June 27 2013 09:08AM
The Canucks have seemingly made a habit of avoiding picking players from the WHL at the NHL Draft in recent years, especially with high draft picks (Taylor Ellington notwithstanding). Year after year this fact is lamented by fans who watch hometown kids develop into NHL studs like Milan Lucic and Brendan Gallagher.
The Canucks will be re-emphasizing the WHL at the draft this year – just as they should. The WHL is a fantastic developmental league, the second biggest source of NHL draft picks, and it's about time that the team used its geographical advantage.
June 27 2013 07:35AM
Keith Ballard is Vancouver's prime buyout candidate.
Screencap via Canucks TV
The NHL's "first buyout window" opened late last night, at 8PM PST. It will extend through regular NHL business hours (or until 5 PM EST, 2 PM PST) on July 4th, the eve of free-agency. For this season and next the buyout window will be especially interesting because, per the terms of the 2013 NHL/NHLPA collective bargaining agreement (CBA), teams will be able to use a maximum of two "compliance buyouts," or buyouts which will carry zero salary cap ramifications. We broke down the mechanism in detail earlier this month if you want a quick primer.
June 26 2013 07:01PM
Don Taylor wastes no time trying to goad John Tortorella in a controversial answer about Larry Brooks.
Today at Canucks Army we broke down essentially every method the Canucks might use to get out from under Roberto Luongo's contract, and took a longer look at Mike Gillis's draft strategy as it pertains to player age.
Read past the jump for more Canucks links and other goodies!
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.
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.