CANUCKS MOVING UP IN THE DRAFT?
According to Elliotte Friedman, who I'd say is definitely a guy you can trust, the Canucks are indeed interested in acquiring the Florida Panthers' first overall pick in this year's NHL Entry Draft. According to Friedman in his 30 thoughts column:
3. As we head towards Philadelphia, site of Draft Smorgasbord 2014, who are the teams to watch? Well, Florida is atop the list, because of its willingness to separate itself from the first overall selection. Other teams don't believe GM Dale Tallon will make his final decision until Thursday night, so there might be a lull beforehand. Why show your best offer on Tuesday when it might not matter for 48 hours?
4. One team that has definitely made an offer? Vancouver. I believe it included their first pick in this draft (which is sixth overall) and Hunter Shinkaruk, who was taken 24th in 2013. There was at least one other piece, probably off the main roster, but I can't pin it down. It's not Ryan Kesler, who won't go there.
A few things stand out for me there:
1. Hunter? Noooooo.....I really want to see him play here....but hey, I'd rather see the #1 pick in this year's draft play here.
2. Who in the hell was the possible roster player? A forward? A defenceman? If you look at the Panthers' current contract status'....good lord.....hard to pinpoint where their biggest need is.
3. Kesler doesn't want to be play in Florida? Awwwww......But Ryan, the new Panthers' management is going to spend a lot of $$$ ASAP. How do I know this? Well, Roberto Luongo was on Team 1040 on Monday to talk about his Canucks feelings and about Florida's direction (big high five to Nichols On Hockey for transcribing it):
How close to winning do you think you are with the Florida Panthers?
"Here’s the thing. A lot of people think that I went down there to ride into the sunset and all that kind of nonsense. That’s not me. I want to win. I put a lot of trust in my agent in the work that he put in and the ownership is dedicated to winning. We’ve got some new owners in there and they’ve said that we’re going to spend some money in free agency and bring the salary up close to the cap within a year or two. I’ve talked to them many times over the course of the last couple of months and they’ve told me they’re in the free agency market and they told me they’re looking to spend some money and get some players.
"Definitely the young talent is there. I think we’ve got a new great young coach coming in this year that can help us go along and who knows? It’s all about the pieces that we get, right? I mean, you have to get the right mix together to have a good team and hopefully we’ll be in contention for a playoff spot this year."
Now while we are on the Luongo subject, Lou had some parting words for the situation in Vancouver:
Were you shocked when it happened (the trade)? You said it was weird.
"Yeah, I mean I was. I didn’t – we all know, obviously, what led up to it. The year, year and a half before that. Going into the year, I didn’t know what was going to happen, but after we had passed the midway point my family was here, my daughter was in school. You know, we were getting used to being here again and we were actually starting to look at houses, so at that point in time we really weren’t expecting to get traded. It’s kind of weird how things happen in life, but all of the sudden we come back from the Olympics and we all know what happened there. A couple of days later that was it."
Was that the trigger point – the Heritage Classic?
"Yeah, I think so. I think it was really the last straw, if we can call it that. I think – you know, and I don’t have any resentment toward anybody about it, but I think obviously that’s what led up to the events that happened. "
Let that be the end of it, until Lu writes a tell-all book. He wanted out for a long time. And yes, the decision to play Eddie Lack in the Classic was the wrong one. I still don't get what Tortorella was thinking, except, in his words, he was trying to give the team the best chance to win. Hey...Lack was hot at the time...BAH! It really doesn't matter. Lou wanted out anyway.
RYAN KESLER SPECULATION RUNNING WILD
With many believing a Kesler deal will be done before or during the Draft, perhaps that is not the case anymore. Trevor Linden mentioned on Monday that there is no timeline for a deal and that a player like Kesler is needed on this team (no shit). Jim Benning said that they are still having conversations with the KesLord. What exactly are they talking about? The team's direction? Promising sweet linemates for him? Promising retooling and a Cup chance soon? Or maybe is it just about the teams that Kesler has given management and how they are going to pull off a deal with his teams of choice? I am sure the Canucks want to part ways with Kesler as much as the Avalanche want to part ways with Paul Stastny. Make no mistake: its not easy to replace a guy like Kesler however, if his mind is made up that he wants to leave, well, as we saw with Luongo, you hope the guy performs like a beast if he remains in a situation that he no longer wants to be a part of.
Many reports also say that the asking price for Kesler remains very high and wonder which teams are willing to give up what the Canucks are asking (top players / prospects).
Crazy Kesler trade rumors:
-Is it not amazing how different the aura of the new management system is the opposite of the last regime? Benning-Linden-Desjardins come across as the most humble, down-to-earth people, unlike Gillis-Vigneault-Tortorella. Are they green in their respective positions? Yes. But so what? These guys are not stupid. But let me make one thing clear: control your emotions with the events of the last 6 weeks. The changes in management are radical. But they don't always translate into immediate success. The players put on the ice for the 2014-15 season need to perform. Will they be good enough? Possibly. Perhaps a little patience is needed here even though Linden and Benning tell the faithful the Canucks are not rebuilding, rather retooling. What else are they going to tell the season ticket holders?
-Don't get me wrong though. I like the new management structure. It's just that, it doesn't take long for the fans to shit-talk and point fingers of blame.
-From The Province's Gollum:
But this guy (Desjardins) evidently feels they can come back and play at a decent level, and you know that, other than perhaps Ryan Kesler, most of those players in the room in September are going to know they have a lot more than they showed last season.
Without even thinking, seriously, could the quality players this team has on the back end play as dismally as they did last season, particularly down the stretch when Eddie Lack faced at least three or four odd-man situations a night?
While you may think that D group is overrated in this town, there is simply no way they could be that bad again this year.
Holy hell, he speaks truth!
-Anyone else wonder if Glen Gulutzan, the only guy the Canucks spared in the coach firing, may not even be in Desjardin's plans moving forward?
Just reading between the lines here, but don't think Gulutzan will remain on #Canucks staff under Desjardins.— Brad Ziemer (@BradZiemer) June 23, 2014
Desjardins only said he would speak with Gully.
On that note, I'm outta here!