The Canucks Elect to Take Mason Raymond to Arbitration

Thomas Drance
June 13 2012 04:29PM

We've been wondering what would happen with Mason Raymond's qualifying offer for months now, and thanks to Darren Dreger's afternoon scoop, now we know.

Mason Raymond's status was particularly interesting heading into this offseason. He's a quasi-core piece and one the Canucks have been very high on (despite his relative lack of production the past two seasons) because he "drives play" and has consistently posted spectacular underlying numbers. Of course that changed this season, as Raymond's performance fell off significantly - probably because it can take a long time to physically and mentally recover from breaking vertebrae in your back. 

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NHL Draft: Mike Gillis' Fishing Holes

Thomas Drance
June 13 2012 02:34PM

In nine short days the NHL draft will begin in Pittsburgh, and it promises to be a very interesting day or two for the Canucks and their General Manager Mike Gillis. As usual, the Canucks don't have any high picks (they select 26th and 57th) and the 2011-12 draft class is not seen as particularly deep, but that hardly matters to Canucks fans, who are more interested to see what Gillis does on the trade market anyway!

Over the next week we'll take some looks at the Canucks' drafting record since Gillis took over the reigns (June 22nd will mark his fifth time at the draft table) and see if we can ferret out any trends in his approach to selecting players. Today's topic concerns Gillis' favorite draft prospect "Fishing Holes." This is a concept that was introduced to me by Scott Reynolds, but was originally coined by our pal Kent Wilson, who explained it as such

Clubs [may] develop what I call "fishing holes", by which I mean they concentrate their scouting in certain amateur/developmental leagues (for the Flames, it's the WHL/CHL) - they can become familiar with the relative degree and value of the competition and therefore can more capably gauge a prospects level of performance.

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Brave New World: @Strombone1, Player Personality and Subversive Access in the era of "Digital Fame"

Thomas Drance
June 12 2012 03:19PM

 
Easily the most revealing answer @strombone1 gave @passittobulis in last week's Twitter DM interview.

Late last week Harrison Mooney of Pass it to Bulis coyly interviewed Roberto Luongo's irreverent, "anonymous" Twitter account "@strombone1" using Twitter's direct messaging feature. Generally speaking, the hockey blogosphere and the media reacted by chuckling. Now there's nothing wrong with that, it was a light-hearted interview, bursting with tongue-in-cheek half-reveals, but no one seemed to realize just how subversive the whole thing was.

The Canucks are not the Nashville Predators, and there is no "bloggers row" in the media box in Vancouver. With a few exceptions here and there (every rule was made to be broken on occasion), the Canucks like most Canadian NHL teams, have a strict "no blogger access" policy and enforce it stringently.

Yet here was Roberto Luongo, maybe the most famous individual player on the Canucks (at least for the moment), granting an interview to a blogger. In the process, Mooney and Luongo completely circumvented team PR, and set up the interview through a series of direct messages between the @passittobulis account and the @strombone1 account. That Harrison chose to take screen shots of the "direct message" conversation, rather than writing out the interview in text, added an extra layer of "taboo" to the exchange. Luongo's account which, made its name by gleefully playing off of convention, ran roughshod over the usual processes last week, then backed up and did it again.

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Manny Malhotra Won't Be Bought Out

Thomas Drance
June 12 2012 10:59AM

Amidst the hubbub caused by Craig MacTavish's departure from Chicago, his quick turnaround (his new position in Edmonton was announced literally minutes later) and the romancing of Scott Arniel; Brad Ziemer broke the news that defensive centre Manny Malhotra will be back next year to play out the final year of his deal.

Realistically, no one expected Manny Malhotra - a character guy who rushed back to re-join the team for the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals, despite nearly losing one of his eyes in a freak hockey accident only three months earlier - to be bought out. But, when you look at the numbers, it certainly would have made a lot of sense

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Kesler, Glass, Byfuglien Star in Newest You Can Play PSA

Thomas Drance
June 12 2012 08:13AM

It was announced several months ago that Vancouver centre Ryan Kesler would represent the Canucks for the You Can Play Project, and record a PSA in support of ending casual homophobia in sports. We've been eagerly anticipating it ever since.

The video, embedded above, dropped today and it delivers. Also, with a cast that includes old nemesis Dustin Byfuglien, and Tanner "scrabble champion" Glass it's actually somewhat Canucks centric.

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