This is Cam Neely as a young Boston Bruin. He is very likely the biggest mistake the Vancouver Canucks ever made (it isn’t an obvious choice only because they’ve screwed up so much) but it appears as though there’s a new candidate on the horizon.
When we last left the lovable losers on the left coast, they had a “jam up jelly tight” ballclub with home run hitters (Bertuzzi, Naslund) a couple of blueline studs (Jovo, Ohlund) and goalies who learned at the “Tommy Salo School of Pucks.”
That ended badly. In Vancouver, it always does. “Bure wants to be traded,” “Bertuzzi broke some guys neck” and on it goes for the team that changes uniforms so often they still don’t have an identity to speak of despite having some nice players and seasons.
The Vancouver Canucks, incredibly, are about to piss away a season of Roberto Luongo. Why? Well they have no depth you see, so that despite the twin piss cutter Sedins and despite Jesus of Nazareth in net, they are simply unable to overcome injury because they don’t have any depth at all. If the Vancouver Canucks had the Edmonton Oilers farm club most of the team would have played a little this season.
The Montreal Expos used to do this, they’d have Gary Carter at catcher, Larry Parrish at third base, Tim Raines in LF, Andre Dawson in CF and all of those guys would be kicking the living BeJesus out of the ball all summer long. Here, let’s list the 1984 Montreal Expos:
- C: Gary Carter, 17-79, .270
- 1B: Al Oliver, 8-84, .300
- 2B: Doug Flynn, 0-26, .237
- SS: Chris Speier, 2-22, .257
- 3B: Tim Wallach, 19-70, .269
- RF: Warren Cromartie 3-43, .278
- CF: Andre Dawson 32-113, .299
- LW Tim Raines 11-71, .298
Now I can tell you they were certainly above average at CF, LF and catcher. Those guys were All-Stars and all three could eventually make the HOF. However, Doug Flynn got 452 at-bats which delivered little more than the #9 spot in the order, and although Speier didn’t play as much as Flynn his replacements were not much better. Plus of course your 1b has 8 homers all year and Cromartie is pissing away ab’s in LF like there’s no tomorrow but hey let’s blame Gary Carter.
The Expos of 1984 and the Vancouver Canucks of this season have something in common: their management was unable to find people who could be “average players for their position” and that is a shame. Hey, the hard part is finding Gary Carter, or Roberto Luongo. To lose a season because you have to play Doug Flynn everyday is painful, and someone needs to be fired.
As for the Oilers, well these are Blue Sky days. The phrase “wait til next year” is overused in sports but I have a hard time not getting giddy over this club’s future.