NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, December 17th
(All times eastern)
Edmonton Oilers (14-13-2) at Vancouver Canucks (17-11-3), 10:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Vancouver Canucks will honor one of the greatest
players in franchise history tonight before they host the Edmonton Oilers in a
Northwest Division clash at GM Place.
Prior to tonight's game, the Canucks will honor former captain Trevor Linden
by raising his No. 16 into the rafters. He will join Stan Smyl's No. 12 as the
only two numbers ever retired in team history.
Linden spent his first 10 NHL seasons with the Canucks, becoming the youngest
captain in team history when he earned the "C" as a 21-year-old in 1991-92. In
19 seasons, the 38-year-old posted 375 goals, 492 assists and 867 points in
1,382 games. He also notched 99 points (34 goals, 65 assists) in 124 playoff
games, 118 of those coming with Vancouver. He had 25 points (12g, 13a) in 24
games during Vancouver's 1994 playoff run that ended with a Game 7 defeat to
the New York Rangers.
The two-time All-Star and runner-up to the Calder Trophy in 1989, who also
spent time with Montreal, the New York Islanders and Washington, retired as
the Canucks' all-time leader in games (1,140) and assists (415) and second in
goals (318) and points (733).
Tonight's event comes on the heels of the Canucks possibly adding other of the
NHL's all-time greats to its roster. According to general manager Mike Gillis,
free agent Mats Sundin is just days away from deciding where he would like to
play this season.
According to Gillis, Sundin is deciding between Vancouver and the New York
Rangers. The 37-year-old Sundin netted 32 goals a year ago with Toronto and
has 555 goals, 766 assists and 1,321 points in 1,305 career games.
The Canucks enter this game tied with Calgary for first place in the division,
as both teams have 37 points. Vancouver was last in action on Sunday when it
began a four-game homestand with a 5-3 victory over Florida.
Pavol Demitra scored twice and the Canucks erased a two-goal deficit with five
consecutive goals. Ryan Kesler had a goal and an assist while Kyle Wellwood
and Darcy Hordichuk also scored for Vancouver, which had dropped six of eight
coming into Sunday.
Cory Schneider allowed three goals on 21 shots to get the win, which improved
Vancouver to 8-3-1 at home this year.
The Oilers were in action last night and are coming off one of the worst
defensive performances in club history, a 9-2 setback to Chicago. It marked
the first time Edmonton allowed that many goals since a 9-4 loss to the Los
Angeles Kings on December 28, 1992.
Shawn Horcoff and Marc Pouliot scored for the Oilers, who have dropped two of
three following a three-game win streak. Mathieu Garon started for Edmonton
between the pipes but was pulled midway through the second period after he
allowed five goals on 21 shots. Dwayne Roloson allowed another four tallies in
relief, making 19 saves.
The setback ended a three-game road trip (1-2) for the Oilers, who will aim to
improve on their 10-8-0 road record tonight before returning home for back-to-
These two teams have split a pair of meetings already this season. Edmonton
has lost two of three and five of its last seven in Vancouver.
12/17 10:45:41 ET