Canucks Update: September 2014

vancouver canucks trade rumors

Welcome to September, everybody. The month on the NHL calendar where business decisions are finalized, training camp rosters are filled out, and preseason hockey kicks off. There’s been a lot of activity surrounding the Vancouver Canucks in the recent weeks, everything from rookie tournaments to new hot dogs. Here’s all the latest Canucks headlines heading into the preseason.

1. 2014 YoungStars Classic This Weekend
The Penticton based prospects tournament returns for its fourth run in five years, with all four Western Canadian teams taking part. This will be the first chance for fans to see some of the new 2014 draft picks in NHL jerseys, including Vancouver’s Jared McCann (drafted 24th overall), Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl (3rd overall), Calgary’s Sam Bennett (4th overall), and Winnipeg’s Nikolaj Ehlers (9th overall). The Canucks’ 6th overall pick Jake Virtanen will be in attendance for the tournament, but will not play due to an injury.
The Canucks will be sending a pretty deep group in terms of talent to this tournament, with roster players Niklas Jensen and Frank Corrado both playing for the green and blue. Potential pro players Bo Horvat and Hunter Shinkaruk will also play for Vancouver. For the complete Canucks YoungStars roster, click here.
The Young Canucks will open the tournament against the Oilers on Sept.12, take a one day break before playing the Jets on Sept.14, and finishing versus the Flames on Sept.15. Select tournament games will also be streamed live on Canucks.com. For the complete schedule and more info about the tournament, visit canucks.com/youngstars.
(UPDATE: Canucks announced Thursday that 2014 first round pick Jared McCann will NOT take part in the YoungStars Tournament, due to a case of mononucleosis. 2013 draft pick Cole Cassels, who had mono this summer, is still recovering and won’t be playing any tournament games either.)

2. Canucks Broadcast Schedule Announced
In a monumental year where Canadian media giant Rogers and the NHL embark on the first season of a 12-year national television rights deal, Canucks fans will be reaping the benefits as all 82 regular season games will be broadcast on either a Rogers-owned channel or CBC. 48 of the Canucks regular season games will be televised regionally on Sportsnet, while the remaining 34 games will be on national TV. John Shorthouse and John Garrett will both return to the Canucks broadcast booth this season, along with host Dan Murphy covering the intermission shows. Prepare to be a bit confused in the first year of the NHL-Rogers deal, as the Canucks will be seen this season on at least seven different channels. That isn’t even including where they’ll show up on Hockey Night in Canada, which according to Sportsnet will be decided and announced on a weekly basis.
If that’s all too confusing for you, it might be easier to tell you that all regional and national Canucks games will be available on the new Rogers NHL GameCentre Live package, the Canadian version of the NHL’s online game viewing platform. Along with getting to see the Sedins’ pretty passing plays, you’ll also get any other NHL game in your region available on your computer, tablet, smartphone, or game console. All for the low, low price of just $199.99. Ouch.
As for Vancouver fans like me who live south of the border, the American version of GameCenter Live is the way we enjoy Canucks games down here. Its much easier than channel flipping through NHL Center Ice, or the Canadian channels for that matter. Just click and enjoy.

3. Canucks Training Camp Opens Sept.19
Willie Desjardins will run his first drills as Canucks head coach with the mountains of Whistler and Blackcomb as the backdrop when Vancouver opens its training camp September 19 in Whistler, BC. This will be the ski resort town’s second time hosting the camp, as the Canucks also set up shop here in 2008. For the fans who make the trip up to the Meadow Park Sports Centre, it will a great chance to see some of the new Canucks skate with the team for the first time, including goaltender Ryan Miller, winger Radim Vrbata, and centre Nick Bonino. The players will first report to Rogers Arena on September 18th for medicals and testing, then they’ll board the bus up to Whistler later that day. Camp will close on the 22nd, with the team returning to Vancouver that same day.

4. Rogers Arena Unveils Concession Upgrades, Updates Tower Construction Progress
Members of the media were invited to Rogers Arena last Friday, where they got a taste of the new food and beverage service Canucks Sports and Entertainment will offer this season.  The big draw is a new specialty hot dog stand called Steamer’s, named after Canucks’ legend Stan Smyl. The new concession will offer 12 new hot dogs and sandwiches (for Smyl’s jersey number), including the Lobster Roll, the Maui Firedog, and Bartley’s Signature (named for CSE’s new head chef). Thanks to the construction of the office/rental tower being connected to the arena, the Canucks has been able to massively upgrade its kitchen facilities, adding a new in-house butcher shop, bakery, and refrigerators. Also thanks to a new provincial law allowing the sale of liquor in sports stadiums, fans will now be able to enjoy a large selection of wine and spirits.
The Rogers Arena West Tower construction has nearly completed the arena levels, with the Canucks’ regular season home opener being the expected grand opening date. Aside from expanding the kitchens, the new tower will also add a new wine bar on Level 100, a number of new washrooms on Level 300, and a brand new state-of-the-art sports bar on Level 400.

5. Jon Abbott Becomes New Canucks Radio Voice for TSN 1040
Canucks radio rights holders TSN announced on Tuesday that former Toronto Maple Leafs and Marlies commentator Jon Abbott would join the Canucks radio broadcasts as the new play-by-play man. Abbott replaces Rick Ball in the broadcast booth, who left to be the new TV voice of the Calgary Flames on Sportsnet. John Shorthouse and Dave Tomlinson remain with TSN 1040 (formerly TEAM 1040) as play-by-play and colour commentators respectively, but since Shorthouse calls all the Sportsnet Canucks games, Abbott will handle most of the radio games alongside Tomlinson. Shorthouse will call all of the national games for the radio station. Every Canucks game this season can be heard on TSN 1040, starting with a preseason match-up against the San Jose Sharks on September 23.

Okay, that’s everything for now. I’ll be back next week with a recap of the YoungStars Weekend. Cheers!

Lachlan Irvine

Lifelong Canucks fan, goalie on the ice.

Latest posts by Lachlan Irvine (see all)