Thursday Thoughts: Erhoff, Hordi, Hank and Shanny

Merry Christian!

Christian Erhoff - Photo: Canucks.com

Christian Erhoff - Photo: Canucks.com

One could argue that the biggest news of the off-season was the signing of Roberto and Luongo and of course the Sedin twins. And while those players are having good years, there is a newcomer to the team that is making the trade that brought him here highway robbery.

Christian Erhoff and Brad Lukowich were sent to the Canucks from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for defenceman Daniel Rahimi and forward Patrick White. Lukowich has been sent to the minors, and both Rahimi and White were no longer in the Canucks plans and neither are playing for the Sharks. Erhoff has been the jewel of the deal and has fit right in with the Canucks. In his previous season with the Sharks he recorded eight goals, 34 assists (8-34-42) and 63 penalty minutes in 77 games. This season he’s leading the way on the Canucks blueline and has easily been their most steady defenseman. After 34 games this year Erhoff is just one goal off last years total, has 18 points and leads the team with an impressive plus 16 rating.

At 27 years of age, Erhoff is in the prime of his career, and his addition has more than made up for the departure of Mattias Ohlund.

Hordichuk’s Expiration Date

My friend over at Canucks Hockey Blog, Richard Loat posted about the effectiveness, or lack thereof of Darcy Hordichuk this season.

“Hordichuk is not on this team for his speed or his offense. His offense is a notch above Shane O’Brien. Actually, half a notch. Gillis said he brought him onto the team because he was a tough guy and a heavy weight, but also because he was not one dimensional. He could skate, had some hands, and could also use those hands to pummel opponents. I remember the Hordichuk that played for the Predators and Panthers. That’s the Hordichuk that I thought this team was landing. Unfortunately we’ve seen the complete opposite of what we expected.”

I have to agree. As far as giving the team any spark, it’s been a while since I can think of Hordichuk pumping up his team with any momentum changing bouts. All one needs to do is look at the much smaller Rick Rypien to get that rush. Tough guys have to play their role, and if they don’t bring anything else to the table, they are dead weight. Hordichuk is a light heavyweight at best and as Richard suggests his expiry date as a Canuck is approaching, or may have even passed.

Henrik For The Hart And The Rafters

With Henrik Sedin just one point back of the league scoring league with 43 points, discussion has begun amongst the media and fans as to whether he deserves consideration for the Hart trophy as we approach the midpoint of the season. The answer should be a resounding yes. Henrik is not only having a great year, but with brother and line mate Daniel missing 18 games, Henrik carried the team in the offense department, proving that that twins do not need each other to be effective players. Of course together they are even more dangerous, but Henrik is certainly deserving of being in the company of any Hart trophy discussions. He’s certainly been the Canucks MVP so far, and as a duo the Sedins look like they are going to take another step to becoming among the leagues elite stars an I’ll even go one further. At this rate is there little doubt that if the Sedins retire Canucks, 22 and 33 will be hanging in the rafters next to 12 and 16?

Bettman’s Boy

Our own Tom Benjamin recently posted about the appointment of Brendan Shanahan to the position Vice President of hockey and business development by the NHL. Tom suggests the job may be a little pay back to Shanahan for his work during the NHL lockout.

“He isn’t being rewarded for his behaviour during the labour dispute, is he? How many other players had lunch with Gary Bettman during the lockout? It may reek of corruption, but hey, nobody can say that Gary doesn’t take care of his friends.”

Perhaps a little harsh towards Shanahan, as none of us really know what his qualifications are for the job, and what’s expected of him in it. But it does raise eyebrows when a player retires and is promptly hired to such a lofty position of management within the league. Had Shanahan been named director of a competition committee there would likely be no issue, but the business nature of the job certainly makes things look a little fishy.

CC’s Tom Benjamin on HNIC

Never one to toot his own horn, our own Tom Benjamin, of hockey’s most popular bloggers, was a guest on Hockey Night in Canada’s playoff primer show last night. I had no idea Tom was doing the show, so thanks to Lotus Blossom who gave me the heads up!

Tom really does do quality work, and it was great to see him be acknowledged by Ron McLean and the crew. If you missed it, you can check it out below!

When Tom approached me about douing a blog about 5 years ago, he told me that blogging was the next big thing, and he thought it would be a good addition to the site. He was sure bang on about that, as blogs have taken over the fan site world. I am so thrilled he chose CanucksCorner.com to display his work.

Congrats to Tom, and I thank him for his quality contributions to this site!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4RfIf7UKjA

Welcome to the new Canucks Corner!

Hi everyone, and welcome to what is still a work in progress. Canucks Corner is starting it’s 12th season on the internet, and we’re taking things in a new direction.

Several years ago now, Tom Benjamin approached me with the idea of adding a blog to Canucks Corner. I didn’t even know what a blog was. Today, Tom’s blog is one of the most popular and respected on the internet. He apparently saw the future, because today blogs are everywhere.

This year we’re joining the fun. In the years I have run this site, I have had the pleasure of reading and hosting great insight from all sorts of Canucks fans. Not the mainstream media stuff, but passionate and informative perspectives from the fans. The idea with this new direction for the site is to have a group of these outstanding contributors as authors of this blog, and to create a Canucks “Fanzine” of sorts for Canucks fans, by Canucks fans.

Another exciting development for this season is that CanucksCorner.com was asked to participate in the new Fanzone section at Canucks.com. Part of their vision is to unite the best fan contributors on the web, and form a “fan branch” of the media so to speak. This blog will aid in that effort and eventually we hope to be providing some cool features as the Fanzone grows and develops over the next little while.

George Fawcett’s outstanding Canucks History database is still here and is new and improved. Tom’s Blog is of course still going strong.

I think/hope that you are going to like the new format. I am excited about it and it could be a really good year for the site.

For now, please bear with us as we get the rest of the site up to speed with our new format.