In another cold week without NHL hockey fans were able to celebrate something special as four legends of the game were inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Adam Oates, Mats Sundin, Joe Sakic and Pavel Bure were all immortalized in the hall this past week, recognizing the careers of four special players who dazzled fans with their sublime skill sets.
It was a reminder of a happier time for Canucks fans who remember the Russian Rocket’s blistering combination of speed and skill. There were harsh ups and downs during Bure’s career with the Canucks, but the talent evident in every highlight pack he stars in is undeniable.
The debate over the retirement of Pavel Bure’s jersey as a Canuck is lengthy and controversial, but unless Gino Odjick knows something we don’t there seems to be little evidence Bure will be honoured by the club any time soon.
The Russian Rocket may not fit the Canucks’ modern mold for an honorary athlete, but I wonder if a bitter lockout could bend the will of ownership in order to embrace a fan-friendly celebration once the conflict is over.
Schneider No Chicken
Cory Schneider isn’t technically Vancouver’s starting goaltender just yet, but the young backup sure does have the confidence of a veteran starter when it comes to CBA negotiations. Schneider echoed the sentiment of Sidney Crosby regarding the battle over contract rights this week, standing firm on what the players say they are willing to fight for.
“They got the cap and we got contracting rights,” Schneider told The Province. “For us, seven years later, to just go right back on those, means it was for nothing. Guys sat out a season of their careers for no real reason.
Guys feel strongly about it.”
Despite how much I like to disagree with Mark Recchi, I too believe the players’ position only worsens by the day. NHL owners simply don’t have as much to lose as many of the players whose careers could be in danger if even a single season is lost.
Sidney Crosby and Cory Schneider both have bright futures in the game of hockey, but I fear others aren’t as determined to fight for their rights as the lockout begins to threaten the livelihood of lesser players.
Paul Stastny, Cam Fowler, Nicklas Grossman, Jason Chimera and Kevin Klein are all headed to Europe in a sudden exodus of talent that doesn’t reflect well on NHLPA solidarity.