January 15 2013 09:17AM
"I'd be a lot more comfortable if you just asked Dimitri and Jeff these questions instead."
Short. Sweet, but still a little rugged in an intriguing way. All business. Definitely taking nothing off of the table.
You might think that I'm talking about Andrew Ebbett, but in this particular instance, I'm not. Instead I'm referring to the latest edition of the So You're an Expert podcast, in which Jeff Angus joined me to preview the season that's nearly upon us.
You'll notice that it's a short episode (hovering around 15 minutes in length), and that's because we just don't know very much at the moment as it relates to the two biggest talking points surrounding the team - the Roberto Luongo trade saga, and the opening down the middle on the second line. But we did our best to broach the subjects, despite the potential for the entire discussion to be deemed obsolete at any moment.
We also took a look at the two depth defensemen signings, and meandered around the Northwest Division.
Click Past the Jump for the Podcast.
Strombabble: the Canucks might bring him back to start the season, but Luongo doesn't want to stay in Vancouver Long-Term
January 15 2013 06:59AM
As the Roberto Luongo saga has dragged on (and on, and on), and the prospect of the Canucks returning their two star goaltenders has become increasingly more likely, we've taken some time out to note that Luongo's and Schneider's good-will has enabled Mike Gillis to wait for the right trade. But at some point, things will come to a head, right? I mean these are two fiercely competitive goaltenders who deserve to get the bulk of the starts for some NHL club...
Well as it turns out, that "aura of good-will" may just have an expiration date. Here's a good pull from Sporting News editor and "Friend of the Blog" Sean Gentille:
If the Vancouver Canucks hold on to Roberto Luongo, it'll likely help them succeed in the short season. Sporting News' Jesse Spector and Canucks Army's Cam Charron lay out the reasons behind that theory well enough.
Luongo, on the trade block currently and for the last several months, is cool with that. What he doesn't want to do, though, is stick with Vancouver beyond the 48-game 2013 schedule.
Roberto Luongo could well wind up playing 2013 in Vancouver, after all. "I'm willing to stay here this season because it will be short. But I do not want to stay here long term," Luongo told RDS.ca, according to a translation of the story, which originally appeared in French.
In case you suspect that something may have been lost in translation here, here's the quote as it appears in French on the RDS site:
“Non. Je suis prêt à rester ici cette saison parce qu’elle sera courte. Mais je ne veux pas rester ici à long terme.”
Well then. Click past the jump for more.
January 14 2013 12:50PM
Jim Vandermeer fights Todd Fedoruk during the 2011 preseason.
On Sunday the Canucks signed defenseman Cam Barker to a one year deal, and in doing so made a bet that we didn't particularly like. On Monday Vancouver's club added another veteran defenseman, and a good Western Canadian boy, in punchy veteran Jim Vandermeer. Vandermeer will apparently be on a two-way deal according to Iain Macintyre.
Jim Vandermeer has been working out with the Canucks for months, presumably in the hope of scoring exaclty this type of deal. At this point in his career Jim Vandermeer is nothing more than a depth defenseman, but he's an NHL defenseman who probably does legitimately belong in the league in some capacity. So that's good news. Read past the jump for more.
January 14 2013 11:02AM
Where's the harm in having both Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider on the roster this year? You may be significantly lowering one's trading value by reducing them to backup status, but right now the Vancouver Canucks have all kinds of cap space, and play in a schedule where having two goalies is important. Run through HFBoards or any other corner of the Internet where a lot of hockey fans congregate and you'll see people proposing trades for Luongo for pennies on the dollar under the impression the Canucks are in a hurry to trade Luongo. Why?
"You clearly approach the season differently on a tightened schedule," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. "Games are closer together. We have a lot of games every other day. We have stretches where we go four in six, and six in eight, and seven in 10. So, there's a lot of hockey games, and I think you're going to see the goalies be used more, not so much based on who we play as on each goalie's going to get their share of games, their number of games. Marc-Andre Fleury will play a majority of the games, but in the last 48-game season, we saw the teams that had success, we saw their two goaltenders, one played in the 35-game range and the backup played in the 18-to-20 range. It's a lot of games in a 48-game season, 20 is, but that's managing the schedule and managing the playing time."
January 13 2013 02:41PM
Billy Sweatt: ready for take-off? (Photos: Jason Kurylo/Pucked in the Head)
Timing is everything. To get to play in front of the brass and a stack of home-town fans; what else could aspiring Canucks prospects ask for? Not much really.
Those Canucks farmhands who have been biding their time in the AHL during the lockout got one last chance to show off their talent before next week's abbreviated NHL training camp. Alain Vigneault announced on Friday that a number of other Wolves would be brought to that camp. Of course, the team's brass will clearly know who they want to bring in, but the narrrative of players hustling to make a final cut is still a pleasant one, isn't it?
What we saw on Friday and Saturday in Abbotsford were some useful hockey players, both veteran and prospects. For the Wolves to skate out 3-1 winners on Friday and 1-0 winners on Saturday took an impressive performance from a trio of veterans one night and excellent goaltending from Matt Climie both nights.
There were also notable contributions from the prospects on display; guys like Billy Sweatt, Darren Archibald and Peter Andersson are all well positioned ahead of this week's accelerated training camp.
For scoring chance data and other observations, click past the jump!