Wednesday, June 21, 2006

NHL Entry Draft - An Update and Some Trade Rumors

Before I begin, I want to remind everyone of the informal meet-and-greet for hockey nuts at the Gecko Club (518 Richards St.) this Saturday night after the NHL Entry draft. Send an email to myself or to Vancouver Canucks Op Ed and let us know if you are coming. We hope to see you there.


The boys at NHLDraftNET are going to be at the draft as well, but in the meantime, have been providing some good pieces on draft prospects and interviews with various people in the hockey community.

Make sure you pass by their Player Profiles page and Guest House for more. (And while you're there, you can check out the interview with yours truly. Thanks again to Mike and Jeffrey for the opportunity.)


Speaking of interviews, here's a Q&A with Canucks amateur scout Ron Delorme. And here's the bit that would probably interest most Canucks fans:
Q: Do the rules in the "new NHL" have any impact on the types of players you look for?
A: Yes. In this year's draft, teams will be going for picks based on speed and skill, including Vancouver. Look at Buffalo and how they performed with the rule changes. They are a good example of what a team can do. Teams want more speed now and small players that may have been shunned before are now hot commodities.
With the Canucks lacking in more offensive-oriented prospects, that's certainly some good to hear.


More on Delorme from Elliott Pap in today's Vancouver Sun.


One trade rumor that is quickly making the rounds involves none other than our Canucks and the Florida Panthers' Roberto Luongo. Tom Gallagher (via National Post) has more:
It's pretty much a given now that Florida Panthers general manager Mike Keenan has little option now that the goaltender has turned down two terrific offers from the club, stating through his agent Gilles Lupien that he will only finish this next season with the team before testing the free-agent waters -- unless he's given a no-trade clause.

This could be a ploy to force Florida's hand as it's no secret he has been put off on more than one occasion with some of the things that have gone on with his club. He was livid last August when he was at the Olympic orientation camp in Kelowna, B.C., upset that Keenan was going to take him to arbitration. And since then he has turned down at least two lucrative offers from the Panthers, one well publicized offer of US$30-million over five years and another whereby he was offered US$24-million over four years very recently.


Sources indicate that the Canucks are certainly among the most interested teams given the type of package they might be able to offer in return. The L.A. Kings are also said to be very interested, along with the Oilers, who don't have Dwayne Roloson locked up for next year. When a guy like Luongo goes on the market, everyone has to be interested.

Canucks GM Dave Nonis has said publicly he feels Luongo is among the best goalies in the game and given the histrionics in goal this team has gone through in the time Nonis has been in and around the organization, he knows full well his acquisition would put an end to all that melodrama.

In terms of assets, he has a few, including one Todd Bertuzzi. A trade for the winger makes sense because Keenan likes Bertuzzi and thinks he'll be great again. And the off-loading of his US$5-million in salary would clear the decks for a Luongo signing in Vancouver.

No deal could happen without one of Vancouver's stars leaving. The problem is Keenan needs a goalie back in return. And while the Canucks have a great range of options to offer, are any of the three possibilities good enough to satisfy the former Vancouver coach turned Florida boss?
What makes this version of this rumor interesting is that now, unlike earlier this past season, Canucks GM Dave Nonis is, more than ever, open to the possibility of dealing members of the team's core. He's said it since they the end of their season and said so again (opens in Windows Media Player) during yesterday's press conference to announce Alain Vigneault as the team's new head coach:
I think there will be opportunities to give our team a different look. How deep those changes go, I mean that remains to be seen. It depends on what presents itself.
When asked specifically about possible player movement this coming weekend, Nonis added (WMP):
It's picking up a little bit. I wouldn't say it's busy. I think it will get busy starting tomorrow (today) when people start getting into town, but a lot of things have happened in the last week or so.


I think it'll be an exciting time. I think there's gonna be a lot of things that are gonna be discussed and we may see some fireworks there by Saturday afternoon.


In terms of your pick, do you try to move? Yeah, if it doesn't cost you too much. You don't want to hurt your team. With a deal we make there, we can, you know, maybe move a player or two and fill some holes. I don't know. I mean, if that's there, I think there's lots of teams there looking to score those options and opportunities and that could lead to an exciting day.
Interesting? Yes, from the sounds of things, opportunities are there.

Is a Luongo for Bertuzzi-centered package deal in the works? We'll wait and see.

Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

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posted by J.J. Guerrero, 6:15 AM


At June 21, 2006 6:53 AM, Blogger reno said...

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Best regards from Belgium !

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