January 14 2013 11:02AM
Where's the harm in having both Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider on the roster this year? You may be significantly lowering one's trading value by reducing them to backup status, but right now the Vancouver Canucks have all kinds of cap space, and play in a schedule where having two goalies is important. Run through HFBoards or any other corner of the Internet where a lot of hockey fans congregate and you'll see people proposing trades for Luongo for pennies on the dollar under the impression the Canucks are in a hurry to trade Luongo. Why?
"You clearly approach the season differently on a tightened schedule," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. "Games are closer together. We have a lot of games every other day. We have stretches where we go four in six, and six in eight, and seven in 10. So, there's a lot of hockey games, and I think you're going to see the goalies be used more, not so much based on who we play as on each goalie's going to get their share of games, their number of games. Marc-Andre Fleury will play a majority of the games, but in the last 48-game season, we saw the teams that had success, we saw their two goaltenders, one played in the 35-game range and the backup played in the 18-to-20 range. It's a lot of games in a 48-game season, 20 is, but that's managing the schedule and managing the playing time."
January 08 2013 01:56PM
Should the Canucks look into making Dan Ellis a rich man again?
Digging up contract statuses for guys in European leagues is a tough chore, particularly for players who aren't particularly good. The point of the next few hundred words is to point out that the current range of National Hockey League backup goaltenders is very, very thin. Absent Eddie Lack, out with some sort of lower-body injury, the Vancouver Canucks would be without a backup if they went ahead and traded Roberto Luongo - as most expect them to do - before the season starts.
Here are the options I see: convince a guy like Alexander Auld, Andrew Raycroft, or, if familiarity (particularly familiarity with poor goaltenders) is your thing, Johan Backlund, to opt out of whatever European contract they're in and bring them over to North America to ride the pine for all but 8 or 9 games behind Cory Schneider.
Back during the shortened 1995 season, the average starting goaltender played 39 games or thereabouts during the 48-game season. We don't know yet how many games will be played, but it's reasonable to expect that a backup goalie could start nine games.
January 06 2013 09:41AM
After 16 hours of bargaining and mediation Saturday and early into Sunday morning, the National Hockey League and its Players Association came through with a tentative labour agreement that will see the remainder of the 2012-2013 season played out under a pro-rated salary cap.
A groggy Gary Bettman, who was speaking about as quickly as either Sedin accelerates (they're slow, get it?), clarified that the deal must be ratified on both sides, and that there was no information available yet on schedule or number of games to be played.
December 13 2012 04:23PM
The first cut at Team Canada's camp is: Frank Corrado#WJC2013— Sunaya Sapurji (@sunayas) December 13, 2012
This tweet from Sunaya Suparji of Yahoo! Canada was sent out just as Bob McKenzie was on a live-taping of Sportscentre discussing how Canucks prospect Frank Corrado was practically a sure bet to make the Canadian IIHF U-20 world championship team.
Unfortunately, it was not to be. McKenzie was just as shocked as everybody, but Corrado responded with class, and you'd expect from a media-trained Canadian hockey player:
December 11 2012 08:36AM
If there's anything we learned from the Cody Hodgson trade, it's that given the amount of experience and connections Tony Gallagher has forged over the last 50 or so years in the business, it's probably safe to trust him for some things.
Which makes me think that Alexander Edler may have played his last game as a Vancouver Canuck, particularly after Larry Brooks wrote a column this morning suggesting that the reason for the NHL's attempt to genetically engineer each team's salary structure to even the playing field.
In short, I don't think Laurence Gilman can talk his way out of this one.