Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Canucks Roster Set - Here We Go...

The Vancouver Canucks have finalized their 2009-2010 roster and will start the season as follows:

The Forwards

  • Daniel Sedin - Henrik Sedin - Alex Burrows
  • Sergei Shirokov - Ryan Kesler- Mikael Samuelsson
  • Mason Raymond - Kyle Wellwood - Steve Bernier
  • Darcy Hordichuk - Ryan Johnson - Rick Rypien
  • Tanner Glass

No real surprises up front. With Demitra out, Sergei Shirikov was a no-brainer (and may have even made the team if Demitra was healthy). Tanner Glass had a great camp and finds himself on the team due to the injury to Jannik Hansen.

As for the guys who didn't make it...

Cody Hodgson is the obvious story here. Watching Hodgson last season, the main concerns with him were his footspeed and lack of physical strength. One summer was not enough for him to overcome those deficiencies and at 19 Hodgson just isn't physically ready to compete at the NHL level.

Michael Grabner gets the runner up nod for the biggest disappointment at camp. While he showed some flashes (most noticeably his hard shot and great speed) he just didn't make enough happen.

The Defense

  • Willie Mitchell - Sami Salo
  • Christian Ehrhoff - Alex Edler
  • Shane O'Brien - Kevin Bieksa
  • Aaron Rome

The most noticeable development on defense has to be Aaron Rome landing a job over veteran Brad Lukowich. I did not get to see Lukowich play much, so I don't know if this has much (if anything) to do with his play on the ice. This is all about the salary cap. Lukowich simply makes too much money to be a 6th/7th defenseman.

Lukowich has cleared waivers and will reportedly play with the Texas Stars (AHL) as the Moose are at their veteran limit. Speaking of the Moose, Lawrence Nycholat and Michael Funk have also cleared waivers and will report to Manitoba.

The Goaltenders

  • Roberto Luongo
  • Andrew Raycroft

There was only one battle here and in the end Raycroft outperformed Cory Schneider. The organization has to be disappointed that Schneider didn't push harder for the backup job.

Other Notes

The Canucks have named Henrik Sedin as an alternate captain, replacing the departed Mattias Ohlund. (It was strange to type up the Canuck pairings and not include Ohlund.)

For those who have asked, I will be updating the blog with the 2009-2010 schedule and the "Next Game" ticker (and maybe some other things) sometime this weekend. In the meantime, enjoy the season opener in Calgary (7:00pm CBC HD).

Monday, September 14, 2009

Islanders VS Canucks from Terrace BC on Sportsnet

The Canucks will make their pre-season debut tonight in Terrace as they take on the Islanders. Not only will the game be televised, it will also be available in HD (at least according to the Bell TV guide). It looks like there will be a half hour tape delay as the game is set to get underway at 7:00 and the broadcast is at 7:30.

Here is the Canucks roster according to (Terrace is really getting shafted... looks a lot more like the Manitoba Moose than the Vancouver Canucks)

  • Grabner - Wellwood - Desbiens
  • Bolduc - Rypien - Hansen
  • Labrie - Bliznak - Walsky
  • Shirikov
  • Mitchell - Bieksa
  • Lukowich - Baumgartner
  • Rome - Sauve
  • O'Brien - Oberg
  • Raycroft
  • Schneider

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Canucks Re-Sign Luongo to 12 Year $64m Contract

The deal that most assumed was already in the bag finally got done today and it's a big one. 12 years and $64 million dollars ($5.33m cap hit) will keep Roberto Luongo in Vancouver for the remainder of his prime.

The cap hit is a great number for the Canucks, especially for the next 6 to 7 years. The extra million and a half in cap room (compared to other high paid goaltenders) will allow the Canucks some significant flexibility to address other areas such as Ryan Kesler.

The end of the contract will be interesting, nobody really knows what the salary cap or CBA will look like in 10 years. Considering that Martin Brodeur is still going strong at 37, theres a strong possibility that Luongo would still be worth his cap hit in years 8 to 10. That said, if there is still a salary cap in 2020, it would be unlikely that a team would want a $5.33m cap hit on a 40+ year old goaltender. Considering the front loading of cash in this deal, it's likely that Luongo will either be retired or bought out by the time that scenario pops up.

The deal obviously means that Cory Schneider is no longer the future between the pipes. It will be interesting to see how Mike Gillis handles Schneider. When will his value be at its peak? Do you take the risk of adding to his value by giving him some NHL time and hoping he delivers and does not struggle like last year, or do you keep him in Manitoba and try and sell teams on his superb AHL numbers?

It's been a great week for Canuck fans and things are about to get really interesting as camp approaches.