January 11 2013 03:17PM
Every player skating at UBC this week has a spring in their step and a visible relief that hockey is back etched on their faces. It's training camp all over again, that burst of excitement that everyone feels - fan, player and writer alike - (usually in the later Summer) about new beginnings and a chance to do something special. Just ask Jordan Schroeder and Andrew Ebbett.
The news has come down: Alain Vigneault said in his Friday morning press conference that those two will be going head-to-head for the second line centre job.
For Schroeder, with Ryan Kesler still out and timetable-less for a return, the young Minnesotan's time is clearly now. Only Andrew Ebbett stands between him and starting the season in Vancouver's top-six. Despite concerns about his size, Schroeder has always been known as a two-way player, with strong puck sense and powerful skating.
Ebbet spent a lot of time last year out injured. But when he was in the lineup, he was a positive possession player and could be a serious darkhorse contributor in this lockout-shortened season.
Click past the jump for a Q&A with Schroeder and Ebbett on their own seasons so far, what they've been working on and their paths forward.
January 11 2013 12:53PM
"If you stop looking maybe they'll stop beating us so badly!"
After you see something happen time and again right in front of your very eyes, you come to expect it. It's human nature. You simply stop thinking that there could possibly be any sort of other outcome.
And that's why you may have noticed that in Jeff Angus' preview of the 2013 season, where he answered questions from readers in a mailbag format, there was no one losing any sleep over where the Canucks would finish in the standings. Anything can happen in a 48 game season - pigs could fly, the Wild could manage to fight off regression, even - but Canucks fans have just come to expect a Division title and a seat atop the Western Conference standings.
I take issue with people who look to undermine the Canucks' accomplishments over the past two seasons. Obviously Presidents' Trophies aren't the ultimate goal, but there's a reason the regular season takes place. The Canucks have absolutely dominated it, leaving no real doubt as to who the best team was. Just because they fell 60 minutes short, and then ran into a juggernaut who was sipping on some special sort of health elixir, doesn't take away from the other 164 games over that span.
How have the Canucks managed to make it look so easy? Well, it doesn't hurt that their two leaders have been the most consistent players in the league over the years. But more than anything, they've been able to run wild all over the Northwest Division.
Read Past the Jump for More on their Dominance of the Northwest.
January 11 2013 10:11AM
As close to a Laurence Gilman action shot as we're ever likely to get.
On Thursday afternoon, Laurence Gilman joined Matt Sekeres and Blake Price for an interview in which the new collective bargaining agreement and the "cap-benefit recapture clause" on back diving contracts (or "the Luongo rule") were discussed at length.
Laurence Gilman gave his hosts a couple of particularly interesting answers. For example, he described the "cap-benefit recapture" as a "contingent liability" and reiterated his belief that Luongo could indeed play out the full term on his contract. The Canucks' Assistant General Manager and in-house capologist also declined to express any petulance over seeing his club "punished" by the new collective bargaining agreement for a deal that was fully legal under the terms of the previous CBA. He called his personal feelings on the matter "immaterial" and vowed to concentrate instead on helping the club navigate the new agreement to the best of his considerable abilities.
The most interesting insight we gleaned from Gilman however, came from his response to a question asked by Matt Sekeres. The question? Does Laurence Gilman, "knowing what [he knows] now," "regret" signing Luongo to a 12 year deal worth in excess of sixty million? Gilman's answer was an unequivocal, passionate "no." Read past the jump for more.
January 11 2013 08:18AM
Some quality #photoshap from Roberto Luongo.
The exceptionally strange story of how Roberto Luongo subdued retired Iranian professional wrestler the Iron Sheik on Twitter begins appropriately, with noted Twitter weirdo Jose Canseco's plan to run for mayor of Toronto (a plan he has, unsurprisingly, since abandoned). Yes, this is easily the oddest blog-post I've ever mailed in.
Read past the jump for more.
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:
First heard Vigneault may talk to media Thursday at The Rog. Then it became Friday, just as Luongo preps to skate way over at UBC. Nice.— Ben Kuzma (@benkuzma) January 10, 2013
Click past the jump for more news, notes and terrible jokes.