‘Nucks luck’s not stuck, but Buff’s in tough

19Apr10

It was the type of fateful spin of the wheel that would make the creators of Wheel of Fortune envious. And it changed the course of the Vancouver Canucks’ history for over a decade.

The Vancouver Province argued the latter in its editorial on April 16. The Canucks lost the spin of the wheel that determined whether they or the Buffalo Sabres would receive the first overall selection in the 1970 NHL Entry Draft.

The two expansion teams had an equal shot at obtaining the pick, and with it the right to draft surefire superstar Gilbert Perreault.

Buffalo prevailed, Vancouver chose the underwhelming Dale Tallon with the second pick and the rest is history.

The Province says the Canucks have a chance to make up for this 40-year-old loss in this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs.

The Sabres and Canucks, says the Province, might meet in the Stanley Cup Final.

Hold on.

The Sabres? In an Eastern Conference that also features heavyweight contenders like Washington, Pittsburgh and New Jersey, the Sabres have a chance to prevail?

It’s a nice sentiment for long-suffering Canucks fans, and, yes, it would make a great storyline. But, I just can’t see Buffalo making the big dance. It’s been outplayed for long stretches of its opening round series with Boston and lacks the overall size, leadership and heart teams need to advance far at this time of year.

Vancouver might have a chance at making it out of the West in these playoffs, but it isn’t likely to be the Sabres it faces if it does.

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