Reporting Live from the Vancouver Canucks Summer Summit
Well, it is now a couple of hours since I left the scene of the Summer Summit but there isn't much to report on the Canucks Prospects (held at what is now called the Rogers Arena) that I looked at, but I did learn a few interesting tidbits that I will disclose later on, so bear with me.
First of all, this was not like last year’s training camp, where we got a one pager outlining the players sweater number, bio, and physical stats.
So, unless you recognized them, you were out of luck on who was who.
I did recognize some of the guys from last year as Yann Sauve, Kellan Tochkin, Evan Oberg and Prab Rai were there, along with newcomers Jordan Schroeder, Kevin Connauton and Patrick McNally.
But, there was nothing that you can decipher from skill drills and with no line rushes, I will pass on that.
It's what it is advertised as, the 2010 Canucks development camp for the prospects.
I did see Prab Rai in the concourse after the practice and I can see that he has bulked up from last year, having put on about 10-15 pounds.
I thought I would be able to instantly recognize Jordan Schroeder by looking for the smallest player amongst the group, but there were about three other players of that same stature.
If you saw Tochkin and Schroeder together, you would swear they are brothers, as they have the same size, build and looks.
The Canucks had the two Trophies (Art Ross and Hart) that Henrik Sedin won on display and that line-up was just about as long as the one for the buffet tables that the food was loaded on.
The Canucks do a fantastic job of promoting this club and putting it on display for the ticket holders and fans to get up close with.
I mean, this event was technically for the season ticket holders.
It was about what will take place this season, especially with this being the 40 year anniversary of the Canucks inception.
It was also about introducing some of the new players.
Manny Malhotra and Dan Hamhius were greeted by an appreciative crowd and joined the panel of John Shorthouse, legendary Jim Robson, GM Mike Gillis, Senior Advisor to the GM Stan Smyl, and CEO Victor de Bonis on stage.
Malhotra and Hamhuis were asked basically a lot of the same questions you have already read about during their signings, so I will move on.
The CEO, de Bonis, was asked about where the club stood now that Rogers has become an active partner, and whether there would still be pay-per-view games.
He responded by saying “If there is an opportunity for us to show all of our games without having to pay an incremental amount, that’s what we want to do”
This brought about a thunderous applause from the gathering.
Since Sportsnet is owned by the Rogers Corporation, this may truly come to pass.
I say good riddance to Shaw and their Mickey Mouse pay-per-view telecasts.
You gotta like that!
There will be a Ring of Honour at the Rogers Arena and the first member that will go up next season will be the Canucks very first Captain, Orland Kurtenbach.
Kurtenback joined the panel on stage again with a rousing welcome by the crowd. He spoke about his love for the Canucks and what being added to the Ring of Honour meant to him.
Markus Naslund will return to Vancouver to have his sweater retired and raised to the rafters on December 11th, where it will hang beside Trevor Linden and Stan Smyl.
This was greeted with the loudest and longest outburst all night from the crowd.
Mike Gillis mentioned that Naslund is truly thrilled to be returning to Vancouver for this event.
The Canucks will open their season exactly 40 years from it's very first game on October 9th, against the same team that it played, the Los Angeles Kings.
They will wear (for one of the four times next season) the original Canucks jersey with the rink and hockey stick insignia.
By the way, for you trivia buffs, the Kings beat the Canucks 3-1 and defenseman Barry Wilkins scored the very first ‘Nucks goal back on October 9th, 1970.
Now for a show of hands please, how many of you readers were even born before 1970?
Jim Robson brought up the question about Roberto Luongo and the Captaincy.
Gillis responded that Luongo and him would meet later in the summer to discuss the tremendous pressure that this position demands, and if we are doing everything to allow this team to win.
Gillis also mentioned if these expectations are too high to meet.
So, as I walked out into a beautiful warm summer evening (finally), I reflected back on the Summer Summit and the news from it.
Hope you enjoyed it.
Until next time remember—We are all Canucks!
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