Who takes game seven? Can the Sharks fight off the demons of losing 3 straight? Or does LA make it 4 straight and blow up the Sharks franchise?
I think the Sharks are fish food and done. The team morale is at an all-time low after blowing a 3-0 lead. The Kings have all the momentum.
What do you think?
Follow your passion!
Finally the Vancouver Canucks made a good decision by firing Mike Gillis. Anyone that says Gillis turned the Canucks into a contender after the firing of Dave Nonis has no idea how bad this guy was as GM.
In his first season as GM in 2008-09, Gillis got one solid draft pick in Cody Hodgson, but where is he now? He signed Pavol Demitra which was a good addition and also signed Mats Sundin at $8.6m and he only played half a season in Vancouver. I will give Gillis kudos for signing David Backes to a 3-year offer sheet that unfortunately the St. Louis Blues matched. The team won the division after missing the playoffs but were ousted by the Chicago Blackhawks in the second round.
The 2009-10 Mathieu Schneider and Mikael Samuelsson and drafting Jordan Schroeder and Kevin Connauton. But the claim to fame in this season was re-signing Roberto Luongo to a 12 year extension! The Sedins were signed to extensions this season as well and Samuelsson turned out to be a good signing with a career high 30 goals. Ryan Kesler was also signed to an extension for 6 years/$30 million.
The 2010-11 season started with getting absolutely nothing in the draft as the highest player taken was 115th overall and his name was Patrick McNally. Who? Exactly. After all the extensions and signings and giving up draft picks, the Canucks were to make a run. Did Gillis really architect this team or were most of the pieces just in place and he just signed them to longer more expensive extensions? As it turns out the Canucks made the Stanley Cup final but couldn’t close out against the Boston Bruins.
In 2011-12, his fourth season as GM, Gillis was starting to feel the pressure of not winning. But coming so close. Personally I think he took the pressure to hard and pushed the team into a downward spiral at this point even though the Canucks won their second consecutive President’s Trophy. Gillis biggest mistake was trading the best player he ever drafted in Cody Hodsgon to the Buffalo Sabres for basically Zack Kassian. Might have looked good on paper at this point as Vancouver to get bigger and Hodgson was having trouble staying healthy. We all know how it turned out though. The Canucks lost in the first round of the playoffs and big changes were warranted or heads would roll!
The 2012-13 season brought another couple of extensions from Gillis. Alex Burrows signed for 4 years/$18 million and Alex Edler signed for 6 years/$30 million. Another two players that basically all Gillis did was re-sign and give too much money to. The team struggled and Alain Vigneault lost his job, although Gillis should have been the one that got canned. Ryan Kesler and David Booth were both injured for most of the season. The goaltending controversy between Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider was a massive soap opera. Derek Roy another super signing by Gillis was invisible in the playoffs.
Then he trades Cory Schneider in the off-season at the draft and turns around and trades Roberto Luongo as well? Talk about pushing the panic button. The Canucks go from having probably the best goalie tandem and deepest depth at the position to starting Eddie Lack! In the end Gillis didn’t have enough patience to handle the GM duties in a hockey mad city where losing the Stanley Cup means torching police cars. Maybe he was honestly fearing for his life and pushed the panic button. Or maybe he was basically just a person re-signing players that were already put in place without replenishing the cupboards with young talent.
The Canucks have a long way to go and maybe with Trevor Linden, Mr. Canuck coming in at the helm the ship will be pointed in the right direction.
Remember to follow your passion.
Nicklas Lidstrom was honoured on March 6th in Detroit with his famed No. 5 jersey being retired by the original six franchise. Lidstrom is the first defenceman to have his jersey retired by the Red Wings. He joins six other famed Red Wings: Gordie Howe’s No. 9, Steve Yzerman’s No. 19, Ted Lindsay’s No. 7, Terry Sawchuk’s No. 1, Alex Delvecchio’s No. 10, and Sid Abel’s No. 12.
Lidstrom was drafted in the third round (53rd overall) in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft and amassed 1,142 points on 264 goals and 878 assists in 1,564 games. The trophy case includes 7 Norris Trophies, 1 Conn Smythe Trophy, and 4 Stanley Cups. Other career marks:
- Ranks 2nd all-time in Red Wing history in GP and 4th in points
- First European born Captain to win a Stanley Cup
- First European born player to win Conn Smythe Trophy
- NHL All-Rookie Team (1992)
- NHL First All-Star Team – 10 – (1998-2003, 2006-2008, 2011)
- NHL Second All-Star Team – 2 – (2009-2010)
- James Norris Memorial Trophy – 7 – (2001-2003, 2006-2008, 2011)
- Conn Smythe Trophy (2002)
- Olympic All-Star Team and Gold Medal (2006)
- Played in the Olympics – 4 – (1998, 2002, 2006, 2010)
- Played in NHL All-Star Game – 11 – (1996, 1998-2004, 2007-2008, 2011)
- Stanley Cup Winner – 4 – (1997-1998, 2002, 2008) (2008 as captain)
The one stat that is so amazing to me is that in 20 seasons he was a minus player only one time in 2010-2011. His total plus-minus for his entire career is a plus 450. I read during the 2010-2011 campaign that Lidstrom was upset that he was a minus player. This shows how much Lidstrom put into his game and how proud of player he was.
The story of how No. 5 came to be is very funny actually especially for a Red Wing historian. When Lidstrom signed his first contract with the Red Wings he didn’t know much about the team coming from Sweden. Basically he knew that Steve Yzerman was the captain and played in Detroit a long time. The trainer asked Lidstrom what number he would like and Lidstrom said, “I wore No. 9 in Sweden and it’d be great to be No. 9 again.” The trainer said, “Kid, that just ain’t gonna happen.” So he just took whatever number was given to him and that is how he became No. 5.
Next stop the Hockey Hall of Fame.
The K2LFGM Team
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Does the addition of winger Thomas Vanek push the Montreal Canadiens into Stanley Cup contention?
With the Habs sitting in second place in the Atlantic Division this definitely is a nice piece to the puzzle for the Canadiens. Vanek is a gifted goal scorer who adds size to a smaller team and gives two solid lines with punch for Montreal.
They only gave up prospect Sebastian Collberg and probably a 2nd round pick in 2014 (if Montreal makes the playoffs) for a proven commodity. Although Vanek is an unrestricted free agent this summer I could see him staying in Montreal. With Vanek’s European heritage (Austrian) he will find a nice fit playing in Montreal, not that New York was bad! But playing in Long Island is no New York City!
Please feel free to comment on your thoughts and vote in the poll. Follow your passion!