Cory Schneider Set to Join HC Ambrì-Piotta of the Swiss League

Thomas Drance
November 28 2012 08:29AM

Earlier in the week it was announced that the NHL and the NHLPA would bring in a Federal Mediator, a neutral third-party who might help lubricate the acrimonious negotiations between the two sides. Bringing in a mediator seems especially pertinent in light of Wednesday morning's announcement that Canucks goaltender Cory Schneider has reached an agreement to play with Swiss team HC Ambrì-Piotta, a hockey team that plays in a nation famous for its perpetual neutrality.

Cory Schneider is a big get for Ambrì-Piotta. Not only does he boast the best short-handed save percentage in the NHL, but Schneider has a Swiss passport which, allows him to get around some red tape that usually applies to foreign born players in the Swiss League. The Ambrì-Piotta club represents two small towns (Ambrì and Piotta) and is located in the scenic Levintina valley. In addition to Schneider, Ambrì was employing Habs sniper Max Pacioretty (but 'Patches' has now returned to North America) and currently employ former Red Wings forward Jason Williams, and a familiar face in former Canucks winger Richard Park.

Read on past the jump.

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The Canucks Assign Joe Cannata to the Chicago Wolves

Thomas Drance
November 27 2012 12:12PM

Going into this AHL season, it was presumed that a major strength for the Canucks' AHL affilliate the Chicago Wolves would be between the pipes. So far that strength hasn't materialized, as goaltenders Eddie Lack and Matt Climie have struggled through the first twenty games and both are sporting sub-.900 save percentages. 

Today the Wolves announced that they've recalled highly regarded first year pro Joe Cannata (eh?) from the Kalamazoo Red Wings of the ECHL. Cannata was impressive in a late season AHL apperance last spring, but has had a sluggish start to his ECHL career posting a 2-3 record and a .892 save percentage in five games.

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14 Cute Things That Support the Canucks on Instagram

Thomas Drance
November 19 2012 02:12PM


Image Via @ObiwanJennobi

So, at this point the NHL Lockout is driving me nuts. Without hockey games to analyze, line-combinations to explain, hot-streaks to debunk and unfair criticisms of Alain Vigneault to shit on - I'm left scraping the bottom of the barrel to manufacture blog content. Today's post arguably represents my lowest point (but realistically the lockout is only 70 days old, so I still have plenty of time to go even lower).

There are now more daily users on Instagram than there are on Twitter, and for the most part, people use Instagram the way Twitter's critics suggest Tweeters use Twitter (by which I mean that Instagram is 80% pictures of food).

For Canucks fans, Instagram appears to be used primarily to share photos of them meeting their favorite player, photos of their newest Canucks gear, of them and their friends cheering on the team, or to take pictures of weed with a Canucks lighter vaguely included in the photo. And all of these photos are shared with the hashtag: "#Canucks."

My favorite type of "#Canucks" tagged Instagram photo, however, are the photos from pet owners dressing their pets, children and snowmen up like real people. So I decided to curate the best, of the best cute Canucks supporters on Instagram. Enjoy!

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Late Goal Spoils Wolves Third Period Rally

Thomas Drance
November 16 2012 10:31PM

 
Zack Kassian's movember stash, Bobby Clarke gap and the hashtags in this all kill me. I'm dead.
Via @shaeendo

The Chicago Wolves have had plenty of rest recently. Call it a scheduling quirk, or call it a different type of "league initiated hiatus" but the Wolves hadn't played a game in nearly a week. 

They played on Friday night however, and the rust was evident through forty-eight mostly listless minutes. The Wolves struggled to generate scoring chances or push the attack forward, and were unusually permissive in their own end. Goaltender Eddie Lack bailed his club out repeatedly, but the Wolves still allowed the Rivermen to build a two goal lead and weren't showing much urgency about it early in the third period; a full six minutes into the final frame and the Wolves had yet to generate a single shot on goal.

But the game turned in a hurry. First, Guillame Desbiens knocked a puck out of the air and into the Peoria net; and not thirty second later Kevin Connauton unleashed a shot from the top of the circle that was expertly tipped by Steve Pinizzotto for the game tying marker. 

From there the Wolves were all over the Rivermen, handily controlling the proceedings over the balance of the third frame and into overtime. But the Wolves' dominance of the latter ten minutes of the game wasn't enough on this evening. With twenty-six seconds to play in the overtime period, Rivermen winger Phil MacRae leaked like a Revenue Lost Chart through the Wolves defense, and beat Lack with a quick forehand deke to win the game.

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Rick Bowness Plans on Playing Garrison on the Left Side, So the Right Side of the Canucks' Defense Remains a Big Question Mark

Thomas Drance
November 15 2012 09:47AM


Jason Garrison stands on Alex Edler's right side in this photo. But don't get used to seeing that, says Rick Bowness.

On Tuesday morning, Canucks assistant coach Rick Bowness (who is primarily responsible for handling the team's defense) appeared with Scott Rintoul and Jason Botchford on the Team 1040. Bowness talked about the NHL lockout, the spectre of a super short training camp should there actually be an NHL season in 2012-13, and also briefly discussed his plans for how to deply newly minted Canucks defenseman Jason Garrison in a hypothetical upcoming season. 

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