Canucks Select Brendan Gaunce at #26

Thomas Drance
June 22 2012 08:45PM

With the 26th pick in the 2012 NHL entry draft, the Canucks selected centre Brendan Guance from the Belleville Bulls of the Ontario Hockey League. Gaunce fits in with what Laurence Gilman told the Press the team was looking for: "If we were to assess a need we have, it'd be at forward, perhaps centre in particular." Gaunce tips the scales at close to 200 pounds, so he's another in a string of big forwards whom the Canucks have drafted in the past two years, and he plays in the OHL making him the third first round pick that the Canucks have selected from the Ontario Hockey League since Gillis took over as General Manager. 

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Scott Arniel Deal Close, Not Final

Thomas Drance
June 22 2012 05:40PM

Despite reports from reputable sources from Ken Wiebe to Aaron Portzline, former Blue Jackets and Manitoba Moose head coach Scott Arniel has not yet finalized a deal with the Canucks - according to Vancouver's front-office (by way of Iain Macintyre).

The delay is vaguely reminiscent of last summer, when MacTavish's hiring was "confirmed" by Nick Kypreos, and then didn't occur for weeks. So while it's not final, presumably a deal remains close, and certainly Vancouver's head office has a high opinion of Arniel's abilities behind the bench.

Click past the jump for more.

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NHL Draft: Draft Day Preview

Thomas Drance
June 22 2012 11:20AM

The NHL Draft will go tonight in Pittsburgh, and for the Canucks and General Manager Mike Gillis, tonight will be interesting - if nothing else.

Of course it could be more than interesting - it could be earth-shattering. Vancouver's NHL club may not have any high picks (as usual) but they do have an albatross contract that they'd presumably like to move (Ballard), and more importantly a star goaltender on a "toxic deal" whose rumoured trade is causing absurd levels of speculation.

Draft night for the Canucks could also go off with a whimper, but with Cory Schneider in need of a new contract, and Roberto Luongo having publicly admitted he'd waive his no trade clause in late April, massive shock-waves would reverberate from that decision too. If the Canucks move Luongo it will be the biggest deal the team makes on draft day by a country mile (it would be one of the biggest moves in team history, really) and by that same token, if they keep Luongo that logic still holds.

Going into this evening's draft, only one thing is really certain: that whoever the team picks with the 26th selection in the 2012 NHL entry draft will be second page news in Vancouver's sports pages tomorrow morning. That is unless they move up...

Let's summarize the relevant chatter regarding Luongo and Vancouver's first round pick, and do our best to preview a day of uncertainty for the Vancouver Canucks. Click past the jump for more!

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Canucks Schedule Unveiled, may be Truncated at a Later Date

Thomas Drance
June 21 2012 10:33AM

Most summers, "NHL schedule unveiling day" is a day filled with hope and whimsy (see the full schedule from NHL.com here). Most summers, I'd have rushed to NHL.com to open the schedule on my browser, I'd have pressed "ctrl-f" on my keyboard and then I'd type in the word: "Chicago." Then I'd dream about the Canucks taking a string of stupid penalties on November 15th, as they take an endless torrent of righteous retributive cheap shots at Duncan Keith. 

This summer it's a bit different (though I still did exactly what I described above). With CBA uncertainty looming, it's possible, even likely, that a sizable portion of this particular schedule will be lost to a labour stoppage. Looking at the 2012-13 regular season schedule at this point in June, is like trusting the weatherman - at best you're getting a quick glimpse at would could possibly (hopefully!), but probably won't happen. 

Let's break down some key games and other interesting issues anyway after the jump!

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Report: Nicklas Jensen likely to play in the SEL next season

Thomas Drance
June 20 2012 12:37PM

It has been reported today by News 1130 sports that Nicklas Jensen will look to play in the Swedish Elite League (Eliteserien) next season should he fail to make the Vancouver Canucks roster out of training camp.

The 19 year old Danish winger, who led all Canucks prospects in NHLE goals with the Oshawa Generals last season, has apparently already informed his OHL club of his intentions, and is talking to three or four Swedish clubs about joining them next season.

Jensen's agent Anton Thun, who is being quoted by News1130 and the Province's Jim Jamieson has indirectly cited "level of competition" and his client's need to play professional hockey next season as major reasons for his client potentially shirking the Ontario Hockey League next season.

Read past the jump for more.

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