His high water mark with the Canucks was the 1982 Hail Mary run to the Stanley which was in no way similar to the 1994 Stanley experience. In 1994 Vancouver was a heartbeat away from winning it all, but in 1982 they won the right to be lambs for the slaughter.
Any review of the 1982 season shows Gradin was a champion no matter the result.
Tonight we may be looking at one of the final 4 this NHL season. The Canucks seem to have the right combination of grit, skill and goaltending to go deep into the post-season and with rumors of a huge acquisition (possibly Sundin) straight ahead it’s long past time to give the Canucks and their new GM credit. I questioned the lack of moves in the summer but clearly this is a team that is well built and headed in the right direction.
For Oilers fans we’re probably a couple of weeks away from the point where we can safely begin talking about the June draft. As of this morning, Edmonton is close to 8th but also close to 15th, which in the Kevin Lowe “Groundhog Day” era smells a lot like poetic justice. The Edmonton Oilers since 2000 have been a study in what happens when you leave the terminal out of balance.
Stories surrounding the Canucks have them filling holes credibly, winning games and performing well in all kinds of areas. Winning organizations do that sort of things, the Canucks coverage isn’t terribly different these days than what you’d find in San Jose, Detroit or Calgary newspapers. Address need, move forward, fill holes.
Good for the Canucks. They endured a lot of turmoil for many years when the team lacked leadership, direction and talent and saw their management group unable to right the ship by addressing need. For Oilers fans we can look forward to Hemsky, Lubo and a script that involves a crazy ride that will test patience and run the gamut of emotion. The Edmonton Oilers are not good for the blood pressure.
And if the Oilers are going to make a run, tonight would be a good time to start. I hope coach Peeters tells them that much.