May 24 2013 03:43PM
When the NHL came out of the last lockout, Markus Naslund hit unrestricted free agency for three days. The Vancouver Canucks got him under contract—three years, six-million per—and the city breathed a sigh of relief.
Nobody, I guess, told then-general manager Dave Nonis that you can't bank on 32-year-old players to bring you the same Art Ross-level scoring touch. With Naslund locked up through his 34-year-old season, a 30-year-old Todd Bertuzzi and a 30-year-old Brendan Morrison, the general feeling in Vancouver was that this team, at the end of their prime years, would get a couple more kicks at the can under Nonis, who spent his first offseason keeping together the same group that Brian Burke had assembled.
May 24 2013 08:27AM
Will Vancouver park their newly purchased AHL franchise at this arena next season?
Photograph by: Manuel Palomino Arjona, via eventseeker.com
We've tracked the scuttlebutt about the Canucks's American Hockey League affiliate kerfuffle extensively over the past year - from the Abbotsford rumours, through to their somewhat messy divorce with the Wolves, to the club's purchase of the Peoria Rivermen franchise. When we last checked in on this developing story, the hottest gossip was that Vancouver may let their newly purchased AHL franchise go dormant for a year and scatter their prospects across a variety of north american minor leagues.
Well, thankfully, it now appears that the Canucks are zeroing in on a deal with "a specific city that hasn’t been concluded yet." So that's good news. We should hear more about the deal soon too according to Mike Gillis - who addressed the situation in an apperance on the Team1040 on Thursday - and told Matt Sekeres and Blake Price that, "Hopefully we’ll be ready to announce something by the middle of next week."
Read past the jump.
May 23 2013 02:44PM
We knew it was coming, and around 12:30 Pacifc Time yesterday afternoon Louis Jean of TVA Sports broke the news that the Canucks had fired head coach Alain Vigneault and associate coaches Rick Bowness and Newell Brown.
In my view, if we were to draw up an off-season priority list of what will help the Canucks win more games next season, the coaching situation would be near the bottom of the list. But professional hockey, in some ways, is as much about public relations as it is on-ice success, and someone needed to be held accountable for the 1-8 playoff record of the past two seasons. Unsurprisingly, that someone was Alain Vigneault.
Let's roundup what's being said about AV's dismissal around the hockey web after the jump.
May 23 2013 11:04AM
Bobby Ryan - Michael Miller Wikicommons
The reason Alex Edler’s name is popping up in trade speculation isn’t because he is bad. On the contrary – of all Vancouver skaters, he arguably has the highest trade value. Smart teams would probably prefer Dan Hamhuis to Edler, but Edler is younger, bigger, and puts up better numbers. For most people in hockey, that equates to more trade value.
May 23 2013 06:47AM
On Wednesday night, during the Coaches Corner segment in the first intermission of CBC's broadcast of Pittsburgh's dismantling of the Ottawa Senaotrs, the always colourful and confusing Don Cherry addressed Alain Vigneault's recent dismissal. Needless to say, Grapes's assessment of the playoff performances of the Sedin twins and the management skills of Canucks General Manager Mike Gillis wasn't altogether charitable.
We've embedded the video above for your viewing pleasure, or you can watch it over at the CBC's website. Alternatively, you can click past the jump where we've transcribed Cherry's comments and also parsed his arguments because that's how we do.