Kukla's Korner Hockey
From CP via TSN,
Amid the nervous prospects counting down the hours to the NHL drafts, the busy chatter of NHL GMs and agents filled hotel lobbies.
The Vancouver Canucks were among a number of teams trying to move up in Friday’s first round of the draft with GM Dave Nonis inquiring about the top few picks.
‘‘Yeah, Dave asked me: `Would you guys consider moving down?’ And I said, `Yes we would,’‘’ Philadelphia Flyers GM Paul Holmgren, with the No. 2 overall pick, said Thursday. ‘‘But I’ve had five or six calls like that.’‘
The Canucks hold the No. 25 spot.
‘‘I wouldn’t be doing my job if I wasn’t inquiring what it would take to move up not just to No. 2, but No. 1, No. 3 and No. 4 as well,’’ Nonis said, while adding that nothing serious was in the works.
From Ben Kuzma at The Province,
Patrick Kane is the top-rated prospect for the NHL entry draft, but Vancouver Canucks chief amateur scout Ron Delorme doesn’t see the diminutive OHL sniper as a slam-dunk selection.
“This year’s draft for sure lacks a consensus top pick,” said Delorme. “There’s nobody close to playing in the NHL and James VanRiemsdyk might be the only one because he’s a big kid. But he’s not pro ready and needs a couple of years.
“But I still believe there’s enough depth in this draft to find some quality prospects.”
continued… *Issues being faced in Canuck-land
Update 1:10pm EDT
Jim Matheson at CanWest presents another point of view:
COLUMBUS - So many have said this is a bad draft crop it makes you wonder why NHL teams are bothering to show up for this weekend’s name-calling.
from the Vancouver Province,
A Swedish-based rumour has Ohlund retiring from the NHL and moving his family so his children can be schooled back home. The report also suggested Ohlund would play in the Swedish Elite League with Skelleftea.
Ohlund couldn’t be reached for comment, but Nonis was stunned at a suggestion that the blueliner would bolt.
“It’s beyond far-fetched,” the Canucks general manager said Wednesday from Toronto where he’s attending the league’s awards gala. “I think there’s a good chance Ohlund will be leaving Sweden and living in Vancouver.
“Mattias and his family really enjoy the city and province. Like most things that come out of Sweden, there’s nothing to that as far as I know.”
from the Vancouver Province,
Watching the Anaheim Ducks win the Stanley Cup has reinforced Vigneault’s admiration of old-school, hard-knocks, bad-attitude hockey, something he thinks the Canucks need more of, which should excite any fan of in-your-face hockey.
“There’s a lot of good in the new NHL—less clutching and grabbing and a bigger reliance on speed,” Vigneault said. “But, for me, I’m always going to be a fan of hitting and checking and—I know a lot of people aren’t going to like to hear this—fighting.
“Anaheim had the most fighting majors in the NHL. I’d like us to be a little more grittier in that side of the game.”
from the Vancouver Province,
“We’re attacking a number of different things, including getting ready for the draft,” Nonis said Monday. “Maybe there’s an opportunity to make a deal or two there that will change the look of our club. There’s not any one thing we’re targeting, but we’re looking at a number of different scenarios.”
It’s a safe bet that several of those scenarios are rooted in an effort to find more scoring.
The Canucks are running out of roster spots in their attempt to find more offence up front. The Taylor Pyatt signing appears to leave just one glaring hole among the Canucks’ top-six forward slots.
The Vancouver Canucks have re-signed centre Ryan Kesler to a three year deal.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
from the OC Register,
No Vancouver players were conspicuously absent from the traditional postgame handshake line. Canucks coach Alain Vigneault made a point of congratulating Ducks counterpart Randy Carlyle and his staff. Vancouver general manager Dave Nonis went to Carlyle’s office after the game to commend Ducks coaches and management.
“I expected nothing less from Dave Nonis and Alain Vigneault,” said Ducks general manager Brian Burke, who formerly held the same position with the Canucks….
“We got beat by a better team. It’s as simple as that,” Vigneault said. “The games were tight, but overall they had more speed. They were better than we were.”
from the LA Times,
And because Luongo took a chance and allowed his focus to falter, he was in the losing locker room.
“After the hit, I thought it was an elbow and I looked at the ref for a split second,” said Luongo, who had never advanced to the playoffs in his previous six NHL seasons.
“When I turned my head, the puck was coming and I couldn’t stop it. It was a mistake that I made there and it cost us the game.”
His teammates recoiled at the thought that Luongo would assume blame for a loss that they were so sure would be averted.
more (reg. req.)
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
This being professional sport, the best team doesn’t necessarily always win, but this time, it surely did. Vancouver had no answer for Pronger, for Ryan Getzlaf, for Corey Perry. The Canucks didn’t have an answer for Travis Moen. And when the best player on the ice from Ornskoldsvik, Sweden, was Sami Pahlsson and the three runners-up all played for your team, well, that’s not exactly a recipe for success.
That it stayed as close as it did for as long as it did had everything to do with Luongo’s will. That bend-but-don’t break philosophy served the Canucks so well after Christmas, when they went on their second-half run to put away all the Northwest Division challengers and made them a legitimate Stanley Cup dark horse.
Jim Hughson has been doing play-by-play duty for CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada in these playoffs, to great acclaim by hockey fans everywhere. He’s currently covering the Anaheim Ducks / Vancouver Canucks series and was good enough to speak to Paul and myself immediately after the pre-game skate today, from sunny Anaheim.
You can download the audio file here, or play it on the video player below.
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