Saturday, June 25, 2011

2011 NHL ENTRY DRAFT

Well this draft was really fun for me. I had various things in my mind about this draft and most of them panned out pretty well. Three things I looked for were:

1) How would the first 5 picks be distributed?
2) Who did the Canucks pick and what moves did they make?
3) How did my prospects I've collected hockey card wise get drafted?

Let's deal with the first thing first. The top five. To not so many peoples surprise Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was selected as the first overall pick in this years draft.


Edmonton had him pretty much prepped as Taylor Hall's new line buddy right from the start. As a Canucks fan I'm going to have to get use to hating this guy for the year's to come. That's too bad too considering he was born in the same city as I was.

After N-H got picked I was torn as to who would go next. Adam Larsson was my next favorite and I'm happy New Jersey picked him up at 5th because they're hurting on the back-end and needed a lift in Larsson. Good Swede d-man that will be solid to possibly build around in the future.


As for how the Canucks did I was very content at times, and at others a little disappointed. Let's start with their first round choice in Nicklas Jensen. He's a 6'3'', 186 lbs left winger that's ranked the best prospect out of Denmark in this year's draft. Reports say that he could make history as the best Dane to ever play the game and hopefully he could use a fellow Dane in Jannik Hanson to help him develop. Although he is a different player than Hanson is, he uses his body to his advantage. Despite his size, he has excellent speed and great hands. He's said to "take little to no room, and create a scoring chance" and "give him an inch he'll take it a mile". Some more pros to consider is his ability to finish, in his first season in the OHL he racked up 58 points in 61 games. Of the 29 goals he scored in the OHL a few of them could be considered highlight reel goals. Probably most impressive was his 15 points (13 goals, 2 assists) in 5 games in the WJC-18 Div1 tourny. The cons to this power forward is his inconsistency. At times he's reported to "take shifts off" but near the end of the season and into the play-offs he proved critics wrong scoring 5 points in 5 games during the play-offs and consistently putting up points in his last 20 games. Also, although he uses his size to his advantage, scouts say he can put on some extra muscle to really elevate his strength on the puck. Overall, I'm 
very happy with the pick.

After trading away the second round pick to Minnesota for their 3rd and 4th rounders, the Canucks selected goalie David Honzik. I was very surprised they added to our already strong goalie depth chart and confused why they picked Honzik over the third ranked North American goalie Jordan Binnington.


This card I pulled from my box of 2010-11 BTP, was originally exciting for two reasons. The two color swatch and that it's the silver version numbered to only 30 copies. After doing research on the actual player I became even more excited. Jordan has great potential to one day crack an NHL line-up and is highly regarded by NHL scouts. Saying this, I thought he might go in the top 5 or so goalies selected. So if the Canucks wanted a goalie and Jordan was still on the table why didn't they pick him? David Honzik obviously caught the organizations eye. His stats are nothing fantastic, in fact they're a little icky with a GAA of 3.54 and a SP 0.884%. I guess it just would have been cool for us to pick Binnington over Honzik for the mere fact that I pulled his card before the draft and it would have been cool to see him in Canucks gear. Maybe, I'm a little biased. Jordan ended up getting picked in the 3rd round by the St. Louis Blues 88th overall. He was the 6th goalie selected.

Next the Canucks selected right winger Alexandre Grenier. I don't know a whole lot about Grenier but his numbers say a bit about him. He played only 31 games for the Quebec Remparts in the QMJHL in his first year. In those 31 games he put up 24 points (9 goals and 15 assists). In the play-offs though he put up 16 points in 15 games. That leads me to believe he thrives in high intensity situations without taking penalties also. He only had 10 PIM in both the regular and post seasons in 46 games. Oh ya he's also 6'5'' and 200 lbs, no big deal.

In the first of the two 4th round selections of the Canucks we picked Joseph Labate 101st overall. Here's what "thescoutingreport.org" has to say about the 6'4'', 180 lb centreman:
"LaBate held steady in our rankings this season and has definitely put his name on the map this season. He’s got the frame that will definitely interest NHL teams and his skating ability and willingness to play in front of the net will surely entice NHL teams as well. The Wisconsin commit will benefit from playing in the NCAA, where he’ll have an opportunity to add some much needed strength to his frame while playing against older players over the next 3-4 seasons."
What I like most about the statement above is his "willingness to play in front of the net". As a big body maybe he could turn out to be the next Todd Bertuzzi pre-Moore incident type player. I like what I've read so far about him.

For the 120th selection the Canucks chose Swede left-winger Ludwig Blomstrand. According to "eliteprospects.com" he has "potential to become an excellent role player. Has great size and wheels and works really hard. Gets involved in the rough stuff. Somewhat limited offensive upside." So it looks like he's not gonna turn out to be a Sidney Crosby but I do appreciate the value of a role player.

Next is Frank Corrado the lone 5th round pick of the Nucks. Frank has his own blog fan site which leads me to believe he has good character and the fans love him. If you want to learn more about him, check out his blog at "http://frankiecorrado.blogspot.com/". He was considered a dark horse defenseman. 

Our 6th round choice was a guy I really got excited about - Pathrik Westerholm (has a ring to it, doesn't it?). You'll know what I mean once you read his bio. Try to think who he reminds you of: "A skilled offensive player. Has great chemistry with his twin-brother Ponthus. Good hockey sense and is the more noticeable goal scorer of the the two. Passing and shooting game is good and so is his puckhandling. Cycles the puck often with his brother. The question has been raised if he can be a productive player without his twin." Holy s*** did we just pick up 1 out of the 2 next Sedins. He's one of the two Swedish twins, who likes to work the cycle game and works best with his twin brother. He could be considered the Daniel Sedin because he is the scorer. What puzzles me is that his twin brother Ponthus wasn't even drafted! Why didn't we pick him up as a late 7th rounder? Doesn't make sense to me Gillis. I mean I know this is a long shot but if you take it you might just score. They have the best role models in the world to help them play their game already on the team. I hope Mike can swing a deal with Ponthus come free agency to pick up another pair of Swedish twins.

Instead, the Canucks picked Henrik Tommernes as the second to last pick in the draft. He's an offensively skilled d-man. He's a very good skater and has a goof first pass. Another Swede d-man, who would have thunk it?

So that was it for the Canucks, hopefully we can develop all these players to attain their personal best and hey maybe we have a diamond in the rough somewhere. As for how my hockey card prospects panned out, we already know where Binnington landed. The only other card I have is this one:


To nobody's surprise Piche was undrafted, if anybody is looking to have this card for whatever reason we can make a deal. With that being said, if you have any cards of the Canucks draftees, I would love to trade for them especially if they're GU cards. Also, if you have any info that might be interesting to myself let me know.

GO NUCKS GO!

Friday, June 24, 2011

THE GOALIE PROJECT - Dan Cloutier (Part 1)

I won't be doing a whole lot of talking since I'm watching TSN's coverage of the 2011 NHL entry draft as we speak. More on that in the next few days.

As for hockey cards, Dan Cloutier was my favorite childhood goalie growing up. I was a fan of him through good and bad (mostly bad), and so Cloutier cards were always well taken care of in my collection. First let's see 2 out of the 4 cards I have of Dan in jerseys other than Canucks.


Instead of pulling out all my Cloutier cards let's take a look at my favorite Cloutier cards in Canucks gear.



My only memorabilia card of Cloutier is a signed jumbo card which I received IP, there's a lot more that goes along with this story but we'll leave that for another day. Take another look:


I almost forgot about the rookie card, I thought I didn't have one but upon further review I forgot about this gem.


This card as you can see is courtesy of checkoutmycards.com because I'm too lazy to scan mine again, so there you have it. 

Doesn't matter how good or bad your childhood hero is, you still gotta love 'em. Thanks Dan!

Alex Auld - 3/3 COMPLETE! 26 TOTAL
Murray Bannerman - 1/3 COMPLETE! 1 TOTAL
Martin Brochu
Richard Brodeur - 1/3 COMPLETE! 2 TOTAL
Gary Bromley
Bruce Bullock
Sean Burke
Frank Caprice
Jacques Caron
Dan Cloutier - 3/3 COMPLETE! 29 TOTAL
Ed Dyck
Ken Ellacott
Bob Essensa - 3/3 COMPLETE! 13 TOTAL
Mike Fountain
Troy Gamble - 2/2 COMPLETE! 21 TOTAL
George Gardner
John Garrett - 1/3 COMPLETE! 1 TOTAL
Glen Hanlon
Johan Hedberg - 2/3 COMPLETE! 4 TOTAL
Rick Heinz
Corey Hirsch
Charlie Hodge
Arturs Irbe
Jason LaBarbera - 2/3 COMPLETE! 4 TOTAL
Ken Lockett
Roberto Luongo - 3/3 COMPLETE! 38 TOTAL
Drew MacIntyre - 1/3 COMPLETE! 1 TOTAL
Cesare Maniago - 1/3 COMPLETE! 1 TOTAL
Bob Mason
Dave McClelland
Steve McKichan
Kirk McLean
Rob McVicar - 1/1 COMPLETE! 1 TOTAL
Alfie Michaud
Tyler Moss
Mika Noronen - 2/3 COMPLETE! 5 TOTAL
Maxime Ouellet
Félix Potvin - 3/3 COMPLETE! 25 TOTAL
Andrew Raycroft - 1/3 COMPLETE! 6 TOTAL
Curt Ridley
Dany Sabourin - 2/3 COMPLETE! 2 TOTAL
Curtis Sanford - 3/3 COMPLETE! 7 TOTAL
Cory Schneider - 1/2 COMPLETE! 7 TOTAL
Corey Schwab
Petr Skudra - 3/3 COMPLETE! 4 TOTAL
Gary Smith
Garth Snow
Kevin Weekes
Steve Weeks
Kay Whitmore - 1/3 COMPLETE! 1 TOTAL
Dunc Wilson - 1/3 COMPLETE! 1 TOTAL
Wendell Young

GO NUCKS GO!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

BOX BREAK - A Little Bit of Everything

My latest trip to Seattle last weekend brought a change to my hockey card buying habits. Let me set the scene: my family dropped into a Target to get a few last minute items, I went straight to the hockey card section. There was very small selection which I wasn't surprised to see since Seattle is a non-hockey city. Basically my ten dollars gave me two options. First, I could buy 3 packs of Pinnacle (I picked through the packs and picked 2 really thick packs that looked to have a GU hit inside. Second, something I've never seen before. Take a look...


I've never seen this before up in my neck of the woods. Let me say right now, I should have picked the packs of Pinnacle. But that price tag in the top right corner saying "9.99" and in the left the "Extreme Value" broke me down. I'm a sucker whenever I see anything where I can get extreme value quantity wise. As you can see there are 3 parts to this box.

PART 1

Included in a small brown box was 100 randomized hockey cards. These cards ranged from 1985-86 to 2009-10. This box produced a whole lot of crap but let's see my top 3 cards anyways.

#3

1985-86 Topps
Dave Lewis #66

#2

2009-10 Fleer Ultra
Rick Nash #42
Gold Medallion Version

#1

1990-91 Bowman
Patrick Roy #50

The 100 cards also contained an extra Kay Whitmore card for my goalie project. Something I really was interested in was if this box really did contain "Extreme Value". Let's take a look:

According to Beckett:
TOTAL CARDS - 100
TOTAL VALUE - $14.60

So far I've already beat my initial purchase of $9.99 by $4.61. So far, so good.

PART 2

PACK 1
2008-09 UD Series 1


Favorite card: Marc Staal #71
Daniel Carcillo #53
Rostislav Olesz #117
Ole-Kristian Tollefsen #146
Matthew Lombardi #171

PACK 2
2006-07 Fleer Ultra




This was probably the best pack of the bunch. It produced an Alex Ovechkin, a Curtis Sanford for my Goalie Project, and a Gold Medallion version of Ryan Kesler.

Favorite card: Ryan Kesler #193 (Gold Medallion Version)
Joe Sakic #49
Eric Lindros #67
Mathieu Garon #91
Dustin Brown #95
Curtis Sanford #168
Kyle Wellwood #184
Alex Ovechkin #196

PACK 3
2006-07 UD Series 2


Favorite card: Zdeno Chara #266
Mike Sillinger (Victory)
Brian Smolinski #296
Mark Rycroft #300
Jody Shelley #312
Mike York #374
Antero Niittymaki #393
Michael Peca #430

PACK 4
2009-10 Fleer Ultra



This was an interesting pack. That Alex Ovechkin insert in itself is an $8 card according to Beckett.

Favorite card: Alex Oveckin #SK1 (Scoring Kings Insert)
Ales Hemsky #58
Anze Kopitar #68
Eric Godard #163 (Gold Medallion Version)
Niklas Lidstrom #187

PART 3 

BONUS 
PACK 5
2006-07 UD Series 1

Mike Grier (Victory)
Mikko Koivu #347
Pavol Demitra #349
Radek Bonk #358
Colin White #367
Joe Corvo #385
Dominic Moore #408
Dainius Zubrus #447

ALL FIVE PACKS
TOTAL CARDS - 34
TOTAL VALUE - $29.90

TOTAL CARDS IN ALL - 134
TOTAL VALUE IN ALL - $44.50

So according to Beckett I made $34.51 on this purchase. Of course if I were to resell this crap bundle it would probably go on eBay starting at $5 IF THAT. All in all, disappointing purchase compared to what I could have gotten in 2 of the 3 packs of Pinnacle. 

Alex Auld - 3/3 COMPLETE! 26 TOTAL
Murray Bannerman - 1/3 COMPLETE! 1 TOTAL
Martin Brochu
Richard Brodeur - 1/3 COMPLETE! 2 TOTAL
Gary Bromley
Bruce Bullock
Sean Burke
Frank Caprice
Jacques Caron
Dan Cloutier - 1/3 COMPLETE! 1 TOTAL
Ed Dyck
Ken Ellacott
Bob Essensa - 3/3 COMPLETE! 13 TOTAL
Mike Fountain
Troy Gamble - 2/2 COMPLETE! 21 TOTAL
George Gardner
John Garrett - 1/3 COMPLETE! 1 TOTAL
Glen Hanlon
Johan Hedberg - 2/3 COMPLETE! 4 TOTAL
Rick Heinz
Corey Hirsch
Charlie Hodge
Arturs Irbe
Jason LaBarbera - 2/3 COMPLETE! 4 TOTAL
Ken Lockett
Roberto Luongo - 3/3 COMPLETE! 38 TOTAL
Drew MacIntyre - 1/3 COMPLETE! 1 TOTAL
Cesare Maniago - 1/3 COMPLETE! 1 TOTAL
Bob Mason
Dave McClelland
Steve McKichan
Kirk McLean
Rob McVicar - 1/1 COMPLETE! 1 TOTAL
Alfie Michaud
Tyler Moss
Mika Noronen - 2/3 COMPLETE! 5 TOTAL
Maxime Ouellet
Félix Potvin - 3/3 COMPLETE! 25 TOTAL
Andrew Raycroft - 1/3 COMPLETE! 6 TOTAL
Curt Ridley
Dany Sabourin - 2/3 COMPLETE! 2 TOTAL
Curtis Sanford - 3/3 COMPLETE! 7 TOTAL
Cory Schneider - 1/2 COMPLETE! 7 TOTAL
Corey Schwab
Petr Skudra - 3/3 COMPLETE! 4 TOTAL
Gary Smith
Garth Snow
Kevin Weekes
Steve Weeks
Kay Whitmore - 1/3 COMPLETE! 1 TOTAL
Dunc Wilson - 1/3 COMPLETE! 1 TOTAL
Wendell Young


GO NUCKS GO!

Friday, June 17, 2011

CANUCKS SPECIALS - 2009/10 PACKAGE


Above is my father's ticket to game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup finals. After drowning in my tears from the loss two days ago, I've finally come to grips with reality. It's hard but it's something that has to be done.

Second, I'm still really heated about the rioting that went down in downtown Vancouver after the game. The countless cars flipped and lit on fire, lutting millions of dollars worth of products from stores, acts of extreme violence against other hockey fans and the police, and even the sad few cases of fatalities. I'm disgusted and I hope CNN and the morning shows that covered this riot know that this is not Vancouver's true colors. 

Now for the true reason I decided to post today. Canucks specials. As a regular readers of my blog would know, occasionally, as season ticket holders we receive special packages of sorts. Similar to many others it included posters, a renewal guide and a few other perks. This time it showcased the heritage of the Vancouver Canucks; including past teams leading up to the NHL, and players. This is what the package came in...


This is similar to the doors that separate to enter the Canucks newly remodeled dressing room.



This thick poster came with about 9 different folds with numerous pictures in kinda a sepia color scheme. Most pictures are pictures of the Canucks out of their armor. These are just two examples I though were cool. The big poster it folds out into is the players on the Canucks that played in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics (Luongo, Sedins, Demitra, Erhoff, and Salo).

The main theme of the package was the 22 jumbo card set portraying the history of Vancouver's hockey organization. 



Do remember the last time Vancouver won the cup? I don't either, but it is recorded that the Vancouver Millionaires won the Stanley Cup against the Ottawa Senators in a best of 5 series in 1915.










Most of these cards speak for themselves so I'm not gonna comment on them too much. I just wanted to share them with you guys. I will though bring out my favorite card of the bunch - Johnny Canuck. I believe Johnny should be our logo right now. He's a good Canadian lumberjack that shows toughness and passion.


This video below was introduced to me sometime around the beginning of the finals. It has given me such a surge of adrenaline whenever I watch it. Watching this video after we lost though, made me feel disheartened and broken...take a look.


Lastly, this is now my official 92nd post. In 8 more I will hit the big 100! That means I will introduce to you my first c4k contest. I've already thrown out this idea before. The idea is I'll give you a mask template of a "regular" blank modern/vintage hockey mask. Your part is to fill in the template with your personal design. Whatever team, mementos etc. you want. The deadline will be a month after my 100th post. I'll give you more details when the contest is released, for now it's just a shout out.

GO NUCKS GO!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

GAME 7 NOTES - So Close Yet So Far

The better team won. Over seven games the Boston Bruins were the better team. As much as it hurts me to say this...the Boston Bruins are the 2011 Stanley Cup Champs. Devastated, heartbroken, disgusted, broken, and disappointed. Choose any of these words and that would describe my feelings after this game.

Secondly, PLEASE...PLEASE...PLEASE do not take the rioting as a portrayal of all Canuck fans. 99% of real fans are not the idiots downtown right now. Most are just guys looking for trouble and it's repulsive. I've seen some disgusting things take place that I don't ever what connected to my beautiful city and my team. So like I said, don't stereotype us please.

Lastly, the only thing I can take out of this day is that hopefully we are good enough of a team to be in the cup finals in the next few years to come. To my fellow Bruin bloggers, it was great disputing this series. Too bad the final game wasn't a nail biter.

Thanks for the year boys...

...GO NUCKS GO!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

GAME 6 NOTES + THE GOALIE PROJECT - Bob Essensa

GAME 6


Well...that was...well...just...well...sigh...That was a wasted opportunity. It didn't look like the game was going to unfold the way it did. The Canucks applied pressure, Hank almost sealed the first goal of the game on a bouncing puck that bounced off the boards directly behind the net (almost identical to Lapierre's game 5 game winner). That would have completely changed the outcome of the game. Not to mention the literal back breaking injury of Mason Raymond. I can't say that Raymond has been one of my favorite players of the play-offs but he has generated chances (although not finishing) with his speed and decent shot. I don't understand how you can injure Raymond the way he did and not get looked at by the league. The Boston player locked Raymond's head between his knee caps and rammed his tail bone into the boards. Don't make sense.

But hey, that's just me making excuses. Luongo let in three goals and got chased out in front of the cursed TD Gardens. Schneider did a pretty solid job although he let in 2 goals. He can't be blamed for either as the first one was a re-direct and the second one came mere seconds after an unbelievable goal line stop.

Saying this though, the positive thing we can take out of this game is that we could have come back. We hit the post on the powerplay in the 2nd that was followed up by a Thomas stick save on Kesler. There was also a 2 on 1 that was dangerously close to being capitalized on also in the second period. So with those two chances alone in the 2nd, this game could have been a 2 goal game going into the 3rd easily. Of course, the third period the Canucks had a very strong push including a Hansen post that all of Canada simultaneously thought was a goal.

But like EA Sports and myself predicted at the beginning of the series...Canucks in 7. It's so close we can taste it. I'll be around the city watching the game and I can't wait to see the atmosphere if when we win!

GAME 7 BABY! IT DOESN'T GET ANY BETTER THAN THIS!

THE GOALIE PROJECT


Okay, so I haven't posted a whole lot about hockey cards in a while besides that nice Pinnacle pack rip I picked up the other day. I thought it might be appropriate to do what I like to consider a c4k "classic". Yup, that's the goalie project. This time it's a goalie that split a season with both Felix Potvin and Dan Cloutier (what a nightmare) - Bob Essensa.



Bob was not known for his time in Vancouver. He was more popular in Winnipeg and Edmonton.


This my lone Vancouver Canucks Bob Essensa card. Kinda a weird looking picture because it's from a weird angle, but I really have always liked the look of these 2002 Pacific cards.


These cards are technically not considered "RC" by Beckett but these are "All Rookie Team" cards so I'm considering these rookie cards. After all I'm not gonna go on Ebay and pay 5 bucks worth of shipping and handling for an Essensa RC worth 10 cents. So let's roll with it. By the way, can Winnipeg please not even consider any other jersey than those classics. I mean, that's a great looking jersey any way you slice it. Bring it to Winterpeg!

With that, let's take a look at where I'm at:

Alex Auld - 3/3 COMPLETE! 26 TOTAL
Murray Bannerman - 1/3 COMPLETE! 1 TOTAL
Martin Brochu
Richard Brodeur - 1/3 COMPLETE! 2 TOTAL
Gary Bromley
Bruce Bullock
Sean Burke
Frank Caprice
Jacques Caron
Dan Cloutier - 1/3 COMPLETE! 1 TOTAL
Ed Dyck
Ken Ellacott
Bob Essensa - 3/3 COMPLETE! 13 TOTAL
Mike Fountain
Troy Gamble - 2/2 COMPLETE! 21 TOTAL
George Gardner
John Garrett - 1/3 COMPLETE! 1 TOTAL
Glen Hanlon
Johan Hedberg - 2/3 COMPLETE! 4 TOTAL
Rick Heinz
Corey Hirsch
Charlie Hodge
Arturs Irbe
Jason LaBarbera - 2/3 COMPLETE! 4 TOTAL
Ken Lockett
Roberto Luongo - 3/3 COMPLETE! 38 TOTAL
Drew MacIntyre - 1/3 COMPLETE! 1 TOTAL
Cesare Maniago - 1/3 COMPLETE! 1 TOTAL
Bob Mason
Dave McClelland
Steve McKichan
Kirk McLean
Rob McVicar - 1/1 COMPLETE! 1 TOTAL
Alfie Michaud
Tyler Moss
Mika Noronen - 2/3 COMPLETE! 5 TOTAL
Maxime Ouellet
Félix Potvin - 3/3 COMPLETE! 25 TOTAL
Andrew Raycroft - 1/3 COMPLETE! 6 TOTAL
Curt Ridley
Dany Sabourin - 2/3 COMPLETE! 2 TOTAL
Curtis Sanford - 3/3 COMPLETE! 6 TOTAL
Cory Schneider - 1/2 COMPLETE! 7 TOTAL
Corey Schwab
Petr Skudra - 3/3 COMPLETE! 4 TOTAL
Gary Smith
Garth Snow
Kevin Weekes
Steve Weeks
Kay Whitmore
Dunc Wilson - 1/3 COMPLETE! 1 TOTAL
Wendell Young

Okay so that's it until Wednesday night. You'll get my reaction after game 7, and I hope that I'll be as happy as I've ever been. Boys I've waited my whole life - please...bring the cup home!

GO NUCKS GO!