So this past weekend was my buddy's bachelor party weekend. Not just one night, no, it was a whole weekend; and a glorious one at that.
The majority of the large group that I spent the weekend with are all huge Canuck fans. That maybe be actually one of the reasons we are all so close to each other, as we spend so much time together watching games together. So the topic of the team came up more than once in conversation throughout the weekend. On most offseason moves we'd like to see Gillis make, there was usually an overall agreement but I got quite a bit of backlash when I suggested that Mike Gillis trade away Mason Raymond.
First off, it's not because I don't like Raymond but my suggestion came because he may be one of the Canuck players that has the greatest trade potential.no comments
The Hamilton Bulldogs' Guy Boucher was offered the head coaching job in CBJ, but after thinking about it over the weekend has turned it down. Boucher will instead stay with his AHL team which is the farm club for the Montreal Canadiens.
But his refusal turns into a job for our Manitoba Moose coach Scott Arniel. Columbus will hold a press conference tomorrow at 1pm PST to announce Arniel as the new head coach for the Blue Jackets.
He spent the last 4 seasons as the coach for the Moose and had a 183-106-31 record. Since he was good with young guys like Mason Raymond and Michael Grabner, the change could be good for Nikita Filatov who played this past season away in Russia.
Postseason performances and dollars:
The Kurtenblog looks at postseason performers who might be in line for big raises. They bring up an interesting question regarding cheap goalies since Antti Niemi is an RFA this year:
"So what happens when your cheap goalie wins a Cup? Do you expect him to re-sign for cheap? Or do you just go find another cheap goalie?"
Icethetics says that the new patch that will appear on the Canuck jerseys next year will celebrate the Canucks' 40th anniversary, and this is what it will look like
Schneider will back up Luongo next season and will hopefully (unlike prior appearances in the NHL) increase his trade value. In 10 games played with the Canucks, he has a record of 2-5-1 (2 games were with coming in on a goalie switch). Needing to showcase Schneider, the Canucks will need to play him more than they did Raycroft last year. This should reduce the number of games Luongo plays and add a bit of competition for games played.
The Canucks also signed two Swedish prospects today as well, Anton Rodin and Peter Andersson. Both were picks from the 2009 draft and played this past year in the SEL. Rodin played this year for Brynas and Andersson played for Vastra Frolunda HC.no comments
The Canucks have signed three defensemen, Yann Sauve, Lee Sweatt and Chris Tanev as per Canucks.com today.
Yann Sauve was a 2008 second round draft pick of the Canucks and played with the Saint John Sea Dogs this year.
Sweatt and Tanev are both free agent defencemen. Sweatt is 24 and a native of Illinois and split the last season in Europe between Riga Dynamo (KHL) and TPS Turku (FNL). Tanev is 20 and played with the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT)
Also in the news, Daniel Sedin won TSN's Play of the Year competitionno comments
If you haven't had a chance to read it yet, Elliotte Friedman questions whether maybe Luongo needs to re-invent his style?
In my 30 Thoughts from two weeks ago, I posted critiques from other players about his inability to handle traffic and habit of lunging instead of pushing off. Obviously, those are problems he's going to have to solve. Another I've heard is that his long, gangly body creates big rebounds.
Both Luongo and the organization must do an exhaustive examination into his technique, which is already occurring, I think. Then, they've got to find the Mason/Matwijiw to fix it. Is it the current coach, Ian Clark? Or, is it someone else?
He also gives some thoughts on whether Cory Schneider is the best type of backup for Luongo next year:
The Canucks have to ask themselves if having Cory Schneider back up Luongo is the best idea. A better fit would be a smart, helpful veteran who knows he's not going to start more than 20 games and is satisfied with that. (I've written several times how Curtis Joseph credited Glenn Healy with a lot of his success in Toronto.) This is not to say Schneider's a bad guy, but when you're 24, you want your chance to play. Martin Biron would be a fantastic fit, if he's ready for that role.
As always, Friedman's 30 Thoughts are worth the read (one of the best regular features in hockey)
Here is the SCF schedule for the Blackhawks vs. Flyers
Saturday, May 29 at Chicago, 8 p.m. NBC, CBC, RDS
Monday, May 31 at Chicago, 8 p.m. NBC, CBC, RDS
Wednesday, June 2 at Philadelphia, 8 p.m. VERSUS, CBC, RDS
Friday, June 4 at Philadelphia, 8 p.m. VERSUS, CBC, RDS
*Sunday, June 6 at Chicago, 8 p.m. NBC, CBC, RDS
*Wednesday, June 9 at Philadelphia, 8 p.m. NBC, CBC, RDS
*Friday, June 11 at Chicago, 8 p.m. NBC, CBC, RDS
I haven't decided who I want to win this series. Part of me wanted whoever came out of the West to just massacre the East, but I have a friend who is trying to say that the Flyers is a team I could fall in love with (temporarily), so while I decide on who I'll cheer for, who will you be cheering for?no comments
A whole playoff series later and the Blackhawks leave another team questioning their team makeup. This time they just out-hustled the Sharks and surprisingly swept the series.
Does the sweep of the Sharks make me feel any less disappointed about the Canucks' loss to the Blackhawks? No not really, but I think it's about time that I get around to give my thoughts on the team that was.
In the summer, Mike Gillis will have some interesting choices to make with Demitra, Mitchell, Johnson, Wellwood and Raycroft being some of the UFA's on the Canuck roster. There's also a plethora of RFA's as well, like Raymond, Hansen, O'Brien, Rome and Schneider to name a few. But this team that we had this year had what people thought of as the make up of a team that could have gone all the way, so what happened?
After the jump I go through the car crash that was the Canucks in the playoffs...no comments