Category Archives: Vancouver Canucks
Jim Vandermeer and Cam Barker played for the Chicago Blackhawks during the 2006-07 season. Now the unrestricted free agents are playing a waiting game.
Barker is trying to play his way back into the NHL via a professional tryout with the Vancouver Canucks and Vandermeer is hoping the Presidents’ Trophy winners see him as a depth defenceman. With a back end that consists of Dan Hamhuis, Kevin Bieksa, Alex Edler, Jason Garrison, Keith Ballard, Chris Tanev and Andrew Alberts, there’s a real need for a dependable No. 8 because a condensed 48-game season will expose everyone to a heightened risk of injury in a sprint toward the playoffs.
THIS N’ THAT
If the Toronto Maple Leafs are going to deal for Roberto Luongo they’re going to have to sweeten the pot. League sources say Leafs GM Brian Burke and his Canucks counterpart Mike Gillis haven’t spoken about the possibility of a Luongo trade since September. Contrary to popular belief, Gillis isn’t going to give Luongo to the Leafs just to get the goalie’s $5.3 million cap hit off the roster. It’s believed the Canucks want good prospects in return and Burke might not be prepared for that kind of deal. Luongo won’t be dealt to the Florida Panthers, which is where he really wants to go, unless they, too, sweeten the pot. The asking price: A player who can help the Canucks immediately, a top prospect and a draft pick in exchange. It would make sense for Gillis and Burke to get together … Two defencemen getting raises: You’d have to think, depending on the length of the deal, that Montreal Canadiens blueliner P.K. Subban will get a contract with a salary in the area of $5.5 million while New York Rangers defenceman Michael Del Zotto will get around $4 million. Both are restricted free agentss. Habs GM Marc Bergevin spoke with Subban’s agent Don Meehan on Monday. Del Zotta spent part of last year in the minors and doesn’t have quite the same bargaining power as Subban.
After leaving the Toronto organization to become the assistant general manager of the Montreal Canadiens, Rick Dudley claimed the Maple Leafs, with the same roster they had last spring, would be a playoff team if they had solid goaltending.
Roberto Luongo certainly would fit that bill. And, amidst all this Luongo-to-Toronto speculation, this could very well be a case of “where there’s smoke, there’s fire.”
Goaltender Roberto Luongo issued a tweet on Sunday that said: “So (what) do we do now?”
Many Toronto fans may be asking the same question after months of speculation over whether the veteran goaltender with the 12-year contract will be joining the Maple Leafs from the Vancouver Canucks for the lockout-shortened NHL season.
When the Roberto Luongo rumour mill went into full churn, promising Toronto defenceman Jake Gardiner knew who to lean on.
Who better than Luke Schenn?
Wait, a minute, Schenn did get traded.
“Sure, but it took four years,” Gardiner said. “He had rumours from the first time he got to Toronto. He had four years of it.
“I talked to him and he said, ‘Rumours are going to happen. You have to push them off. You can’t can’t ever worry about it.’”
From that point, Gardiner hasn’t, and with good reason.
Since a mid-season sag that saw him sit seven consecutive games in January, there hasn’t been a lot for Gardiner to be concerned about.
Even the rumours have been an ego stroke. The Canucks wanted him in a Luongo trade. His skating and transition game fit Vancouver’s attack like a longboard suits a hipster. The Leafs responded with their position that they can’t possibly give him up.
“I’m happy Toronto wants me, I don’t want to leave,” Gardiner said.
Gillis was also asked recently about his relationship with Burke, and said they get along “well enough” to pull the trigger on this thing.
It just re-affirmed what many have thought for months — the Leafs make the most sense. But what would that mean for Luongo? If he is struggling in October will assistant GM Dave Nonis be knocking on his door to go over paddle-down techniques?
If there is encouraging news for Luongo, it’s that before the CBA expired at least one mystery team, and maybe two, entered the Luongo sweepstakes. Team Mysterious wasn’t one of the ones that had previously been attached to a Luongo trade in rumours, so scratch Columbus off your list along with the obvious ones.
The Edmonton Oilers were floated as the potential suitor in question, and on some levels it makes a lot of sense. Nikolai Khabibulin will be 40 in January, and just may retire if this season is wiped out. Devan Dubnyk has improved slowly over the years, and shown some promise. But he’s hardly a sure thing as a No. 1 goalie in the NHL and there is no prospect behind him anywhere near ready to push for playing time.
For most, there’s no doubt Luongo would help the emerging Oilers. Maybe even make them a playoff team. And there’s the rub. What makes sense for Edmonton, probably doesn’t for the Canucks, depending, of course, on the offer.
But it’s not an easy decision for the Canucks, if you believe Luongo would accelerate the re-build program in Edmonton, making the division that much tougher, that much sooner.
Plus, Justin Schultz may have chosen Edmonton. That’s one thing. Would Luongo ever do the same?
The Toronto Maple Leafs remain interested in acquiring the services of Roberto Luongo.
According to TVA Sports hockey analyst Enrico Ciccone, Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke contacted his Vancouver Canucks counterpart, Mike Gillis, about the 33-year-old goaltender last weekend.
This is not the first time Luongo has been linked to trade talks with Toronto. In April, the Leafs were among a group of teams that showed interest in the veteran netminder.
Luongo has played 727 games in the NHL and has spent the past six seasons in Vancouver.
Last season, the emergence of Canucks backup Cory Schneider has put Luongo’s status as the club’s No. 1 goalie in doubt.
The Canucks signed Schneider to a three-year, $12-million contract this off-season, leading to speculation that Luongo, who has 10 years left on a 12-year, $64-million contract, would be traded over the summer
Last week, Shane Doan made a solemn vow that he would sign somewhere by midnight on September 15th, although his recent history of extended deadlines made us wonder if this was an empty threat.
Turns out it was. According to a recent report by John Gambadoro, a radio host on Sports 620 KTAR in Phoenix, Doan has once again spurned his own deadline. But here’s the twist: the winger has actually moved it ahead for once. Gambadoro says that Doan will sign somewhere by 2pm on September 14th, because all contracts have to be signed by then.
What’s more, “somewhere” is one of only two places: Phoenix… or Vancouver. (Hey! that’s where we live!)
We’ve been real Debbie Downers about the Canucks’ chances thus far, but if Gambadoro’s report is to be believed, you sort of have to like them now. After all, Doan has said that he needs Greg Jamison’s deal with the city of Glendale to go through before he signs that four-year deal with the Coyotes, but what are the odds of that deal getting completed tomorrow? Heck, the last time someone successfully completed a deal to purchase the Coyotes was in 2005.
But don’t get too excited. (Like, you can get kind of excited. But don’t get excited to excess.) If Doan does join the Canucks, it could mean that the Canucks’ other ongoing saga likely won’t wrap up as neatly.
The addition of Doan is likely to hurt Mike Gillis’s attempts to get market value for Roberto Luongo.
With his large Vancouver Canucks hockey bag slung over one shoulder, goalie Roberto Luongo walked out of the Panthers facility Monday morning.
“See you next week,” Luongo told a member of the Coral Springs Iceplex’s staff before heading out the door.
Luongo flew to Vancouver on Tuesday to participate in the Canucks’ charity golf tournament and continue his informal offseason workouts with his teammates.
If the NHL owners lockout their players as expected come Saturday night, Luongo plans to continue his workouts in South Florida.
So, once Luongo leaves Vancouver, will he return?
“I have no idea what is going to happen,” he said.
Luongo, who played with Florida from 2000-05, wants to return to the Panthers.
It appears there is mutual interest, too. Panthers general manager Dale Tallon spoke to the Canucks about a potential trade in June, but talks have cooled.
The Canucks are said to want a number of Florida’s top young players in return for Luongo. However, the Panthers aren’t interested in parting with any of their future building blocks. Nothing will happen on the trade front until labor issues are settled.
For Luongo, it appears his time in Vancouver is over.
Burrows, 31, is heading into the final year of a deal that pays $2 million annually. The four-year, $8 million deal he signed back in 2009-10 represents one of the league’s best bargains — since signing, he’s averaged 29 goals per season and missed just 12 games to injury.
Mark Messier has been awarded a $6-million settlement in the Hall of Famer’s long-standing grievance over money he claimed he was owed by the Vancouver Canucks.
George Nicolau, an 87-year-old New York-based arbitrator with a long history of handling high-profile sports arbitration cases, rendered his decision recently after meeting with both sides earlier this year.
The Canucks made only a brief comment on the decision.
“Canucks Sports & Entertainment is aware of the arbitrator’s decision and will have no further comment on the matter,” the team said in a statement to The Vancouver Sun Thursday.
Messier did not return a message left for him with the New York Rangers, for whom he serves as special assistant to the president.
Messier signed a five-year, free-agent contract with the Canucks in 1997 for $6 million a season. The dispute between Messier and the team is believed to centre on deferred money the hockey player felt was owed to him.
It has been reported that Messier had a clause in his contract that would compensate him if the value of the Canuck franchise increased over the life of his contract, which expired in 2002.
Messier ended up playing only three seasons with the Canucks, who exercised an option in the contract to buy him out for $2 million after the 1999-2000 season. Messier, now 51, returned to New York and played four more seasons for the Rangers before retiring after the 2003-04 season.
It may not have been the big fish Canucks fans were hoping for, but you can bet pumping a 140-pound tuna to the surface in Panama was memorable for a vacationing GM Mike Gillis.
Those tuna are renowned fighters and that was a huge fish. It’s not easy.
Much like trying to land Shane Doan.
The Canucks are in on the Doan sweepstakes, having offered the power forward a competitive multi-year contract that is at least three years in length.
How competitive? Well, it’s relative, but teams aren’t in on Doan if they’re offering one- and two-year deals.
The Canucks offer probably is not near the four-year, $30 million monster an Eastern Conference team reportedly tabled.
But that offer did have a ring of absurdity to it. You could see it coming from the Magical Man who lives in Happy-Land on Lollipop Lane.
Whether it’d be enough to sway Doan remains to be seen. But, remember, this is a player who has dedicated his entire career to the Phoenix Coyotes organization. Could that same player be lured to a situation that doesn’t fit his criteria just because it’s the largest financial windfall?
First and foremost among Doan’s criteria is to stay in Phoenix.
He wouldn’t be rounding into late July without a contract otherwise. And his return to Phoenix became more likely Monday when Glendale formally rejected the petition which was seeking a referendum on the Coyotes lease agreement.
Once again the idea of the Chicago Blackhawks trading for Vancouver Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo has reared its ugly head. Over the weekend, a story in the Vancouver Province said the teams have been talking and “reportedly” the Hawks have dangled Dave Bolland for the embattled netminder.
There are so many reasons this would be a bad idea it’s hard to pick the best one. In fact, trading anyone for Luongo remains a poor notion. Talk about creating a bigger headache than you already have …
Bolland is a valuable player. For what the Hawks need out of Luongo he simply may not be. At least not for what his contract dictates him to be. If he still was, the Canucks would not be trading him. And the Hawks are short on centers as it is. Potentially upgrading themselves in goal will only come back to haunt them up the middle. Most important is the idea that the Canucks believe they can get full value — which Bolland would be — for Luongo. The whole league knows he’s being moved. If the Hawks trade a quasi top-6 forward for Luongo, Vancouver would be committing highway robbery.
And no matter his public proclamations, Luongo doesn’t want any part of leaving one pressure cooker for another. Not a chance. His leash with fans in Chicago wouldn’t last through the fan convention this weekend let alone his first soft goal. The Hawks know this. There has been no indication from them — publicly or privately — throughout the offseason that they are interested in Luongo other than perhaps the usual perfunctory phone calls that can be chalked up to due diligence.