The Final Cut

Thomas Drance
January 18 2013 12:37PM


Will Jordan Schroeder be Vancouver's final cut this evening before they set the 23-man roster?

By 5 PM PST today, the Canucks will have to trim their roster to fit under the 23-man roster limit. The Chicago Wolves issued a release stating that the Canucks have already returned eight players to rejoin their ranks and none of the names come as a surprise: Darren Archibald, Andrew Gordon, Anton Rodin, Bill Sweatt, Peter Andersson, Kevin Connauton, Derek Joslin and Joe Cannata. 

So that would leave the Canucks with, by my count, twenty-four players still on Vancouver's roster: nine defenseman, thirteen forwards and two goaltenders.

So who will the last cut be? Is Jordan Schroeder really going to crack the opening night roster? Read on past the jump.

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Gillis rips Maple Leafs, Toronto media for propagating the notion that the Canucks have "asked for too much" in a Luongo trade

Thomas Drance
January 18 2013 11:48AM

Canucks General Manager Mike Gillis appears poised to enter this season with star goaltender Roberto Luongo - the subject of endless trade rumours for the past seven months or so - still on the roster. In an appearance on the Team 1040 morning show hosted by Scott Rintoul and Vancouver Province beat-writer Jason Botchford, Mike Gillis was asked by Botchford to directly address whether or not the team was in fact "asking for too much" in return for the league's second best goaltender and his monster life-time contract.

Not one to mince words or dance around the issue, Gillis responded with guns blazing and took a shot at the Maple Leafs and what he obviously sees as their manipulation of the sports media in the Toronto market:

"Fair value is different for every team that you speak to because they have different players, they have different concerns and different contractual issues that play into what they have available that you might want. The notion that we were asking for too much was floated in the Toronto media by a team that was extremely interested in acquiring Roberto and were using every means possible to try and force us to do something that we didn't think was right. That's nothing new in this business and it's' not the type of pressure that I'm going to succumb too."

Thems fighting words! Read on past the jump.

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Evening Headshots January 17th

Thomas Drance
January 17 2013 08:06PM


Vancity Buzz thinks Zack Kassian is a dead ringer for Richard Simmons.
I triple doggy dare them to say that to his face.

In lieu of any preseason matches this year, the Canucks held a scrimmage on Wednesday night. Here's a round up of observations from Brad ZeimerCam Cole, Patrick Johnston and Ben Kuzma.

Our pal Jeff Angus, who is moving on up, made his debut at Canucks.nhl.com with a two part fantasy hockey primer. Congrats to Jeff and the good folks at Canucks.nhl.com for making a smart, smart hire.

Cam Charron lambasts the notion that the so called "Luongo rule" will have a negative impact on the star goaltender's trade value. The crux of Cam's argument is that there are no guarantee that Luongo will retire early and that the cap-hit would most likely be manageable anyway. Also that the penalty is so far off that, well, who really cares? So basically the "Luongo rule" is exactly like the budget deficit.

Jordan Bowman put together a Canucks scavanger hunt that you can keep with you during the season, and cross things like "John Garrett mentions cheese on the broadcast" or "John Garrett mentions a show he likes on the broadcast" off the list as they happen! In real time! Funny stuff.

Jason Botchford chats with Cory Schneider about critical moments in his evolution as a player, and the anxiety attack that caused him to cramp up in game six of the first round series against Chicago in 2011. 

In "best things that happened on the internet today" DownGoesBrown and Blogge Salming dropped a parody trailer "Luongo Unchained." Featuring Brian Burke lines like, "Davey [Nonis] you had my attention, but now you have my job" this is just excellent, excellent stuff. Nice write up from Pass it to Bulis too.

More Canucks news and links after the jump.

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Strombabble: Tick Tock

Thomas Drance
January 17 2013 03:52PM


Eight months after you started this stupid series, and you're still writing these huh Drance?

The closer we get to the opening of the lockout shortened 2013 NHL season, set to begin for the Canucks in something like 52 hours (as of the time of this writing), the more likely it seems that Roberto Luongo will remain with the team to start the season. If that's the case, Alain Vigneault appears likely to start Roberto Luongo in one of the team's two games this weekend (against Edmonton or Anaheim):

To add to the mounting evidence that Luongo could remain in Vancouver: the Toronto Maple Leafs, long thought to be the most likely Luongo trade destination have recently gutted their centre depth by trading Matt Lombardi to Phoenix, losing Keith Aucoin on waivers to the Islanders, and waiving fragile offensive centreman Tim Connolly on Thursday. It's beginning to look an awful lot like Tyler Bozak and Nazem Kadri - the two most oft-rumoured Maple Leafs who might be sent to the Canucks in a Luongo package - will play key roles on the Maple Leafs this season.

So what are some of the advantages to keeping Luongo, and what's the potential downside? Could this really hapen or is Canucks General Manager Mike Gillis simply working to a particularly excruciating deadline as is his usual modus operandi?

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Cory Schneider says his Game Six Cramp in Chicago in 2011 was the result of "Anxiety"

Thomas Drance
January 17 2013 11:35AM

Back in 2011, the Canucks dressed Cory Schneider over incumbent netminder Roberto Luongo for a critical game six in the Mad-House. You might remember it, since it remains the biggest single story in Vancouver sports history.

We all know what came next: the Canucks dominated the Blackhawks throughout the game, and Cory Schneider made some excellent saves but also some really bad decisions handling the puck. Ultimately he left the game when he cramped up following a converted Michael Frolik penalty-shot goal that tied the game. Vancouver went on to lose in overtime, before "slaying the dragon" in game seven.  

In talking about that contest with Cory Schneider on Wednesday, Jason Botchford got Vancouver's presumptive number one goaltender this season to make a scintilating admission. According to Cory Schneider, when he cramped up in Chicago in game six it wasn't dehydration, it wasn't anything physical at all in fact - rather he was dealing with anxiety that forced him from the game. 

Read on past the jump.

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