Game #37 Preview: Oilers @ Canucks

Dimitri Filipovic
April 04 2013 01:52PM

Last time out, Taylor Hall had his way with the Canucks en route to a quick hat-trick.

I guess you could say the two teams going up against each other at Rogers Arena on Thursday night are heading into the game going in different directions. Which to me, is funny, because the team that has their fans feeling pessimistic has earned 5 points more than the one that has their's suddenly feeling cocky, through the same number of games, despite missing a whole whack of key pieces. It's all about perception and expectations...

The Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers - the two squads I was referring to in the paragraph above, obviously - do battle for the fourth time this season. You'll note that the game starts 30 minutes later than the usual start time for home games (7:30 PM PST); it's Canucks for Kids Fund Telethon night!

More on what should be a good game just after the jump.

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Flames: "We remain committed to our fans and partners in Abbotsford"

Thomas Drance
April 04 2013 11:29AM

It has been rumoured for months that the Canucks would attempt to supplant the Abbotsford Heat with their own AHL affiliate in the Fraser Valley. That chatter has picked up steam recently as the Team 1040's Tom Mayenknecht reported that the Canucks would purchase the Peoria Rivermen (which did happen earlier this week) with an eye on moving them to some local destination (preferably Abbotsford). 

The stumbling block has long been the presence of the Calgary Flames, who are in the third year of a ten year lease agreement with the city of Abbotsford. From the sounds of it - though, of course we should take such statements with a dumptruck load of salt - the Flames don't exactly sound eager to facilitate the deal.

Read on past the jump.

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Luongo Non-Trade Reax

Thomas Drance
April 03 2013 09:02PM

The big story for the Canucks at the deadline was what didn't happen. Roberto Luongo wasn't shipped out of town as many expected he might be when he was pulled off of the ice just ten minutes prior to noon Pacific Time. Luogno was emotional at a press conference afterwards even admitting that his contract "sucks." Mike Gillis was a bit more circumspect.

Let's roundup what's being said about Vancouver's inability to move their star backup goaltender elsewhere, on the other side of the jump.

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Zack Kassian called up, Bill Sweatt Returned to the Wolves

Thomas Drance
April 03 2013 06:03PM

After a "conditioning" stint with the Chicago Wolves, that was reportedly a disciplinary stint in actual fact, Zack Kassian has been recalled from the Chicago Wolves. In total Zack Kassian only played a single game with the Wolves during his slap-on-wrist re-assignment, and scored a goal early in Chicago's 5-3 victory over the San Antonio Rampage.

Kassian will now re-join the Canucks, presumably for Thursday night's home game against the Edmonton Oilers. Meanwhile the team has returned Bill Sweatt to Chicago.

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2013 Trade Deadline Recap: The Long Game, Desperation and Managing Expectations

Thomas Drance
April 03 2013 05:41PM

The 2013 trade deadline played out in atypical fashion for Mike Gillis and the Canucks. Over the years Mike Gillis has seemingly played his cards at the deadline in a relatively predictable and conservative fashion: rarely acquiring pure rental players, and almost always sneaking in a buzzer beating deal, the terms of which usually aren't made public until well after the deadline's expiration.

This season Mike Gillis got his shopping done early and plugged the team's biggest hole by acquiring Derek Roy, a pure rental, from Dallas for prospect Kevin Connauton and a 2nd round pick. He then stood pat on deadline day and made headlines by not trading Roberto Luongo - though he reportedly tried desperately - who was clearly emotional as a result of Mike Gillis' inaction.

Let's unpack some big picture themes that have emerged from Wednesday's events.

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