by-passing this little blog.

As for the Canucks’ spin at free agency? I’m happy with what Gillis has been doing thus far, although it really sucked to see Bouwmeester go to the Flames. I think we were down to like 15 hours before July 1st when the signing was announced, so, thanks for giving me false hope, you bastard. The big question mark for the Flames is going to be goaltending, believe it or not. Kiprusoff is going to have to stop the regression he has been on the past couple of seasons (something which should be helped with the coaching change, as well as the arrival of Bouwmeester) and Curtis McElhiney is going to have to show that he is capable of being an NHL calibre back-up. Calgary’s forward depth is going to be a bit of a concern, although Flames fans will be quick to point out that this is a stronger forward core than 03/04. That said, plugging in guys like Bourque, Glencross, Boyd and Moss into your top six isn’t a guarantee for success. Jokinen is going to have to show that he’s capable of fitting in, too, as so far, he’s been showing he hasn’t been a great pickup for Sutter.

Back to the Canucks, though. I’m interested with the signing of Samuelsson, a guy who could fit anywhere in the top nine. Smart money is on him to play with the Sedins, as they played together in international competition and apparently had some chemistry, although I wouldn’t be surprised if he wound up on the third line, playing the role of Taylor Pyatt.

Raycroft is the first signing of Gillis’ that I haven’t agreed with and am unwilling to give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe it is because I’ve watched far too many Maple Leafs games and had to deal with an Avs fan friend last season, but I am convinced that Raycroft isn’t cut out for NHL level hockey. Slotting him as someone who will provide ‘competition’ to Corey Schneider, who could be the backup for the Canucks this year, doesn’t make any sense at all. Yeah, yeah, Moneyball. I still think Raycroft stinks.

The biggest signing of Gillis’, though, was the Sedins. People are going to complain about this until the cows come home. Unfortunately, at this point in their careers, there’s literally nothing the Sedins can do that’ll shut their detractors up, as they will never be happy with them. Are the Sedins capable of leading the offense for a playoff bound team? Yes. Are they dynamic, ‘exciting’ players like Ovechkin or Gaborik? No. Do I care if they’re ‘flashy’? So long as we’re winning, no. The Canucks’ biggest concern is having a second line that will be able to produce and relieve pressure from the Sedins. Hopefully, with Cody Hodgson and Michael Grabner lurking around, along with the likes of Kesler, Demitra, Samuelsson Bernier, Wellwood and (potentially) Sundin, we’ll have the right people to slot in for the second line and it won’t be a problem.

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