Canucks Zeroing in on Location for AHL Affiliate, Possibly Utica

Thomas Drance
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.

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Alain Vigneault Firing Reax

Jordan_Clarke
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.

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Trading Alex Edler – Who to Target?

Jeff Angus
May 23 2013 11:04AM

Bobby Ryan - Michael Miller Wikicommons
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.

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Don Cherry Puts Mike Gillis, Sedin Twins on Blast

Thomas Drance
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.

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Gillis: "The Message Has to Change and We Have to be Better"

Thomas Drance
May 22 2013 06:05PM


Photo via wikimedia commons.

The Alain Vigneault era in Vancouver has been marked by a sparkling, consistent record of regular season success, tactical innovation and, ultimately, playoff failure. It was those playoff failures, magnified by the club's 1-8 postseason record (including no victories at home) that ultimately caught up to the controversial bench boss.

On Wednesday afternoon an agitated Mike Gillis met the media to address the firing of head coach Alain Vigneault and two associate coaches Newell Brown and Rick Bowness. Gillis personally thanked the coaches "for their dedication, commitment and the amount of hard work they put in" during their run with the Canucks. But at the end of the day, "There comes a point in time where the message has to change and we have to be better," and Wednesday was that long anticipated day of reckoning. 

Read past the jump.

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