Is Burrows on his way out if Doan signs?

Thomas Drance
September 14 2012 10:44AM

The News1130Sports Twitter feed is on something of a Terry Bross fueled rampage today. The popular news feed is also catching some blowback for a tweet that suggested that - should Doan sign in Vancouver - popular winger Alex Burrows' days with the team could be numbered.

Generally speaking, the News1130Sports Twitter feed is reliable when it is reporting sourced chatter (usually from player agents). There have been times this summer, however, when the feed has reported preposterous rumours (Eddie Lack considering signing in the SEL for example) or has piggy packed off of others reports without credit. Also, sometimes it's not clear when the account is expressing an opinion, or quoting a source. In this case, I think we can safely call this tweet an "opinion tweet" and take it with a grain of salt.

But that doesn't necessarily mean that Burrows' future with the Canucks is secure in perpetuity. Read on past the jump.

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Would Signing Doan Impact a Luongo Trade?

Thomas Drance
September 14 2012 09:43AM


Photo Credit: RICK SCUTERI, REUTERS

At this point in the "long offseason," it's fair to characterize the majority of the hockey world as suffering from at least one of the following ailments: Luongo trade-fatigue, or Doancision-fatigue. While Shane Doan is slated to make up his mind at long last, and will reportedly choose between Phoenix and Vancouver later today: there's still no resolution in sight for Roberto Luongo. Some are suggesting that, that could change in a hurry if the Canucks emerge victorious in the Doan derby this afternoon. 

According to capgeek.com, at this moment the Canucks are roughly 2.4 million dollars under the salary cap. Let's assume that the club wins the Doan derby later today, then at the absolute bare bones minimum they'd be adding a contract worth 5 million per season (a very conservative estimate). Obviously in this hypothetical situation, the Canucks would find themselves in a salary cap bind and the quickest, easiest solution to their woes might be to rush through a trade for their immovable star netminder. 

But I'd be stone cold stunned if that's how Mike Gillis handled things. Click past the jump for more.

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MethaDoan Clickbait

Thomas Drance
September 14 2012 01:41AM

After a summer rife with breathless speculation and a seemingly endless procession of "false" deadlines, our long national nightmare appears to be over. According to a report from Arizona Sports Talk Radio host John Gambadoro, tomorrow by 5 PM EST, Coyotes captain (and mythical beast) Shane Doan will make a decision on where he'll play whenever next season starts. And only two teams remain in the running.

Phoenix, of course, is still the frontrunner to retain their long-time captain. But the other team with a shot according to Gambadoro: the Vancouver Canucks.

Read past the jump for more.

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Public McEneny

Thomas Drance
September 13 2012 12:39PM

Signing undrafted free-agents has long been a hallmark of Mike Gillis' tenure as Canucks General Manager. In the past Gillis has added young players like Chris Tanev and Eddie Lack in this manner, and usually the team signs at least one undrafted free agent per season.

So far this summer, they'd yet to dip their toe into the pool, that is until today when the Canucks announced the signing of puck-moving defenseman Evan McEneny to an entry level contract. Here's the official press release from Canucks.nhl.com. Click past the jump for more.

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Strombabble: Fire Sale

Thomas Drance
September 13 2012 11:52AM

Luongo2

The summer is at an end and through it all, Roberto Luongo has improbably remained with the Canucks. As the "one foot out the door" goaler met with the press on Wednesday, Canucks General Manager Mike Gillis gave the press a firey update on the Canucks' trade posture.

Read past the jump for more!

In particular, Mike Gillis was adamant about the team's refusal to sell low on Roberto Luongo, per Jason Botchford:

“We’re one of the wealthiest teams in the league, so we don’t have fire sales,” Gillis said. “Our ownership has been completely supportive in everything we’ve done. They are going to be completely supportive in this matter. If someone thinks we’re going to have a fire sale, they’re wrong.”

Gillis admitted the team has had some “solid” offers for the goalie, but not from Florida. The Panthers haven’t been in the ballpark, and have instead made proposals that were more about shedding salary than giving up assets.

Gillis' "fire sale" comments shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who has been paying attention, or has any sort of intuitive feel for the way markets work. Gillis may not get a "retail" price for Roberto Luongo (though he would've been able to exact a retail price for Cory Schneider) but if he was willing to just liquidate this particular asset, the trade would've happened already. Just over a week ago, we dropped this extended metaphor:

Luongo is a 4000 square foot home in Shaugnessy, that has been listed for 6 months at a 3.5 million dollar price point.

This is what always gets me about those talking heads who like to claim that there's "no market" for Roberto Luongo. It's probably fair to characterize the market as soft (otherwise Luongo would've been traded already, and Nick Bjugstad would've been Canucks Army's number one prospect in the top-20) but the "no market" lark is unhinged.

That Luongo hasn't been moved yet reflects the fact that Vancouver's asking price is too high if their goal is to sell on Luongo immediately. But in hockey trades, and on the real estate market, all you ever really need is one person to like the asset enough to meet your demands....

But here's the rub: the Canucks aren't a homeowner looking to liquidate an asset, buy cheap elsewhere, and retire. As they've repeatedly said, there is no urgency on their end. Even as the CBA expires, and even as next season begins - Luongo and Schneider are both professional enough that the Canucks can afford to wait to get the right price, from the right buyer.

Nothing really has changed, and if anything, Gillis' ability to rely on Luongo's and Schneider's professionalism was reinforced yesterday. That didn't stop Gillis from brandishing his biggest remaining "hammer," however. Perhaps I'm reading too much into this quote, but I think Gillis dropped an implied threat regarding the possibility that the team might bury Luongo's deal in the AHL next season if Luongo won't agree to a trade with a team other than the Panthers (emphasis mine):

"Trade clauses allow the player, I mean that’s why they get them, and they are part of the negotiating process,” Gillis said. “He’s entitled to try and be selective."

"But at the end of the day, you are either going to play hockey or you’re not going to play hockey. We’re going to do our best to make sure Roberto is taken care of, whether he’s here or somewhere else. We’re going to look at his best interests, but also ours.”

But I digress, because the most interesting part of Gillis' original quote isn't the "fire sale" bit, nor is it his "you are either going to play hockey or you're not going to play hockey" statement. Those are the sexier soundbites sure, but the most interesting part of the quote is the portion where he reminds potential trade partners that, "[the Canucks are] one of the wealthiest teams in the league." 

I find that quote interesting partly because Gillis reiterated that notion, albeit using somewhat different notes, on the Team1040 with Matt Sekeres and Blake Price yesterday as well (skip to the 49th minute of the podcast):

"We've had ongoing discussions with teams all summer long, I think there is a cloud over major transactions because of the uncertainty that's there. But no - it hasn't changed a whole lot in the last couple of weeks.
But I think there's clearly teams who have very different considerations when they're looking at acquiring players or giving up players. We don't have the same financial constraints that some teams do, so we look at it very differently and other teams can't look at it that way. So you have to actually understand that they're looking at what may come and may be hesitant because they want to see that before they do anything."

Is this "rich team, poor team" dichotomy a shot across Florida's bow? An indication that the equivalent of Rotislav Olesz isn't going to be enough to complete this particular deal?

I've never understood why the Panthers would be interested in Luongo, considering that they've got the best goalie prospect in the world in Jakub Markstrom; and Jose Theodore and Scott Clemensen stopped .926% of even-strength shots last season. But perhaps Panthers General Manager Dale Tallon, who I rarely give any credit, has stopped fighting with his fax machine long enough to identify "star players on toxic contracts" as undervalued assets on the NHL trade market.. Obviously that's what he did with Brian Campbell, and that worked out okay for the Panthers...

If there's any validity to my theory, then we can expect Tallon to be firm on his lowball offer. He's got two sufficiently reliable NHL goaltenders on his roster and a bluechip prospect, so he's dealing from a position of strength anyway. If this is also part of a larger philosophy for Tallon, then the goose that is Luongo's Miami dream may be cooked.

Luongo was compliant with the Canucks' orchestrated show on Wednesday afternoon, and he's continually said that he'd be willing to be traded to teams not named the Florida Panthers. Reading between the lines of some of Gillis' comments, I suspect that willingness could be tested, albeit not until the NHL and the NHLPA hammer out the terms of a new collective bargaining agreement.

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