Ben Kuzma reported yesterday in The Province that Pavol Demitra has started to take one-timer slapshots today in practice. This is the first time he has done so since having his two shoulder surgeries to repair the shoulder injury he sustained in the Vancouver/Chicago playoff series.
Demitra expected that he would be back playing for the Canucks a while ago, but the shoulder did not get better after the first surgery, so the second one was scheduled. Then, it was reported that he wasn't progressing in his recovery, so Demitra went to Slovakia to see a specialist that he used previously and spent two weeks and a bit to work with the medical trainer. He returned back to Vancouver around Christmas to continue his rehab.
Now Demitra is speculated to return to the ice with the Canucks perhaps on January 20th in a game in Edmonton or maybe not until the end of January, the timing will depend on his progress during the next two weeks.
And as we all know, Demitra has also been named to Team Slovakia for the Olympics. Yay for being named to the Olympics, but I'm a little hesitant to encourage Demitra in any way to participate in the Olympics. The Canucks have waited approximately 4 months for their player to be ready to go to play for the team, the team he is being paid to play for. And based on the projected timing of when he will be ready to go, that may come just 2 weeks before the puck drop at the first Olympic game on February 16th (though first game for Slovakia in particular is on February 17th against the Czech Republic).
So Demitra will play two weeks for the Canucks before playing in the Olympics? Seriously? The possibility of Demitra re-injuring himself during the Olympics is too great for me to ignore and the timing of when Demitra's return makes me think that if he chooses to play for Slovakia that his decision is a little reckless. I hope that when he returns to the ice, his health is at 100%, rather than him rushing his recovery and returning to play at less than 100% just because he wants to play in the Olympics. This is a player that we are paying 4 million dollars a season for, and has been injured for more than half this season.
Demitra is 34 years old, so realistically this is the last chance he will have to represent his country at the Olympics, thus I can see the motivation in why he would want to play in this Olympics. But those two weeks off during the Olympics if he were to chose not to participate, could give him enough recovery so could he be ready for the long playoff push when the Canucks resume their monster road trip in March. Although I may not be the biggest fan of Demitra as I think he is overpaid and tends to just fade away when he's not scoring, the team could use a winger like him on the second line. So maybe I'm selfish, but I seriously think that someone in the Canucks organization needs to have a little sit down with Demitra and point out to him who is paying him 4 million dollars to be injured, it's the Canucks, not Team Slovakia.
Another freak accident, that's really the only way to describe it. In a collision with Petr Prucha against The Coyotes game on December 29th, Bieksa had another skate laceration. Prucha's skate cut Bieksa just above his left ankle, severing 2 tendons.
Bieksa underwent surgery in Vancouver and will now be in a cast for six weeks befor beginning the rehab process. The Canucks could be without Bieksa for up to 3 months, which puts him at being back just before the playoffs.
Bieksa has his calf laceration back on Nov 1 2007, which had him missing 47 games.
We'll miss you Bieksa, you and your smirks.
In other Canuck news:
- Henrik Sedin is named the first star of the month of December by the NHL
- Schneider will collect $250, 000 on January 15th in Winnipeg, the second payment of his $1 million signing bonus that was split over 4 payments
- Lukowich skated with the team this morning, the 33 year old Cranbrook, BC native said “It’s exciting news for me and my family, glad to be back”.
The Canucks just played game 42 against the Dallas on Saturday, which means we have just begun the second half of the season. Before we do that, I thought we should look at how the first half went, shall we?
Here are my mid-season thoughts:
Steve Bernier - Not much has changed for you this year, you still have those hands of stone. But you did get a nice haircut earlier this year, and since you are on the 3rd line, I'm not mad at your if you don't score on chances when you are parked in front of the net.
Alex Bolduc - Can't say that I even pay attention to you
Alex Burrows - I knew that you would come back into form after the Daniel Sedin returned from injury. Keep up whatever you are doing and maybe a shorthanded goal sometime soon? I miss those from you
Pavol Demitra - You've been injured all season which limits the ability for MG to trade you. How much longer? Will you even play this season?
Tanner Glass - You were a nice surprise to the Canucks roster. I had no idea who you were since you languished away in Florida for so long but it's been nice to have you here. Keep up the good work.
Jannik Hansen - I want you to be good, isn't that enough? I'm rooting for you but if you aren't better, you're gonna be squeezed out of the line-up soon.
Darcy Hordichuck - You suck. God I can't wait till we get rid of you. How did I think you were some force when you played for the Predators?no comments
Just a few things to kick off the year:
- According to the Winnipeg Free Press, Schneider will report to the Manitoba Moose today. He hasn't played for in a minor-league team in over 20 years but if he doesn't report to the Moose, he won't be paid his salary from the Canucks. This will push the Moose's maximum veteran player # over the max (which is 5) by 1, so we'll see what will happened in a few days with that (Baumgartner is our for another week with an injury, so no initial impact yet)
- Lukowich has cleared waiver's and will be the Canucks' 7th defenseman while Bieksa is out with injury
- Jordan Schroeder (Canucks 2009 draft pick) with 26 points and counting is now Team USA's all-time points leader in the WJHC (now ahead of Jeremy Roenick)
- It's ugly sweater night next Monday at GM Place when the Canucks take on Nashville
- The two teams (Philly and St. Louis) which fired their coach, both did so after losing to the Canucks
- CBJ has only won 1 in the last 10 games (1-6-3) and they play the Canucks tomorrow. Just sayin'.
And for an adorable story about our Kesler in The Province about when his mom called him to congratulate him about making Team USA, here's the quote:
“My mom called me in tears,” said the Livonia, Mich., native. “Her first words were, 'I can't believe I have a son as an Olympian.' She was pretty choked up and very proud of me. It's obviously very special for her and my dad [Mike] and I get kind of choked up thinking about it, too.”
It's going to be hard to hate Kesler when he plays for Team USA....no comments
This may be my last post before 2010 (unless something crazy hits the headlines tomorrow that necessitates something be written), so a few ending thoughts to close out the year.
- Last game of year tomorrow at 4pm against the St. Louis Blues.
- First game of the year will be at 11am on Saturday against Dallas. Yes 11am.
- Word on the street, well from Botchford of The Province at least, is that even if Bieksa is injured, Schneider will not play again for the Canucks. He says that that Schneider's demands for more ice time was only part of the issue. Botch says that NOBODY was happy with him.
- Ehrhoff is named to Team Germany
- Salo is named to Finnish Olympic Team
- Bieksa was expected to return home to Vancouver after the laceration to his leg. I can only imagine that the recovery time will be measured in weeks.
- 4 of the blueliners from Team Canada are from BC: Scott Niedermeyer, Shea Weber, Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith. Nice to see some local representation on the team.
The Canucks lost to the Phoenix Coyotes 3-2 tonight in a shootout, can't say it was the most thrilling game ever and I was reminded by how boring the 1st and 2nd was by Larscheid over and over and over again....guh, Larscheid....
- Schneider has been put on waivers in hopes that a team will pick him and his paycheck up. He was unhappy with the amount of ice time he was getting in Vancouver. His contract is for $1.5 million base pay plus $1.2 million in potential bonuses, if he clears waivers he will be assigned to the Moose.
- Dan Murphy's twitter said that Bieksa's injury was a laceration by a skate to the leg, no info on the severity of it yet
- Not to get ahead of anything here, this is just a personal thought: if Bieksa is injured for any length of time, maybe they would want to play Schneider now? I wonder how that conversation would go with him...
- Pavol Demitra has been named to the Slovakian Olympic Team
- Nice article on Pyatt in Phoenix. He had 5 goals in the last 12 games heading into tonight's game and his plus-minus stas was a plus 12
- Tonight's win for the Coyotes was a franchise record for 10 wins on home ice
- Ryan Johnson has a crack in the bone of his foot according to the Team 1040
- Did was all just hold our breath when Luongo was caught out of his net? Did we all yell at our TV's and tell him never to leave his crease again?
- Phoenix has a lot of good looking players. Pyatt, Upshall, Prucha, Lombardi....just sayin'
- Jovo has a little bit of a meltdown in the box, non?
- What was Shane O'Brien doing trying to pick a fight with Aucoin at the end of the game? WHAT?
- Ryan Kesler broke his stick as he went through the tunnel at the end of the game