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Where Are We Going?

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Type the title into Google or Youtube and you will find everything from treatises on Israel and globalization to Marvin Gay and Kate + 8 . But Donald Byrd has it right in this super cool jazz ditty from 1972. It seems apt. ( Or maybe I'm trying to get you kids to listen to the best music, jazz ) We all know how the Canucks have a high "cool" quotient from actors, musicians, athletes, beauty queens and all. Perhaps this underrated trumpeter was a closet Canuck fan from way back...( All those lyrics about haters and people shouting. I'm feeling you Dr Byrd! ) Either way, try not to have at least one toe tapping by the end.

Just listen to the last verse asking "where are we going..." I'm positive now. He was one of us back then!

Hopefully, this post will also help you with your morning rosterbations and hockey ablutions. As we approach the time when deals start to fly, 18 year olds become rich and we all jump back into the puck pool at the height of summertime, lets take a second to set the table.

Here's what GMMG said on TEAM Wednesday afternoon. As always with Gillis speak, its open to some interpretation. Your humble fellow traveller will attempt to do so after the break.

Coming to you from Las Vegas, Blake jumped right in, and Mike batted around the softball about "is this the time for trades" before Blake's mentioning of Damien Cox's lobbying for a Luongo to Toronto deal.

Mike did not bite on the "Coxy" question, but while he was canny about it, there was no real mention of a trade with the Leafs getting tipped, as he teased about the when "deals could happen later". He did say he is getting a "lot of different teams involving with a " lot of people", but also , quite rightly, pointed out that having most of his core signed while dealing gives you a "position of strength:". No nuggets there. Thats the great thing about GillisSpeak, its like the Tabula Rasa for Canuck fans. Read into the cliches and "not really saying anything particular" lines all you want. Though, it does sound like he is getting a big cel' bill, at the least!

Onto Niklas Jensen, and here Mr Gillis was much more forthcoming. It seems that the young Dane will be in the Swedish Elite League if he does not make the team. I do like how the boss characterized his play in the AHL as "excellent", at the end of the year, and will interpret that he sure did not sound like he was talking about a guy that will play in the SEL next year. He sounded like a guy pretty high on a young player that can play.

Blake had to get into his backhanded campaign of "Mason Raymond Sucks", in there somehow, and was pretty polite about it. Gillis repeated what will be the storyline for Mase about the cut down arbitration being a way of "motivating the player". ( I actually like listening to Price, but man, he just despises the idea of Mase on this team! )

It does sound like, at the very least, the team will be standing behind him for one more year. Personally, I think its the right move based on his talent, potential, and motivation to come back from everything. The critiques and disdainful questions to his face from reporters about falling down and such. The lesser salary in a league where you get a bump in arbitration 95% of the time, at the least. Its one year. He either explodes as a 2nd, 3rd line winger, or he is gone anyhow. He has the team's support, regardless of how the move is viewed. Mike sounded pretty sincere on this one

Patterson to....the softball about how its a " convention at the draft". ( sorry. Am I the only one that finds his cadence a little offputting? Just me then? Nevermind! ) He did ask a good question ( as he usually does ) about meeting Schneider's agent and Mike was probably smirking as he said he "might run into him" before Blake tried to get him to tamper on Justin Schultz ( not until July 1st Blake ) Patterson again asked a good question about Marc Andre Gragnani being qualified ( yes, he was ) as there was some confusion yesterday.

I do like how he talked about being at the Awards and how to explain a team with a second straight President's Trophy that dominated the awards last year is shut out this year. He does sound pretty positive, and dropped a good nugget about a lot of the players already in Vancouver and "using the facilities and training". If he is excited about the team, I will try to be as well! He dropped another great nugget about the sked being "the best its been since I got here...".

So, to interpret that optimism at the end, listen yourself to form an opinion, use the thread if you so desire to sound off. For me, its blatantly obvious that he is going to make a big move and get Shea, Zach, young Justin, and a couple more Higgins clones thrown in at the minimum. ( Perhaps its all a smokescreen to get Evander Kane and Andrew Ladd... ) As always with GMMG, on the big things, he kept his cards close to the vest. It does sound like he is working hard at creating a market for Luongo before he gets down to signing Schneider. Since signing Schneider would be much better served before other teams could potentially poach him in that window between July 1st and 5th, I will go out on a very sturdy limb and say that a deal on the goaltending, probably for Luongo, happens soon. Within the week is my non expert prognostication. I'm picking at the draft, in the morning. Well, it depends how late Burkie sleeps in.

You do have to love this time of the year. After the disappointment for 29 teams, and especially our little corner of the NHL,it does sound like the Canucks could be involved in the story that unfolds tomorrow. Then we get to talk about it!

Mike Gillis does raise the expectations a bit, and sounded confident in the season to come. Though, thats pretty easy at this stage. "Very exciting season" sounds pretty good, as does the "all" when he talked of the number of guys in town already. For this long time Canuck fan, that does not happen all the time. I like it!