Afternoon Headshots: June 10th

Thomas Drance
June 10 2013 05:54PM


Canucks coaching front runner John Stevens really likes to help save Kittens.
Sticktap SA2 for the tip.

Today at Canucks Army we reacted to the Dallas Eakins hire, looked at the upcoming deadline for the Canucks to figure out where to park their AHL affiliate, and plotted ways to fill Vancouver's need in the middle of their fourth line. Also, there's only one week remaining to enter the CanucksArmy Gear T-Shirt Design Contest, check out the rules and the submissions we've recieved so far!

Click past the jump for Canucks news, links and more!

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Fixing the Fourth Line: The Center of Attention

Jeff Angus
June 10 2013 03:10PM

 
Max Lapierre - Wikicommons Media

Last week, we looked at some internal and external options for the Canucks to use for the fourth line wings. On the left side, there isn't much organizatonal depth, and my suggestion was to find a proven NHL player (Blake Comeau, for example). On the right side, though, it makes sense to bring Restricted Free Agent Dale Weise back, as he has proven to be an effective player at times and he is still fairly young. Zack Kassian is also an option, but the club is likely hoping that he steps into a top nine spot and stays there.

How about up the middle? Once a strong suit of the Canucks, the center ice position has been in disarray in recent years, due to the freak eye injury to Manny Malhotra and the spate of injuries to Ryan Kesler. Maxim Lapierre likely won't be back (all indications point to the club wanting to go a different direction), and he served the team well during his two years here. However, he isn't an irreplaceable player, and there are several intriguing options for the spot both within and outside the organization.

Let's look at a few of them.

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CanucksArmy Gear: T-Shirt Design Contest Update

Thomas Drance
June 10 2013 01:00PM

You may have missed it last week, but we're launching CanucksArmy Gear with a T-Shirt Design contest and you still have time to submit a design and win!  The winner will receive five free t-shirts with the winning design,

Once again here are the contest rules: Please avoid using any official NHL or team logos. Also no player names or likenesses. Finally, by submitting a design and accepting a prize in this contest, you agree that CanucksArmy and the Nation Network owns the rights to that design in perpetuity going forward. Submit your designs to Thom.Drance@gmail.com.

Read past the jump for a gallery of t-shirt designs that have already been submitted from our readers!

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One Way or Another, the Canucks' AHL Affiliate Situation Will be Resolved This Week

Thomas Drance
June 10 2013 11:37AM

 

The Canucks are facing a deadline this week. Basically the organization needs to have their ducks in a row regarding a location for their recently purchased AHL team by Wednesday, so that any agreement can be voted on and approved by the AHL's Board of Governors on Thursday. If the club can't secure a deal with the "specific city" that they were getting close to a deal with - that "specific city" has been rumoured to be Utica, New York by the way - then the Peoria Rivermen franchise could go dormant for the season. 

If the Canucks shutter their AHL affiliate for the year, the organization's thin crop of prospect talent will be loaned across the league, which would be a bit of a nightmare scenario for the club. Alternatively, if the Canucks can complete a deal that's acceptable to the AHL's Board of Governors this week with the city of Utica, they'll operate a franchise in the Mohawk Valley. That would be an outcome which, while significantly more attractive than the alternative, would still represent a less than ideal situation.

We'll summarize the latest AHL-related Canucks gossip after the jump.

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Former Canucks Employee Makes Swift Management Decision

Thomas Drance
June 10 2013 09:59AM


Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

The news broke over the weekend that Edmonton Oilers General Manager Craig MacTavish was poised to fire Ralph Krueger and replace him with Marlies bench boss Dallas Eakins - the brighest, shiniest thing on the coaching market this June. Krueger was fired over Skype this past weekend and at some point later today Eakins will officially take over as the twelfth headcoach in the history of the Oilers as an NHL franchise, and the team's fourth coach in the past five years.

This was disappointing news for some Canucks fans, who understandably wanted the Canucks to bring in the highly-touted, high-cheekboned, young Marlies coach. Maybe they got their hopes up a bit too high when Dallas Eakins had a second interview with the Canucks late last week.

Ultimately while Mike Gillis hemmed, hawed and preferred to wait to interview the likes of John Stevens, his former minor league headcoach Craig MacTavish struck quickly, and almost impulsively, in choosing Dallas Eakins as "his guy."

We'll look at the Dallas Eakins hiring through the prism of Vancouver's own search for a new headcoach after the jump.

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