On the "Luxury of Experimentation," and how much more conventional will the Canucks be this season?

Thomas Drance
January 07 2013 12:28PM

Not pictured: test tubes and lab coats.

In a conference call with the media on Sunday Afternoon, Canucks General Manager Mike Gillis gave an intriguing answer to a question regarding the impact a shortened season will have on his team:

"It's different in that you don't have the luxury of a full season to experiment.

You know, we were planning on introducing a number of young players, now I'm not sure how that's going to work out with a shortened schedule. We'll have to see what the conditioning level is of our players, we're confident it's going to be high because of the standards that are set here. And injuries.

Obviously with a 48 game schedule you don't have any room for experimentation or introduction unless a player is ready to play and ready to contribute. That's going to change the dynamic not only for us, but for every team in the league.

We're going to have to go with our best players every night no matter what to make sure we get into the playoffs."

In the context of the way Cody Hodgson's deployment changed over the course of his time with Vancouver last season, how the Canucks manipulated their understanding of matchups and territorial deployment to inflate his stats and trade value, and bragged over the summer about their ability to "design success" for young players; I figure this quote deserves a bit of rumination. 

Click past the jump for more.

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Strombabble: Tiresome Lockout News Instantly Replaced by Tiresome Luongo Trade Speculation

Thomas Drance
January 07 2013 10:12AM

Luongo practices in a Canucks jersey in Florida this morning.
Photo credit: Farhan Lalji.

With the new collective bargaining agreement days away from ratification and the transaction window re-opening for NHL clubs, reporters like TSN's Farhan Lalji and the Toronto Sun's Rob Longley have descended on Coral Springs, Florida - home of the Florida Panthers practice facility - to cover the drawn out but possibly, finally imminent Roberto Luongo trade.

This morning Roberto Luongo has been photographed non-stop at a practice session in Coral Springs. Not that it's Luongo's intention but when you're wearing a Canucks jersey and practicing with a former Maple Leafs goalie coach at the Florida Panthers practice facility: you're going to draw the media's attention. It's unavoidable.

So the frenzy is upon us and there are more grainy practice photos of Roberto Luongo  (like the one Farhan posted above, of Luongo wearing a Canuck practice jersey) on Twitter this morning than there are famous fakes of mythical beasts like the Sasquatch or Loch Ness. This is particularly appropriate since, by weeks end, Luongo could concievably make it into the cryptozoological journals and become a chimerical creature of the sort the world hasn't seen in nearly a decade. I'm talking of course about a consistently competent Maple Leafs goaltender. 

We'll look at some of the pressure points and moving pieces in a possible Luongo deal, recap media chatter, parse some quotes, and try to find our bearings. Read on past the jump. 

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January 06 2013 05:04PM

What's that thing called when you break up with someone, both see other people and then decide you are going to get back together and have to pretend like the last 6 months never happened? Yeah. It's time for about 1000cc of that.

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Canucks start building for training camp, call up 5 from Chicago

Patrick Johnston
January 06 2013 02:27PM

Jordan Schroeder's time is now (Photo: Patrick Johnston)

The youth movement is on its way. The Canucks have recalled Andrew Ebbett, Zack Kassian, Jordan Schroeder and Chris Tanev with immediate effect; Kevin Connauton will also be recalled, after this afternoon's matchup with the also-suddenly-depleted Oklahoma City Barons.

It's the beginning of what will be an abbreviated training camp, which is expected to begin midweek - varying reports point to Wednesday or Thursday - in preparation for the season to open on January 17th or thereabouts.

The news was first reported on Twitter by the Chicago Tribune's Paul La Tour:

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Alexandre Grenier returns to North America

Patrick Johnston
January 06 2013 01:38PM

Alex Grenier stay in Austria was short and sweet; not unlike Salzburg's team sponsor.

The energy drink seems to have run out. Alexandre Grenier's sojourn in Austria lasted half a season, as, surprisingly, the young forward's contract was terminated by mutual consent last month. 

As first reported in North America by The Canuck Way and earlier in the Austrian media, Grenier will soon make his North American pro debut. Although he's currently listed on the Wolves' roster, him making a further move to Kalamazoo seems possible.

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