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CANUCKS HOCKEY BLOG

Friday, June 29, 2007

Getting Ready For The Silly Season

I'm flying to the Okanagan tomorrow morning to join the rest of my softball team at Vernon's Funtastic tournament. Before I leave though, I thought I'd throw out my two cents on the upcoming free agency madness.

To no one's surprise, it was announced today that the salary cap was going to go up yet again. The surprise (well, to me anyway) was how much it was going up by:

Sources tell TSN that for the 2007-08 season, the salary cap will rise to a maximum of $50.3-million. That is a $6-million increase from this past season when the cap was set at $44-million.

Under terms of the collective bargaining agreement, teams must spend at least $34.3-million on salaries next season.
It sounds funny now but it turns out the best thing to happen to the players during the lockout was capitulating on the whole cap/linkage issue.

I've updated my header to keep track of how close the Canucks are to the cap. As it stands tonight, they've spent $40.7 million on 14 players (including Marc Chouinard's buyout). This means that come Sunday, Dave Nonis has almost $10 million to sign six to eight more players.

So who does Dave sign?

A couple of weeks ago, James Mirtle posted a comprehensive list of available free agents and their expected market value. One thing that stands out from the list is how few elite players are available. After guys like Scott Gomez, Daniel Briere, Chris Drury and Ryan Smyth, there is a bit of a dropoff to the second-tier guys. No wonder there are rumblings that those four may fetch up to $8 million per season on a multi-year deal.

Pass.

Nevertheless, there are some intriguing names on the list. Kyle Calder and Jason Blake are available and can play right-wing on a scoring line, something the Canucks need. Peter Forsberg and Danius Zubrus are big centers the Canucks don't ever seem to have. Brendan Shanahan and Paul Kariya are up for grabs as well.

Or maybe Nonis goes the bargain basement route for one more season until Markus Naslund's and Brendan Morrison's current contracts are off the books, and the Canucks potentially have $18 million-ish in cap space to woo Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Dany Heatley.

After a couple of seasons with Nonis at the helm, I've learnt to trust his decisions. As long as Eric Lindros doesn't come this way, I'll be okay with whatever Dave does.

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The Crazy Canucks: Episode 37

Things were a littly nutty this week so I didn't get to post after Tuesday night's State of the Franchise. Last night I finally got some time to share my thoughts on the event; John and I both did so in episode 37 of The Crazy Canucks podcast.

This is a lo-fi episode that you die hard Canucks fan will appreciate. As we dive into summer, there is still a lot of action off the ice to talk about. Sadly, there is just John and J.J. in this episode to cover some of those topics, but the rest of the crew will return to offer up their thoughts about some of the things that are covered in this one.

These two guys chat a little about the draft, but a bulk of this episode covers the State of the Franchise event that happened at GM Place on June 26, 2007. They review the event as well as break down the pieces of information that gives some insight to what’s going on with the Canucks as an organization as well as the team.
Make sure you check it out.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Some Player News

Some Canucks player news as we approach the start of free agency madness this weekend:

Jason Jaffray led the Manitoba Moose in scoring in the regular season and the playoffs; however, the Canucks couldn't call him up because he didn't have a pro contract. He will soon (Steve Ewen, Vancouver Province).

Jason Jaffray could handle a contract snafu keeping him from playing for the Vancouver Canucks last season.

He could handle toiling for five years in the minors and he could handle the Kootenay Ice trading him in the midst of their 2002 Memorial Cup run, despite him being team captain at the time.

Jaffray, a winger who is in the midst of finalizing a two-year, two-way deal with the Canucks, has been saddled with much worse than anything hockey can dish out at him.
Marc Chouinard, who does have a pro contract (one more year at $1.1 million), might not soon (Elliott Pap, Vancouver Sun).

The Vancouver Canucks have to make their intentions known this week on the potential buyout of disappointing centre Marc Chouinard.

Chouinard, who finished last season in the minors, has a year remaining on his contract at $1.1 million and must clear waivers before the buyout process begins (all figures are in U.S. dollars).
The Canucks are still talking contract with Jeff Cowan the Brabarian (Elliott Pap, Vancouver Sun).

Cowan, meanwhile, will become an unfettered free agent Sunday unless his representative, Rollie Thompson, and Canuck assistant GM Steve Tambellini can wrap up a deal.

"Steve and I had a couple of pretty good talks in Columbus over the weekend," Thompson said Monday. "We're going in the right direction. Both parties would like to make it happen."

Cowan, who was a waiver-wire pickup from the L.A. Kings in late December, earned $532,000 US last season. It's believed he's seeking a two-year deal.
They also qualified defenseman Lukas Krajicek with the mandatory 10% raise.

Tambellini, who is handling many of the contract negotiations, also opened discussions with Krajicek's agent, Petr Svoboda, at the draft. Svoboda described the talks as "positive" but declined any specifics on term despite reports of a two-year offer.

"It doesn't really matter as long as Lukas has another good year and plays well," said Svoboda, the former NHL blueliner. "He was happy with his first season in Vancouver, but he knows he could do better. He loves the town, the organization and the players, so that's the key."
Ditto newly-acquired center Ryan Shannon.

"Ryan is really thrilled about about this opportunity with Vancouver and he's looking forward to getting into camp. And, probably more importantly, he's looking forward to getting back from Europe in one piece."

Duberman said Canucks management has made no promises, other than the standard one of providing an opportunity. Vancouver already has three established centres under contract in Henrik Sedin, Brendan Morrison and Ryan Kesler. Shannon, presumably, would have to vie for fourth-line playing time with the likes of Rick Rypien and Alex Burrows.

"I know Ryan is a good enough player to be on their roster, especially with his speed, but nothing has been promised and we know that," continued Duberman.
I'll be at the Canucks State of Franchise event tonight. Fellow The Crazy Canucks podcaster John Bolwitt might join me as well. We'll talk more about it later tonight or tomorrow morning.

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Sunday, June 24, 2007

New to the Canucks Family



Despite a flurry of trade rumors leading up to this weekend's NHL Draft, the Canucks stood pat - with their draft picks anyway - and selected five players to add to their prospect pool.

With their first round pick (25th overall), the Canucks selected 6'1" center Pat White from Tri-City of the USHL. What NHL Central Scouting says about White:

A skilled forward with the ability to make a difference. Strong player with a physical presence. Plays tough in the corners and in traffic. Is good on the right wing and gets his wrist shot off with ease. Sometimes lacks urgency in his play.

Named Associated Press Player of the Year for Minnesota boys hockey in 2007. Named to the All-Tournament Team of the Class AA State Championships in 2007 after leading his team to the title game for the second consecutive year. Played 12 games with the Tri-City Storm of the USHL totaling nine points (8-1-9) in 2007. Will attend the University of Minnesota in the fall. Selected to play in the 2007 Under-18 World Championships.
The Canucks are short on offensive prospects at the center position so to pick a player like White was not a surprise. From what I've read about him, he sounds like a Ryan Kesler-type with perhaps a bit more of a scoring touch. I like that.


With their 2nd round pick (33rd overall), the Canucks selected defenseman Taylor Ellington from the Everett Silvertips last season He's a Victoria native and lifelong Canucks fan, and yes, he's excited about being the prospect of putting on the jersey himself.

The inspiration for Taylor Ellington of Victoria to pursue his dream came at age 4.

"I played road hockey wearing my Pavel Bure jersey," beamed the Everett Silvertips defensive defenceman, selected 33rd overall by the Vancouver Canucks in the NHL entry draft Saturday.

"I'm shocked right now. You never expect a team you idolized to select you."
His NHL Central Scouting Report:

A stay-at-home defenseman that finishes his checks well. Good coverage and gap control. Able to jump into the rush and is good one-on-one. Needs to have more patience with the puck under pressure and needs to improve his conditioning.

Completed his third season with the Silvertips, helping them to their best ever regular-season. Posted 13 points (5-8-13) and a plus-five rating this season. Participated in the 2007 CHL Top Prospects Game. Was a member of Team WHL in the two-game Canada-Russia Challenge in 2006. Named as the Silvertips Most Improved Player in 2004-05.

With the Canucks need for more offensive prospects and local favorites Michael Repik and Oscar Moller still on the board, the immediate reaction to Ellington's selection mostly hasn't been favorable. He is considered a "safe" pick and may very well make the NHL some day; however since his upside is that of a depth defenseman, some feel that his selection at the 33rd overall spot was too early.

Peter Loubardias (Sportsnet) disagrees and loves the pick.
In assessing what the Canadian teams did, it’s impossible to tell at this point. I can tell you this, however, there wasn't one squad from this nation that didn't take at least two players that left me saying, “Do I ever like that pick!”

Let’s begin in Vancouver; Taylor Ellington is a defenceman with the Everett Silvertips who gets better every time I see him.
I don't know much about Ellington myself, but if he turns out to be a solid defensive defenseman - even in a bottom-six pairing - I would be happy with his selection. With only six picks in the draft and four of them in the later rounds (from rounds five to seven), the Canucks weren't in much of a position to gamble. I would've loved Michael Repik at this pick, but I'll forget about it if Ellington turns into even a bruising Bryan Allen type.

The rest of the Canucks' picks include: Charles-Antoine Messier (5th round, 145th overall), Ilja Kablukov (5th round, 146th overall), Taylor Matson (6th round, 176th overall), and Dan Gendur (7th round, 206th overall).

After the draft, Dave Nonis then swung a couple of minor-league deals. First he sent Jesse Schultz to the Atlanta Thrashers for defenseman Jim Sharrow.
In Sharrow, the Canucks are getting a 22-year-old blue-liner who shoots right-handed and has two seasons of pro experience under his belt. Sharrow is expected to play in the American Hockey League.

"He's a big guy that has a good shot," said Tambellini. "Our guys see some long-term upside in him."
Next he acquired Ryan Shannon from the Anaheim Ducks for Jason King and a conditional third round pick.

In Shannon, the Canucks are hoping a change of scenery may spark the speedster. Same goes for the Ducks. Randy Carlyle coached King in Manitoba.

"They [Ducks] were looking for a change for Ryan and we think he has a chance to be an NHL regular, but it's not a lock," said Nonis. "We think he has some upside and he definitely has a second gear -- he's one of the fastest in the league but his size may be a factor."
I like this trade for the Canucks. King was never going to play in the Canucks organization again. At least the Canucks were able to get an asset in return for him. Here's Shannon's TSN scouting report:

Assets: Skates extremely well and owns excellent shiftiness. Has defensive polish and offensive upside. Can play either center or wing.
Flaws: Is smallish even for the 'new' NHL. Must continue to work on his play without the puck in order to receive quality ice time at the highest level.
Career potential: Third line forward.
Oh... he also has one Stanley Cup ring more than this entire Canucks team combined.

(Patrick White's and Taylor Ellington's photos from canucks.com.)

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Friday, June 22, 2007

Draft Day Trade Winds

It's draft day today. Almost a year ago to the day, Dave Nonis surprised all of us by pulling the blockbuster that brought Roberto Luongo to the Canucks. Eight years ago, Brian Burke surprised all of us by wheeling and dealing in order to get both Sedins. And 15 years ago, Pat Quinn surprised the hockey world by picking one Libor Polasek.

Could there be another surprise in store for us this year? It sounds like it (Iain MacIntyre, Vancouver Sun):

Philadelphia Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren sparked a small, media firestorm here Thursday when he told the Philadelphia Inquirer that Nonis had called about acquiring the second pick in today's entry draft, which is expected to be New Westminster junior star Kyle Turris.

"Dave asked me: 'Would you consider moving down [in the draft order]?' " Holmgren said. "And we said we would. I had about five or six calls like that."

Nonis said he also talked to the Chicago Blackhawks about acquiring the first pick and the Phoenix Coyotes about the third. He said the Canucks, who hold the 25th pick, are exploring all possibilities of moving up in the order.
That said, Nonis isn't exactly willing to give up the farm to move up a few spots (Ben Kuzma, Vancouver Province).

"I've had a few conversations, but we're not close to anything at this point," Nonis said Thursday. "We'd like to move up to No. 6, 7 or 8, but the price has to change and a lot of teams don't know what that price is.

"If we're subtracting from our depth, then we're not going to do that. We didn't win the Cup and there's nobody untouchable, but I haven't been presented with an opportunity that makes any sense."

So, if the price isn't right today?

"If not, we're pretty content to pick at 25 and 33," added Nonis. "I don't feel the need to do anything [at the draft]."
If the Canucks don't trade, they'll pick at the following spots:

  • 1st round, 25th overall
  • 2nd round, 33rd overall
  • 2nd round, 61st overall (from ANA)*
  • 5th round, 145th overall (from ATL)
  • 5th round, 146th overall
  • 6th round, 177th overall
  • 7th round, 206th overall
The Canucks also have a 56th overall pick but either the Los Angeles Kings or Chicago Blackhawks will get it. If the Kings exercise their option to get it - they have the option of getting our 2nd round pick this year or next year - then the Blackhawks will get the 61st overall pick (Anaheim's). If the Kings take next year's pick, the Blackhawks will get the 56th overall pick and the Canucks will keep the 61st.

At any rate, today's first round airs on TSN at 4 PM. Second to seventh rounds goes tomorrow at 7 AM on NHL Network.

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

With The 25th Overall Pick...

Because I don't watch a lot of junior hockey save for the occassional Giants game and the odd international tournament on TV, I only know little bits and pieces about the prospects who will get selected at the NHL Draft tomorrow. I do have a soft spot for guys like Kyle Turris (New Westminster), Karl Alzner (Burnaby), Zach Hamill (Port Coquitlam), Michael Repik (Vancouver Giant) and Oscar Moller (Chilliwack Bruin) but that's really just based on the fact that they've got ties to the local community and that the blogs, message boards and media pieces have generally been positive about them.

Now, barring a major draft day trade to move up a few spots, Turris, Alzner and Hamill will be gone by the Canucks' first round pick. I wouldn't be surprised if Repik and Moller are gone by then as well. So at 25th overall, who do they choose? Here are what all the various mock drafters are saying:

TSN: Maxim Mayorovm, LW, Leninogorsk (Russia)

Cuthbert Says:The Canucks expected to go after grit, a third or fourth liner to match up against the Ducks. Instead, I will be the first one to say, ?I can't believe this guy is still available!? Mayorov is the choice, though I was also looking at Joakim Andersson of Sweden.
Sportnet.ca: Jonathan Blum, D, Vancouver (WHL)

Calgary Herald (Scott Cruickshank): Brett McLean, LW, Oshawa Generals (OHL)

Brett MacLean got to play with John Tavares and the OHL's Oshawa Generals. But he proved that he has touch (47 goals) in addition to size (6-foot-1, 200 pounds).
ESPN: James O'Brien, C, University of Minnesota (US - WCHA)
One of the lacking areas in the Canucks' prospects pool is a skilled center. O'Brien can certainly shore up that deficiency. As an underage playing in the U.S. development program in 2004, there was talk of him becoming the No. 1 overall pick in 2007. While those forecasts won't be correct, he will most certainly become a first-round choice for Vancouver. Having always played up against older competition, O'Brien yearned for the opportunity to go to Minnesota early. His numbers might not reflect it, but he had a pretty solid freshman season. He was sometimes frustrated by his lack of productivity this past season, but his overall game improved.

Sports Illustrated: Brett McLean, LW, Oshawa Generals (OHL)

The Canucks come into the draft looking for offense, and McLean is the best bet at this point. He racked up 47 goals and 100 points playing alongside center John Tavares, so he knows how to finish his opportunities. But everyone you talk to worries about his skating. It's something he can work on, but maybe not to the point that he earns first line/first PP unit opportunities ... and that means he won't be a big scorer in the NHL.
Fox Sports: James O'Brien, C, University of Minnesota (US - WCHA)
Although his point production does not show it, O'Brien has greater offensive potential and he had to earn his ice time as freshman on a deep Minnesota team. His puck skills are good but not elite and he has enough to stickhandling and passing abilities to play at a high level. He has an accurate wrist shot in close and a slap shot with power and has soft hands to bury chances in close under duress not is not considered a goal scorer. He has excellent speed especially for a big player and has shown to be effective on the forecheck with his quickness to be disruptive. His good hockey sense makes him responsible in all areas of the ice and he is developing into a solid defensive player that logs penalty killing time. He does a good job blocking shots and clogging up passing lanes with his wing span and his stick and he can shadow opponents. Needs to fill out his frame and play with a more consistent edge every game but he could develop into a second line two-way power center.
Red Line Report (via USA Today): Maxim Mayorov, LW, Leninogorsk (Russia)
The Canucks look to swing for the fences with a home run pick who could freshen up a collection of forwards that's starting to get stale.
Hockey's Future: David Perron, RW, Lewiston (QMJHL)
The Canucks have showed a willingness last year to take players who may be a bit older and they're willing to be risky in order to try to get a big payoff with a good offensive talent.
HF Radio: Joakim Andersson, C, Frolunda (Sweden)

The Canucks are looking to add some prospect help down the middle and they've had success in Sweden before. Andersson is a big guy who plays well in all three zones.
The Fourth Period: David Perron, RW, Lewiston (QMJHL)

If he's still available, picking Perron is a no-brainer for the Canucks. He has the potential of being a first-line winger. He's quick and has a great shot.
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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

On Hamill and Blum

A couple of pieces in today's MSM on two more prospects with local ties.

Ben Kuzma (Vancouver Province) has one on Port Coquitlam native and Everett Silvertips star Zach Hamill:

Like fingernails scraping a blackboard, the stereotypical summation of Zach Hamill's size and speed is irritating to the slick Everett Silvertips star and highly rated NHL draft prospect.

"I've always heard the same kind of thing and now I've kind of proved them wrong," said Hamill. "You develop and adapt to the game -- whether it's tight checking or 5-on-5."
And Iain MacIntyre (Vancouver Sun) has one on Vancouver Giants defenseman Jonathan Blum:

He is 6-0 and only 160 pounds, but Blum led the WHL in plus/minus this season at plus-37 and had 51 points on defence without missing any of the Giants' 72 games during his second year in the league. Blum is a solid skater, but it's his ability to pass the puck and the maturity of his game that impressed scouts enough for him to be a projected first-round pick.
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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Philly Predators

How costly was last year's playoff gamble for the Preds? Well, add this to the cost:
Because of Nashville's uncertain ownership future and an expected tight budget in the coming year, the Predators arranged with the Flyers to give them exclusive negotiating rights to two coveted free agents - defenceman Kimmo Timonen and forward Scott Hartnell.

Sources tell TSN the Flyers have now signed both Hartnell and Timonen to long-term contracts.

Hartnell, who was scheduled to become a free agent on July 1, signed with Flyers on a 6-year, $25.2 million deal for a cap hit of $4.2 million per year.

The Flyers also agreed to terms with Timonen on a 6-year, $37.8 million contract for an annual cap hit of $6.3 million.
Looking back now, Paul Holmgren, in exchange for one Peter Forsberg, somehow got Ryan Parent, Scottie Upshall, Kimmo Timonen and Scott Hartnell. A top prospect, a couple of solid, productive players, and a no. 1 defenseman and team captain. And for all this, the Flyers still have the no. 2 overall pick in this Friday's entry draft. Good start to righting the ship Philly, huh?

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More Schneider Trade Talk

I suppose it's only natural this time of year with teams trying to rebuild and reload and all, but the Cory Schneider trade rumors just won't go away. Iain MacIntyre (Vancouver Sun) makes a case why Nonis should go ahead and pull the trigger.

Vancouver Canuck general manager Dave Nonis shook the hockey world a year ago when he acquired goalie Roberto Luongo on the eve of the National Hockey League draft in Vancouver. Nonis could rock the city again from Columbus later this week.

But he insisted Monday he has no plans to trade elite prospect Cory Schneider, which is too bad because the 21-year-old goaltender would fetch the Canucks far more than any of their picks in the 2007 entry draft.

There appears to be a perfect storm brewing to trade Schneider.
The rest of the piece is here.

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Solid Game, Loud Suits

With the NHL Entry Draft only a few days away, Ben Kuzma (Vancouver Province) has been focusing on some of the league's top local prospects. Yesterday he focused on New Westminster's Kyle Turris; today he talks about Burnaby native and Calgary Hitman, Karl Alzner:

Karl Alzner acknowledges his safe and sound defensive game could use an injection of offence -- a little flash and dash to accelerate his transition from junior standout to future NHL stardom.

If the Burnaby native's passion for fashion is a barometer of his willingness to push the limits, then Alzner will be a hit on the ice and in front of the paparazzi.
More over here. Kuzma also lists the rest of BC's best prospects here.

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Monday, June 18, 2007

Top Prospect Turris

Relatively quiet hockey news day today though Ben Kuzma (Vancouver Province) has a couple of nice pieces on Kyle Turris, the New Westminster native and Burnaby Express (BCHL) star expected to be one of the top picks in this Friday's NHL draft.

There's been a lot of talk recently about how much Dave Nonis loves Turris, talk that has generated some rumors that the Canucks want to move up the draft to have a crack at him. Realistic or not, I don't blame Nonis for trying. From what I've read so far, Turris is a very good player with a very good attitude. His game has been compared to Joe Sakic's and he patterns his work ethic after Steve Yzerman - not a bad combination at all.

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Friday, June 15, 2007

Coach of the Year

Louie went 0-for-3 last night; Alain Vigneault went 1-for-1. Vigneault won the Jack Adams trophy at the NHL Awards show as the league's coach of the year.

You have to feel good for Vigneault, who made tremendous sacrifices in his family life to coach in the NHL. Last night, he didn't forget to acknowledge them:

He took the stage to take the award and in a personal moment thanked his two daughters, Andreane and Janie, who were his dates for the awards show.

The divorced father, whose daughters live in Quebec, made a point to say how difficult it can be to balance a family with life as an NHL coach. It was one of the nicest moments of the evening.
Congratulations coach.

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

No Title To Describe This

Where the heck did this crazy talk come from?

Dave Nonis won't rule out a trade at the NHL entry draft, but he did rule out a strange scenario where veteran defenceman Mattias Ohlund would leave the Vancouver Canucks this summer and return to his native Sweden.

A Swedish-based rumour has Ohlund retiring from the NHL and moving his family so his children can be schooled back home. The report also suggested Ohlund would play in the Swedish Elite League with Skelleftea.

Ohlund couldn't be reached for comment, but Nonis was stunned at a suggestion that the blueliner would bolt.
It must be slow news day in Sweden. At least I hope that's all it is.

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Louie's and Alain's Big Night


I was lucky enough to attend the NHL Awards Show when it was held in Vancouver last year. It was a nice treat and I got to rub elbows with Cam Ward, Eric Staal, Dion Phaneuf and Ron McLean. This year's show is in Toronto so I obviously won't be there, but with Roberto Luongo nominated for the Hart, Pearson and Vezina trophies and Alain Vigneault nominated for the Jack Adams, it should be just as interesting.

With Louie and Alain leading the Canucks this season to all sorts of franchise records, an unexpected division title and a trip to the second round of the playoffs, there's no reason to believe they can't win one of these awards. It's been four years since a Vancouver Canuck has won a major award (Markus Naslund won the Pearson in 2003) and it would be a nice tribute to them if they do win one. They certainly deserve it.

Some local press coverage on the Awards Show:

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Keenan To Coach Calgary?

If this TSN report is true and Mike Keenan indeed becomes the new head coach of the Calgary Flames, which Flames star player does he pick a fight with first? Iggy? Kipper? Alex Tanguay? Robyn Regehr? Dion?

His career record certainly suggests that this is inevitable. We know first-hand about how he treated Trevor Linden (though getting Todd Bertuzzi, Bryan McCabe and Jarkko Ruutu back in trade kinda made up for it). We also know about how he squabbled contract with Roberto Luongo, perhaps the biggest reason why Louie now wears a Canucks jersey. There are also his well-documented tiffs with Curtis Joseph, Brendan Shanahan, Brett Hull, and even Wayne Gretzky. Heck, he didn't get along with his buddy Jacques Martin when both were in Florida.

If Keenan starts chomping ice behind the Flames bench next season, things could get interesting in Cowtown. Oh, and those Flames players I mentioned earlier? With the exception of Tanguay, all are free agents after next season.

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

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Cory's Decision Coming

From Grant Kerr (Globe and Mail):

Cory Schneider plans to make a decision in the next week about his hockey future, choosing between staying at the collegiate level and becoming a professional in the Vancouver Canucks' organization.

The prize netminder is torn between the two, having already played three seasons with the Boston College Eagles in Hockey East Association and twice reaching the championship game of the Frozen Four tournament, collegiate hockey's equivalent of playoffs in the United States.

Schneider, 21, is considered one of the top goalkeeping prospects outside the National Hockey League. He has watched intently the progress of Carey Price, who left major junior this spring to become the most valuable player in the American Hockey League playoffs.
There are those who think that Schneider should be trade bait. With Luongo signed for the next three seasons and Drew McIntyre coming off a solid season with the Moose, the Canucks are set in goal for the next little while. If packaged in a trade, Schneider can fetch a top-six forward or at least a good offensive prospect in return. Already, Darren Dreger (on the FAN 590) initiated some chatter on this subject yesterday.

The flip side is that there is obviously no guarantee that Luongo will re-up after his current contract and Schneider should be ready for the bigs by then. The ceilings on McIntyre and Julian Ellis aren't as high as Schneider's, and if the Canucks trade him, they could be in a situation three years from now without a bonafide no. 1 goaltender. (Not that, pre-Luongo, we weren't used to this situation anyway.)

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

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Monday, June 11, 2007

Luongo Could've Been A Leaf

Courtesy of James Mirtle, here's something from the "learn something new everyday" file:

Sticking with the tried and true, the popular veterans, despite how the team performs on the ice, has been the Leafs' way for decades, and the franchise has mortgaged its future more than once — most famously, perhaps, in 1996 when the rights to the fourth-overall pick (that was to become Roberto Luongo) were dealt in order to bring back an aged Wendel Clark — in search of former glories. (bold added)
To think, the Laffs could have had Louie. Just makes us getting him even more special, ya know?

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

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Friday, June 08, 2007

I'm Back

In case you were wondering where I've been hiding, here is a timeline of what's happened to me in the last month:


I'm just gonna finish setting up the new PC and hope to throw out some belated 'Nucks and hockey-related posts this weekend.

Thanks for being patient guys and I'll talk to y'all soon.
posted by J.J. Guerrero, 5:56 AM | permalink/comments (4) | AddThis Social Bookmark Button | Share on Facebook | Hype It Up! |