Comets Militia Weekly Prospect Report - April 3rd, 2014

Josh W
April 03 2014 03:17PM

Great Picture of a CanucksArmy Blogger via Utica Comets Fans Facebook

While the Canucks continue to slough towards a top-8 pick in the draft the Utica Comets are continuing to make their final push towards earning a playoff spot in their inaugural season. This weekend was very critical for points as they were playing back-to-back-to-back games with two against the Abbotsford Heat at home. 

But it's not just "playoff season" in the AHL -- The WHL and OHL are just starting their second rounds, the NLA and the SHL in Europe are well underway in their post season, and most teams have already been eliminated in the NCAA as we head towards the Frozen Four.

Read on to find out how your Vancouver Canucks prospects are performing in their respective leagues. And as always, feel free to follow me on Twitter @nuckprospects for the latest in prospect news. You're more than welcome to send me any feedback on anything prospect related you wish for me to cover in the future.

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Gillis speaks: embattled GM pitches fans on return to uptempo hockey

Thomas Drance
April 03 2014 01:19PM

It's fair to say that Vancouver Canucks general manager Mike Gillis has generally come across as sour, dour, and irascible during his regular Team 1040 appearances over the years. 

Even when he's working out to Bob Marley, in a situation where we might reasonably expect the THC and the endorphins to be flowing, the Canucks president and general manager has often seemed like a guy who'd literally rather be anywhere else in the world other than appearing on local sports talk radio to be grilled by the likes of Matt Sekeres, Scott Rintoul or Jason Botchford, or, alternatively, sucked up to by the Bro.

All of that huff and bluster which we've come to expect was conspicuously missing from Gillis' 1040 appearance on Thursday morning, however, as the embattled team executive appeared to be laying out a pitch to fans. The substance of that pitch: a return to the sort of high-tempo, entertaining style of hockey that the Canucks have gotten away from over the past several seasons.

It's a tough sales job facing a general manager and an organization coming off of a cataclysmic season like that which the Canucks have endured, and are still enduring. And it may not just be the fans that Gillis has to convince, which the general manager seemed well aware of as he admitted: "I'm not sure I'll be back next year." 

We'll unpack Gillis' comments after the jump.

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My love-hate relationship with Ryan Kesler

The Stanchion
April 03 2014 11:14AM


With the Canucks season quickly turning into golfing season, it leaves many Canucks writers with few options of what to talk about. You either write about who/what was to blame for the bad season, or you write about lemon loaf recipes. 

Seeing as how Dimitri has a killer lemon loaf recipe queued up for later this week (it involves 2 tablespoons of the tears of Canucks fans and 1 cup of failed Stanley Cup aspirations), I was going to write a piece on how Roger Takahashi was to blame for the failed 2014 season. 

However, I figure I can save that Takahashi attack piece for the draft, and instead I want to use today to talk about Ryan Kesler. With Kesler's future up in the air like that of a cliffhanger of a Spanish soap opera, it has made me reflect upon the time Ryan has spent in Vancouver.

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The Final 5 Tank Battles of 2013-14

Dimitri Filipovic
April 02 2014 04:07PM

Screen Shot 2014-04-02 at 1.27.23 PM
via @CrownRoyal22

It has been a steady, progressive, and miserable fall from grace for the Vancouver Canucks this season, as they've seen any hopes they had for a playoff run evaporate into thin air. It seems like it was ages age now, but in reality it was only 3 months ago that this team was sitting pretty with a 23-11-6 following a 2-0 victory against the Calgary Flames. They won 10 times in December, losing only once in regulation for the entirety of that month. 

Here comes the "buuuttttt.." -- but then, absolutely everything - and I. mean. everything. - fell apart. A rash of injuries to key players (the blueline was decimated, but Henrik Sedin's was the most critical for my money) coincided with a drastic uptick in the difficulty of the schedule, and their inability to get any sort of puck luck was reflected by the catacylsmic dip in their PDO

It was essentially hockey's on-ice version of a natural disaster. That's how we've gotten to this point; it's April 2nd, and instead of figuring out the playoff path of least resistance we're spending our time trying to grease the wheels of that tank pictured above.

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Rangers, Vigneault get the last (and never ending) chuckle in return to Vancouver

Thomas Drance
April 01 2014 11:54PM

On Tuesday night the Vancouver Canucks welcomed former bench boss Alain Vigneault and his New York Rangers to the friendly, if sparsely attended, confines of Rogers Arena. Vancouver's club played really well against an Eastern Conference team that I personally expect to make the Conference Finals, assuming Ryan McDonagh's apparent shoulder injury isn't too serious, of course. 

But despite a Herculean effort from Vancouver's top-line the Canucks lost 3-1 and came undone thanks to some weak special teams play. 

Read past the jump for more.

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