Could and Should the Canucks Get Involved in the Letang Sweepstakes?

Thomas Drance
June 28 2013 11:37AM

Image via wikimedia commons.

Reading over Rob Rossi's excellent reporting over the past few days, it's really not too difficult to make out the writing on the wall. Kris Letang and the Pittsburgh Penguins have fundamental differences regarding Letang's value and with Letang rejecting an eight year, fifty-four million dollar contract extension offer from the Penguins on Thursday night, a separation seems nigh.

According to Rossi the Penguins would prefer to send Kris Letang to the Western Conference and are particularly enamored by "prospects with Anaheim and Vancouver" according to Rossi's sources. Wha? 

The Canucks are dealing with a critical scarcity of salary cap-space at the moment, and would need to essentially move heaven and earth to fit Kris Letang under the cap (and then do so again to fit his theoretically lucrative extension, which would kick in a season from now). Is acquiring Letang worth the cost in treasure and cap-space? Would he represent enough of an upgrade over the likes of Edler, Garrison, Bieksa and Hamhuis to warrant the Canucks blowing up their hard won "internal cap" for defenceman?

Let's look into it.

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Arniel Won't Coach the Utica Comets and other Canucks Coaching News

Thomas Drance
June 28 2013 09:51AM

Mike Sullivan, Scott Arniel and Glen Gulutzan: three guys who might fill out Vancouver's coaching ranks.
Screencaps via

Did you think the official rollout of the John Tortorella hire earlier this week would mark the end of our relentless updates about Vancouver's coaching situation? Well think again, because there's a variety of news as it pertains to the team bringing in some veteran assistance for John Tortorella behind the Canucks bench. So whom might these veteran Assistants be? 

We'll round up all of the latest on the other side of the jump.

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Afternoon Headshots: June 27th

Thomas Drance
June 27 2013 04:20PM

Henrik really needs to stop hacking post-game darts with Sekeres, I think.
Our pal Shane image via Sealcat.

Today at Canucks Army we argued that there's no reason to be skeptical about Canucks ownership allowing hockey operations to brandish the "Compliance Buyout" hammer, looked at some WHL prospects whom the Canucks might consider with their first round pick, examined the impact of player size on Mike Gillis's draft strategy and considered the possibility of the team chasing Vincent Lecavalier in free-agency.

For more Canucks news and draft tidbits read on past the jump.

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LeBrun: "Canucks Front Office See (Lecavalier) as a possible fit if they can get out of cap hell"

Thomas Drance
June 27 2013 03:09PM

Image courtesy wikimedia commons.

Surely the most shocking piece of hockey news on Thursday involved Vincent Lecavalier, and the decision of the small market Tampa Bay Lightning to use a compliance buyout to get out from under his contract. The Lecavalier buyout will run the Lightning close to thirty-three million dollars over fourteen seasons according to, an NHL record that surely won't be topped (a Luongo buyout would run the Aquilini Group $27 million).

Over the past three seasons Lecavalier has recorded one-hundred and thirty-five points in one-hundred and sixty-eight games, so he's scored at a .8 points per game rate since his age thirty season. That's pretty impressive even though some of Lecavalier's production appears to be percentage driven of late and he's only an even possession player at this point in his career. Also he'll turn thirty-four by the first playoff round next season. Still, Lecavalier is an enormously productive top-six centreman who measures in at 6,4. Oh, he's also now poised to hit the open market in free-agency this summer.

Needless to say Lecavalier will have plenty of suitors, including the Canucks to hear Pierre LeBrun tell it on the Team 1050 on Thursday. "The Canucks front office has already talked to John Tortorella about this," Lebrun passed along on Thursday, "and they see this as a possible fit if they can get out of cap hell, which they're in now."

Read on past the jump.

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Canucks 2013 NHL Draft Preview: Size Matters

Blake Murphy
June 27 2013 01:59PM

Laurence Gilman and Vancouver's Scouts Meet to Discuss Draft Strategy.
Screencap via Canucks TV

Hey did, you know the NHL has an Entry Draft this weekend? Yup, not joking. On the Sunday morning of a Monday-long weekend, no less. Count teh ratingz, suckas.

Anyway, the draft is always a lot of fun, though generally not as much fun for the Vancouver Canucks, who usually pick pretty low. This year, the Canucks pick 24th overall in each round except for the second, as that pick is owed to the Dallas Stars. It makes this year’s instalment slightly more exciting than last year’s (five picks), 2010’s (five, with none in the first three rounds) and 2008’s (five), though not as enticing as 2011’s (eight picks) or 2009’s (seven).

I highlight those years, of course, because those are the five drafts that have taken place under the rule of General Manager Mike Gillis. Drance did a nice job breaking down Gillis’ draft history by league earlier this week, and I’m here to follow up on Lord of the Drance’s 2012 piece on Gillis’ preferences by player size.

But first, some background on why people tend to discuss the size of players in the NHL, specifically at draft time.

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