Sometimes the most iconic people in an organization are the ones that bring the game to you over the radio and for Vancouver Canucks fans, Tom Larscheid is the guy who described the action on the ice with all the passion and excitement you’d want from a hometown guy. With the Canucks heading into their 40th anniversary season, Larscheid is retiring but he’ll be sticking around to call one more game.
An era has ended in the Vancouver sports scene.
The TEAM 1040 will replace Tommy Larscheid with analyst Dave Tomlinson as the Canucks colour commentator this season.
Larscheid will broadcast one final game, the season-opener against the L.A. Kings, with John Shorthouse (HNIC has the TV broadcast) as the Canucks kick off their 40th anniversary season.
Lots of fans will miss Tommy, as he’s invariably called. Lots, also, criticized his boosterism, but he never hid the fact he bled Canucks blue and green _ or yellow and orange, or black and silver, because he was there for most of the club’s frequent jersey switches.
In fact, probably the only thing the 70-year-old regrets is he never will call a Canucks Stanley Cup victory.
Tommy is passion personnified, with or without the mike on. You heard it in his voice when he’d roast a Pavol Demitra no-show or when he held Mike Gillis’s feet to the fire after Dave Nonis had been deposed.
It’s great that Larscheid will get to call one more game, a one-man victory tour if you will. It’s always tough for the home fans to adjust from a iconic voice to the “new” guy on the scene. Here’s to hoping the Canucks fans will give Dave Tomlinson a bit of break as he learns the ropes on the radio mic.
Tonight is a big game for the Arizona Coyotes, as they host Vancouver, one of the teams they’re jockeying with for the final wild-card spot in the West.
If the Coyotes can beat the Canucks in regulation, they’ll move to within two points of Colorado for that final wild-card spot, with three games in hand on the Avs. Not only that, Vancouver’s playoff hopes would be dealt a significant blow.
Of course, that’s a pretty sizable “if” the way the Coyotes have been playing. The Desert Dogs are winless in their last four, with 21 total goals surrendered.
“We have to shore up some things and our goaltending has to be better,” Coyotes coach Dave Tippett told reporters, while confirming that Louis Domingue would get the start versus the Canucks.
Domingue, the NHL’s rookie of the month in January, has struggled of late, allowing five goals in each of his last three starts. In the Coyotes’ last game, they turned to Anders Lindback, only for Lindback to surrender five goals himself in a 5-2 loss to Anaheim.
For the Canucks, Ryan Miller is expected to start, after Jacob Markstrom got the win last night in Denver.
— Henrik Lundqvist for the Rangers in Pittsburgh, where Marc-Andre Fleury is expected to start for the Penguins.
— Craig Anderson for the Senators in Detroit, where Petr Mrazek will make his third straight start for the Red Wings.
The Buffalo Sabres have recalled forward Justin Bailey from AHL Rochester.
It’s the first time Bailey, a second-round pick in 2013, has ever been called up to the NHL. The 20-year-old joins the big club after piling up 11 points (5G, 6A) in his last eight games for the Americans.
Most Sabres fans will know that Bailey is from Buffalo (technically, Williamsville), the son of former Bills linebacker Carlton Bailey. (To learn more, click on this Buffalo News story from July.)
The Sabres play Thursday in Philadelphia, where Bailey will reportedly make his NHL debut.
To make room for Bailey on Buffalo’s roster, Zemgus Girgensons (lower body) was placed on injured reserve.
Thing have gone from bad to weird in Minnesota, where embattled Wild coach Mike Yeo was “disappointed” to see Zenon Konopka’s rabbit holding a sign that read, “YEO MUST GO.”
Hey, we told you things had gotten weird.
Konopka, a former Wild player, took to Twitter last night after Minnesota’s latest loss.
Here’s what Konopka tweeted:
And what did Yeo think about that?
“I really don’t care what he says,” he told the Star Tribune, apparently adding with a laugh, “I will say I was very disappointed to see Hoppy holding that sign.”
Now, according to the newspaper’s Michael Russo, “Konopka and Yeo had a lot of issues behind the scenes and that’s why [Konopka] ended up on waivers two Januarys ago.”
Still, that doesn’t change the fact that a lot of Wild fans agree with Hoppy, er, Konopka, and it doesn’t change the fact that the Wild could really, really use a win tomorrow at home to Washington.
Nice work from Artem Anisimov and Matt Niskanen this week, but Connor McDavid‘s tally is on a different level.
You can pretty much bank on McDavid being in Goals of the Year, too. Just saying.