Monday, September 20, 2010

Vancouver Canucks Training Camp : It's a Tease!

    So I'd been wondering what to post about the Vancouver Canucks all day today. Perhaps it was the rainy weather, or maybe it was irritation of the Pittsburgh Steelers second game in a week not being televised in our area, but I haven't felt too inspired. 
    I'm not a stats guy. I don't like looking up how many goals Brendan Morrison scored in his second full season with the Canucks or how many shots Roberto Luongo faced in Game 52 last season. If I did, I guess I could find some sort of stats to compile and b.s. my way through a blog post.  I, and my many fans of A Man's Blog would probably fall asleep about half way through. I decided I'd 'editorialize' and describe why I need a cold shower about this time of year.

    I needed to expand on my feelings of excitement about the new Vancouver Canucks season, and also why I was feeling a little blah at the same time.  It brought me back to last year about this time.  There was a lot of hype surrounding the team because of the pending exhibition game in Terrace, B.C. from their Hockeyville contest win.  There was a lot of coverage, a lot of hype, radio shows hopping.  The game was on TV and I was pumped!  I raced around getting my "dad" things done so I'd be able to sip my coffee and watch the game on my big screen.  About mid way through the first period I'm irritated. Why? Well, because it was like watching the Manitoba Moose and the Victoria Salmonbellies play a who's who of Junior 'B' castoffs.  I mean, who can name more than 6 players of the Islanders pro team, let alone their 'prospects.' 
   My point here is we get all excited for hockey season. The media, the fans, the bloggers we're ready to go. Just can't wait to see our boys in blue, green and white hit the ice, see the familiar faces, hear the sounds, cheer for the goals. The problem is we don't see them. We see the minor leaguers, the new rookies, the old farts who won't make the team. We trumpet those guys out there so they can claim they're playing NHL experienced guys so the real vets don't have to suit up.   I'm just not all that enthused about watching guys like Bill Sweatt, Stefan Schneider and Guillaume Desbiens lead the first line while Kris Fredheim and Sean Zimmerman play the points. 
   I'm not trying to trash on these individual players, I just picked their names out of the current list of camp attendees as examples of the guys you pretty much know aren't going to make the team. I appreciate early in the pre-season you want to give some of these guys a look. You want to evaluate the personnel in your organization and see where everyone fits. For me, it's just frustrating because you're so eager to see the Henrik's and Daniel's, the Kesler's the Luongo's and the new additions which will be on the club.  I want to watch Dan Hamhuis get used to his team, I want to see if Raffi Torres can reignite the same in your face style he once had.  I don't want to watch guys who have absolutely no chance of making the team. 
   Yes I know you're going to say, "You have to let the kids have a chance to show themselves and think they can make the team."  ...but really?  I don't believe for a second that this roster is not virtually set, save for maybe 2 or three spots, mostly at forward.  I don't see the point in throwing guys who have no chance to make the team out in games when I feel they'd be better working within their own team's system (Manitoba or other) earlier.  It is more about the schedule, the NHL wanting to maximize revenue from exhibition games and making these teams play too many games in too many nights. This means we get to see these guys hang around longer than they should to save the veteran, shoo in rosters guys from playing too many games in the pre-season. 
   This is why the pre-season is a tease for me.  Get's me all excited, then becomes a total let down once I start watching. Kind of like that hot girl you waited to take on a date all summer. You pick her up and she's wearing your favourite hot outfit from the last time you saw her.  The the date starts and, well, uh oh.. you end the night not the way you hoped. 
   I can't wait for opening night, at least I'll get to see the full team again. Until then, I'm stuck watching AHL hockey for another three weeks. 


P.S. I fixed the comment box. I thought it would let anyone contribute but noticed today that was not the case. It is now open for anyone's comments. 

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