It’s time, once again, for PITB’s annual, exhaustive, retrospective compilation of all the major Canucks stories of the year that was, and let us just say this: compared to 2011, 2012 was lame.
Granted, when 2011 featured a run to the Stanley Cup Final, a boatload of NHL awards, and a nude Ryan Kesler, 2012 was in tough to come anywhere near it. But between the whole “getting eliminated in the first round” thing and the NHL lockout, which was a major buzzkill, it was like 2012 didn’t even try. Come on, 2012. You embarrassed yourself. (On the bright side, there’s almost no way 2013 can suck this much.)
But before we say goodbye to this crappy year, let’s take one final look back at the rise and fall of Cody Hodgson, the seeming end of the Roberto Luongo era in Vancouver, the Canucks’ second consecutive Presidents Trophy, and all the things David Booth killed. My friends, it’s all here (except for the stuff we forgot).
– JANUARY –
- Jan. 2 – The Canucks open 2012 with a 2-3 shootout loss to the San Jose Sharks. One of the lone bright spots: Cody Hodgson, who picks up a goal and an assist in what will turn out to be a monster January.
- Jan. 3 - Daniel theorizes that Cody Hodgson’s agent might be pushing for Cody to get more icetime. We will later discover that Cody Hodgson’s agent is a reasonable man that never unnecessarily injects himself into anything.
- Jan. 7 – The Canucks return to the TD Garden for the first time since the Stanley Cup Final and, with Cory Schneider getting a controversial start in goal, leave with a 4-3 victory in a thrilling, nasty game. Noteworthy events: Brad Marchand low-bridges Sami Salo, nearly breaking his neck, Cody Hodgson breaks Tim Thomas, Dale Weise doesn’t fight Shawn Thornton. It’s the Canucks’ high point of 2012, which is disappointing, since we’re only three bullets into this thing.
- Jan. 8 - Brad Marchand says he was just protecting himself. “That’s stupid,” Alain Vigneault responds when told, “that’s a stupid comment.” He is not incorrect. The next few days feature some hilarious back-and-forthing between the Canucks front-offices and media.
- Jan. 9 - The Shanhammer comes down hard on Brad Marchand, who gets a five-game suspension for a “predatory” hit. Hockey fans the world over misunderstand the judgment and immediately forget what a clean hipcheck looks like.
- Jan. 9 – The Canucks play and lose a game versus the Florida Panthers but, considering all the other stuff going on, absolutely no one cares.
- Jan. 10 – The great Vancouver/Boston feud of 2012 reaches its illogical conclusion when Shawn Thornton lines up Tony Gallagher for a blindside debate. Neither side says much that’s pointed or accurate, but since the tilt takes place on Boston soil, he takes the decision.
- Jan. 12 - Alex Edler is named to his first NHL All-Star Game, along with Daniel and Henrik Sedin.
- Jan. 17 – Upon noticing Gene Simmons at the class during a pregame skate, Jannik Hansen takes the opportunity to get his stick signed. The very modest Gene Simmons took it in stride. “I’m not surprised [Hansen] came over,” Simmons said. “He’s clearly a powerful and attractive man and he recognizes the God of Thunder who walks the Earth and he came to pay homage.” Okay then.
- Jan. 19 - Ryan Kesler Tebows, inadvertently cursing the Canucks to go full Tebow and rack up wins in spite of their own mediocrity.
- Jan. 21 - Manny Malhotra gets baby Keslurked at the annual Canucks Super Skills event.
- Jan. 24 - Kevin Bieksa and the Canucks help launch Mindcheck.ca in memory of Rick Rypien.
- Jan. 25 - Noted celebrity chaser Jannik Hansen is informed he missed Pamela Anderson’s visit to the Canucks dressing room, and the audio is wonderful.
- Jan. 26 - At the NHL All-Star draft, Alex Edler, Henrik Sedin, and Daniel Sedin are selected to Team Alfredsson, or as it is thenceforth known, Team Sweden.
- Jan. 28 – Daniel and Henrik Sedin meet Drake. Destinies are forever altered.
– FEBRUARY –
- Feb. 2 - Jack Edwards speculates that Cory Schneider will be the starter by the beginning of the playoffs. We disagree. Well, turns out Edwards was off by three games, so there.
- Feb. 3 - Thomas Drance points out that Cody Hodgson’s impressive January was aided by a major shift in deployment. No one puts two and two together.
- Feb. 4 – The Canucks eke out a win in Colorado despite trailing inside of the final minute. Kevin Bieksa plays the hero, diving to stop the empty-net goal that would have iced it, then taking the puck back up ice, and scoring the game-tying goal. (The Colorado feed of this sequence is wonderful and sad.) Vancouver takes it in a shootout.
- Feb. 7 – Roberto Luongo makes arguably the best Canuck save of 2012. Seriously, I think we all forgot how amazing this was.
- Feb. 8 – Jordan Bowman of the Province’s Legion of Blog coins the phrase “You’re looking Trevor Linden good.” Memorable.
- Feb. 9 - During a game versus the Minnesota Wild, Kevin Bieksa throws his glove at Cal Clutterbuck. It is excellent. Also excellent from that game: this quote from Wild coach Mike Yeo after the loss. ““What did we think, that we would come in here against Vancouver and outskill that team? That didn’t work for us [Tuesday] against Columbus.” Poor Columbus.
- Feb. 13 – Chris Higgins is ordered by doctors to eat lots of desserts so he can gain back the 10 pounds he lost while battling his second staph infection of the season. The infection caused him to miss 6 games in 2012.
- Feb. 17 – Canuck fans lose their minds when Cody Hodgson is dropped to the fourth line in practice and Mason Raymond is bumped up to the second. We fail to put two and two together.
- Feb. 18 - The Canucks crush the Leafs, scoring a flurry of pretty goals in a 6-2 win.
- Feb. 21 – We mock a photo of Cody Hodgson on the Canucks bench, looking like he hates playing for this team and wishes he was anywhere else. Two and two remain conspicuously apart.
- Feb. 23 - We begin to strongly suspect that @Strombone1 is Roberto Luongo.
- Feb. 23 - The Canucks end the Detroit Red Wings’ record 23-game home winning streak.
- Feb. 26 - Vernon Fiddler’s “Angry Bieksa” impression turns Alain Vigneault into a teary, giggling mess.
- Feb. 27 - On NHL trade deadline day, the Canucks acquire Samuel Pahlsson from Columbus. This won’t affect Cody Hodgson in the slightest, poor Thomas Drance writes in the hour or so between Pahlsson’s acquisition and when Cody Hodgson is traded to the Buffalo Sabres, along with Alexander Sulzer, for Zack Kassian and a player to be discarded later.
– MARCH –
- Mar. 3 – During an interview on HNIC After Hours, Kevin Bieksa and Scott Oake are interrupted by the adorable appearance of Bieksa’s son, Cole. Later, after Scott Oake puts one of our questions to Bieksa, the Canuck defender asks if this blog is actually run by Jan Bulis. A great moment in Canucks history.
- Mar. 6 – Country singer Aaron Pritchett claims the Canucks need to give Dale Weise more icetime, torpedoing any hopes of a coaching career.
- Mar. 8 – Tanner Glass returns to Vancouver, although his first visit in just under a year is somewhat overshadowed by the Winnipeg Jets’ first visit to Vancouver in over two decades. In a really fun game, Samuel Pahlsson scores the game-winner.
- Mar. 11 - Henrik Sedin has his eighth consecutive pointless game, a slump the length of which he hasn’t endured since, in his own words, ““Way back when I was a crappy player.”
- Mar. 14 - Alain Vigneault promotes Mason Raymond to the first line with the Sedins for a game versus the Phoenix Coyotes. Considering Raymond’s in-game issues — such as the fact that, at times, he should have been out-game — the move instantly earns the Canucks coach a vote of no confidence from many in Vancouver (even though it actually made sense at the time).
- Mar. 14 - Like most Coyotes game, the one on this night is so boring that Vancouver briefly decided a kid dancing to LMFAO is actually the most fascinating thing in life. Dancing Jack later awkwardly dances his way onto Urban Rush. It’s all very unfortunate.
- Mar. 17 - Chris Higgins appears on HNIC After Hours after a 4-3 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. When the phrase “staph infection” is said four times in the first 1:11, he snaps, ““Let’s keep mentioning that, over and over again. It’s done wonders for my life.”
- Mar. 21 - Daniel Sedin suffers a concussion after Duncan Keith drives an elbow into his face during a game in Chicago. TSN digs up a clip from earlier in the game of Daniel hitting Keith into the boards from behind. Somehow, rather than this being used as evidence that Keith’s elbow was premeditated and retaliatory, many use it as evidence that Keith was just making a right by way of a second, exceedingly more egregious wrong. Sometimes hockey fans are an undiscerning bunch.
- Mar. 23 - Duncan Keith is suspended for five games.
- Mar. 24 - Though it was a foregone conclusion long before, the Canucks officially clinch the Northwest Division when the Calgary Flames lose to the Dallas Stars and take themselves out of contention. It’s extremely anti-climactic and it makes us feel cool not to care, but Zack Kassian totally ruins our chilly reception to the accomplishment by sporting a Northwest Division champions t-shirt in this weird locker room video where Alain Vigneault shakes everyone’s hand, one by one. Way to blow it, Kassian.
- Mar. 27 - Ryan Kesler gets name-dropped on an episode of CW program The Secret Circle in one of the worst-written TV scenes of 2012. “I was just wondering if you caught the Canucks game last night,” says Melissa. “It’s kinda crazy: when I watched Kesler, it totally reminded me of your game and how he caught the breakaway and deked the defenceman. It was like your move in the third period of the conference finals when you tried that slap shot and scored from the blueline.” Um, what?
– APRIL –
- Apr. 2 - The city of Vancouver succumbs to a slow-news day and spends most of the afternoon talking about a feud between the girlfriends of Cory Schneider and Milan Lucic. “Corey Snyder [sic] control your broad,” tweets Lucic’s girlfriend, Brittany Carnegie, “because she is straight classless, rude, and acts like a trucker!” We are all enriched and enlightened on this day.
- Apr. 7 - The Canucks close out the regular season with a 3-0 shutout win over the Edmonton Oilers, winning their second-consecutive Presidents’ Trophy in the process.
- Apr. 9 - Daniel Sedin, who has yet to be cleared of his concussion, misses practice. The Canucks insist it’s not a setback. It’s a setback.
- Apr. 10 - In advance of the playoffs getting underway, the real Roberto Luongo tweets a fake Roberto Luongo account suggesting he load up on diarrhea remedy. Seriously, this happened.
- Apr. 10 - Daniel Sedin’s father tells a Swedish newspaper that his son — the one that looks like Henrik, but isn’t Henrik — won’t be playing in Game 1 versus the Kings because he’s still having concussion symptoms. Meanwhile, Duncan Keith’s symptoms from the hit only lasted five games and he was still able to watch those games with the lights on. (We’re still upset about this.)
- Apr. 11 - The L.A. Kings take Game 1 of the first-round series, leading their official Twitter account to tweet “you’re welcome” to everyone outside of Vancouver. Canucks fans, who aren’t used to sassy team tweets, go batcrap. Either that or they just think it’s rude to say “you’re welcome” when you aren’t first thanked. Makes sense. Canuck fans are notoriously stringent when it comes to etiquette.
- Apr. 13 – The Canucks lose Game 2 of the series, 4-2.
- Apr. 15 – The Canucks lose Game 3 of the series, 1-0, leading Derek Jory to coin the hashtag #ReverseSweep. Kings fans get mad, because the idea of a fanbase manufacturing blind hope is apparently foreign to them, despite being Kings fans.
- Apr. 18 - With Daniel Sedin finally returning to the lineup and Roberto Luongo getting replaced in goal with Cory Schneider, the Canucks win Game 4, 3-1! The reverse sweep is almost foregone conclusion! Can Vancouver be just the fourth team in NHL history to claw back from a 3-0 deficit?
- Apr. 20 - After Mike Dunsmore of Fox Sports mistakes him for Ryan Kesler, Kevin Bieksa does an entire interview as Ryan Kesler.
- Apr. 22 - Jarrett Stoll scores in overtime and the Canucks lose Game 5 of the series, which is unfortunate since they had already lost three games at that point, and since it is no longer possible to win four of seven, they graciously concede.
- Apr. 24 - After his player exit interview, Roberto Luongo admits he’s willing to waive his no-trade clause if asked. Whether or not this is code for “I would like to be asked to waive my no-trade clause” is up for debate, but that’s how many interpret it, and Vancouver declares it the end of the Funny Bob era. Eight awkward months follow.
- Apr. 28 - Alex Burrows heads to the IIHF World Championships to play for Team Canada.
- Apr. 30 - Gary Roberts calls Mike Gillis a moron and a dud, which is really just not nice.
– MAY –
- May 2 – Freed from the stresses of trying to stay alive in an elimination tournament, David Booth turns his attention to trying to kill things, tweeting a photo of a bear he killed. This upsets some people, who really liked that bear.
- May 8 – The Canucks extend alleged moron/ dud Mike Gillis after he manages to convince ownership that he is neither moron nor dud, probably by pointing out all the winning the Canucks tend to do.
- May 9 – Ryan Kesler undergoes shoulder surgery, just so he’ll have an injury from which to come back early.
- May 12 - David Booth tweets video of that time he killed a bear, much to the chagrin of both the pro-bear and anti-tricking-bears-into-thinking-a-barrel-is-filled-with-food-so-they’re-easier-to-shoot crowd.
- May 21 - Ted Nugent stands up for David Booth, which has the adverse affect of aligning David Booth with a crackpot like Ted Nugent.
- May 23 - Alain Vigneault signs a contract extension, proving once and for all that Tony Gallagher is not in charge of the Vancouver Canucks.
- May 30 - The Canucks turn up on Google Earth, a year in the past. It’s weird.
– JUNE –
- June 12 – Ryan Kesler appears in a PSA for You Can Play, which is just an excellent cause.
- June 13 - On the one-year anniversary of his broken back, the Canucks take Mason Raymond to salary arbitration. Happy anniversary, buddy!
- June 19 - Craig MacTavish re-signs as head coach of the Canucks’ affiliate Chicago Wolves to take a front-office position with the Edmonton Oilers, who clearly weren’t watching him with the Chicago Wolves.
- June 22 - With their first pick in the NHL entry draft, the Canucks select Brendan Gaunce.
- June 26 - Scott Arniel is named the next head coach of the Chicago Wolves.
- June 27 - Pavel Bure is announced as an inductee to the Hockey Hall of Fame, we suspect for being pretty good at hockey. The Canucks fail to get a press release together right away, likely because their front-office is thin, since it’s June, and a Cory Schneider extension announcement is being prepared. Of course, it’s also possible, as some suggested, that the delay is because they hate Pavel Bure and refuse to acknowledge him in any way.
- June 28 - Cory Schneider signs a 3-year, $12 million deal, which seems suspiciously like the sort of contract you’d give a guy you’re planning to start a lot.
– JULY –
- July 1 - On the first day of free agency, Sami Salo leaves for Tampa Bay, and the Canucks sign Jason Garrison out of Florida. Also, Aaron Rome goes to Dallas, but it’s totally possible he’s just there as an inside man for Alain Vigneault.
- July 2 - The Canucks re-sign Andrew Ebbett and Steven Pinizzotto, because they need to get rid of a bunch of extra nameplate consonants.
- July 8 - Roberto Luongo participates in the World Poker Tour and does a weird interview with CFox where they ask him questions about his junk.
- July 12 - In a Swedish language interview, Mikael Samuelsson admits he didn’t think too highly of Canucks management, which might have something to do with the way they traded him, like, two seconds into the season.
- July 27 - Jannik Hansen receives a one-game suspension from international play for an incident during a game versus Norway where he got into a fight, then got so upset he “could not be calmed down”. Sure, IIHF, but did you try telling him Pam Anderson was in the dressing room?
– AUGUST –
- Aug. 5 – Manny Malhotra, Jason Garrison, march in the Vancouver Pride Parade, making them two of the only four professional athletes to march in pride events in 2012. Big ups.
- Aug. 17 - The Canucks wait patiently for Shane Doan to make up his mind about where he’ll play next season. He chooses the Coyotes, which makes sense, since he’s actually a genie and they haven’t used their third wish yet.
– SEPTEMBER –
- Sept. 4 - Roberto Luongo is spotted at the Florida Panthers’ practice facility, because he’s in Florida and he needs to practice. There is no more to this story than that, but nothing was going on at the time. Last time nothing was going on, we thought a kid dancing to LMFAO was something going on. In this case, Luongo’s totally normal, annual appearance was treated like such a big deal you’d have thought he high-jacked an Escalade and drove it into Lake Okeechobee.
- Sept. 11 – Eddie Lack and Chris Higgins get into a Twitter ab-off.
- Sept. 14 – About two seconds after News 1130 suggests Shane Doan would render Alex Burrows expendable, Alex Burrows signs an extension to spend the next four years in Vancouver.
- Sept. 14 - Shane Doan re-signs in Phoenix because the Coyotes are the best franchise ever and they should definitely be in Glendale, all right Phoenix fans?
- Sept. 14 – Maxim Lapierre is the victim of a drive-by spanking orchestrated by Ryan Kesler.
- Sept. 15 – The NHL lockout officially begins.
- Sept. 18 - Kevin Bieksa gets a parking ticket. This qualifies as news now because hockey is in a coma.
– OCTOBER –
- Oct. 9 – In an effort to promote his upcoming charity game, Bieksa’s Buddies, which will pit a team that vaguely resembles the Canucks against the UBC Thunderbirds, Kevin Bieksa does the weather on Global’s morning news. It is confirmation that his true calling was indeed hockey.
- Oct. 10 - Dale Weise becomes the first Canuck to head overseas, signing with the Tilburg Trappers of the Dutch Hockey League. He instantly becomes the greatest player in the history of Dutch hockey, the Dutch Mario Lemieux, if you will.
- Oct. 17 - The Bieksa’s Buddies charity game is a rousing success. The only disappointing part is that Michael Buble, who was slated to skate with the Sedins, chickened out and acted as an assistant coach instead. Mind you, he made up for it by donating $100,000 to the Bieksa’s Buddies charities, so it’s probably a lot less disappointing if you’re an employee or beneficiary of those charities.
- Oct. 30 – Jannik Hansen becomes the second Canuck to head overseas, signing with Tappara of the Finnish Elite League. We’re still not sure why: the Dutch League would have taken him, and it would have been way, way easier.
– NOVEMBER –
- Nov. 10 - Three days after hitting send on his greatest tweet, Roberto Luongo curates a list of the best angry responses from Bruins fans.
- Nov. 16 - Eddie Lack, perennial nine-year-old, receives his new mask, which features made-up cartoon characters named Wolfy and Orca.
- Nov. 28 - Cory Schneider signs with HC Ambri-Piotta of the Swiss League. His introductory press conference is interrupted by a terrifying mine explosion.
– DECEMBER –
- Dec. 10 - Canucks’ fourth round draft pick Patrick McNally is kicked off the Harvard hockey team for what is believed to be his role in an academic scandal.
- Dec. 13 - Despite impressing at Team Canada’s World Junior camp, Canucks draft pick Frank Corrado is cut from the final squad.
- Dec. 15 - Ryan Kesler, Kevin Bieksa, and Jason Garrison participate in a flash road hockey game under the Cambie bridge with Cabbie. The video they make for the event features some of the worst acting in Canuck history.
- Dec. 29 - Roberto Luongo wins Celebrity Shapper of the Year at the 2012 Shapys, which immediately replaces that gold medal as his most cherished piece of hardware.
- Dec. 29 - Thanks to the lockout, which is still going at the time of this writing, a game between the Boston Bruins and the Vancouver Canucks does not occur. You suck, NHL. You suck eggs.
What was your favourite moment of 2012?