Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,
One of the many things that have taken place over the summer with the Vancouver Canucks has come about quietly, but once again it shows how much the ownership wants to bring a Stanley Cup to this town.
They have definitely gotten in their own way at times, but if you ever needed a more graphic demonstration of how much the Aquilini family wishes to succeed on the ice, you only have to look at the front office to see how they’re trying to push every advantage they might have as a high-revenue team.
Hamstrung in what they can spend by the salary cap, like the Toronto Maple Leafs and a few of the other high-revenue teams are doing, they have expanded the number of people in the front office looking for all the additional help they can find in unearthing ideas and players that one day might be the difference in winning it all.
Consider that former president and general manger Mike Gillis has essentially been replaced by four people. Trevor Linden and his hire Jim Benning have combined to become what will hopefully act as a two-headed president and general manager, although Gillis and Laurence Gilman essentially did that under the old regime.
But Gilman, Lorne Henning and Stan Smyl have all been wisely retained from that regime and two more guys have been added in the hockey-management department in VP of administration TC Carling and VP of player personnel John Weisbrod.
Add any more and the VP meetings, which include all the people from the other departments, will have to be held in the lower bowl of Rogers Arena.
from Kevin Woodley at NHL.com,
Can Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin be elite scorers again? -- The Sedins were so determined to prove they could be good defensively last season, and so irked by the belief their best offensive seasons were simply a product of starting so many shifts in the offensive zone, they sacrificed much of the scoring the Canucks long relied on them to provide.
"That was a little bit interesting, but it comes from just how proud they are to play defense," coach Willie Desjardins said of offseason meetings with the Sedins. "They have no problems blocking shots or playing against the other team's top line. It's not like, 'Oh, I don't do that.' They want to prove they can play in big situations defensively. They cherish those roles."
Last season, the twins embraced coach John Tortorella's request to kill penalties and play more minutes in the defensive zone, and for a while they managed to stay near a point-per-game pace offensively. But as injuries and those harder minutes appeared to catch up with them, their offense disappeared.
Henrik had 10 points in his final 24 games,...
Which Ryan Miller did the Canucks get? -- Vancouver is counting on Miller playing like he did for the Buffalo Sabres to start last season, when he had a .923 save percentage, earned a spot on the U.S. team at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, and became the hottest trade commodity in goal.
After signing him to a three-year, $18 million contract, the Canucks can't afford to have Miller perform like he did after a trade to the St. Louis Blues, where he finished with a .903 save percentage in 19 regular-season games and .897 after being knocked out of the playoffs in six games by the Chicago Blackhawks.
There are questions how Miller's aggressive style will fit with goaltending coach Roland Melanson's more passive preferences....
from Jim Jamieson of the Vancouver Province,
Linden will take part in the Haute Route Alps, a seven-day, fully supported climbing-fest in the French Alps that will see 500 amateur cyclists take on more than 900 kilometres of mountain terrain and climbing a combined 21,000 metres over 19 iconic ascents, such as Glandon, Alpe d’Huez and Mont Ventoux. It started in Geneva, Switzerland on Sunday and finishes Aug. 30 in Nice, France.
According to the website, the week of climbing is the equivalent of cycling more than twice from sea level to the summit of Mt. Everest.
Linden has been registered for the event since last year, but when Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini approached him about taking over the massive job of re-tooling the organization, he wasn’t sure he’d be able to find time for the ride.
“With the way my life has worked out, I really thought I wouldn’t be doing this, but the way things have worked out, the people we have in place, it’s pretty quiet, it’s a good window,” Linden said before departing for Europe.
“It’ll get me fresh and ready to roll for the season.”
from Rick Westhead of TSN,
Steve Moore's brother Mark says there is no deal between Steve and Todd Bertuzzi, a bombshell claim that casts doubt on claims made Wednesday by the NHL and Bertuzzi's lawyers that a settlement had been reached.
"I got a text message from Steve last night and he's very concerned," Mark Moore told TSN. "He says there is no deal yet and isn't sure what to do about all the media speculation.
"Because of the injury he has trouble making decisions and so he doesn't know how to handle the media."
Less than three weeks from the start of a lengthy civil trial and after eight years of litigation, former Colorado Avalanche Steve Moore has reached a settlement with Todd Bertuzzi and the Vancouver Canucks, according to media reports.
Details of the settlement are not available, but Moore's lawyer, Tim Danson, confirmed an offer has been made and agreed to.
Moore’s had been seeking $68 million in damages, and the civil lawsuit was scheduled to begin on Sept. 8.
Vancouver, B.C. – Vancouver Canucks General Manager Jim Benning named Perry Pearn to the Vancouver Canucks coaching staff today as an Assistant Coach.
“We are very excited to name Perry to our staff today,” said Jim Benning, Vancouver Canucks General Manager. “Perry brings a wealth of experience and knowledge at the NHL level to our organization.”
Pearn, 63, has been an Assistant Coach in the National Hockey League over the span of 19 seasons with the Ottawa Senators, New York Rangers, Montreal Canadiens, and Winnipeg Jets. Most recently, Pearn spent the last two seasons as an Assistant Coach with the Winnipeg Jets. Prior to that, Pearn was as an Assistant Coach with the Montreal Canadiens from 2009 to 2011, Assistant Coach with the New York Rangers from 2005 to 2009, and Assistant Coach with the Ottawa Senators from 1996 to 2004. His NHL coaching career began in 1995-96 as an Assistant Coach with the Winnipeg Jets.
from Ed Willis of the Vancouver Province,
ED WILLES: It’s been an interesting four months. Have you had a chance to reflect on everything that’s happened?
TREVOR LINDEN: You know, I hear a lot of people saying, ‘You’ve accomplished a lot and you’ve changed things.’ I guess I’m happy with some of the things we’ve been able to do. But I know the rubber meets the road in October and that’s what really matters. I don’t really reflect too much. I’ve got my eye on when it counts.
EW: That brings up the question of Ryan Kesler. Was it a body blow to the organization to have a player of that stature say he doesn’t want to be a part of the team anymore?
TL: Every player has different reasons for making different decisions and I don’t really know the history of Ryan’s decision. But we want people who want to be here. I can’t tell you how nice it is to talk to Nick Bonino, Luca Sbisa, Ryan Miller, Derek Dorsett, guys who are so excited to come to Vancouver. When you talk to those guys, you don’t think about the guys who don’t want to be here.
from Thomas Drance at The Score,
On Tuesday afternoon, Linden co-hosted the mid-day show on Team 1040 sports talk radio in Vancouver for two hours alongside regular host Matt Sekeres. During the show, Linden was asked about his stance on fighting in hockey and responded thoughtfully and at length. Here's are his comments via Dimitri Filipovic of canucksarmy.com (full disclosure, I am a contributor at canucksarmy.com):
I think that our game is such a great one. It's built around speed, and skill, and hard-hitting, not unlike the NFL.
Can you imagine an NFL game where a linebacker puts a good lick on a running back and the linemen get in there and drop their helmets and start bareknuckle punching each other in the face. It seems rather odd. And you can see why there are some fans in the States that have a tough time with that. They say 'I watch the NFL on Sundays and they hit hard, play hard, and pop up after hits and run back in the huddle'. That's part of the game.
Hockey has a different culture, of course. I think there are a lot of fans that don't care for the needless fighting. The staged "I'm supposed to fight, you're supposed to fight, so let's fight. We're not really mad at each other, but that's our job" type of thing. I tend to agree with (that).
I think the NHL (is) moving forward - whether it be a Steve Yzerman or various others - have come out and had significant stances (against fighting).
from Joshua Clipperton of the CP at the Surrey Leader,
Kate Gillis says it was difficult to block out the noise.
The energetic 24-year-old is the captain and inspirational leader of Canada's women's field hockey team at the Commonwealth Games. She's also the daughter of former Vancouver Canucks president and general manager Mike Gillis, who was fired in April after the team missed the playoffs for the first time in six years....
Having your feet held to the fire is part of being an executive in professional sports, but that doesn't make it any easier for the families. It's something the younger Gillis learned first-hand this spring.
"I think it's always hard for people to say those things about your father. With the Internet these days, you can just have a free-for-all," she said this week. "It's tough to kind of differentiate between the truth and the fiction, but I just keep my head down. He definitely doesn't let us get affected, but in the long run it's hard.
"It's your dad."
from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,
The Canucks are the Sedins’ team. They have the richest contracts, the most influence, the biggest names and the letters “C” and “A” emblazoned on their chests.
Yet, during their most miserably disappointing season in a decade, there weren’t a lot of scathing attacks directed toward the twins as they plummeted from 80-point players to 50-point players, taking the team down with them. It could be the other way around too, depending on your view.
Generally, the fans and the media laid off. Often, their right winger gets more heat than they do. Even when the Sedins kept saying they don’t need to score, people shrugged and said “They’re right.”
This is either a reflection of a sophisticated market where people realized the coach, injuries and bad luck all viciously conspired to work like lightning, striking down their point totals in an anomaly season. And that the underlying statistics show the season wasn’t nearly as catastrophic for the Sedins as it looked.
Or, and I think this is more likely, there is some survivor’s guilt going on.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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