| Disappointed Mo has Expectations
Once again Jason Botchford reminds the public that Mo hadn’t fallen into the shadows of the new players of the team.
“In many ways, Brendan Morrison has had the look of a forgotten man,” Botchford said. “There's been a surprising turn from just two seasons ago when he was the team's No. 1 centre, who seemed to have point-per-game potential.”
“For now, Morrison, making $3.2 million in a contract year, finds himself centring what should be the Canucks third line and the expectations from fans, media and even the Canucks coaching staff seem lower than they've been at any time since Vancouver acquired him seven years ago.”
Botchford also notes that Mo’s hip, stomach surgery, and previous wrist injury could be a factor in determining his performance.
With the new speedy youngsters on the roster, Botchford said, “It's possible, at age 32, Morrison is moving to the next phase of his career, one where he is more of a role player than a top-six forward the team depends on for creating scoring chances.”
"I want to be in a position where I can contribute a lot offensively," Morrison said. "I want to have a role where I can be counted on as a guy who can produce offence on a nightly basis.”
Botchford continues to investigate on how Mo feels about not standing in the lime light anymore.
“I still expect big things,” Morrison said. “I don't really feel forgotten. When you have young guys who are up and coming, it's exciting news. You kind of know what older guys are going to bring year after year. But when you have some guys who are showing a lot of improvement or signs of making a big step, that's the big story.”
"I'm going to have chances," Morrison said. "I don't think because I missed some time in preseason that, all of a sudden, they're going to pull the rug from under my feet…I'm not going to sit here and hang my head. I'm going to get back on the horse and get after it."
|THE VANCOUVER SUN
|Raise a Reader: Daylong event raises more than 48,000
Darah Hansen updates the public with yesterday’s event, Raise a Reader, where several Canucks volunteered to hang out special edition Vancouver Sun papers.
Hansen records, “Despite the wet weather, more than $48,000 was raised in this year's daylong event -- up one-third from last year's total of $36,000. Corporate donations have not been added up yet, and the provincial government will match the total.”
With firefighters, politicians, and other local celebrities, it wasn’t hard to notice the Vancouver Canucks volunteering for this event.
“Over at the corner of Burrard and Georgia, Vancouver Canucks centre Henrik Sedin had no trouble attracting attention,” Hansen said.
“Sporting his new team jersey, Sedin signed autographs and posed for photos throughout the morning with eager fans of all ages, all the while collecting cash for the cause.”
“An avid reader himself, Sedin said he was happy to help out. ‘I read a lot of books, especially in summer when we get time off,’ he said, admitting a preference for British murder mysteries.”
The donation line is 1-866-637-7323 (READ).
|Vancouver Turns Willie’s World Upside Down
Ian MacIntyre tells a story of a BC home-grown boy playing for his dream hockey team, but forgot the vanity and attention that comes hand-in-hand.
Once upon a time, MacIntyre said, “The defenceman from Port McNeill had just completed his first season for the Vancouver Canucks when he and his wife, Megan, decided to decompress last spring by visiting Mitchell's hometown on northern Vancouver Island.”
“The workers used their two-way radios to tell each other that a king was boarding the Queen of Cowichan and by the time Willie Mitchell parked his truck on the car deck, many passengers seemed to think royalty was among them.”
MacIntyre notes the effect hockey players have in a hockey-crazed city.
“It has been said often that playing in Vancouver is like playing in a fishbowl because Canucks players are always under scrutiny and on display, recognized constantly at restaurants, coffee bars, dry cleaners, parks, grocery stores, department stores, Range Rover stores and everywhere BC Ferries sails.”
Thought with plenty of attention, MacIntyre notices a big difference between Mitchell and the rest of the team.
“Rare is the time when Mitchell outright refuses to sign. More times than not, he'll even spend a minute or two amiably discussing last night's game or the penalty kill or his play when a fan approaches him” MacIntyre said.
“I don't mind talking about it. I'm proud of what I do. I'm very lucky what I do,” says Mitchell. “I think it's a cool gig. I know, to be honest, I'm Willie Mitchell-The-Hockey-Player. One day that's going to end, and I'll just be Willie Mitchell.”
There is one childhood story that Mitchell shared with MacIntyre:
Mitchell said, “I remember being at the Pacific Coliseum, waiting outside for autographs, eight or 10 years old. Some guys came out and just got in their cars and left, and other guys came out and took the time to sign my stuff. I got my autographs and I was happy.”
"I always want to be that guy [who makes people happy]. I remember how it felt when the guys walked past me without stopping. I don't want to be that person."
MacIntyre finishes the story by bringing us back to the present time as Mitchell describes his love for being a Vancouver Canuck.
"I know this sounds cheesy, but I had shivers doing the jersey unveiling [in August at GM Place]. I was one of five guys out there. I was a kid, watching Tiger Williams, Tony Tanti, Harold Snepsts, Dave Babych and -- I hate to say it -- [current teammate] Trevor Linden. Sorry, Trevor. I remember watching all those guys, being down at the glass looking at them on the ice. And now that's me.”
"There's such a following, so many fans. On some days that can be tough, but most days it's fine. It's how you embrace it and whether you do that or run from it."