THE PRESEASON

The 1999-2000 Pre-season was filled with injuries, signings and the excitement of seeing guys like Steve Kariya skate for the first time.  Here's everything important that happened, as we saw it...

30/09/99 - Finally! Some good news!
    The Canucks announced a bunch of things today!  It was a big day for roster moves!  The day started with the signing of Ed Jovanovski.  Eddie has been holding out for a while now, but with the injuries to Mattias Ohlund and Bryan Allen the Canucks needed to do something and quick.  And getting Chris Joseph and John Namestnikov wasn't going to be it.  So with Eddie back the Canucks defense looks a lot stronger.  Word is that negotiations with Adrian Aucoin aren't going as well.  Don't expect to see him for a while unless he decides to settle for a lot less than he's asking, which is still a BIG increase over last year's salary.  In other news, the Canucks also signed Greg Hawgood who was playing on a try-out basis.  Greg had said previously he would take any offer than Canucks offered.  Any NHL contract is better than no NHL contract!  And in other Canucks news, they acquired their 3rd player off waivers this week, this time goalie Manny Legace from the Detroit Red Wings.  He played 13 games for the L.A. Kings last season and had 22 wins in 33 games for the IHL's Long Beach Ice Dogs.  Looks like he'll be playing down in Syracuse either as starter or as back-up to Christian Bonsard. Or, if the rumors are true that Garth Snow is somehow injured, he may even start the season here.  And finally in a stunning move, the team sent Matt Cooke down to Syracuse in order to shorten the roster to the 23 player limit.  With the signing of Eddie Jo the Canucks will have to send another player down now though.  Most likely Zenith Komarninski or John Namestnikov.

29/09/99 - They're dropping like flies!
    The Canucks have placed yet another player in the injury reserve.  And the lucky player is... Josh Holden.  Luckily this time it's not another one of our defenseman!  Holden has a hernia and was scheduled for surgery today.  He should be out for about 10-12 weeks.  Josh came into training camp much stronger than before after he weight-trained A LOT over the summer.  Maybe a little too much...  During training camp Josh felt a little uncomfortable but shook it off has just a hip flexor injury.  When the pre-season started it got a little bit worse, but they just decided it was a strained abdominal muscle (which I've done and is quite painful when you do any kind of physical activity!).  Finally while on the road trip out East it finally just ballooned and they discovered it was a hernia.  The doctors say that he may even come out of this stronger.  Poor Josh, who's had nothing but injury after injury since being drafted 12th overall by the Canucks back in 1996 (sound like another recent draft pick to you? See the end of the previous for more details).  In 1997, his hand was sliced open by a skate in a freak accident in a WHL playoff game.  He had to have plastic surgery to repair a bunch of severed ligaments and it took him a long time to be able to use his hand again.  Last season Josh developed mono and was out for close to 2 months.  Poor Josh!  We hope he gets better soon!

27/09/99 - Here's Johnny... and Chris... again...
    Well, some old faces will be seen when the Canucks take on the NY Rangers this Saturday.  The Canucks was very active today as the NHL Waiver draft took place.  The team picked up 2 defenseman who's names may, or may not, sound familiar to Canuck fans. Yevgeny "John" Namestnikov and Chris Joseph have found themselves back on the blueline for the Canucks.  Hopefully they can help us out until we get Aucoin and Jovanovski under contract.  Joseph's being doing well this pre-season with Ottawa, scoring a goal (against the Canucks) and picking up 2 assists.  Maybe he can help us out offensively as well as defensively!  We need someone to score those goals that Aucoin won't be scoring!  In other recent news, Mattias Ohlund is out for the next week or so after getting hit in the eye with a puck in last weeks game against the Leafs.  He's been diagnosed with a "bruised eyeball".  Ouch.  Also, Bryan Allen, who's been unable to stay healthy since being drafted by the team in 1998, is having his knee scoped again after it swelled up and started bothering him in training camp.  Our defenseman are dropping like flies...

24/09/99 - Canucks Here to Stay?
    With the big news yesterday announcing the sale of the Vancouver Grizzlies to the owner of Walmart and the St. Louis Blues, speculation is running high that the Grizz are coming to the end of their stay north of the border.  However, Canucks/GM Place owner John McCaw has taken the Canucks OFF THE MARKET!!  The team is no longer for sale.  At least for now, our dreams and hearts have remained in one piece.  Even so, just this morning blabber-mouth (and that's just a toned down representation of how I really feel about him) Neil McRae predicted that the Canucks would soon be moving to Portland.  There's only one thing to do: the Canucks have to start winning.  Then, fans will start going to the games again, McCaw will get his money back and our team will be here to stay!!

20/09/99 - Congratulations?
    Although the rumours have been circulating for a while, during tonight's game, Mattias Ohlund's engagement was made official.  Although Mattias and his fiancé, Linda, have not set a date, the wedding is supposed to take place sometime before the 2000-2001 season.  Well, congratulations to Mattias, boohoo for us!

15/09/99 - Dave's Deal Done
    As predicted in our last update, the Canucks did finish off the deal with one of our boys, centre Dave Scatchard.  Terms of the deal were not released, so at this time, we are unaware whether the contract is for two or three years, which was the point of disagreement between the two sides.  The only word out of the Canucks camp was an unofficial statement from Dave Nonnis, who said that this deal was for Jodi, who remarked last night that she missed Scatchard.  Ok, maybe he didn't say that, but we all agreed with Jodi! Welcome back, Dave!

** Just a note to add:  Dave's contract is reportedly for 3 yrs and is worth somewhere between 1.8 and 2 million! Congratulations to Dave, we're all glad he didn't listen to the bad advice from his agent who was holding out for a shorter term.

14/09/99 - Canucks Re-sign Schaefer
    Today, the Canucks announced the re-signing of left-winger Peter Schaefer.  In 25 games with the Canucks last year, Schaefer, 22, had four goals and four assists.  This signing, although it took longer than expected, was nonetheless expected since Peter, like a very good boy, attended training camp with the team.  In other free agent news, Dave Scatchard is reportedly much closer to re-signing after great talks today. * In the most exciting news of the day, we attended the Canadiens/Canucks game tonight, and got a look at the hockey god, Trevor Linden.  He looks very, very nice in red!! On behalf of the the other girls, let me tell you, that if the fact that the Canucks lose too much is more than you can handle, the Habs have a very good-looking team this year, so you can cheer for them!

12/09/99 - Pre-Season starts!
    Yay! Hockey Season is officially under way as the Canucks played their first regular season game tonight in Spokane against the San Jose Sharks.  Steve Kariya scored the lone Canucks goal, but it was enough as they managed a 1-1 tie.  Kevin Weeks, who is still looking for his first nhl win, allowed the Shark goal within the first 2 minutes of the game. He bounced back, though, and played strong throughout the rest of the game.  The team goes at it again Tuesday vs the Montreal Canadiens.  Check back for an in depth update as we'll be at the game and will have lots to tell on the players trying to make the team (looks AND talent...)!

11/09/99 - Mr. Scatchard: Take it or Leave it!
    The Canucks offered free agent Dave Scatchard a "take it or leave it" contract offer this weekend, in a final attempt to get the centre back in time for the pre-season.  Apparently, in a change from most contract disputes, money is not the difference between the two sides.  Instead, Scatchard and his agent are trying to reduce the contract from three years to just two, when Dave will be eligible for salary arbitration.  However, the team does not seem willing to budge.  No word yet on whether Scatchard will accept the contract and re-join the team. --- In other NHL news, Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Jagr showed up for practice Saturday with REALLY SHORT HAIR!! Well, thank goodness.

08/09/99 - Trevor the Great
    Just when you thought that Trevor Linden couldn't do anymore, he goes and does it.  Last week Trevor joined his friend John Ryan, and handcycled 60 kms through interior B.C.  Ryan, a paraplegic as the result of a car accident in November of 1994, has been handcycling accross the country since May 1st to raise money for spinal cord regeneration research.  Trevor not only donated his time, he also donated 18 autographed jerseys.  Ryan has raised over $670,000, although he was hoping to raise closer to $5 million.  Oh well, I guess every little bit helps.  Donations can be made at any Eddie Bauer store.  To read more about this wonderful story (and wonderful man Trevor) CLICK HERE

08/09/99 - 3rd Day at Camp
    Finally some action! The first fight at training camp took place today, something we haven't seen in a couple years as Mike Keenan prohibited fighting at last year's camp.  Surprisingly, the fight did not involve Mike Brown.  Nor did it involve Donald Brashear.  It didn't even involve Brad May or Jason Strudwick.  It was Josh Holden and Harry York!   Both players shrugged it off saying that's what happens when everyone's fighting for a spot on the roster.  As Matt Cooke said, "At camp, there's no friends".  His friend and teammate during the season, Peter Schaeffer is still unsigned, although he does have a new haircut!  Short little crew cut.  Good! Cause his hair was looking a little big when we saw him last week...  For camp pictures CLICK HERE

07/09/99 - 2nd Day at Camp
    Well, Billy Muckalt continued to shine today scoring another goal and leading all players with 3.  This goal total should actually be 4, but one of his goals went unnoticed as it went right through the mesh and out the other side of the net!  Most surprising, though, has to be the feisty play of Matt Cooke.  Even with stitches and 2 black eyes, he still managed to knock the wind out of prospect Martin Gendron.  Peter Schaeffer still has yet to sign a contract...

06/09/99 - 1st Day at Camp
    Dear mom, First day at camp was great... just kidding.  Well, here's a few notes from the first day of training camp up in Kamloops.  It seems Bryan Allen is ailing again, this time with a sore shoulder that he hurt when checked into the boards.  He assures us it's nothing and that it won't keep him from trying his best to make the team (a spot he's already assured of with Jovanovski and Aucoin still holding out).  Marc Crawford said Mattias had the best day, Billy Muckalt had the most goals with 2, Artem Chubarov is a "definite, definite prospect" and that Peter Schaeffer (who's close to a contract) and Josh Holden didn't have the greatest days.

06/09/99 - Training Camp Kicks Off
    This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Canucks as an NHL franchise.  This season's training camp is being held in Kamloops, instead of Whistler.  The idea behind this is to bring the team closer together, something that was more difficult to achieve going to Whistler where all the guys drove themselves up and Burke didn't feel that it was lending itself to the kind of close knit team he envisioned.  This is also Marc Crawford's first training camp with the team and will hopefully cement his relationship with the players, something not easily accomplished starting mid-season.  For the next week the veterans will be shaping up to start their jobs, while some of the younger guys and future prospects like Steve Kariya and Josh Holden will be skating hard trying to earn a spot on the bench for the regular season.  Steve Kariya is definitely one to watch for; he's got wheels on him like we haven't seen since Pavel Bure and Russ Courtnall were around! And he's a size that we haven't seen since Cliff Ronning.