Afternoon Headshots January 10th

Thomas Drance
January 10 2013 03:56PM

Awesome photo of the Sedin twins.
Sticktap to Pass it to Bulis.

Canucks Assistant General Manager Laurence Gilman was interviewed by Matt Sekeres and Blake Price on the Team 1040 today and had some interesting things to say about the cap-benefit recapture clause. He also made a really solid spreadsheet joke (be still my heart). For what it's worth, he says that he already has a good enough grasp of the new CBA to know "what pitfalls exist."

David Booth arrived in town and started skating with his teammates at UBC today. Afterwards he regaled the media with tales of his summer hunting exploits. Dale Weise meanwhile gushed about the "unbelievable" number of cyclists he noticed during his time in Holland

Also back in town? Roberto Luongo, who of course was met by the media at YVR. Luongo didn't provide us with any grist for the rumour mill though he was wearing a Bluejacket, and was quoted saying that he used his frequent Flyers miles to book his flight, since the lockout has made him turn over a new Leaf in regards to his spending habits. 

According to Kevin Woodley, goaltender Joe Cannata will be called up to Canucks training camp this weekend mostly because the Canucks need an extra goaltender to allow them to structure practices and scrimmages. Obviously Cannata isn't "ready" yet, or whatever, but a pretty cool opportunity for the kid.

David Ebner theorizes that the Canucks are going to have some trouble finding secondary scoring this season. You know what, he's absolutely correct...

Jeff Angus looks at a couple of possible Luongo destinations, including Edmonton. That would be really interesting but unless the Oilers are parting ways with one of their blue-chip five, I don't think I could stomach setting that team up in net for the next half-decade.

Here's a fun bit of slight of hand from the Canucks, who are obviously trying to limit the scope of the media gong-show that will accompany Luongo's first post-lockout skate with his teammates at UBC on Friday:

Hahaha. Awesome.

Click past the jump for more news, notes and terrible jokes.

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A 2013 Canucks Season Preview Mailbag

Jeff Angus
January 10 2013 01:11PM

I opened up the Twitter mailbag yesterday and received a wide range of questions from Canucks fans. Turns out fans really, really want to know where Roberto Luongo is going to end up.

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Strombabble: Silly Season

Thomas Drance
January 10 2013 11:22AM

In what was already an absurd, speculation filled week of hockey news, things really went off the deep end last night. Three separate reporters - Enrico Ciccone, James Duthie and Adrian Dater - all passed along some startling information: that the Philadelphia Flyers were interested in acquiring Roberto Luongo.

The Flyers have the quality young assets that opposing fans drool about (Coutourier! Brayden Schenn!) and a reputation as one of the league's boldest (or most reckless, as you prefer) organizations - from the Mike Richards and Jeff Carter trades, to the Bryzgalov deal, to the Shea Weber offer sheet. Basically the Flyers represent something of a "perfect storm" for rumours and speculation; they might just be the league's preeminent click-baitable club.

Of course, Paul Holmgren spoke with Frank Seravalli, and laughed off the reports as Broad Street bull-shit, though really that doesn't mean much. Meanwhile, the Luongo speculation in my timeline has turned my Twitter feed into something increasingly indistinguishable from HFBoards (what's the latest this morning? Oh wow, a three way trade!).

We'll look into whether or not any of this passes a basic, common sense smell-test after the jump.

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Andrew Ebbett is a Viable Candidate to Center A Scoring Line in Kesler's Absence

Dimitri Filipovic
January 10 2013 09:06AM

Who will Andrew Ebbett be looking for once the NHL season gets underway?

We spent most of the fall scratching and clawing for topics to discuss. There was a bunch of legal mumbo jumbo being tossed around, but the void left by actual hockey to analyze was abundantly clear. It got so bad that some of us - I'm not one to name names - began dissecting charity games, picking on poor souls like Jim Vandermeer.

But now, the NHL is back, and we've been left with the task of jamming months worth of story-lines and strategy into a few weeks. Not that anyone is complaining, though, because it's so much better than the alternative. 

As could have been expected, the main storyline that has grabbed the headlines has been 'Strombabble'; a term Thomas Drance affectionately came up with for anything and everything to do with the animal that is Roberto Luongo trade talk. Is he going to Toronto, now that Dave Nonis is in charge? Is Philly really interested? Who knows.

Something that we do know however is that there is a gap that needs filling in the middle of the second line, with Ryan Kesler a ways away from recovering from his offseason surgery. Unless the Canucks acquire a center in return for Luongo, that role will be filled in-house.

Options that have been bandied about but make me uneasy include either Alex Burrows (with Zack Kassian hopping along for a ride with the Sedins) or Chris Higgins (departing the right wing, on which he thrives). Jordan Schroeder is an option, but having watched a ton of Chicago Wolves hockey this year, there were far too many times where he left me feeling lukewarm. 

There's one final option that isn't quite as sexy as the others, but may have some merit, and it's Andrew Ebbett. Can he fill in for Kesler, and solve the riddle down the middle?

Read Past the Jump for More.

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Evening Headshots: January 9th

Thomas Drance
January 09 2013 07:31PM

The Canucks and the Ducks: historic, bitter rivals set to do battle in upcoming season opener!

While we wait patiently for the Canucks 48 game regular season schedule to be released, details are beginning to trickle out. Per Dan Murphy it looks like the Canucks will open the season on January 19th against Anaheim, probably at home since the Honda Centre in Orange County is booked solid with the "How to Train Your Dragon Spectacular" on that date. Needless to say the Ducks aren't exactly a regional or traditional "rival", which set off rounds of complaining because, you know, Canucks fans. How dare the NHL give the Canucks a second tier opponent for their opening game, they've competely ruined the purity of a mid-January season opener!

Speaking of Canucks fans, Pass it to Bulis notices that a bar in Surrey has thrown "Trade Luongo" in big letters on the marquee of their establishment. I'd have recommended something like: "Thanks for everything best goaltender in franchise history," but that's just me.

In "news that sounds familiar to us," Former Canucks General Manager Brian Burke was fired today and will be replaced by former Canucks General Manager Dave Nonis, which you probably knew about already. That is, unless you spent the day in solitary confinement, or in the 1920s, or outside, or I don't know, somewhere else that sucks.

So did Burke's reported unwillingness to trade for Roberto Luongo cost him his job in Toronto? Marc Spector says so, and Pierre LeBrun is buying that too. It could make a certain amount of sense, and at the very least the beat writers in both cities - from Botch, to Mirtle, to Cox - think a Luongo trade is more likely now than it was yesterday (when it was still pretty damn likely). That said, Bob McKenzie doesn't quite buy it and I tend to trust his reporting above all:

And neither does Dan Murphy:

So like the CIA at the end of Burn After Reading, we've really learned nothing here.

One more embedded tweet from Craig Custance, who quotes Mike Gillis on the subject of Burke's dismissal.

Finally, Jim Jamieson catches up with the Sedin twins, who you might remember were only able to stay together as NHL teammates as a result of Brain Burke's hurculean efforts at the 1999 NHL entry draft. Understandably, they seem to like the guy.

More links, Canucks news and clunky humour after the jump.

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