Kraken and Canucks
Greetings and a belated Happy New Year to all fans of the Seattle Kraken, Vancouver Canucks, and of the greatest game on the planet in general. As we discussed with Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek a few days ago, the sport has involved in many ways over the years, but the greatest thing about it remains the people in it.
Oh, and of course, it’s simply the coolest, most entertaining game on Earth for a multitude of reasons.
A must see “Simmer and Gabby” Podcast returns this week (at the bottom of this page) following a holiday break and a Canadian meltdown at the Spengler Cup. We’ll talk about that and your favourite teams in the Pacific Division, among other things.
I’ve also tightened up the Simmer’s Sunday 9 for expediency. That would be for the writer and the readers. We’re all familiar with attention span issues, plus I can convey the same concepts with about half of the verbiage. Let’s get started …
Simmer’s Sunday 9:
1) Another thing our pal Jeff pointed out, a full blown Canadian gentleman through and through by the way, is the potential dominance of Team USA in future World Junior Championships. It’s a theory that’s been tossed out there periodically since the country’s National Team Development Program was established in the 1990’s, given the USA’s sheer number of potential athletes, ten times that of Canada.
Then again, mostly based on socioeconomic demographics, it’s still a limited sport access-wise in the US, and it’s still a national religion and rite of passage for a large percentage of the population north of the border.
I say, talk to me when Team USA wins an Olympic Gold, something it hasn’t done since 1980, well before the introduction of NHL players to the event. And that’s coming from an American-born dual citizen.
Next chance, Italy, 2026.
2) Of course, with Jeff’s thought’s in mind, remember that all six of USA Hockey’s World Junior Championship titles have come since 2004.
The first one was unforgettable. That’s when the Americans scored three unanswered goals in the third period to win the Gold Medal game over the Canadians in Helsinki, Finland. The winning goal came off a Team USA chip in, when Team Canada goalie Marc Andre Fleury came out and played his clearing attempt off his own defenceman Braydon Coburn and into his own net.
3) Speaking of “Flower”, who Gabby and I chat about on the podcast below, here’s our social media entry for this week. Pretty self explanatory: Fleury being Fleury, with some additional madness …
4) Speaking of Minnesota, it was announced this week that Minneapolis-St. Paul will host the 2026 World Junior Championship, the first time the area has hosted the event since 1982 and just the 7th time the United States will serve as host country.
5) OK. bonus social media clip this time around, with very strong words from former Canucks defenceman and current “Hockey Night in Canada” panelist Kevin Bieksa, regarding the long-term, cheap shot behaviour of Florida Panthers forward and 560-NHL-game veteran Nick Cousins:
6) Trivia slot: Off the top of your head, no cheating, six picks before Quinn Hughes went 7th-overall to the Canucks in the 2018 NHL Draft, who went 1st-overall?
7) It was announced over the weekend that the Seattle Kraken American Hockey League affiliate Coachella Valley Firebirds, in what will be their third year of existence, will host the 2025 AHL All-Star Game. The Palm Desert area of California has gone koo koo for pucks and the franchise has done a beautiful job providing a top rate facility and entertainment package.
8) Still curious what’s happening with the London (Ontario) Police Services and Hockey Canada’s investigation of the 2018 world junior Team Canada sexual assault controversy, especially considering other recent related scandals and punitive actions taken in hockey and in society in general.
Might the National Hockey League be concerned about the big names involved? Chaa ! … yeah!
9) Updated scoring for current NHL number 9’s:
Canucks – J.T. Miller – 53 points (18 goals and 35 assists), 7th in NHL scoring.
Predators – Filip Forsberg – 45 points (21 goals and 24 assists), 16th in NHL scoring.
Golden Knights – Jack Eichel – 42 points (18 goals and 24 assists), 21st in NHL scoring.
— Trivia Answer: Defenceman Rasmus Dahlin went 1st-overall to the Buffalo Sabres at the 2018 NHL Draft.
Recent Canucks Hockey Joy Joy To Choose From:
— Canucks Survive A Beat-Up Devils Club, Win 6-4
— Canucks Prospect Named World Juniors MVP
— Soucy’s Imminent Return Will Juggle Canucks D-Corps (he’s back)
— Bruce Boudreau and the brand new “Simmer and Gabby” Podcast …