September 17 2012 03:42PM
Lost in the din of Doan decision day and Alex Burrows' four year, 18 million dollar extension - was news that the Canucks re-assigned 23 skaters to their AHL affiliate club the Chicago Wolves. Included in the list of re-assigned prospects were guys like Chris Tanev and Zack Kassian, two players who would've been locks to make the Canucks' NHL roster if not for the lockout.
This isn't a Canucks specific trend. The AHL will be packed with young talent this season, including NHL quality talents like Gabriel Landeskog, Jeff Skinner, Cody Hodgson, Jordan Eberle and maybe even Oliver Ekman-Larsson. This creates a unique developmental situation, since the quality of competition in the American Hockey League is likely to be significantly elevated in the first month (or more) of the season.
Let's parse through the list of re-assigned players, and look at which Canucks prospects stand to benefit most from additional AHL seasoning.
September 17 2012 09:56AM
After a summer in which, Roberto Luongo proved immovable do I still think the gold medal winning goaltender will call a city other than Vancouver "home" by the time the puck drops on the 2012-13 NHL season? Yes, I do. I'm just not as bullish about it as I was back in July, when it seemed to be a certainty.
After everything that has transpired and been said in the media, it would be a rather questionable decision to have Roberto go back into that locker room. Also, allocating north of $9 million in cap space between the pipes would be a spot of uncharacteristically bad asset management from the Canucks' management team.
At the same time, it has been made abundantly clear that Gillis is not in the business of trading away a top-10 goaltender, in his prime, just for the sake of trading him. Given the reluctance of teams such as Florida and Toronto to part ways with their young talent, we're caught in the midst of the ultimate game of chicken.
Based on everything he's done in his career (as a retired NHLer taking on Alan Eagleson, as a player agent, and as a General Manager), I've got my money on Gillis not being the first one to blink. Gillis' willful patience is a major reason why we should, at this point, assume that the Canucks will enter the season with Roberto Luongo as part of the team. Until something happens, at least.
September 15 2012 05:01PM
Speaking with lawyers is often a good way to get to the root of the argument.
Earlier this week, some interesting concepts emerged from a recent conversation I had with a pair of lawyers I know in Toronto. With the lockout beginning officially on Saturday night at 11:59 PM EST, I figured I'd share four points of particular interest. Check them out after the jump.
September 15 2012 01:38PM
Today is September 15, the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement between the NHL and NHLPA. Tonight, barring an 11th-hour miracle, the league will lock out its players and begin yet another in a seemingly endless cycle of work stoppages.
If that happens, I have a promise to both sides.
September 15 2012 11:11AM
Althought David Booth may not want to hear it, the best shot fired at a bear last season from a Canuck came from someone else. January 7th, 2012 was a date that Boston and Vancouver fans, coaches, management, and most importantly players had circled in their calendars for months (and months). It was the first time that the two teams were going to face each other since Boston defeated Vancouver in seven games during the 2011 Stanley Cup Final.