TORONTO LOVES RAYMOND?
The hockey world outside of Vancouver is very surprised that Mason Raymond is still an available unrestricted free agent. Canucks fans and media who follow the team? Not as much. Personally, I think MayRay can thrive in a different environment on a new team. He has the skills. He has the tenacity. Sure, we bug him about falling down on multiple occasions, but MayRay can silence that BS very quickly. Maybe he can do that in Toronto.
"Obviously we’re getting pretty close to camp and we have some opportunities, and he’s looking for a chance to prove himself, so it’s a pretty good fit," said Leafs' GM Dave Nonis, who drafted Raymond in the 2nd round in 2005.
Raymond attends Leafs Camp on a professional try-out basis, so there are no guarantees that he even makes the club. Without Nazem Kadri signed and Matt Frattin traded to the Kings in the Jonathan Bernier deal, the general consensus out there is that Mason could help out on the 3rd line. Given that nobody has signed him up to this point, he is going to have to accept a lot less than the $2.275 million contract he had last season with Vancouver. Or he'll end up in Europe..who knows.
Just to piss out some factoids out there:
Between 2007 and 2011, Ryan Kesler scored 1.95 points per 60 minutes on the ice with Mason Raymond, and 1.72 points per 60 without him.— CanucksArmy (@CanucksArmy) September 9, 2013
Keep in mind that there are always other factors at play with stats like that.
Best of luck out there, MayRay. I hope you get a spot on the Leafs' roster and find your scoring touch back. Watching your play here with the Canucks has been a good time.
A little MayRay tribute:
ROBERTO LUONGO MEETS THE VANCOUVER MEDIA...AGAIN
Roberto Luongo, after a summer of silence after the Cory Schneider trade, is practicing with his buds at UBC. Roberto is maintaining a team-first / humorous approach to the season, and he is remaining very professional.
A few days ago, when Lou knew he'd face a bunch of Vancouver media at UBC, Luongo tweeted:
The Province's Jason Botchford, who was part of the scrum, tweeted a goofy shot at Lou and got a responce:
@botchford A) it's wasnt sculpted B) I shaved today— Strombone (@strombone1) September 7, 2013
But when Luongo did talk to the local media he made things very damned clear:
"I know there’s a lot of reporters up in Penticton," Luongo said, pointing to the Young Stars tournament, "but I wanted to try to get this out of the way as quick as possible, so that it’s less of a distraction when training camp starts. I really don’t want it to be around the team once we get going."
He added later: "I don’t want to worry about that stuff, especially when we get going. I don’t want to hurt my teammates, I don’t want to hurt the organization. I don’t want this to carry on all season and have to talk about it. I want to put it to rest and get to work."
That is quoting Steve Ewen of the Province, who is a better man than Tony Gallagher. And speaking of Gallagher (GOLLUM! GOLLUM!) Luongo had something to say about his "Diva" piece the Tony recently posted:
"Obviously you don’t like to see that but you have to take it for what it is and move on."
"Taking it for what it is" is basically saying "consider that the source is an old coot, well beyond his retirement years, who is trying to gain hits by being a negative creep". That is just my take on it.
More from Steve Ewen here.
Let's face it though, Luongo is trying to piss on a fire, and admirably doing so. Unfortunately it isn't going to work. His play will do the talking though. But he has made his stand and statement. From here on out it should be "no comment" when reporters ask him questions on the matter. I read that Luongo's wife / family has moved to Vancouver after living in Florida last season.
Kick some ass, Luongo! You have my vote!
SEDINS CLOSE TO SIGNING EXTENSIONS?
The Province's Ed Willies has a piece up that talks about Luongo, Tortorella, and most notably, the Sedins and their potential contract extensions. Fransesco Aquilini said that the Twins are close to signing extensions.
"They’re Canucks," he said. "They’re what we want this team to be about."
TSN's Darren Dreger tweeted on Sunday:
Sedin's met with Canucks management on Friday. Good discussion, but as of today no offers have been presented.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) September 8, 2013
BAH! The extensions are going to happen. You don't let those two walk next summer unless you are in complete rebuild mode. Too much talent left in those boys.
A few weeks ago, Frankie Corrado played Thunderstruck for Canucks.com:
I have a few things to say about this:
-Frankie.....your transition needs work!
-I am going to give up a huge guitar player secret: Thunderstruck sounds so difficult to play, but it isn't. It's a cool-sounding song and awesome to break out at a party because people are blown away when you play it. Fortunately those people don't play guitar and don't know the difference between Zappa and AC/DC.
-I really hope Frankie makes the top 7. The kid is cool as a cucumber..much like Chris Tanev. The Canucks could use his right-handed shot. He beefed up a hell of a lot this summer (20 pounds). Atta boy!
KESLER AND BEASTMODE AND FRATERNIZING WITH THE ENEMY
Yea, the KesLord is partaking in American activities in New York lately:
but more importantly... PRINCE RUPERT, BC!
What the hell was going on in Rupert?
Somebody kick my ass for not being in Prince Rupert this weekend. Terrace resident and hockey guru Joe Pelletier has more on the Canucks' promotional visit to Prince Rupert here.
The best news in regards to Ryan Kesler is that he is feeling 100% for the first time in a long time, heading into a regular season.
GAUNCE PULL PLUS CAMP NEWS
Brendan Gaunce is usually a center. In the baby Canucks' 5-2 stomping of the Oiler kids at the Youth Stars Tournament in Penticton on Saturday, coach Travis Green put Gaunce on the wing to try something new to get him going and the kid responded with 2 assists.
Here are 3rd period highlights of that game:
Reportedly, Niklas Jensen is the best prospect at camp so far. Jensen is a winger, though, and the Canucks need a guy to step up to play the 3rd line center role. That is still up for grabs.
It appears that Frankie Corrado is the best defenceman so far.
In a feel-good story, Bo Horvat and Hunter Shinkaruk appear to be joined at the hip. They balance each other in many ways. Horvat is uber-serious and Shinkaruk is the funny guy. Horvat said yesterday:
Drafted by the same team in the first round, ensuring they will spend years developing together, they are represented by the same agency. They’re playing on the same line here. They were on a line at the Canucks prospects’ camp earlier this summer. Even Brent Sutter put them together at the Canadian national junior camp in Lake Placid, N.Y., in early August.
"I laughed at that," Horvat said. "It seems like wherever we go, we’re a package deal. We’re always together.
"He’s a great player and a great guy to be around. It’s great to have a guy like that to go through all this with you.
"It’s pretty special we were drafted in the same round and we’ve become really good friends."
That is quoting a Province issue by Jason Botchford.
On top of that, Shinkaruk offered this gem to the media:
“Being a competitive kid, I want to make sure the Flames wished they had taken me with that pick,” he said. “It’s definitely going to be something that will drive me every time I play against them, for sure. If I can get out there and make them pay for not taking me it would be pretty nice.”
The future looks bright right now, doesn't it? Having said that, the Canucks will make cuts soon after the Canucks-Jets game tomorrow at 12:00 PM.