During the month of August, NHL.com is doing a "30 for 30" series profiling and previewing every team in the league. In today’s installment, senior writer Dan Rosen set his sights on the Vancouver Canucks. In speaking with General Manager Mike Gillis and Director of Player Personnel Dave Gagner, Rosen has uncovered some interesting tidbits about the team and their posture at this late point in the summer. In fact, there’s enough new-ish insight there that I figured I’d quickly wade into the muck.
Read past the jump for some choice snippets and analysis.
On the Luongo trade, Rosen writes that "Gillis is looking for what he believes is a fair market deal," and Gillis seemingly elaborated on the nature of Vancouver’s asking price, as Rosen writes: "any trade involving Luongo will change the Canucks’ depth chart at both the NHL level and the prospect level." This is in-line with what many of us have come to expect from a potential Luongo return, but it’s expressed more explicitly here than we’re used to, I think. Apparently a roster player, and a good prospect is the cost of doing business with Vancouver on Luongo.
While Gillis’ asking price for Luongo remains relatively high, he Canucks General Manager refuses to put a timetable on any trade, calling any effort to do so "unrealistic," since, "in hockey things can change in five minutes with one phone call."
Gillis also reiterates the complete lack of urgency on Vancouver’s end, saying there’s a "possibility" the team will still bring Luongo to training camp. While seemingly no fans or media observers have bought into the "Luongo could remain a Canuck next season" suggestion from Vancouver’s General Manager, it has been and clearly remains Gillis’ official posture on the Luongo front. As we get deeper into August, one wonders if potential Luongo trade partners will begin to find this particular "bluff" (or is it?) somewhat more compelling…
On the subject of still unsigned restricted free-agent Eddie Läck, and his prospective (albeit Luongo dependent) role on the team next season, Gillis expressed confidence to Rosen regarding Läck’s development readiness to be an NHL backup next season. Dave Gagner is quoted on the subject, saying:
"We like to be patient with our young players, but I think another organization would have already given him a chance to play at the NHL level… With our goaltending situation the way it’s been we didn’t really have to rush him. Now I think he’s ready."
Certainly his performance against NHL shooters at the AHL level last season, suggests to me that Gagner’s assessment of Läck’s readiness is dead on.
[The quotes in this post all come from NHL.com, read the full article here.]