The Canucks begin training camp this week with the following tentative schedule, based on what we’ve heard informally. Tuesday, informal skate, Wednesday, physicals and off-ice stuff at the still-being-renovated Rogers Arena, and then Thursday, start of training camp in Whistler that will run through Saturday.
Fresh off the Young Stars Classic in Penticton, we’ll clarify this Canucks calendar asap.
In the meantime, a couple of monumental announcements, one expected, one not so much.
Zdeno Chara played more games than any other defenceman in the history of the National Hockey League and he’s 45-years-old. So, despite the fact it pains him to do so, it comes as no surprise that ‘Big-Z’ is signing a one-day contract in Boston and retiring on Tuesday as a Bruin.
He’s sort of a villain to Canucks fans having captained those Bruins to a seven-game Stanley Cup title over Vancouver in 2011, but it’s hard not to respect the giant fella’s work ethic and respect for the game. The tallest player in league history ended up playing 1,680 NHL games, scoring 209 goals, adding 471 assists, and rag-dolling more than a few opponents to the tune of 2,085 penalty minutes.
PK Subban meanwhile is a bit of a different story. From gregarious to flamboyant, the son of immigrants from the Caribbean, he played 13 seasons in the NHL between the Montreal Canadiens, Nashville Predators, and New Jersey Devils. He’s 12-years younger than Chara.
Known as much for his life in the spotlight, high-profile girlfriends and his charitable endeavours, Subban rarely found a microphone he didn’t like. And that’s not a knock, he’ll fit in nicely as he continues his career as a hockey analyst on TV. He and his family have been kind to VHN in its earlier incarnations, always a thoughtful and thorough guest.
Subban finishes with 467 points and 905 penalty minutes in 834 NHL games.
Both of the aforementioned gentlemen won a Norris Trophy as the NHL’s best defenceman, Chara in 2009 and Subban in 2013.
Add Keith Yandle to the list. The 36-year-old D-man and current NHL Iron Man, for a couple more weeks anyway before Phil Kessel passes him, announced his retirement on Tuesday.
No Brotherly Love
One-time Canucks head coach John Tortorella, now the bench boss in Philly, has his hands full. His Flyers roster is banged up and in disarray and it just got worse over the weekend with the announcement that centre Sean Couturier is out week-to-week with an upper body injury.
Veteran PHN columnist Sam Carchidi believes the injury is related to Couturier’s surgically repaired back.
Meanwhile, Joel Farabee and Bobby Brink injured themselves while working out. The Russian military drafted goalie Ivan Fedotov and defenceman Ryan Ellis (pelvic injury) is still sidelined.
Skate Gingerly and Enjoy Your Tuesday, Friends!