Without being too quick to judge based on only 79/82nds of the schedule, it is time to hand out the highly coveted B-Macs. As much as the Canucks have their eyes on that Stanley Cup thing, secretly they crave the notoriety that goes with copping a B-Mac. So without further ado, the envelopes please.
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
The awards committee (me) mulled this one over for a nanosecond. There was a sense that Roberto Luongo was going to have an impact on this team, but did anybody really imagine he would take it to this level? And he is under contract for three more seasons!
MOST VALUABLE DEFENCEMAN
Sami Salo. His value is not lost on Dave Nonis. Most teams let free agents twist in the wind until the end of the season. Last week, Nonis and Salo's agent hammered out a four-year, $14-million contract that gives the "Finnish MacInnis" the opportunity to focus on what matters most.
MOST IMPROVED PLAYER
Kevin Bieksa. He will soon be the Canucks best all-round defenceman, given his ability to combine an offensive spark with a belligerence and toughness that is none too common.
MOST VALUABLE FORWARD
Has to be Dan-rik. Or is it Hen-iel? It is never easy to separate the two, because Daniel isn't scoring 36 goals without Henrik's passes, and Henrik's not racking up 70 assists without Daniel converting them. That said, I am going with Daniel, who has a team-leading 83 points as well.
Matt Cooke. Yes, he isn't exactly under the radar, but you can't measure Cooke's contribution statistically. Cooke's ability to provide his own team a lift and drive the opponents to distraction, and the penalty box, can't be overlooked.
Taylor Pyatt. He has been able to get where he was going with a little more giddyup than we initially believed he was capable of. He also showed a hockey I.Q. in playing with the Sedins. At $700,000 he was a steal. He will command double that next season.
Barry Macdonald is co-host of BS in the Morning on the Team 1040 from 6-9 a.m. E-mail Barry at: email@example.com