Afternoon Headshots: January 22nd

Thomas Drance
January 22 2013 03:34PM


The Canucks gave away scarves to everyone who attended the home opener on Saturday night.
Image via dhamhuis.tumblr.com.

The "must read" piece of the day is so obvious, that you've almost certainly already read it. It's from Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun who had a long sit down with Canucks General Manager Mike Gillis this week. The two candidly discussed Luongo's trade status, Vancouver's lack of success drafting under Mike Gillis, changes in team scouting, Jordan Schroeder's role this season and a whole lot of other topics too. Fantastic stuff, and there's also an extended transcript with some bonus insight from the Canucks GM. [Vancouver Sun]

Everyone and their mother wrote a reaction piece to the explosive "deal in place" with a "mystery team" involving an unknown player who has to be moved (or waived, or heal from an injury) quote that Mike Gillis gave Cole this week. Here's Greg Wyshynski's which, we'll link to because he speculates that one of the moving pieces could be Subban, Benn or O'Reilly. That doesn't strike me as all that likely, but boy oh boy, it would be pretty awesome. [Puck Daddy]

Pierre LeBrun has a "rumblings" blog post over at ESPN in which he touches on the Luongo situation and provides us with some fascinating information. First of all, he exchanged e-mails with Mike Gillis, and Gillis confirmed the veracity of the quote he gave Cam Cole. LeBrun then goes on to confirm that the Leafs aren't the mystery team in question, and that Luongo trade talks between Toronto and Vancouver have reached a period of "detente." LeBrun also mentions that his sense of things is that the Flyers would be willing to amnesty Ilya Bryzgalov if he lays another egg this season in Philadelphia, and he ends off with this intriguing quote: "So far, the Canucks have been offered good pieces, just not the right ones." Hmmm... [ESPN]

Finally, Harrison Mooney runs Mike Gillis' sexy quote about a mystery team through the "Mike Gillis translator" in a silly effort to determine what exactly Mike Gillis really meant by the quote he gave Cam Cole. [Pass it to Bulis]

In other news, the Canucks have called up 2009 first round pick Jordan Schroeder and he will make his NHL debut on Wednesday night against the Calgary Flames. An interesting aside on Schroeder, he never actually returned to Chicago because he was "too ill to fly" over the weekend. So he was called up, and then on the ice practicing with the team within like twenty minutes. So, that's very strange. [Nucksmisconduct]

Over at Canucks Hockey Blog, Clay Imoo briefly recaps the NHL's first weekend back. More importantly his post includes footage of Chris Higgins taking off his jersey for the "jersey off the player's back" ceremony after the team's home-opener against Anaheim. So... yeah, you might want to watch that. [Canucks Hockey Blog]

Read on past the jump for more news, Canucks links and maybe a joke if I can think of one (no promises).

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As Usual, AV's Lineup Purée Makes Sense

Thomas Drance
January 22 2013 01:14PM

 
Sticktap to bitter rival Harrison Mooney for the image.

On the heels of two losses (although one was a functional tie, with a gimmick tacked on), the Canucks coaching staff has decided to reconfigure their forwards lines. Jason Botchford describes the new forward combinations as "radical," and he's not far off.

Here are the new lines the Canucks are using at practice today (per Jim Jamieson):

Sedin-Sedin-Kassian

Higgins-Burrows-Hansen

Raymond-Schroeder-Weise

Volpatti-Malhotra-Lapierre

There's this perception that when Alain Vigneault modifies his lineup, it's done haphazardly and at random. But I prefer to think of Alain Vigneault as an exceedingly well compensated Jugo Juice employee. Though it seems odd at first glance, there's a method of this apparent madness.

We'll break it all down after the jump

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Jim Vandermeer Clears Waivers, Jordan Schroeder Finally gets a Shot

Thomas Drance
January 22 2013 11:41AM


Photo Credit: Dale MacMillan/Getty Images

According to Canucks.nhl.com, who would know, the Canucks have recalled Jordan Schroeder from the Chicago Wolves, and I'd expect (though nothing is official yet) that the 2009 first round pick will make his long-awaited NHL debut against Calgary on Wednesday night. The team also re-assigned Jim Vandermeer to Chicago following his clearing waivers earlier Tuesday morning.

These moves don't come as much of a surprise. Many felt that Jordan Schroeder should've made the team out of "training camp," and he only narrowly missed the cut. The Canucks tellingly kept Schroeder in Vancouver about twelve hours longer than they kept Schroeder's Wolves teammates, and the diminutive offensive centerman didn't dress in the Wolves most recent game on Saturday night against the Houston Aeros.

Combine all of that with the fact that Andrew Ebbett has been, well, not a second line center by any definition in Vancouver's first two games this season, and a Schroeder call up was all but inevitable.

Read on past the jump.

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Strombabble: Gillis Drops Sexy Quote, Doesn't Actually Tell Us Anything

Thomas Drance
January 22 2013 09:35AM


Roberto Luongo is sick of this shit (probably).
Image uncredited via UpMagazine.

This week Mike Gillis sat down with Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun, who has been producing some extremely interesting and unique sports writing over the past couple of weeks, for an extended conversation, "that was set up before the Canucks’ two opening-weekend losses." Cole pulled some really interesting context out of Gillis on a wide variety of subjects: the Canucks' scouting apparatus, the impact of injuries, the club's lack of high-end prospects in the pipe-line, tanking and of course the Luongo trade.

Amidst the candid din, alas, it's this sexy quote that's getting all of the attention this morning and it's not hard to see why:

We have a potential deal in place with one team that has to do something with another player that they have — and it’s not who anybody thinks it is — and so we have to wait. (But) we’ve been offered packages that don’t fit what our plan is, what we need.”

Potential deal in place! Mystery team! Why, that reads like HockeyyInsiderr's "trade market" slash fiction Twitter account in early July!

Let's get into it briefly on the other side of the jump.

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Afternoon Headshots: January 21st

Thomas Drance
January 21 2013 02:49PM


Vancouver's goaltending controversy: in comic book form!
Slick stuff from theyslayedthedragon.tumblr.com.

On the "walking wounded" front, Ben Kuzma has some good news all around. Looks like David Booth is feeling better, isn't limping and might be ahead of schedule. Meanwhile Ryan Kesler is only "seven to ten" days away from rejoining the team in practice skates, while prized goaltending prospect Eddie Lack looks to return to the ice on Monday (hey that's today!). [The Province]

In his weekly "30 Thoughts" column, CBC's Elliotte Friedman drops some interesting Canucks-related nuggets about the impact of Kesler and Booth's injuries on Vancouver's Luongo-trade leverage. He also notes that the New Jersey Devils kicked the tires on Luongo during that fleeting moment in June and July when Brodeur hired an agent and seemed intent on testing the market. [CBC]

Tyler Dellow points out that Zack Kassian's fight against Ben Eager - though objectively awesome - was tactically misguided and cost the Canucks a late-third period shift in which the Sedin twins would've been matched up against Edmonton's fourth line. [Mc79Hockey]

Ill-advised fight aside, Tony Gallagher was - like the rest of Vancouver - impressed by what Zack Kassian brought to the table in Sunday night's contest and hopes to see him play like that with some consistency going forward. [The Province]

Here's a spot of common sense from Iain Macintyre, who points out that one game either way shouldn't change Vancouver's long-term plans in net and that going forward the Canucks need to play the guy they've annointed as their starter. [Vancouver Sun]

The Canucks waived ninth defenseman Jim Vandermeer on Monday, and the depth swingman will report to the Chicago Wolves of the AHL assuming he makes it through waivers (which he probably will). This will clear up a space on the 23-man roster, and many are speculating that Jordan Schroeder could get the call. I mean, with what Andrew Ebbett has provided through two games so far (not bloody much), this seems like a no-brainer to me. Might as well give Jordan Schroeder two quality wingers (say Alex Burrows and Chris Higgins), favorable zone-starts and thirteen even-strength minutes a night and see if he help out in Kesler's absence. If it works then it will help fatten up the forward lines, at least. [Nucksmisconduct]

Speaking of which, the forward lines need fattening writes Cam Charron over at his other Canucks blog. In Ryan Kesler's absence, even relatively shallow forward groups like Anaheim's and Edmonton's are able to take advantage of a plethora of favourable matchups. [Legion of Blog]

Read past the jump for more shots to the cranium/links to Canucks news.

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