Team of Rivals: Canucks Coaching Search Edition

Thomas Drance
June 17 2013 02:39PM


Photoshop courtesy @MHenderson95 and @HarrisonMooney

We all know the story. The Canucks were eliminated from the postseason six weeks ago, and took sixteen days to fire Alain Vigneault (who has subsequently been hired by Glen Sather and the New York Rangers). In the four weeks since Vigneault's firing the Canucks have interviewed no fewer than seven potential bench bosses that we know about, including:

While the Canucks have appeared indecisive at times during this process, it really does make good sense for the organization to cast a wide net in their search. First of all, the head hunting excercise can be - and probably has been - used as a fact finding tool. Secondly, it's always possible that additional coaches come on the market (like Tortorella did, like Bylsma didn't, and like Dave Tippett might). Thirdly, the team has three vacant positions on their coaching staff. Maybe it makes sense to build your coaching staff along the lines of Lincoln's "Team of Rivals" (as outlined by Dorris Kearns Goodwin).

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The Utica Comets: a long-term fit or a short-term solution?

Thomas Drance
June 17 2013 12:47PM


Image via Canucks.nhl.com

Last week the Canucks finalized an agreement with Utica, New York to place an American Hockey League team in the Mohawk Valley. On Friday the deal and the team's logo and jersey was officially unveiled at a Press Conference in Utica.

Geographically speaking, Utica is far from an ideal spot for Vancouver's top farm team. But in agreeing to a deal with Utica the Canucks come out net winners on balance. First of all, the club avoided having their AHL affiliate franchise go dormant and dodged a player development nightmare in doing so. Secondly, the club will be in a better position next year - even in Utica - then they were this past season when they reportedly clashed with their Chicago Wolves affiliate over a variety of issues.

Still as more details about the deal emerge, we're interested in looking forward. What does the affiliation deal between Utica, New York and the Vancouver Canucks tell us about the teams future plans and the future of professional hockey in the Mohawk Valley? We'll get into it after the jump.

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Canucks Team Needs: Third Line Centre

Thomas Drance
June 17 2013 11:17AM


In looking for a depth centre this summer, Mike Gillis has to do better than Samme Pahlsson.

That the Canucks have struggled mightily to replace Manny Malhotra over the past couple of seasons is, or at least should be, obvious to anyone who has followed the Canucks closely the past few years. General Manager Mike Gillis even admitted as much in a Team1040 appearance earlier this month, describing the loss of Manny Malhotra as "devastating" and adding that "I know some people think you just go out and replace those kind of guys but you don’t."

Whether replacing your ideal third-line centreman Manny Malhotra is easy or not, it's something this Canucks club requires this summer. Malhotra's eye-injury left a lacuna in the middle of the club's third-line, a breach that the club has sought to address at consecutive trade deadlines with the acquisitions of Samme Pahlsson and Derek Roy respectively. Needless to say, neither Pahlsson nor Roy proved up to the task.

With Henrik Sedin turning thirty-three this offseason and Ryan Kesler beginning to earn a reputation as "injury prone" the club's lack of top-nine centre depth has taken on an increased degree of urgency this summer. It is, without doubt, the team's greatest area of need, which is why the third-line centre position will kick off our "Canucks Team Needs" series this week. Read past the jump.

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"Seattle Coyotes" getting hotter, KING 5 TV reports

Patrick Johnston
June 16 2013 04:56PM


Key Arena would seat 11,000 for hockey (wikimedia commons)

Reports from Seattle TV station KING 5 suggest that Chris Hansen's efforts to bring more big league sports teams to the Emerald City are very real.

Quoting a statement by Seattle's mayor, Mike McGinn, Hansen introduced a pair of potential investors to Seattle city council. McGinn said to KING TV, "As recent news reports indicate, it appears the NHL is taking the new ownership proposal seriously."

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The Price of Punches

Blake Murphy
June 16 2013 09:51AM


Screencap via hockeyfights.com,

Tom Sestito can punch a face. You could even say he's good at face-punching (though Hockeyfights.com voters appear to disagree). People seem to like that and I like a good tilt, too, and some even think it's a necessary skill required by Natioanl Hockey League hockey teams.

So some people are probably happy with the Canucks re-upping Sestito for two years at $750,000 per season. Because Tom Sestito can punch a face.

Unfortunately, Tom Sestito isn't particularly good at hockey.

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