Justin Schultz Snubs the Canucks

Thomas Drance
June 30 2012 01:10PM


After months of speculation, a week of pitches and meetings, and a breathless afternoon, in which, Schultz and his agents called teams who'd been on his shortlist one by one to let them know he wouldn't be signing with them - Justin Schultz has decided to sign with Edmonton, rather than the Canucks, reportedly his favorite team growing up.

It's not a big surprise, the Canucks are deep on the blue-line and were likely unwilling to guarantee him either ice-time or a roster spot. Schultz's signing would've been a coup and a game-changer for Vancouver's prospect pool. As Corey Pronman explains:

Oh well, at least the Canucks still have Chris Tanev - who is definitely NHL-ready, and is a possession demon!

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July 1st Preview: Inventory, History and UFA Targets

Thomas Drance
June 30 2012 11:36AM

On Sunday at noon EST (9 am PST), unrestricted free agents will be free to talk to teams, and sign with them. This years free agent class has been described as one of the thinnest in history, and beyond the "big name" players like Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, the lack of quality if evident. 

After Suter, the most highly regarded defenseman is probably Jason Garrison - he of two and a half seasons of NHL experience, and 34 points last year. Matt Carle will also be pursued heavily, and while he's an advanced stat darling, he's constantly grated on Philadelphia Flyers fans as a result of his penchant for turning the puck over. At forward, beyond Parise, the most heavily sought after guys will likely be either Shane Doan, who is old and has a penchant for cheap shots, or the younger P.A Parentheau - who is only a few seasons removed from being waiver fodder. Up the middle, the top available name is Olli Jokinen, and in goal, the best available free-agent is likely to be Martin Brodeur, who is ancient and struggled mightily this past season and then put together some solid performances in the playoffs. Yikes.

A shallow pool has been even further gutted over the past several days, as many of the tier-two free agents who were due to the hit the market, ultimately re-signed with their current teams. It's going to be slim picking on the open market this year, and teams looking to significantly improve their roster simply won't have as many options as they've had in previous years. Not that, that will stop teams from throwing mind-blowing amounts of money and term around in an effort to land those few difference makers who are available.

Let's look at what the Canucks "need" to find on the market, what free-agents the team should target, and take a quick glance at Gillis' history on July 1st in the past. Click past the jump!

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Strombabble: Schneider, Bernier, Brodeur and Leverage

Thomas Drance
June 29 2012 11:59AM

Now that the Cory Schneider extension is "super official," there's some disagreement about what impact that new contract - and other recent developments on the goaltending market - will have on Roberto Luongo's trade value. Mike Gillis has denied it on several occasions, but the Canucks have been in a "trade Roberto Luongo" posture since April. While they listened to buyers at they draft, a deal was never particularly close, and Gillis' asking price for the team's former captain and franchise goaler remained high. Gillis even admitted, while talking about the lack of bonafide NHL starters, that he's "the problem" on the Luongo trade front.

As Gillis waits, the market shifts beneath him. Over the course of the past six weeks, several exchanges have worked in his favour - in particular Tim Thomas' sabbatical and PIttsburgh trading for and signing Tomas Vokoun - while several others - Tampa trading for Lindback, and more recently the news that Martin Brodeur will test the market on Sunday - have arguably crimped it. Meanwhile with the ink still drying on Cory Schneider's spanking new three year, twelve million dollar deal, the question of what impact that will have on Luongo's value is still up in the air.

Let's get into it, after the jump!

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The Cory Schneider Extension REAX

Thomas Drance
June 29 2012 10:14AM

As Mike Gillis announced last night, Cory Schneider has agreed with the Canucks on a three year extension worth 12 million in total. Some in the Toronto media were in what can only be described as denial, a testament to the neat trick Gillis just pulled off.

Many had thought that, until Roberto Luongo was moved out of town, it would be night impossible to get Cory Schneider to agree to a pricey, but fair deal, that would buy out several of his UFA years. With Luongo's status hanging over the entire situation, that Gillis managed to get Schneider under contract at all is a win. That the deal is reasonable on top of that is gravy. 

Read past the jump for a summary of reactions from the media and around the blogosphere...

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On the Sweepstakes, Justin Schultz's Bust Potential, and Earning Ice Time

Thomas Drance
June 28 2012 07:56AM

There are conflicting reports, but it appears as if Justin Schultz, with his representatives from Newport Sports in tow, will begins to hear pitches from individual teams hoping desperately to land the highly touted 21 year old defenseman on Thursday. That's per Bob Mckenzie:

The Canucks, who continue to be seen as "front-runners" in the Schultz-derby, will likely be among the first to get a meeting with the West Kelowna product. McKenzie reports that the entire Canucks brain trust, including: General Manager Mike Gillis, Assistant General Manager and master negotiator Laurence Gilman, and head-coach Alain Vigneault are in Toronto at the moment, basically waiting around for their opportunity. I guess the team is interested.

Read past the jump for more.

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