Even with a second straight Presidents’ Trophy, 2012 was largely a year of disappointment for the Vancouver Canucks. The team lost in convincing fashion to the surging Los Angeles Kings in Round 1 of the playoffs, and the intensity and effort that carried Vancouver to the 2011 Cup Final was largely nonexistent in 2011-12.
There were some impressive individual performances this past season, though, and GM Mike Gillis was very busy with regards to player transactions. In addition to that, the biggest news of the year in the hockey world has, of course, been the most incomprehensible work stoppage in the history of professional sports. Let’s get to the most interesting and/or newsworthy stories relating to the Canucks in 2011-12.
Canucks GM Mike Gillis and Assistant GM Laurence Gilman were on the TEAM1040 on Wednesday afternoon with Don Taylor. The interview was wide-ranging and about as candid as could be expected from the two. They covered essentially all of the major issues surrounding the team right now, from the lockout, to Ryan Kesler’s injury status, to Alex Edler’s development, and more.
Although the season is only a few months old, why not check in and see how the top 20 prospects are faring?
This Friday, Pavel Bure will finally be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Although his career was cut short due to injury, he left a lasting impression on the hockey world with his electrifying speed and skill.
Jordan Schroeder has received a lot of coverage at CanucksArmy over the past year or so. He is one of the top prospects in the organization, and with Kesler out of the lineup until December, would have been given every opportunity to earn a roster spot at Canucks training camp this year.
He slipped a bit in his draft year amid concerns over size (or lack thereof) and attitude (apparently a few of his pre-draft interviews didn’t go all that well).
Fast forward three years and Schroeder is now entering his third year of pro hockey, and is being counted on to play big minutes for the Chicago Wolves. I spoke to Minnesota Wild strength and conditioning coach Kirk Olson earlier this week, and Schroeder is one of a handful of pro hockey players that Olson works with each summer (others include Zach Parise, Drew Stafford, Derek Stepan, and Kyle Okposo).
Olson gave me some really good insights on Schroeder’s development both on and off the ice.
It isn’t often that a forward playing Junior B hockey at the age of 17 develops into a top four NHL defenseman. Don’t tell that to Jason Garrison, though. Most hockey fans had little idea who he was before the 2011-12 season, unless they were a fan of the Florida Panthers or happened to stumble uponJames Mirtle’s 2011 column on the top defensive defensemen around the league.
Scoring 16 goals in 2011-12 changed all of that. Garrison was one of the most sought after UFAs this past summer. He rose from relative obscurity to sign a six-year deal worth $4.6 million per season in a little over two years. How, exactly, did he do it?
Read on past the jump to find out.