Kukla's Korner Hockey
Vancouver Canucks center Henrik Sedin is this year’s recipient of the King Clancy Memorial Trophy, awarded “to the player who best exemplifies leadership on and off the ice and who has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution to his community.”
from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,
The man who currently employs Glen Gulutzan has little to gain by raving about his prized assistant.
But that’s how highly Vancouver Canucks coach Willie Desjardins thinks about the man who could be announced as the next Calgary Flames coach as early as Friday.
“I have a lot of respect for him and confidence in him,” said Desjardins when asked about the 44-year-old Gulutzan, who has been one of his right-hand men the last two years.
“He’s smart, he’s structured, he works hard and he more than does his job. He’s been real good for us. I like a lot of things about him.”
Desjardins might not like the idea of facing a Gulutzan-coached team on the other side of the Rockies, but as a friend he’d certainly understand.
“I knew what he was like when I worked for him and I just think he’s a guy you can trust,” said Desjardins, who was an assistant in Dallas while Gulutzan coached the Stars.
“He’s really thorough and he’s won at a number of levels and that’s always a good sign.”
from Travis Yost of TSN,
To recap: the Panthers acquired 2014 first-round pick Jared McCann and two 2016 draft picks (a second and fourth-rounder) in exchange for Erik Gudbranson and a 2016 fifth-round pick....
Let’s not forget that Florida added a 19-year-old centre and upgraded their fifth-round pick to a second-round pick and fourth-round pick. The incremental value in that pick swap in and of itself is big. Add in a productive young player who has already exhibited himself as a competent bottom-six talent and is locked in on a team-friendly $894,000 deal through 2017-18, and you have a great transaction.
Truthfully, it’s difficult to see what Vancouver sees in this deal. If the prize is Gudbranson, well, the prize is something like a third-pairing defender. And the premium they paid – a legitimate prospect and multiple picks – is, in a word, inexplicable.
Call it like it is: Florida took advantage of a team who egregiously misvalued a defenceman to once again win a trade in striking fashion.
Chris Johnston tweets,
Hearing the #canucks and #FlaPanthers are closing in on a trade. Believe prospect Jared McCann is part of it. Working on full details.
No salary retained on Erik Gudbranson in the trade to Vancouver.
added 9:17pm, TSN confirms....
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
- The NHL semifinals have yet to be resolved but, after a decade in which the forces of speed and skill battled the game's dark side, hockey fans should be encouraged by what they've seen thus far.
Three of the teams still alive in the Stanley Cup tournament are built largely around hockey's more enlightened pursuits. Even St. Louis has those elements in its game. Pittsburgh, Tampa and San Jose, meanwhile, all play an uptempo, attacking style and that's significant because the NHL is a copycat league which enthusiastically mimics any team that has success.
In 2011 and 2012, that was the bigger, heavier Boston Bruins and Los Angeles Kings. This year speed and skill is the prevailing trend.
- On a related note, in 2011 the Canucks beat a Sharks' team in the Western final which featured Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture, Justin Braun and Marc-Edouard Vlasic. Five seasons later, the Sharks are back in the final four with the same core group and Brent Burns while the Canucks haven't won a playoff series since.
Well, the emergence of Burns as a Norris Trophy-calibre defenceman at age 30 was the key development for the Fish, but their success has also been the result of small improvements throughout their lineup. Few outside San Jose had heard of Joonas Donskoi, Melker Karlsson or Chris Tierney before these playoffs, but they've made a huge impact in the bottom six. North Van's Marty Jones was brought in to replace Antti Niemi in goal and he's been an upgrade. New West's Brenden Dillon was acquired for Jason Demers and he's added snarl to the back end.
continued with more topics too...
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
Kalli Quinn says she was surprised when she first heard the request but, the more she thought about it, the more she thought, yes, this is perfect.
She knew how her father, Pat Quinn, felt about Trevor Linden, and she knew how Trevor Linden felt about her father. She remembered back in June of ’88 when Quinn, who was just starting his second year as the Canucks’ general manager, stepped up to the podium at the Forum in Montreal and announced the Canucks were pleased to select Linden — “a proud Westerner” — with their first-round draft pick. And she remembered how that day changed so many things for the Canucks, her dad and Linden.
So when Linden, now the Canucks’ president, called recently and asked Quinn’s daughter for something to take to the NHL draft lottery in Toronto, she rummaged around her memory drawer and came up with the perfect memento. On Saturday, when a large part of the Canucks’ future is being determined by the whims of the ping-pong balls, Linden will be carrying the 1970-71 playing card of Pat Quinn in a Canucks uniform.
from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,
To win the lottery would dramatically alter the Canucks’ course. They haven’t had that kind of sure-thing draft pick since Trevor Linden in 1988. But Matthews can be better than Linden. He can actually be Mike Modano.
And it would change everything. It would cut through the black cloud which has so often enveloped the franchise.
It would give hope to the hopeless, life to the most miserable, and provide the franchise an opportunity to have an alternate ending, one that doesn’t include the usual collective palm to the forehead.
Matthews would be given every chance to be Vancouver royalty, and be the hero.
The city isn’t looking for much. Just one ring to change everything.
from Ian MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun,
With 11 pending free agents and a couple of key veterans facing possible buyouts, the Vancouver Canucks have a pile of decisions to make. And they weren’t sharing any of them at a season-ending press conference on Tuesday.
There was little news from head coach Willie Desjardins and general manager Jim Benning, who said the important personnel decisions haven’t really been discussed yet and nothing with be decided for at least the next few weeks.
Benning did say the National Hockey League team’s draft strategy has changed with the Canucks’ 28th-place finish, their worst since 1999, and that if the Canucks pick in the top three they will take the best player available and that that player should be in the NHL next season.
Benning also said the team hopes to have elite prospect Thatcher Demko, the goalie selected in the second round of the 2014 draft, signed this spring. But another outstanding draft pick, 2015 first-round Brock Boeser, will return to the University of North Dakota for his sophomore season.
Benning and Desjardins reiterated the goal for next season, as always, will be to make the playoffs.
Canucks president of hockey operations Trevor Linden, who held a less formal press conference after Desjardins and Benning met the media, said: “We’ve always said we want to make the playoffs, want to be competitive. But we’ve never taken our eye off the future. We’ve never mortgaged the future to make the playoffs and we’re not going to do that now.
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
During Saturday night's season finale, a long-time hockey man familiar with the Canucks' inner workings was asked about the rumours involving a shakeup of the Canucks' front office.
"You know one thing," he said. "After this season, it won't be the status quo."
The Canucks, both publicly and privately, insist there' nothing to the story that George McPhee will be moved into a position between president Trevor Linden and GM Jim Benning. The organization also says Willie Desjardins' job is secure.
That leaves ownership, and let's just say the Canucks' recent history suggests the possibility of a dramatic move isn't exactly remote. We know Linden favours the status quo. Anything else raises huge questions about the autonomy of this management team.
Alexandre Burrows talks about his future with the Vancouver Canucks and about the rebuild that will happen within the organization.
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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