Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
Well, drama and TSN ratings aside, the real issue for the Canucks and their fans has little to do with Luongo's state of mind or the intrigue surrounding Goalie Confidential. No, that remains first-rate entertainment, but the relevant question now is: can Luongo provide anywhere near the goaltending by himself that he and the dearly departed Schneider provided for the Canucks the previous three seasons?
It will asking a lot of a goalie who turns 35 in April, but it will also be the single biggest determining factor to the Canucks' fortunes this season because – without great goaltending – this is an average team.
The Canucks, it should be noted, have grown accustomed to an elite level of goaltending over the last seven seasons. In the early part of the cycle, it was Luongo who played the starring role and absorbed an astonishing workload. But that changed in 2010-11 when Schneider emerged as one of the game's top young 'keepers.
His numbers over those three seasons speak for themselves, and it should be noted they were better than Luongo's in each campaign, albeit with a much smaller sample size. Schneider also wrestled the starters' job away from Luongo last year, but while you can argue over who was the better goalie over that span, there's little doubt that, collectively, the Luongo-Schneider partnership gave the Canucks the best goaltending in the NHL.
James Duthie of TSN does a one-on-one interview with Roberto Luongo.
The first part of the interview can be viewed here.
Luongo does say he will attend camp, will honor his contract and wants to re-establish himself as one of the top goaltenders in the league.
Luongo also discusses how he was informed about the trade of Schneider to New Jersey.
TSN has added part 2 of the interview, watch it here.
added 11:38am, Duthie continues tweeting about Luongo, so make sure to check out his timeline.
Pre-sale tickets for the Heritage Classic hockey game in Vancouver are not selling very well, according to one broker.
Kingsley Bailey with Vancouver Ticket doesn’t have hard numbers, but says there are a few reasons people aren’t snatching up the tickets. ”It’s a one-off game but it’s buried with six Heritage Classic games this year. We don’t have the best Canadian team as our opposition and the prices are way too high.”
from Brad Ziemer of the Vancouver Sun,
With his wife Christine and their four dogs, new Canucks coach John Tortorella is on his way to Vancouver. Sun hockey writer Brad Ziemer caught up with him Wednesday somewhere deep in the woods in Wisconsin. Their telephone conversation follows, with Tortorella’s comments on his latest discussion with Roberto Luongo, his disappointment about being left off the U.S. Olympic coaching staff, the need for the Canucks to get younger, and much more:
Q: I think most coaches usually use the summer to decompress. How has the fact you are coaching a new team and have to move across the continent changed your summer?
A: It has been a lot busier. Even before getting the new job, getting fired is always tough to take. You try to regroup, assess and now we are in the process of going coast to coast here. It has been very busy. There hasn’t been a lot of decompressing, that’s for sure.
Q: Are you at the point yet where you are counting the days until training camp?
A: I am ready to go. I kind of turned the page last week. My wife is telling me not to, but we have done a lot of work the past couple of weeks getting our training camp schedule straightened out. There were a number of different things I had to do in Vancouver versus New York where I had my own rink and facility. It’s a little bit different there, with UBC and all that. You turn your mind to it and I am just ready to go. I’m done with all the other stuff. It’s about gearing up for the season.
from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,
The Canucks’ executives covered the timeline from the moment Luongo asked for a trade. They also explained their hands were tied in the end because ownership told them a buyout was a non-starter.
They pushed the idea this can be the fresh start Luongo was seeking, right here in Vancouver with its new head coach.
"We both have a good rapport with Luongo," Gilman said. "I think it went as well as it could have gone.
"I understand where he’s coming from. He requested a trade after the 2012 season. He anticipated he was going to be traded.
"I don’t think he ever contemplated that Cory (Schneider) would be traded. Neither did Cory for that matter.
"I think it was a rather shocking turn of events for him and that’s the biggest emotion he experienced."
After the July meeting, Luongo told people privately it didn’t change much. He still wanted his fresh start in a new town, though he understood he didn’t have leverage to make it happen.
Will he feel the same way next summer?
from Jim Jamieson of the Vancouver Province,
The Canucks have been kicking the tires on huge free agent defenceman Douglas Murray, his agent confirmed on Tuesday morning.
“We’ve talked to them off and on all summer,” said player agent Anton Thun. “At this point we’re not close to signing. There are a group of clubs that have interest, so it comes down to the right circumstances and the right dollars. At this point in time there’s a gridlock in terms of cap space and money availability with a number of clubs. Until some of that shakes out and the dominoes start to fall, I think the market is going to be tight. Whenever that starts to shake out, we’ll react accordingly as to what might be the right place.”
The Canucks have just six defencemen signed to NHL contracts next season – two under the usual number – and two of those are fringer Yannick Weber and rookie Frank Corrado.
from Jim Jamieson of the Vancouver Province,
As the Canucks’ player development defence co-ordinator, Dave Babych has seen up close how well-trained and super-fit the young players are, coming into the NHL organization.
“Now, the young kids I’m working with, they have access to all of our personnel, trainers, dietitians, sleep doctors,” he said. “It’s about putting the right development team together, so it’s a well-rounded situation.”
It’s a little different from Babych’s day, when training camp was just that — a period of time for players to get back into shape from a summer that, well, wasn’t so much dedicated to the gym.
Babych, 52, was an outstanding junior player and was drafted No. 2 overall by the Winnipeg Jets in 1980. He remembers feeling that he had to come to camp that September in the best possible physical condition to show the Jets they’d made the right choice. So he trained extra hard that summer, but was a little surprised on his first day of camp in Winnipeg.
“There were two practices a day and they were basically just a torture test for the first week,” said Babych, who went on to play 1,195 NHL games, scoring 793 points.
from CTV News,
Fans hoping to watch the Vancouver Canucks take on the Ottawa Senators in the 2014 Heritage Classic are facing heftier-than-expected ticket prices.
Tickets for the annual outdoor game, which will take place at the 55,000-seat BC Place, range from almost $100 to more than $300.
The average ticket price for a regular Canucks game at Rogers Arena, which seats almost 19,000, is $80, according to Forbes.
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.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org