Eddie Lack is Good, and he's Staying in North America

Thomas Drance
July 16 2012 09:10AM

Should the Canucks roll with this goaltending tandem next season?
(September 30, 2010 - Source: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images North America)

Yesterday was the deadline for restricted free agents to accept their qualifying offers. Among Vancouver's RFAs that remain unsigned (only Dale Weise and Eddie Lack), neither player accepted their qualifying offer. Of the two, hot-shot goaltending prospect Eddie Lack is easily the highest profile.

The News1130 Twitter account has breathlessly covered this formal adventure in paperwork, but structurally it remains very much likely that Eddie Lack will return to the Canucks organization next season. If Lack had accepted his qualifying offer, he'd have been entitled to a 10% raise, meaning he'd have cost the team 660k if he played in the NHL next season. That's a paltry amount to pay for one of the best goaltenders in the American Hockey League, so it's not surprising that Lack didn't accept his QO. 

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Cam Janssen, YCP's Balancing Act and Grace

Thomas Drance
July 13 2012 09:30AM

On a radio show earlier this week, Cam Janssen got himself into a spot of hot water by saying a whole whack of stupid crap. He made comments that implied that he intends to injure opposing players, and worse, he said that he'd beat the crap out of a fellow player who he knew to be sucking dick. Twitter took umbrage with his bigoted comments, obviously, and bloggers like Ryan Lambert and Bryan Reynolds took Janssen to task with guns blazing this morning.

Today, Patrick Burke - the fearless leader of the You Can Play team - went to bat for the "enforcer," who mentioned his support for YCP in a statement issued through the New Jersey Devils website.

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Hunting Mythical Beasts: Does Shane Doan Fit in Vancouver?

Thomas Drance
July 11 2012 10:34AM

On Monday, the News1130Sports Twitter feed chatted with Shane Doan's agent Terry Bross, who told the Vancouver radio station that his client has some nagging interest in coming to Vancouver to play hockey, should things continue to combust in Phoenix. 

The News 1130 folks weren't the only folks who chatted with Bross at some point on Monday. Bross started the day speaking with USA Today, dropped in on no less than eleven beat writers, and even ended up on CKNW with Dave Pratt. Bross's performance was a tour de force. Surely he ignited a bidding war, and at the very least he got hockey fans from Montreal to San Jose excited about the prospect of their team adding Shane Doan. Indirectly, that level of  fan excitement applies pressure on the league's General Managers to go after his client...

Canucks fans, lustful for a Stanley Cup, are convinced that Doan's camp has eyes only for their team (local connections!), but Doan and Bross are basically holding an auction. Acquiring Doan promises to be costly in fortune and term, risk and opportunity cost - but make no mistake: the Canucks are on the hunt for this particular mythical beast. 

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Canucks Re-Sign Raymond, Avoid Arbitration

Thomas Drance
July 09 2012 12:16PM

Oft-criticized Canucks winger Mason Raymond, who struggled mightily upon returning from broken vertebrae last season, re-signed with the Canucks today. The deal means that Raymond and the Canucks will avoid what was sure to be a contentious "cut down arbitration" hearing.

Here's the official press release from canucks.nhl.com and here are the terms of the new deal, as per Darren Dreger:

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Dale Weise, Advanced Stats and the Arbitration Process

Thomas Drance
July 06 2012 09:25AM

Today, Dale Weise's agent filed for player elected arbitration. In lieu of an agreement with the Canucks before the hearing (which will take place at some point in mid-to-late July) an arbitrator will hear arguments from Dale Weise's side, and from the Canucks and will independently determine Weise's salary for the 2013/14 season. Weise's decision to file for arbitration didn't surprise the Canucks, per Ben Kuzma:

Generally speaking, the Canucks have done well to avoid arbitration hearings during Mike Gillis' tenure. Mike Gillis has extended Mason Raymond and Jannik Hansen on the eve of their arbitration hearings in the recent past, and in five off-has only gone to arbitration with one player (Kyle Wellwood). I'd expect that number will increase this summer, with both Weise and Mason Raymond on the docket.

Dale Weise takes a lot of flack from Canucks fans because he's not a prototypical enforcer type. He's not a glass shattering hitter, and though he is a willing combatant, his fighting skills are limited (he put up an 0-8 record according to hockeyfights.com voters). Of course, this line of criticism fails to take into account the fact that Dale Weise is a useful, albeit replacement level hockey player in a limited role, and a prototypical Alain Vigneault fourth liner. Unfortunately for Weise, it's not just the criticism of his play from Canucks fans that misses the forest for the trees, the arbitration process does as well...

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