January 12 2013 09:14PM
Our four month nightmare is finally, officially, indsputably over. The two sides, both of whom ratified the new collective bargaining agreement this week, finally signed a Memorandum of Understanding late on Saturday night. Their doing so will facilitate the opening of training camps across the league on Sunday.
Shortly after that news broke, the Canucks made their schedule for the 48 game 2013 NHL season public. Oh also, in case you care, the Canucks can sign players and make trades once the clock strikes 9 PM in the Pacific Time Zone. So yeah, buckle up.
Game on! We break down the schedule somewhat on the other side of the jump.
January 12 2013 01:48PM
As the Chicago Wolves roll into Abbotsford to play the Heat this weekend, five of their best players were held out of the lineup and will be with the Canucks when the club's training camp opens this weekend (pending ratification of the new CBA by the NHLPA sometime on Saturday afternoon). In addition, "Six or Seven" other Wolves may join them after Saturday's game.
On the one hand, the Canucks' reluctance to "experiment" with young players in a shortened season makes sense. On the other hand, four young, possible Canucks roster players have been playing regular competitive hockey games at the professional level while the majority of Vancouver's aging roster have been skating with the UBC Thunderbirds and gathering cobwebs in the endowment lands. Those four players and their accompanying fresh legs could concievably help the Canucks mitigate their recent propensity for slow starts, which might be key in a forty-eight game season.
To get a better handle on how the likes of Chris Tanev, Kevin Connauton, Zack Kassian and Jordan Schroeder have performed with the Wolves so far this season, we spoke with Wolves beat writer Paul La Tour of the Chicago Tribune and play-by-play announcer Jason Shaver this week. Read more on the other side of the jump.
January 12 2013 12:16PM
(Editor's Note: To think that a week ago we were sitting around worrying about whether pettiness might prevail and cancel the 2013 NHL season. How quickly our mood has shifted after a flurry of a week gave us everything from a Luongo to Philadelphia rumour to a short-lived Twitter beef between Roberto Luongo and the Iron Sheik...
Anyway, in anticipation of the start of the shortened 2013 season, I figured I'd reach out to a handful of Canucks fans who I like on Twitter and get their take on the upcoming season. So I got at the likes of original shapper @mariomontega, Ritch Winter's bane @taj1944, hard hitting sports analyst @socialassassin2, our old pal @tinfoiltuque, long-term Canucks blogger and funny lady @alixiswright37, the streaky @kesrows and smart dude @ryanbiech; and asked all of them them five pertinent Canucks related questions headed into this season:
- The Canucks are seen as contenders going into this season, but are you confident they can live up to expectations? Should the city hold off on planning the President's Trophy parade? Why or why not?
- How much do the Canucks need to acquire in a Luongo trade for you to be satisfied with the return?
- Which Canucks player is the most important to the team's chances this season? Least important?
- Finish this sentence: if the Canucks fall short again this year they should ______?
- If you were giving advice to a Canucks fan who was considering joining Twitter, what are the five accounts you would recommend as "must follows"?
Big thanks to the "Group of Seven" who participated in this post (and all got their answers to me on time). Hopefully their take on Canucks issues is a refreshing change of pace from the long-winded, Vigneault-apologist nonsense that you're used to reading around these parts. Click past the jump for some quality shap, some comedy and a quick, unscientific gauge of what Canucks fans are expecting from their team going into a lockout shortened season.)
January 12 2013 08:53AM
Together again, Cory Schneider and Roberto Luongo shared the ice practice in UBC on Friday.
Photo Credit: David Ebner.
Mike Gillis might trade Roberto Luongo this weekend and with the market heating up, I'm beginning to suspect that Gillis' patient approach to dealing Luongo will ultimately be vindicated (at times I was admittedly doubtful). There's one area in particular, however, where Mike Gillis and the Canucks front office deserves particular credit in this story, and that credit can be doled out regardless of what the return ultimately looks like. It belongs to the realm of "relationship management." Allow me to elaborate on the other side of the jump.
January 11 2013 10:11AM
As close to a Laurence Gilman action shot as we're ever likely to get.
On Thursday afternoon, Laurence Gilman joined Matt Sekeres and Blake Price for an interview in which the new collective bargaining agreement and the "cap-benefit recapture clause" on back diving contracts (or "the Luongo rule") were discussed at length.
Laurence Gilman gave his hosts a couple of particularly interesting answers. For example, he described the "cap-benefit recapture" as a "contingent liability" and reiterated his belief that Luongo could indeed play out the full term on his contract. The Canucks' Assistant General Manager and in-house capologist also declined to express any petulance over seeing his club "punished" by the new collective bargaining agreement for a deal that was fully legal under the terms of the previous CBA. He called his personal feelings on the matter "immaterial" and vowed to concentrate instead on helping the club navigate the new agreement to the best of his considerable abilities.
The most interesting insight we gleaned from Gilman however, came from his response to a question asked by Matt Sekeres. The question? Does Laurence Gilman, "knowing what [he knows] now," "regret" signing Luongo to a 12 year deal worth in excess of sixty million? Gilman's answer was an unequivocal, passionate "no." Read past the jump for more.