Canucks 2013 NHL Draft Preview: "Lottery picks" and Mike Gillis' draft strategy

Cam Charron
June 26 2013 04:44PM

The Canucks selected 20-year-old Alexandre Mallet in the 2nd round last season (via Youtube)

Doubt I'll get away with saying it on this blog, but one of the reasons I wanted the Bruins to win the Stanley Cup is because I respect how their organization was built. The core players on the team, Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara, Tuukka Rask and David Krejci, weren't acquired because the team was bad for several years in a row and earned a bunch of lottery picks.

Chicago has Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. Los Angeles had Drew Doughty. The Pittsburgh Penguins had Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal (who they turned into other stuff). One of the issues afflicting the NHL right now is that it's really tough to win without top talent, and it's tough to acquire top talent without being terrible for a few years in a row without getting very lucky at the draft table.

(Yes, Boston has Tyler Seguin, but he wasn't drafted with the Bruins' pick, nor was he a real core guy throughout the playoffs, scoring a single goal).

I have to credit Mike Gillis for looking for a way around this core "rewaring failure issue." While his team was picking low in the draft each season, he had the idea of drafting older players that better fit into the team's minor league system. Now on the organization's third AHL team in four seasons, Gillis' vision of a powerful AHL team that quickly fit NCAA grads hasn't exactly come to fruition. Rather than look for younger, high-risk, high-reward players, Gillis wanted immediacy.

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Strombabble: Salary Cap Surgery

Thomas Drance
June 26 2013 02:23PM

Image via wikimedia commons.

In the immortal, tasteful words of the popular early oughts band Staind: "Its been a while."

Distracted by Vancouver's seven week coaching search and a variety of American Hockey League gymnastics of late, we haven't spilled any digital ink on the topic of trading Roberto Luongo in what seems like forever. What's clear is that the best goaltender in franchise history, one way or another, won't be in training camp next fall. What's less clear is precisely how the gold medalist and former Hart Trophy nominee will punch his ticket out of Vancouver.

Let's handicap the possibilities after the jump.

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Late Night Headshots: June 26th

Thomas Drance
June 26 2013 12:17AM

The new Canucks brain trust.
Image via Jay Durant.

Today at Canucks Army we wondered whether or not the Canucks accidentally leaked their 2010 NHL Draft board, looked at the opening of the John Tortorella era in Vancouver, recapped both of his press conferences - the one with the fans, and the one with the media - and complimented the Canucks on their clever alt-media blitz.

More Canucks news - but who are we kidding, really it's just a recap of reactions to the John Tortorella hire - after the jump.

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Tortorella Has a Five Year Deal, Wants the Twins to Kill Penalties and Doesn't Use

Thomas Drance
June 25 2013 03:37PM

Image via

As the book opens on the John Tortorella era in Vancouver, the Canucks unveiled a clever media blitz and deployed a lobotomized Willy Loman version of Tortorella in an interview with the fans. As such, Tortorella had made a mostly favourable impression on the fan-base before he even met with reporters on Tuesday afternoon in Vancouver.

During Tuesday afternoon's newser, Tortorella and Mike Gillis address a wide variety of concerns about the coaching hire and answered questions on topics like style of play, what this Canucks club needs to get back to the summit, and how involved ownership was in the hiring of the man who prefers to go by "Torts." It was a disappointing performance, in that it was a mostly respectful affair with Tortorella even showing contrition for his handling of the media in the past, but there was still a lot of grist for us to chew over.

Click past the jump for more.

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"Call me Torts" - John Tortorella's interview with the fans

Patrick Johnston
June 25 2013 01:23PM

"Just call me Torts," John Tortorella said casually, "I've been called a lot of things but I prefer Torts."

And so went the John Tortorella vs the fans Youtube-powered chat.

You only need to look back to the comments to see what was the point of the Canucks' approach to introducing their new coach.

This was about John Tortorella the salesman; the kinder, gentler Tortorella. 

"There won't be much Torts vs Brooksie here," was the suggestion.

La plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose.

And so it went, as the Canucks showed off their shiny new thing on Tuesday morning, hoping no one would notice that while the window dressing was new, the inside of the shop remained much the same.

More after the jump.

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