Canucks Mailbag: Still believe in Olli Juolevi?

The city of Vancouver loses its bid as a potential NHL hub city, as the league narrows the list down to five. Plus, all the latest CBA in talks between the NHL & NHLPA as David Amber, Elliotte Friedman & Chris Johnston discuss.

Answers to the secret of the universe?

Not quite. But some on the indomitable Dr. Henry, and the indomitable Sedins, a celebrity-guest question, a celebrity-guest answer, and some thoughts on Jake Virtanen, Telly Savalas, McLean vs Luongo, Zack MacEwen and the key to beating the Minnesota Wild.

MacIntyre Mailbag IV.

I imagine it’s nice to be popular, and it would have been a bit of a morale boost to have Vancouver chosen. But we’ve all come to appreciate how fortunate we are in B.C. – and how disciplined we’ve been – to be spared the worst of the coronavirus. As a sports reporter, I’m disappointed. But the actual economic impact was limited, and the games will look great on television no matter where they are. Plus, I ain’t going against Dr. Bonnie Henry. Are you?

I’ve got some hub fatigue, and suspect I’m not alone. So I will take the second question and say Daniel and Henrik Sedin definitely go into the Hall of Fame together. You can make an argument for either one on statistics alone, especially when you include their NHL scoring titles and major awards. But it is that they played together as brothers, displaying a connectedness and style not before seen in the NHL, that make them unique and increases their Hall worthiness. What they did as twin teammates will never occur again.

I’m biased towards MacEwen, and that was before he graciously shared his heartache with me over the sudden loss last month of his father, Craig. I thought it was crazy that the Canucks were looking at acquiring Wayne Simmonds at the deadline. For toughness that can play – and should get a lot better still in time – MacEwen is an excellent option. At 23, he is young enough and good enough (five goals in 17 NHL games this season) to grow into a depth role behind the young guns. The Canucks are going to give him that chance.

I’m honoured, chef, but you asking me about cooking fish is like the Dalai Lama seeking my counsel on inner peace. Please do not laugh. Preferably fresh salmon filet – I prefer sockeye, but chinook has more oil for the barbeque – from which I remove all the little bones with kitchen tweezers. I lay it skin-side down in some soy sauce and a little honey, to salt the skin. Rub a little olive oil over the flesh, season and sprinkle on some fresh dill or Italian parsley. I get the BBQ quite hot, then grill only skin-side down, covered, for about eight minutes – enough to crisp the skin and just cook through the flesh. That’s it. Sometimes I make a sauce with butter, cream and fresh lime.

For this next one, I was going to phone a friend, but didn’t have to.

Yes in a straight line Shawn was faster than Pavel..I seen them race after practice one day & Shawn won..

Ping! I don’t blame you. And I don’t blame Nathan.

It’s going to be hard for anyone to get a long-term contract this summer unless they’re willing to take an obvious discount. I believe Jake Virtanen skated up in the Okanagan with Tyler Myers, and I think he will surprise people this summer. He said he would score 20, and had 18 when the season stopped. I say he gets the other two versus Minny.

Can honestly say I never bought a sandwich out of a vending machine, although I did buy $200 noise-cancelling headphones out of a vending machine during a layover in Atlanta. The vending machine I miss most is the old corner-store pop cooler, where you’d reach down into ice water cold enough to cryogenically freeze you, pull out a dark bottle of Coke and crack the cap on the built-in opener. I miss the corner store, too. But I digress.

I miss McKeach because he was a genuine, amiable character who in the days before phone contact lists carried in his pocket about 30 pages of rolled up IBM printer paper containing 6,000 phone numbers – the best rolodex in the business. His late-night casts on BCTV with new anchor Robert Malcolm were can’t miss television when I was a kid. Malcolm started coughing one night, so John told him: “Stop smoking you stupid bugger.” Live television.

If I thought I had the better team, McLean. Dependable. You’d never lose a game because of McLean. But if I needed my goalie to win it for us, then Luongo, who had the potential to get in the zone and slam the door on an opponent like no other netminder in Canucks’ history.

One-and-done George Lazenby’s impossible task of replacing Sean Connery made Lazenby to the Bond catalogue like Mark Messier is to the Canucks. In truth, neither was as bad as history makes them seem. I actually kind of like On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. I mean, Telly Savalas drove a bobsleigh while shooting over his shoulder at Bond. That’s movie-making genius.

Villain in a Bond film.

I get the frustration. Without beer-league soccer, I am no longer in peak physical condition or able to run for 30 seconds at a time. Obviously, we need to be careful. Remember, when the coronavirus started, the notion was kids without immune issues would be fine. But there’s evidence about long-term physiological damage in children who didn’t get particularly sick. Health officials will always err on the side of caution. And look where that has put us compared to most places on Earth. Be kind, be calm, be safe.

I think there will be a conversation, but would you walk away from $5 million US? It’s also not clear when he (or anyone) will receive their bonuses right now. The NHL and PA are working on a new calendar and this will all be rolled into the Return To Play plan.

The Canucks still believe in Juolevi, but it has been four years since he was drafted and Olli is the only player from the top 17 who has yet to play an NHL game. At this point, just playing on the third pair is a realistic goal. But keep in mind, the Canucks are trending better. It’s not going to be easier to crack the lineup in time.

If you have really good steak, you don’t need any. Just some Worcester sauce and some seasoning. But I do keep a bottle of Rufus Teague in my fridge. Stubb’s is good, too.

Sven is on the expanded roster and could get into games if there are injuries. He has NHL skills and can/will contribute offence again in this league. But this is a terrible summer to try and offload salary.

Many funny guys over the years, and lots of candid ones when you got to know them. Can’t name one guy or one story. Sometimes the candid guys weren’t the funniest, but a tonne of good guys. So I’m just going to go with something corny that doesn’t embarrass or incriminate anyone. Mike Sillinger walked out of the shower after practice, towel around him, and bellowed: “I can’t wait for tomorrow.” Someone asked why. “Because I get better looking every day.” Locker rooms.

I don’t like Styrofoam anywhere. Bad for the planet. I haven’t seen it in golf holes during the pandemic. I’ve seen raised cups, so the ball just nestles below the surface, and a kind of wire-basket retrieval system for removing the ball. I have gotten used to the flag being in. Just wish I was near it more often.

The only way to get a top draft pick is to trade a top player, and the Canucks aren’t doing that. Benning will try to restore his second rounder, maybe add a third or fourth. But this team is ascending and can’t make moves that flatten that trajectory by surrendering an excellent player now for someone who might help in three or four years.

The Canucks have a terrific top-six up front, and the Wild an excellent top-four on defence. Jacob Markstrom should be better than either Minnesota goalie. If Elias Pettersson and J.T. Miller are the best forwards in the series – playing against excellent checkers Joel Eriksson Ek and Jordan Greenway, the Canucks will win.

Well, the Vancouver-Minnesota series is a 50/50 tossup, so half of the 12.5 per cent chance each preliminary-round loser gets at winning the first-overall pick gives the Canucks a 6.25 per cent chance of drafting first. Except, when you consider other factors like franchise history, the odds fall to when-pigs-fly.

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