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Mats Sundin

Mats wants to play!

Mats wants to play!

Yep, as Mats draws closer (or not) to making a decision where is going to play in the NHL, as a fan,  I am at the point where I pretty much don’t care where he goes as long as he doesn’t make his way to a Canucks division rival.  I want to point out I am displeased and annoyed with the way Mats Sundin has conducted himself in his lack of decision making skills this past off-season and now well into the season itself.

Back on July 29th, 2008, I was in Calgary visiting a friend and I was anticipating Mats supposed decision in the summer to play, but he was still undecided.  Like many, I was very excited as to where he was going to go and what he was going to do, but was left hanging and  wondering. Again, I was disappointed but still hopeful.

Anyway, Mats has now decided is going to play hockey and Vancouver has courted him with a two year $20 million contract. Those are some hefty numbers, but if money was what it was all about, he would be in Vancouver right now. We know Mats wants to win, but is he really worth it? Mike Gillis seems to think so that he hasn’t used up the cap space yet.

According to RDS ( TSN French Canadian affiliate) Mats will most likely end up in Vancouver, for obvious reasons.   The team has a good record, #1 in the always tight North West division. They have a world class goaltender in Roberto Luongo that can steal them games when need be.  They have the cap space and wouldn’t have to trade away any roster players to make room for Sundin.  Again, he has until the 19th of December to make sure he is signed with a team. After that, it won’t be until December 28th he can join one due to the NHL holiday roster freeze.  As it looks so far, the Vancouver Canucks have the best hand in Mats Sundin’s poker game.

Mike Gillis

Report card time for Vancouver Canucks GM, Mike Gillis.  On a team-imposed budget, Gillis has put together a pretty cohesive on-ice product.  Although the Canucks have very few legitimate superstars, the likes of guys like Kyle Wellwood, Jannik Hansen, Mason Raymond and a few others have shown that good work ethic, chemistry, and caring about your teammates mean just as much as having a Mats Sundin on board.

Although we are a bit thin on the blue line after our top six, Gillis has done a decent job assembling a team together so far as the NHL has just finished a third of the regular season.

Gillis has keep a low budget team competitive and battling for top spot in the North West division.  I’d give Gillis a ‘B‘ so far for the team he has put together. Now if we can get Gillis to get rid of the PPV games for the Vancouver Canucks, and just offer it on a regular package that grade can easily move up to an ‘A‘.

The Luongo Factor

Luongo is still day to day

Luongo is still day to day

Although the speculation around Roberto’s recent early exit from a practice prompted many assumptions that Luongo has re-injured his groin could simply just be that…speculation.  Precautionary measures are more likely the reasons to rest Luongo. He’s been skating with the team at about 80% and will need a little more recovery time to make sure he doesn’t tweak it again.   Although many fans hoped for Roberto to be back by the weekend of the December 13th, it would probably best best for Luongo, and the Vancouver Canucks if Bobby Lu just took the rest of February off. Sorry fantasy poolers, but you’re just going to have to wait.

The Canucks are playing  .500 hockey and with the brutal stretch behind them, they can improve on their recent games.  As a unit they will have to continue to find ways to win games, as they did in Nashville. Playing physical hockey and not letting up on their opponents.  In each game that Luongo has missed, the Canucks are improving, working better together and more mindful to keep the puck in the offensive zone. However,  I hope they improve their specials teams, especially on the power play.  How can you not score on a 7 minute power play?

As long as the Canucks to play like they did in Nashville and taking no prisoners, they should be alright for the month of December, which will most likely not have the return of the #1 netminder.  I’d rather Luongo rest up and heal properly opposed to rushing him and he isn’t at his best. We’re going to need Luongo the rest of the season, so it’s best he rests now and so he can be his usual ‘work horse’ self.

This has been A View From A Broad, a not too distant perspective.
Justine Galo

Chicago, IL