Impromptu Return of Headshots: July 24th

For those of you that are unfamiliar with it, our "Headshots" series is a staple here at Canucks Army. We essentially use it as a platform to shine a light on good, insightful work done by the various blogs and writers that make up the Smylosphere on a daily basis. It’s also a tool – for fans that may have been away from their computer throughout the day – that can be used to catch up on all of the day’s most important happenings. It’s essentially a links dump, with bits of commentary provided in-between.

Now, if you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ve probably noticed that our "Headshots" series has been on a summer hiatus in recent weeks; in fact, the last one came nearly a month ago, on June 28th. The reason for that is that relevant news has simply been few and far between in the past month. It’ll likely continue to be that way through the end of August, so don’t expect it’s permanent return until then. But for today, we’ve made an exception with there being some recent developments worth discussing.

Read past the jump for more on today’s Canucks news, and some links.

The Canucks held their annual "summer summit" last night inside the friendly confines of Rogers Arena, as the likes of Mike Gillis, John Tortorella, Victor de Bonis, and Bill Daly answered questions from the team’s season ticket holders. In case you weren’t able to follow along last night, we’ve got you covered with a relatively succinct summary of all of the key talking points.

One of the questions that came up had to do with the open roster spots, and the remaining moves to be made by Gillis. He was quick to point out that he expected all three of the team’s most important restricted free agents – Jordan Schroeder, Dale Weise, and Chris Tanev – to be signed to contracts very soon. Well, it turns out that he wasn’t kidding. The team announced that they’ve come to terms with both Weise (1 year, $750k) and Schroeder (1 year, $600k), leaving Tanev as the lone remaining priority.

I found Weise’s comments in Jim Jamieson’s post (linked above) to be rather interesting. I totally buy that he believes in his head that he could be destined for a big year in the team’s top-9, that will get him a heftier contract next summer. Unfortunately, I don’t think that’s all that realistic. But hey, he’s still a useful player on the 4th line, and considering he’s making the same amount as one Tom Sestito, things could be worse (though that probably speaks more to Sestito’s deal than anything else). And he’s just about to turn 25 years old, so the idea of him improving as a player isn’t out of the question.

I’m a big fan of the Schroeder deal. The Canucks are in a cap bind, and they just secured themselves their 3rd line centre for quite a team friendly price. Schroeder had an interesting year last season, as he showed impressive flashes in spurts while being yo-yo’d to and fro. Some stability, and last year’s experience, should do wonders for him. Yet the fact still remains that he has to be considered the favourite to get buried in John Tortorella’s infamous doghouse this season (with Alex Edler probably coming in 2nd).

In other news, word broke today that Roberto Luongo has decided to switch agents, as he dropped former agent Gilles Lupien in favour of JP Barry and Pat Brisson. I’ve seen people try to make a big deal of this, hypothesizing that it’s a sign he’s trying to get out of the current situation he’s in. Jason Botchford – who knows a thing or two – has held firm with his belief that Luongo still wants out of Vancouver, even after the Schneider trade and the coaching change. This could support that, or it could mean absolutely nothing. I hate speculating on such things without having any inside knowledge on the matter.

For what it’s worth, it’s a distinct possibility that Luongo dropped Lupien because he was sick and tired of being associated with a guy whose Wikipedia page reads: "Gilles is one of professional hockey’s top agents, representing stars such as Steve Bernier.."

And finally, probably the biggest news coming out of last night’s summit was the news that Pavel Bure’s number 10 will be going up into the rafters at some point next season. This news lit a fire under Jeffler (whose work can routinely be found over at Leafs Nation), who graced this blog with his presence in the form of a guest post. A pleasant surprise. 

Oh yeah, Yann Sauve – our 16th ranked prospect last summer – was re-signed by the team as well. Fun fact: at no point was there any sort of inclination felt to write up a post solely dedicated to this news this morning. Mostly because I think only Sauve’s friends and family would actually take the time to read it.

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  • Mantastic

    @ Bertthetank

    You think Schroeder as, maybe, our 3rd line centre indicates we’re no longer contenders? It couldn’t have been being, essentially, swept out of round 1 for 2 years in a row, could it?!

    I don’t mind the Schroeder signing. Cheap and he has upside. He isn’t destined for line 3 so who knows.

    • Dimitri Filipovic

      I think there was atleast potential with last years roster (Roy as a 3C) to get back to the cup. With Schroeder as 3C that means Kesler will play almost entirely defensive minutes in order for Schroeder to get the soft minutes. Sure his cap hit is nice but that doesn’t help him win faceoffs, or produce against weak competition.

  • Mantastic

    Schroeder is a low risk signing: he plays well, great, we have a player who is playing well. He doesn’t, well, he’s making 600k, one of the lowest salaries on the team.

  • Mantastic

    Schroeder’s contract is one-way, correct?

    What is the requirement for someone to have to pass through waivers to be sent down to the AHL, and who is exempt from waivers?

    I am surprised they resigned Sauve. Do they see a possibility of him being an NHL player to resign him?

    • Sauve had a horror season in Chicago and Kalamazoo. Made bad reads, played with zero confidence even when given a chance. To say he’d plateaued would be a compliment. As I tweeted earlier, his re-signing is very much about where he’s been, not as much about where he is most recently. Talent remains, but can he take it forward?

      Also, now that the team is running its own AHL squad, veterans are at a premium.

  • I’m happy he’s getting another year to show what he can do, he’s still a no-risk gamble, and could still become an NHLer at some point. Obviously he’s not an NHL-level player right now. I’m glad management agrees that he still has potential.

  • Dimitri Filipovic

    Luo’s only change in the management is for endorsements and possibly whispering sweet nothing’s into the management of Team Canada. These guys are great at what they do and what they do is what every self reecting hockey player doesn’t do. Complain, back slap, arm twist and threaten! The good thing is a contract is a contract no matter who your agent is and Team Canada is not going to invite a Goalie to camp that is holding out for a trade. Luo will go on a happy fun tour, collect a lot of new endorsements with his new found Strombone1 personality and just make more money. That’s what agents do, because they make more money.

  • Dimitri Filipovic

    This team doesn’t live or die by its 3rd line centre. The bigger concern for fans should be how the new coaching staff affects the special teams.

    We were only 22nd on the power play, which used to be our bread an butter. Malhotra had no effect on the PP, Schroeder can actually have a positive effect on the 2nd unit PP.

    Conversely, with no Malhotra and almost no Kesler last year the PK was not that bad at 8th in the league. Given the strengths of the coaching staff (i.e. defensive hockey) we should be fine on the PK.

    We all want more offence, Schroeder is an offensive player. Let’s see how this works out before we dump on management.

    • Dimitri Filipovic

      Well that’s the point. If we have a defensively responsible 3C that opens the door for Kesler to play an offensive role. But I guess that doesn’t fix your power play, which is why we’ll be fighting for a playoff spot instead of fighting for 1st.

  • Dimitri Filipovic

    Roy has been sliding even when he was in Dallas. I doubt he’ll put up big numbers anymore. He sure didn’t for us.

    There’s nothing saying Schroeder doesn’t get utilized in a different way. Perhaps he centres line 2 with Kes and Booth on the wings. Maybe he will centre line 3. Who knows. Wait and see.

  • Dimitri Filipovic

    Schroeder signed a contract.

    While the cap friendly nature of the contract might give him a leg up on other guys, there’s no reason to believe he is the frontrunner for the 3LC spot.

    Based on what Gillis has said, it’s likely either Richardson or Gaunce.