Posted on: February 6, 2012 1:27 pm
Edited on: February 6, 2012 1:32 pm
By: Adam Gretz
Colorado's Chuck Kobasew became the latest NHL player to be fined for tripping, being hit with a $2,500 punishment on Monday afternoon for an incident that took place on Saturday afternoon against the Vancouver Canucks.
The play happened late in the second period as Kobasew and Vancouver's Dan Hamhuis were involved in a race for the puck on a potential icing call, and as Hamhuis arrived first to touch up for the whistle, Kobasew poked his stick at Hamhuis' feet, sending him into the boards.
Don Cherry's Coaches Corner segment on Saturday showed the play, and you can see it starting at the 6:05 mark here.
The NHL has been handing out quite a few fines for tripping in recent weeks, but most of them have been for slew foots that the NHL has started to call "dangerous trips." This type of play is a bit different, but doesn't seem to be any more or less dangerous as it can still result in a pretty serious injury. It could also be used as another argument for no-touch icing to make its way into the NHL.
More NHL Discipline news
(H/T Sean Leahy for Coaches Corner video)
For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: November 3, 2011 11:21 pm
Edited on: November 3, 2011 11:28 pm
By: Adam Gretz
Minnesota Wild forward Cal Clutterbuck is a physical player and is no stranger to hitting people on the ice. Body checks on opposing players, that is.
During his team's 5-1 win against Vancouver on Thursday night he delivered a different type of hit when he accidentally punched a linesman in the face.
While he was tangled up along the boards with Canucks agitator Maxim Lapierre, who was trying to lift him into the Canucks bench (all while Dan Hamhuis, sitting on the bench, tried to pull him in), Clutterbuck started to blindly throw punches and accidentally connected with the face of linesman Darren Gibbs. Observe...
Embarrassing and unfortunate, sure, but there's no way it was intentional. Clutterbuck, Lapierre and Hamhuis all received 10-minute misconducts for their roles in the scrum.
Posted on: September 17, 2011 4:23 pm
By: Adam Gretz
Over the past two seasons no defenseman on the Vancouver Canucks roster provided more offense than Christian Ehrhoff's 28 goals and 66 assists.
The veteran defenseman moved on this summer, signing a lucrative -- some might say outrageous -- contract with the Buffalo Sabres that will make him one of the highest paid players in the NHL this season with a salary of $10 million. The contract carries an average annual salary of $4 million, which isn't all that bad for a player that produces like he has -- until you remember that it runs for 10 seasons and Ehrhoff will be 39 when it expires.
Still, Ehrhoff has proven to be a productive player and one of Vancouver's top defenseman, and such production from the blue line would seem to be difficult to replace. Captain Henrik Sedin has an interesting perspective on Ehrhoff's absence and how the team will work to replace him.
From Brad Ziemer of the Vancouver Sun:
“He was in a spot where I think we have other guys who can step up and play in that role,” Sedin said, clearly referring to Ehrhoff’s power-play time. “Alex [Edler] is going to get more responsibility and we have a healthy Sami Salo now, and we have some other guys who are going to play a few more minutes.
A large percentage of Ehrhoff's point production came on the power play the past two seasons, while the Canucks put him in situations where, more often than not, he was starting a shift in the offensive zone as opposed to the defensive zone. He also was usually on the ice with the Sedin twins. Back when Ehrhoff originally signed his contract with the Sabres, Gabriel Desjardins at Arctic Ice Hockey put together an analysis of how the Canucks used Ehrhoff and how favorable it was for the defenseman to put up points.
Obviously when you're playing with players like the Sedin twins, on the power play, and in a position where you're starting closer to the goal you're trying to score on offensive production is going to be slightly easier to come by, and that's the situation Ehrhoff usually found himself in as a member of the Canucks. That's not to say that Ehrhoff is a bad player or that he'll be easily replaceable, it just may not be as hard as one might expect. The Canucks still have some impressive depth on the blue line with Dan Hamhuis, Alexander Edler, Kevin Bieksa, Keith Ballard and Sami Salo. It's still an excellent group.
Edler, 25, will likely take over Ehrhoff's role and he seems more than capable of leading the Canucks blue line from an offensive perspective. In just 51 games last season he finished with eight goals and 23 assists, which followed seasons where he recorded 42 and 37 points respectively. It should be interesting to see what sort of boost -- if any -- his production gets this season taking on more power play responsibilities and filling the role that belonged to Ehrhoff the past two seasons.
Photo: Getty Images
Posted on: June 27, 2011 4:43 pm
Edited on: June 27, 2011 6:00 pm
Without the deal, Bieksa was headed for the unrestricted free-agent market, which opens Friday.
Bieksa, 30, has spent the entirety of his NHL career with the Canucks, entering the league in 2005. This season he combined with Dan Hamhuis to form one of the better defensive pairings in hockey after he was rumored to be on the trading block just last season.
He was stellar in the playoffs, scoring five goals and recording five assists as the Canucks came one win shy of their first Stanley Cup. Bieksa scored the series-ending goal against the San Jose Sharks after the puck seemed to magically bounce off the boards right on to his stick and nobody but him on the ice was aware.
The Canucks still have work to do with other free agents, including fellow defenseman Christian Ehrhoff. He figures to command a similar salary as Bieksa. Among other UFAs are Chris Higgins, Raffi Torres, Tanner Glass and Sami Salo.
-- Brian Stubits
Photo: Getty Images
Posted on: June 24, 2011 4:29 pm
Edited on: June 24, 2011 6:50 pm
Hamhuis was a key component to the Canucks defense, acquired before last season from the Philadelphia Flyers in a trade. He scored six goals and had 17 assists this season for the Canucks.
Sports hernia surgeries typically sideline players for about two months, so Hamhuis should be ready to go by the time next season starts.
-- Brian Stubits
Posted on: June 4, 2011 8:08 pm
Edited on: June 4, 2011 8:11 pm
It's Malhotra's first action this postseason, sitting out since taking a near-career-ending puck to the eye on March 16. It's a big lift for the Canucks, more emotionally than anything else. Coach Alain Vigneault has said that if/when Malhotra returned to the ice for a game, he'd be eased back into action.
The loss of Dan Hamhuis is tough. He is a key component to the Vancouver defense that held the Bruins scoreless in Game 1, averaging 22:03 minutes per game this season.
Check out the full Game 2 lineups here.
-- Brian Stubits
Posted on: April 1, 2011 2:46 am
Edited on: April 1, 2011 12:48 pm
The Vancouver Canucks won their first Presidents' Trophy Thursday, an award for the league's best record that comes with a banner but not much else in recent seasons.
The previous two winners, the San Jose Sharks (2009) and Washington Capitals (2010), failed to make it out of the first round. Only one team over the last seven seasons -- the 2008 Detroit Red Wings -- has won the Presidents' Trophy and then the Stanley Cup.
No team that has won the Presidents' Trophy for the first time has clinched a title the same season.
"I don't believe there is a Presidents' Trophy jinx," Vancouver Canucks general manager Mike Gillis told The Vancouver Sun this week.
Introduced coincidently the same year as New Coke, this award was first handed out during the 1985-86 season -- and the trophy has been about as well-received by some as the ill-fated soft drink. It’s the kind of award franchises don't tend to celebrate unless they don't have anything else to raise to the rafters come their home opener the next season.
One of the Sedin twins told The Vancouver Sun after Thursday’s 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings what it meant to him:
“Nothing,” Daniel Sedin said after pushing closer to matching brother Henrik's Hart Trophy-Art Ross double by scoring one Vancouver goal and setting up another. “Ninety-five per cent of this team has been through playoff failure and we don't want to be part of that anymore. I don't think it's about learning anymore; we've learned enough.
The “jinx” may have started at the beginning. The Edmonton Oilers had won back-to-back titles before they became the first recipient of the Presidents’ Trophy. Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier and Co. went on to lose in the second round to the Calgary Flames. The Oilers won the Presidents’ again a season later en route to the Stanley Cup title, the first of another back-to-back run.
Of the first 24 teams to win the Presidents’ Trophy, seven teams (29%) won the Stanley Cup the same season. This comes despite having home-ice advantage, the one tangible reward for the trophy. That could prove huge for the Canucks, who have a league-best home record (26-8-5).
Vancouver may not be plagued by any curse this postseason. It could just come down to injuries.
Center Manny Malhotra, whose value in the locker room could be just as key as his prowess in the faceoff circle, is out for the season with an eye injury that required a second surgery this week. Defenseman Dan Hamhuis suffered his second concussion in less than two months on Sunday and is out indefinitely. Forward Mikael Samuelsson missed his fifth consecutive game with an undisclosed injury. Winger Tanner Glass has been out now nine games in a row with an undisclosed injury.
But the Canucks still have plenty of pieces left, including the matching Swedish ones. Daniel Sedin leads the league with 100 points (41 goals, 59 assists), while brother Henrick has 91 points (19 goals, 72 assists.) Goalie Roberto Luongo its tops in the league in wins (37) and he's third in save percentage (.927) and goals-against average (2.14). Center Ryan Kesler has 37 goals, good enough for fourth in the NHL.
The Canucks, a franchise celebrating their 40th anniversary, has also set new marks for wins (52), points (113) and road victories (26).
Of course, not much of this will be looked upon to fondly if the Canucks follow the path of the 2009 Sharks, 2010 Capitals or the other 15 Presidents’ Trophy-winning teams that fell short of getting their names etched on the Cup.
Atlanta 1, Philadelphia 0
NY Islanders 6, NY Rangers 2
Washington 4, Columbus 3 (OT)
Toronto 4, Boston 3 (SO)
Ottawa 4, Florida 1
Tampa Bay 2, Pittsburgh 1
Minnesota 4, Edmonton 2
Nashville 3, Colorado 2
Vancouver 3, Los Angeles 1
San Jose 6, Dallas 0
-- A.J Perez
Photo: US Presswire
Posted on: March 28, 2011 2:08 am
Edited on: March 28, 2011 2:13 am
Vancouver Canucks Dan Hamhuis suffered his second concussion in less than two months Sunday, leaving the defenseman’s status for the postseason in doubt.
Hamhuis and defensive partner Kevin Bieksa converged on Columbus Blue Jackets forward Rick Nash as he drove toward the net in the first period. All three players went down in the collision, but Hamhuis' head struck the ice hard. He remained on the ice for a few seconds and went directly to the locker room with the assistance of the team's trainer.
Vancouver went on to beat the Blue Jackets, 4-1, for their 50th win on the season to inch closer to the franchise’s first Presidents’ Trophy, not that it seemed to be a priority for players after the game.
"Obviously, that sucks and doesn't feel good," said Bieksa told The Province. "Let's hope it's not serious and he's back soon. And let's not read into that (retirement threat_ too much. Guys are emotional after a concussion. Give him some time and see how he feels."
This is his fourth concussion of his career. After his third suffered on Feb. 9, the 28-year-old said another would make him reassess things, The Province reported at the time:
"If there is more (concussions) to come, I think you have to take a look at what is important," Hamhuis, the father of two, said after suffering a concussion last month when his head struck the glass on a heavy check by Ryan Getzlaf. "If I ever felt like it's like putting myself at risk long term, then I'll have to step back and think about things.”
Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault already lost center Manny Mahotra for the season with a an eye injury and forward Mikael Samuelsson has now missed three consecutive games with an undisclosed injury.
“He’s been one of our best defensemen of the year with his steady play both offensively and defensively,” Vigneault told the Vancouver Sun. “It’s part of the game. It’s not our first injury and we’re going to play through it.”
-- A.J. Perez