Cap Crunch Watch: Keith Ballard on Waivers

Thomas Drance
July 01 2013 01:56PM

With the Canucks deciding not to trade Alex Edler on Sunday before the Swedish blue-liners no-trade clause kicked in, it's pretty clear that the inglorious Keith Ballard era in Vancouver is at an end. The Canucks placed the talented, frustrating, over-priced seventh defenceman on waivers today; and not the unconditional variety of waivers, which a player must clear before a team can excercise a "compliance buyout" on that players contract...

It would be a Miracle on Ice level upset if Keith Ballard were claimed by an NHL team on waivers for the full price of his deal. After all anyone who visits and sees that the club has seven players to sign, and a hair more than four million in cap-space, can figure out that one way or another the math doesn't make sense in Vancouver unless the Canucks can get rid of Ballard's deal. Or is there a way to make the math make sense?

Read past the jump for more.

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Delivering the Sauce: Draft Day Reactions

Jeff Angus
July 01 2013 11:20AM

The CanucksArmy crew did a fantastic job of covering what was a crazy Sunday in the NHL. I found out about the Cory Schneider trade while driving back to the city from a little Seattle vacation – reading the instant reaction on Twitter was well worth the expensive data roaming charge.

There have been many opinions on the Luongo/Schneider controversy/situation over the past while. If nothing else, the trade of Schneider to New Jersey signals the end of one of the most unique/bizarre non-trades in recent memory. Schneidongo is dead and gone. Lost in the craziness yesterday – the Devils are getting a fantastic goalie and a true professional. Schneider waited patiently for almost 10 years to get a chance to start in Vancouver, and just when he was promised the role, he found himself splitting time with the best goalie in franchise history before getting shipped out of town in a surprise move...

Schneider very likely pictured winning a Cup with the Canucks (insert joke about organizational ineptitude here). He was groomed as the present – and future – of the team. But here we are, back with Luongo. Hockey is a game of mistakes, and that doesn’t include just the on ice product. Mike Gillis will get criticized for sitting on his hands by not doing something last summer, as the new CBA essentially killed whatever plans he had of trading Luongo and keeping Schneider - but could or should he have seen that coming?

Read on for more thoughts on the trade, as well as other news and notes from the weekend.

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2013 Canucks Draft Recap

Thomas Drance
June 30 2013 09:36PM

Canucks first round draft pick Bo Horvat.
Image via

The Canucks went into the 2013 NHL Draft needing to shed salary, bolster their bottom-six centre depth, add some heft to their prospect pipeline and address their goaltending log-jam. It was a tall order and the club managed to accomplish three of four, though they did so controversially and not in precisely the way most expected.

Regardless of whether or not Bo Horvat and Hunter Shinkaruk develop into stars, or whether the Canucks found serviceable NHL players in the likes of Cassels, Subban and Cederholm; Sunday, June 30th will be remembered as the day the Canucks waved the white flag on trading Roberto Luongo and moved the younger, more affordable Cory Schneider instead.

As much as the Canucks may claim, as Mike Gillis did after the conclusion of the first round, that "we didn't feel there was a drop-off in either one's play and felt (Luongo and Schneider) were both excellent, superb players," the fact is that Cory Schneider had usurped Luongo's starters mantle over the past two seasons in Vancouver. Gillis admitted that the new collective bargaining agreement tied the clubs hands, while Laurence Gilman admitted that the team was dealing from a position of weakness leverage-wise. Both the Canucks General Manager and his Assistant seemed disappointed that the club didn't manage to get a roster player, in addition to a top-pick, in their haul for Cory Schneider...

Read past the jump for more.

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Canucks Tap Young Third Pairing OHL Defender Miles Liberati with Seventh Round Pick

Thomas Drance
June 30 2013 08:28PM

Photo Via @Miles_Liberati

With their final pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, the Canucks selected a second London Knights player (in addition to 9th overall pick Bo Horvat) in American defenceman Miles Liberati. On a stacked London Knights club a season ago (a team that featured Tommy Hughes, Olli Maata, Nikita Zadorov along the blue-line) Liberati played sparringly, and recorded only nine points in forty-two games in his rookie season in Major Junior.

When Liberati did get an opportunity he showed flashes according to Corey Pronman, and he may have an opportunity to step up and play more often with Tommy Hughes graduating and Olli Maata likely in the mix for a roster spot with the Pittsburgh Penguins next season. Liberati is eighteen years old and was seventeen years old as recently as nine days ago, and he's also a CHL player who the Canucks will have to make a decision on whether or not to sign within by June 1st of 2015. As such he's a very un-Mike Gillis draft pick and bucks several trends in Vancouver's drafting habits over the past handful of seasons. 

You can follow Miles on Twitter: @miles_liberati

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Canucks select college-bound dman Mike Williamson in 6th round

Patrick Johnston
June 30 2013 07:59PM

Mike Williamson is said to be big and strong (Spruce Grove Saints/facebook)

From Spruce Grove to Penn State: how you can cover all that territory? By selecting a college-bound defenceman, as the Canucks did with Mike Williamson in the sixth round at the 2013 draft.

A two-year AJHL veteran with the Spruce Grove Saints, 19-year-old Williamson heads to Penn State in September.

It's a pick much more in keeping with the 'draft older guys' philosophy that we've so much of from the Gillis/Gilman regime.

More on the 6'3" defenceman after the jump.

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