Canucks Front Runners for Justin Schultz?

Thomas Drance
June 26 2012 12:20PM

Canucks fans have long believed that Justin Schultz is probably Vancouver bound.

The desires of Canucks fans, however, have to be taken with a heaping of sea salt: every B.C. born defenseman in recent memory has been rumoured to want - in their heart of hearts - to come home and help the Canucks win a Cup. From Hamhuis, to Garrison, to Weber: the sea-to-sky boners from this fan-base endure through all contrary evidence.

But with "Justin Schultz decision day" nearing - the notion that the Canucks are a front-runner for Schultz's services is beginning to crop up more and more from respected reporters, insiders and even other NHL teams - and not just among the most optimistic Canucks fans.

Click past the jump for more.

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Deal is Final: Arniel to Coach the Chicago Wolves

Thomas Drance
June 26 2012 11:37AM

Welcome back, Scotty.

The long rumoured deal between the Vancouver Canucks and former Manitoba Moose and Columbus Blue Jackets head-coach Scott Arniel has finally been consummated this morning. Scott Arniel will join the Canucks organization, and be the head-coach of the team's AHL affiliate the Chicago Wolves next season. Here's the official press release introducing Scott Arniel from

Click past the jump for more.

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Pavel Bure's Complicated Legacy

Thomas Drance
June 26 2012 09:57AM

Haha Mathieu Schneider...

That Pavel Bure is one of the most lethal and electrifying net-fillers in the history of hockey, and the single most talented player to ever don some variation of a Canuck jersey is beyond doubt. Bure's resume is littered with accomplishments, but beyond that and his talent, he was also unique. He combined being one of the three best pure skaters of all-time (behind Bobby Orr, and just ahead of Paul Coffey or Scott Niedermayer - as you prefer) with having the skill level to pull off ridiculous dekes and lovely finishes, even while moving at a top-speed that we haven't seen anyone reach since.

With the potency of his game, and the excitement he brought to the ice on a nightly basis, Pavel Bure meant a lot to the game of hockey, especially in the city of Vancouver. He was largely responsible for turning countless folks my age, who grew up in Vancouver while he was in his prime, into die-hard hockey fans. 

But today, he will likely be snubbed by the Hall of Fame's selection committee for a seventh time. He's been unable to get his due from the NHL, and he's yet to be recognized by the Canucks organization either. Heading into next season, he remains outside the Canucks' "Ring of Honour," and his number doesn't hang in the rafters. Most of us would, I think, be surprised (albeit pleasantly surprised) if that changed over the course of the summer.

While Bure had oodles of success over the course of his injury-shortened career, was a unique talent, and was inarguably one of the top-five pure goal scorers of all time; his contentious legacy, and continued exclusion from being duly recognition on several fronts amounts to an odd indignity. I think it's worth spilling some digital ink over, so click past the jump.

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Contract News: Gragnani, Rome, Ebbett, Duco, Oreskovich all on their way out

Thomas Drance
June 25 2012 03:18PM

Last summer, I would often tell my Twitter followers to disregard much of what the @News1130Sports twitter feed put out there. It was inconsistent, and occasionally misinformed and misleading. But it has undergone some sort of massive revamp and has become - easily - the most up to date source for breaking Canucks news over the past month.

The 1130 feed was the first out of the gate reporting the qualifying offers to Schneider, Lack and Weise several days ago, then broke the "Jensen to play in Sweden" news late last week, and today has been nailing it on unqualified restricted free-agents, and on which of Vancouver's pending Unrestricted Free Agents are likely to hit the open market in five days time. Kudos to them for their good work, they're are absolutely crushing it of late and are a must follow.

Today they gave us another round of breaking news regarding the status of Aaron Rome, Andrew Ebbett and Victor Oreskovich. Later in the day Ben Kuzma broke the news regarding the status of Ryan Parent, Marc-Andre Gragnani and Mike Duco, none of whom will return to the team.

We now have a pretty clear picture of who the Canucks will retain this summer, and who will be on their way out of the door. Let's spend a moment on each, discuss their Vancouver tenure, and touch on how easy or difficult they'll be to replace.

Click "Read More" to do just that. 

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Strombabble: as the dust settles

Thomas Drance
June 25 2012 12:39PM

As the NHL Draft came and went, and the dust began to settle, Roberto Luongo remained the property of the Vancouver Canucks. As the draft concluded on Saturday afternoon, Gillis played coy, and rejected the notion that the draft was any sort of formal deadline for a trade: "[a Luongo deal is] certainly not going to be done because of the pressure of selecting kids who in all likelihood aren't going to be significantly involved in this team." But the reality of the situation is that he's taking on a considerable level of risk with his obstinance.

Of course, Luongo's continued presence on the Canucks roster set off a new round of conflicting reports, anonymously sourced rumours and other scuttlebutt.

With that in mind let's dust off another installment in our Strombabble series, and dissect what's reportedly going on with Gillis' asking price, the possibility of Luongo ending up on Vancouver's AHL affiliate farm-team, and the more outlandish possibility of Luongo "steering" a potential trade toward his preferred destination - Vancouver's quadruple A farm-team: the Florida Dale Tallons.

Read past the jump for more.

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