July 1st Preview: Inventory, History and UFA Targets

Thomas Drance
June 30 2012 11:36AM

On Sunday at noon EST (9 am PST), unrestricted free agents will be free to talk to teams, and sign with them. This years free agent class has been described as one of the thinnest in history, and beyond the "big name" players like Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, the lack of quality if evident. 

After Suter, the most highly regarded defenseman is probably Jason Garrison - he of two and a half seasons of NHL experience, and 34 points last year. Matt Carle will also be pursued heavily, and while he's an advanced stat darling, he's constantly grated on Philadelphia Flyers fans as a result of his penchant for turning the puck over. At forward, beyond Parise, the most heavily sought after guys will likely be either Shane Doan, who is old and has a penchant for cheap shots, or the younger P.A Parentheau - who is only a few seasons removed from being waiver fodder. Up the middle, the top available name is Olli Jokinen, and in goal, the best available free-agent is likely to be Martin Brodeur, who is ancient and struggled mightily this past season and then put together some solid performances in the playoffs. Yikes.

A shallow pool has been even further gutted over the past several days, as many of the tier-two free agents who were due to the hit the market, ultimately re-signed with their current teams. It's going to be slim picking on the open market this year, and teams looking to significantly improve their roster simply won't have as many options as they've had in previous years. Not that, that will stop teams from throwing mind-blowing amounts of money and term around in an effort to land those few difference makers who are available.

Let's look at what the Canucks "need" to find on the market, what free-agents the team should target, and take a quick glance at Gillis' history on July 1st in the past. Click past the jump!

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The Russian Rocket Talks About Making the Hall of Fame

Andrey Osadchenko
June 30 2012 08:28AM

This past week, it finally happened. After six ballots, and six misses, it was announced on Tuesday that former Vancouver Canuck sniper, Pavel Bure is to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame this November. Andrey Melnikov of Sport-Express and Pavel Lysenkov of Sovetskyi Sport recently talked to "The Russian Rocket" on the phone. Here’s a translated, amalgamation of both interviews.

Question: How did you learn about [the honour]?

Pavel Bure: They called me right away from North America. That is just how it works over there. As soon as the committee makes its decision, they call the inductees. It was the same thing with IIHF Hall of Fame – Rene Fasel told me about it.

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Strombabble: Schneider, Bernier, Brodeur and Leverage

Thomas Drance
June 29 2012 11:59AM

Now that the Cory Schneider extension is "super official," there's some disagreement about what impact that new contract - and other recent developments on the goaltending market - will have on Roberto Luongo's trade value. Mike Gillis has denied it on several occasions, but the Canucks have been in a "trade Roberto Luongo" posture since April. While they listened to buyers at they draft, a deal was never particularly close, and Gillis' asking price for the team's former captain and franchise goaler remained high. Gillis even admitted, while talking about the lack of bonafide NHL starters, that he's "the problem" on the Luongo trade front.

As Gillis waits, the market shifts beneath him. Over the course of the past six weeks, several exchanges have worked in his favour - in particular Tim Thomas' sabbatical and PIttsburgh trading for and signing Tomas Vokoun - while several others - Tampa trading for Lindback, and more recently the news that Martin Brodeur will test the market on Sunday - have arguably crimped it. Meanwhile with the ink still drying on Cory Schneider's spanking new three year, twelve million dollar deal, the question of what impact that will have on Luongo's value is still up in the air.

Let's get into it, after the jump!

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The Cory Schneider Extension REAX

Thomas Drance
June 29 2012 10:14AM

As Mike Gillis announced last night, Cory Schneider has agreed with the Canucks on a three year extension worth 12 million in total. Some in the Toronto media were in what can only be described as denial, a testament to the neat trick Gillis just pulled off.

Many had thought that, until Roberto Luongo was moved out of town, it would be night impossible to get Cory Schneider to agree to a pricey, but fair deal, that would buy out several of his UFA years. With Luongo's status hanging over the entire situation, that Gillis managed to get Schneider under contract at all is a win. That the deal is reasonable on top of that is gravy. 

Read past the jump for a summary of reactions from the media and around the blogosphere...

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Cheers and Jeers - June 29th

Cam Davie
June 29 2012 08:32AM

It's Friday. So we close out the "Week That Was" with our latest volume of... "Cheers and Jeers!"

This week, we talk a lot about Twitter. Nail Yakupov is good at it, fans should react better to stuff tweeted out on it, and the Canucks need to be faster on mammoth events like Bure finally making it to the Hall. Meanwhile did you hear about that coach who assaulted a kid in a handshake line? Fuck that guy...

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