Best and worst sweaters of all-time: Vancouver Canucks

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I guess if I start with the Bruins, it’s only natural to follow with the runners-up from the Stanley Cup finals. Luckily for us, they’ve got enough sweater mayhem throughout their 40 years in the league for someone to write a book on. We’ll keep things a little bit shorter here.

Best: For a team with such a horrific history of sweaters, it can be tough to zero in on one that was great. For me, however, the choice is simple and it’s their current third jersey. It incorporates the original Canucks logo on the chest and adds the “Johnny Canuck” logo in the letter “V” on the shoulders. For a franchise with so many God-awful sweaters in their past, this one is about as good as it gets.

Worst: So I can only pick one? No way. The Canucks sweater history is so bad I have to make a top (bottom?) three list of their biggest mistakes. Third worst: Their third jersey from 2001-2006 that mixed red into a dark blue sweater with the ice-crashing orca. Second? Their third jersey from 1995-1997 that took their “flying skate/spaghetti plate” logo which looked good naturally on black and white and turned it into a red monstrosity. Trevor Linden’s career never recovered from wearing that.

The top spot of the worst, however, belongs to their home yellow jerseys from 1985-1989. It mixed parts of the “Flying V” era (often regarded as the ugliest of all time) and crossed it with the “flying skate/spaghetti plate.” It was a yellow home jersey with pointed shoulder yokes and was a horror show for the eyes. It’s so ugly I’d love to own it to scare friends.

Old-timey Favorite: Since the Canucks have only been around for 40 years and 400 different uniforms, their originals in blue and green are still the best. Sometimes you do get it done the right way off the bat. The Canucks wore the white version of this as a special throwback to commemorate their 40th anniversary last season.

Assessment: After so many different attempts and so many failures, the Canucks seem to have gotten things right. Their current home and road set of sweaters are nice. The “crashing orca” logo is a nice regional tie-in despite being a graphic brainchild of the former ownership group (Orca Bay) and even the arching “VANCOUVER” is all right. Their third is what they should switch to permanently at home though. It’s pretty, it’s so pretty.

Canucks’ Ilya Mikheyev to have season-ending knee surgery

Ilya Mikheyev
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VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Vancouver Canucks right wing Ilya Mikheyev is set to have season-ending surgery on his left knee.

Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin said Friday night the 28-year-old Russian forward tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the team’s first preseason game Sept. 25. Mikheyev will undergo surgery next week and is expected to be ready for training camp in the fall.

Mikheyev was originally listed as week-to-week with the injury and played 45 regular-season games, finishing with 13 goals and 15 assists. He scored in his final appearance Friday night, a 5-2 home victory over Columbus.

Mikheyev signed a four-year, $19 million contract as a free agent last summer.

Maple Leafs’ Matthews out at least 3 weeks with knee injury

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Nick Turchiaro/USA TODAY Sports
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Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews will miss at least three weeks with a sprained knee.

The team announced the reigning MVP’s anticipated absence Friday, two days after Matthews was injured in Toronto’s victory against the New York Rangers.

Matthews is expected to miss at least six games and could be out for a few more. The timing of the injury coinciding with the NHL All-Star break and the Maple Leafs bye week prevents this from costing Matthews more time out of the lineup.

After being voted an All-Star by fans, Matthews is now out of the event scheduled for Feb. 3-4 in Sunrise, Florida. The league announced Aleskander Barkov from the host Florida Panthers will take Matthews’ place on the Atlantic Division All-Star roster.

Matthews, who won the Hart Trophy last season after leading the NHL with 60 goals, has 53 points in 47 games this season.

Caufield opted for surgery with Habs out of playoff race

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MONTREAL — Montreal Canadiens winger Cole Caufield said Friday he wouldn’t be having season-ending surgery on his right shoulder if the team were in playoff contention.

But with the Canadiens near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, the 22-year-old Caufield said he decided to have the surgery to protect his long-term health. The procedure is scheduled to be performed by Dr. Peter Millett on Wednesday.

“I didn’t want to stop playing,” Caufield said. “I had a couple tests done to look at it more clearly but, in the end, like it could’ve been one more fall and it could have been even worse.”

Caufield, who leads the Canadiens with 26 goals in 46 games, had three different medical opinions on his shoulder before concluding that his season was over.

“I think they’ve seen a lot more than I have and they know the differences and what they like or don’t like about it,” he said about the medical opinions. “Long term, I think this is what’s best but for sure it was tough to sit out that game against Toronto on Saturday night.”

Caufield initially felt the injury in an awkward fall during Montreal’s 4-2 loss at Dallas on Dec. 23. He said his right shoulder popped, and he replaced it himself.

Caufield felt it again in the Habs’ 4-3 loss at Nashville on Jan. 12. The club announced on Jan. 21 that Caufield would miss the rest of the season.

Caufield is nearing the end of his three-year, entry-level contract and will be a restricted free agent this summer.

All-Star Matty Beniers to miss next 2 games for Kraken

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SEATTLE — Seattle Kraken rookie All-Star Matty Beniers will miss the team’s final two games before the All-Star break after taking a big hit from Vancouver’s Tyler Myers earlier this week.

Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said after morning skate Friday that Beniers would not play Friday night against Calgary or Saturday against Columbus. Hakstol did not speculate on Beniers’ availability for next weekend’s All-Star Game in Florida.

The team has not specified what kind of injury Beniers sustained from the hit. He was barreled over by Myers away from the play early in the second period in Wednesday’s 6-1 victory over Vancouver. Myers was penalized for interference on the play. Beniers returned briefly for one shift later in the period but did not play in the third period.

Beniers is Seattle’s lone All-Star selection this season. He leads all rookies in goals (17) and points (36), and is fifth in total ice time for rookies.

Seattle also placed defenseman Justin Schultz on injured reserve and recalled forward Max McCormick from Coachella Valley of the AHL. Hakstol said Schultz is improving but there’s no timeline on his return.