Catching up with ex-'Nucks

BOB MACKIN -- 24 Hours Vancouver

, Last Updated: 9:16 AM ET

There's no place like home and several ex-Canucks must be homesick for General Motors Place.

A change of scenery has not been kind to the big names Dave Nonis traded or opted not to re-sign.

Power forward Todd Bertuzzi scored once and assisted on six for a respectable seven points in seven games before back surgery. Now he's powerless and could be gone up to eight weeks. Orca Bay Sports and Entertainment bigwigs pray for his speedy recovery, otherwise they may face refund demands from angry fans. The Florida Panthers' visit on Jan. 7, 2007 is on pay-per-view TV and those who have tickets for the General Motors Place matchup paid a premium to see the return of Big, Bad Bert.

If he's not there, who will care?

Bertuzzi flew all the way to Florida with goaltender Alexander Auld and defenceman Bryan Allen who also had better times in Lotusland.

Auld has a 3-5 record in 10 games for a 3.19 goals against average. He grabbed headlines when he slipped on water spilled by fellow Panthers' goaltender Ed Belfour. The two were reportedly "horsing around" on a Long Island, N.Y. hotel's marble-floored lobby. Auld was sent to hospital needing stitches above his right eye.

Blueliner Allen has a goal, four assists and 19 penalty minutes through 15 games.

Jovo-Cop must feel like he's handcuffed with the Phoenix Coyotes. Ed Jovanovski has three goals and four assists for Wayne Gretzky's Desert Dogs, who have a dismal 4-10 record at the bottom of the Western Conference.

Anson Carter was the Sedin Twins' brother from another mother last year and finished as the Canucks' top goal-getter with 33. He had a disastrous dozen-game start this season, racking up the grand sum of one goal and one assist with the underperforming Columbus Blue Jackets.

Kevin "Bargain" Bieksa now occupies Nolan Baumgartner's old spot on the Canucks' blueline. "Boomer" was a certified bomb with the Philadelphia Flyers who sent him across the street to their American Hockey League farm club, the Philadelphia Phantoms. Baumgartner had one assist in four games in "the show" before he was demoted Oct. 24.

If most or all of the players named above continue to experience disappointment elsewhere, sophomore GM Nonis will be looking like a genius.


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