June 27 2009 11:11AM
From Richard Loat (@mozy19)...
"Love how all the teams had token french speakers, the #Canucks bust out Luongo. That's how we roll."
That's right, that IS how we roll!
And didn't you just LOVE how the Montreal faithful cheered him? Beautiful!
I bring that up because, to me, this is a sign. It's a sign that the Canucks are indeed serious about getting Bobby Lou locked up long-term. I think Gillis is a smart guy. He seems to have hired the right folks. He even hired a capologist, for crying out loud. So that tells me that they are trying to get this contract to work properly under the cap, without handcuffing them financially to not build their team.
I also think that Luongo understands this. He wants to play on a winning team, but at the same time, the guy wants his cheese. I get it. But Luongo has to understand that the days of the $8m goalie are dwindling rapidly, as teams are evidently successful in the playoffs without a top-paid goalie.
Furthermore, you don't trot out your goalie at the entry to announce your first round pick unless you're going to announce VERY SHORTLY that he is your goalie for the next 7-10 years. Gillis doesn't seem like the type of guy to use him as a trophy unless he was deeply committed to making him the cornerstone of the franchise for a decade.
Ok now back to the draft...
The Canucks selected Jordan Schroeder with the 22nd overall pick in this year draft, and by all accounts, it was a steal to get him that late in the round. Smaller in stature, he is a complete player. He's intelligence on and off the ice, strong on his skates and sees the ice very well.So there is a lot of positives about this kid. Bob McKenzie of TSN absolutely loved this pick for the Canucks and lauded the team for making excellent first-round picks two years in a row.
The downside though is that some believe that he slipped in the draft because his compete and effort level may not be up to par yet.
Overall, although the Canucks most glaring need was a puck-moving defenseman, they drafted a highly-skilled player that fell into their lap. So I think this is a good pick for them.
The other thought I had was the organization's tendancy to draft out of the US College system. They have had good success with that over the years, but have also had a colossal failure. The Canucks drafted Kesler and Bieksa out of college, and had Brendan Morrison as a mainstay on the team for many years. To be fair Morrison wasn't a Canucks pick, but he was a product of the US College hockey system. So there's the good.
The bad is Patrick White, who has been an unmitigated disaster of a first-round pick. He will likely never play a game in the NHL, and ranks up there with Polasek, Herter, Stojanov, and Mike Wilson as the Canucks worst first round pick of all-time.
To put Patrick White's failures into perspective... White and Schroeder are teammates at the University of Minnesota. This past season, Schroeder had 13G 27A for 40P in 32 GP as a rookie. White had 7G 9A for 16Pts in 36 GP. Ugh. Terrible.
Now, it would be a great story if both Schroeder and White could come from the same school and graduate to the NHL and play for the same team. However, Schroeder appears to have a bright future in this NHL, while White's prospects are going black.
So the Canucks take a highly skilled forward with their pick.
All this means that the Canucks most pressing need is still a puck moving defenseman. Bouwmeester appears to be off the market now, as his rights were traded to Calgary. So the Canucks need to go in a different direction and acquire a puck moving D via trade or UFA.
Let's see what happens July 1st!