GM ON THE RECORD
Vancouver Canucks general manager Mike Gillis spent his morning on the Team 1040, discussing everything from bandwagon jumpers, the team hitting a wall, and the 2009 road schedule.
The Canucks entered the All-Star break in a disappointing slump, causing critics to look for drastic changes, however Gillis believes that the larger picture is not so bleak.
"People who are prepared to jump off bridges are really not looking realistically at the situation that we faced,” said Gillis. “I mean, the number of injuries we had and the players who were injured creates enormous mental pressure on the other players. And to continue to play at the level that we're playing at was unrealistic. Every team goes through a lull."
Gillis also went into detail with BMac and Rintoul about the team’s proposals for next year’s schedule.
"We've got a draft in place for about 38 of our road games for next season already, which is unheard of," said Gillis. "They made us a number one priority in terms of travel for a variety of reasons. One of them is injury history, crossing borders, and the fact that we don't have a team within two or three hours of us. So they agreed to make concessions based on a number of different factors and we feel really good about where we're headed with them. We feel really good about their understanding now, and that they're really willing to work with us to get a better road schedule in place."FIN’S ALL-STAR ADVENTURES
Canucks’ mascot Fin traveled with Mason Raymond
and Roberto Luongo
to Montreal for the NHL All-Star weekend. Check out the photos below from his All-Star festivities. Click here
to see all the photos from Fin's activities today. Fans can follow Fin’s adventures on his blog
.NHL LAYS DOWN THE LAW
The NHL is enforcing a policy established last year regarding attendance for the All-Star weekend, suspending Detroit Red Wing players, Pavel Datsyuk and Nicklas Lidstrom for one game. The two forwards will miss the first game Detroit plays after the All-Star break for failing to take part in this weekend’s festivities. Lidstrom has played in 10 All-Star games.
Pittsburgh Penguins’ captain Sidney Crosby will not be subject to the penalty, because he is in Montreal participating in off-ice activities for the All-Star weekend. Crosby will not play in the All-Star game or skills competition because of a knee injury.
NHL senior executive vice president of hockey operations, Colin Campbell, explained that players who are voted or selected to All-Star rosters are obligated to attend unless they are injured. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman imposed the policy to improve attendance for All-Star Weekend and legitimize injury claims.
The YoungStars competition is exempt from the policy and several notable players have declined to attend, including Columbus goaltender Steve Mason and Washington centre Nicklas Backstrom.FOOTBALL CONNECTION
In a TSN feature
, Sam Bradford of the Oklahoma Sooners, who won the 74th Heisman Trophy last month, talks about his early childhood dreams of playing for the Vancouver Canucks. The Heisman Trophy is football’s most prestigious honour.
Bradford lead the Sooners to a 12-1 record and the highest scoring offence in Division One football history. The Oklahoma native excelled at ice hockey when he was younger and idolized Canucks superstar Pavel Bure.
His family never gave in to the youngster’s desire to move to Vancouver to pursue a hockey career, however Bradford admits he would now love to participate in a celebrity hockey game during the NHL All-Star Weekend if the opportunity arose.