WELCOME HOME, LIDSTER!
New Canucks assistant coach Doug Lidster already worked with Willie Desjardins for a couple of seasons in Texas. It's great to see Lidster come "home," (Kamloops native). Keep in mind, Lidster still holds the Canucks' record for most points in a season for by defenceman (63 in 1986-87). There's some trivia for you wipper-snippers out there. He was a 7th round draft pick by the Canucks in 1980. But damn him, he won a Stanley Cup with the Rangers in 1994. By that time he had taken on more of a role as a defensive defenceman.
Anyway, Lidster talked to the media recently:
OK, so besides house pricing, what stood out there was that nobody knows yet who is going to coach the power play. It makes sense that Lidster is in charge of he D. Maybe all 3 lead the Canucks out of the PP abyss that was 2013-14. No worries there. Lidster also said yesterday:
"You have to build that trust and relationship with the players. When they know you have the same common goal and they can trust you, that's when your relationship starts. If there is a message a player doesn't want to hear, but if they know it's coming from the heart, and it's going in the right direction, and it's meant to help, they'll respond. It works the other way, too. I think it's just as important for us to listen to the players and communicate with them. It's not a dictatorship at all. Our job is to help create an environment where they can succeed."
WILLIE D AND THE KIDS
I liked this clip of Willie Desjardins talking to the prospects at UBC:
It shows what we heard about Desjardins in the first place: that he's good with the kids and he works with them as a group and individually. Good to see he is stoked. Willie had this to say about Lidster:
"Doug is just a real good man and I think he has great values. I think he's really good with the players. He's played the game so I think he understands what it's like to be a player. When he works with the defence, he treats them right and with respect. I just like the way he approaches the game."
New GM Jim Benning has said some interesting things a few days ago:
"If young players come in and they earn a spot on the team and they deserve to be on the team then we'll make room for them, that's gonna be a non-issue. I mean if they're ready to play and help the team win then we'll find a way for them to play."
Ooo! The possibilities! The current Canucks' depth chart looks like this:
Sedin - Sedin - Vrbata
Burrows - Bonino - Kassian
Higgins - Richardson - Hansen
Dorsett - Matthias- Vey / Sestito
Bieksa - Hamhuis
Edler - Tanev
Stanton - Sbisa / Weber / Corrado
That defence looks good to me. Up front though....that's where I think a couple kids can put the heat on. But it's a bit clogged up there as well with guys under contract. You know what that means: trades would have to happen.
Regardless, Jason Botchford called this the best crop of prospects he has seen since the turn of the century. He is right. The future is bright. If you are a Mike Gillis hater, **** you and remember he is a part of this even though he's gone.
Internal competition. The Canucks have a LOT of it. It's a good thing.
Good god the Evander Kane-to-the-Canucks jibberish just won't stop. The silly fire got some fuel today as Kane was on the Team 1040 on Tuesday and this happened:
Sekeres: "There’s so much speculation. I gotta ask you straight up. Evander, do you want to play for the Winnipeg Jets?"
"Well, I think I’m a Winnipeg Jet right now, and, uh, you know, there’s been speculation and rumours for the three years since I got there, so, you know, we’ll see what happens, and we’ll carry on as I’m a Winnipeg Jet."
That interview can be heard in its entirety here.
Kane is making $5.25 million for the next 5 seasons. Yes, it would be a homecoming for the 22 year-old Vancouver winger. I just don't see it happening. The Canucks are going to have to offer up some depth to get him. Roster players and draft picks / prospects. You hear Benning say that this is the roster we'll see going into the 2014-season and that he's about finished making moves. But he did say in that interview above that he's still listening to trade offers. You just never know.
I don't think it's a tough call right now to say that Evander Kane will NOT be in the Canucks' lineup on opening night. Nor will Ryan Johansen so STFU! Offer sheets are not happening.
CANUCKS SUMMER SUMMIT
Blah blah blah. Linden is so good as suckholing the fans. But that's part of his job I get it. CHANGE IS COMING, motherf***ers! I like how Linden mentioned that Gino Odjick called him "Dutch" because his parents are Dutch. Linden is Dutch? God bless him!
Notice how the "rebuild" was in management and the "retool" was with the players? Works for me!
CANUCKS HIRE JOHN WEISBROD AS VP OF PLAYER PERSONNEL
Weisbrod, a graduate of Harvard University, is also rather unique in having served as a general manager of a National Basketball Association franchise in the Orlando Magic.
He was most recently an assistant GM of the Calgary Flames, but was fired from that position at the same time as GM Jay Feaster.
Prior to his Flames stint, Weisbrod spent five seasons with the Boston Bruins as director of professional and collegiate scouting (2006 to 2011), where he worked with newly minted Canucks GM Jim Benning.
It just goes to show that a Harvard degree means shit all after than stint with Feaster in Calgary. However, Weisbrod redeems himself with his track record as a scouting director in Boston and his time as GM of the Albany River Rats, who won 2 Calder Cup championships under his tenure between 1993-95. Let's just turn a blind eye to his time with Feaster and the Flames.