Marlies visit to Abbotsford draws Canucks’ brass, perchance on Luongo trade scouting mission?

Might the Canucks’ brass be in town to see Joe Colborne? Yes, they might.

On Wednesday, Daniel rolled out a novel mindset that might allow even the bitterest of Canucks fans to cheer for the Abbotsford Heat while still thumbing his nose at the Northwest Division rival Calgary Flames. The worse the Flames are, the better the Heat will be, Daniel espoused.

But there are other reasons for Canuck fans to take in Abbotsford contests besides Schadenfreude from concentrate. As strange as it sounds for a game that features 50% future Flames, a trip to the city in the country might also yield a glimpse into the future of the Vancouver Canucks, and I’m not just talking about when the Chicago Wolves come to visit.

For example: the Toronto Marlies are in Abbotsford this Thursday and Friday, and if the rumours surrounding Roberto Luongo’s future are to be believed, then at least one or two players currently suiting up for the Marlies — Toronto’s best professional sports team, by the way — should become Vancouver property shortly after the lockout ends.

If you’re a diehard Canucks fan, that means the two-game set between the Heat and the Marlies is probably worth seeing. But the same goes for members of the Canucks scouting staff and front-office. If indeed they’re speaking to Toronto about a swap involving Funny Bob, the Canucks would be high-order fools not to cross the Port Mann (or take the Mary Hill Bypass and cruise in on Lougheed, said this Maple Ridge resident) and see what the Maple Leafs are selling in person.

I can assure you that the Canucks staff are not high-order fools. According to a source, the Canucks will be sending a large group of scouts and management, including two members of Mike Gillis’s majestic consortium front office staff. The Maple Leafs are sending a similar group, and I’d speculate that they aren’t here to chat with Flames’ management (or say hi to Steve McCarthy).

Who might the Canucks be looking at?

The team is hoping to address through this trade at least one of their two organizational needs: an offensive-minded defenceman and a third-line centre. Considering the development of Kevin Connauton, which seems to be going even better than they expected, and the fact that Brendan Gaunce is still a ways off, I’d say they covet the centre more.

Two names have come up: Tyler Bozak and Joe Colborne.

Now, Bozak isn’t currently with the Marlies (and let’s hope the fact that they can’t see him this weekend dissuades them from considering him if they are, because blech). But Colborne’s here, and he bears some striking similarities to Panthers’ prospect Nick Bjustad, recently deemed untouchable by Dale Tallon: he’s big, he’s 22 years old and, uh, he’s not Tyler Bozak. He’s also teetering on NHL readiness, which is important since the Canucks are in win-now mode and would like to acquire someone they can start playing on the quick.

(Not to mention against the Quick. The Canucks’ need for an upgrade in the middle of line 3 was evident versus the LA Kings last postseason.)

Nazem Kadri’s another name to watch. The Leafs seem to be growing frustrated with him and recently railed on his fitness, and the Canucks have a history of picking up young Maple Leaf centres with fitness issues.

And, of course, speaking of offensive defencemen, Jake Gardiner still plays for this team. Sure, the Maple Leafs said no when the Canucks inquired about him at the draft, but that doesn’t mean Vancouver stopped coveting him. If his defensive ability has improved since last spring, when even AHL skaters were told to go right through him, then Canucks might covet him all the more.

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16 comments

  1. nathan
    November 1, 2012

    Bozak has only been considered part of this in Toronto where the media has convinced them they are doing us a huge favour by accepting Luongo. I don’t think anyone in the Canucks management (or fanbase) would consider this realistic. If so, let’s see if we can package Raymond and a 4th for Lecavalier, essentially the same thing.

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  2. Gimmic
    November 1, 2012

    The Leafs don’t have great prospects in term of Canucks needs. I’d take a flyer on Kadri over Colborne/Bozak. Colbourne can’t skate, he looks like gumbi on blades. Bozaks a turd. We all know why.

    Ideally, Tallon finds a way to pay for Luongo and gives us Bjugstad.

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  3. Adam
    November 1, 2012

    The question is can Colborne play the wing because, if the Canucks do trade for him, at some point down the road the same redundancy issues that came up with Hodgson playing centre are going to come up with Colborne.

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  4. Joe
    November 1, 2012

    You Vancouver tards, your soo dumb to think that the leafs are going to give up one of their top rated prospects for an okay goalie with an alabtross contract

    Gillis is not in a position of power. The best you are getting is a salary swap, you would get Komiserik or Connoly, maybe Reimer

    Keep dreaming Vancouver. You guys are screwed with that contract for years to come unless Gillis realizes Burkie is not giving up a 1st round draft prospect, even though we have more 1st rounders in the system than Vancouver and The flamers combined….GILLIS IS A TOOL

    Vancouver SUCKS!

    I heard vancouverite say the leafs would have given up their 5th pick in the draft last year….Yeah 5th round maybe

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    • Harrison Mooney
      November 1, 2012

      NO YOUR SOO DUMB

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      • mad wag
        November 2, 2012

        “you’re” is the appropriate contraction for “you are”.

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        • Rituro
          November 2, 2012

          That’s the joke.

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    • Gadsby
      November 1, 2012

      An “Alabtross” (sic) sounds like that one trophy harder to get than a mountain goat that David Booth is getting next.

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    • Nee
      November 1, 2012

      Slow (sarcastic) clap for this guy

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  5. Peter
    November 1, 2012

    Joe, you’re 100% correct. A lot of delusional Cannot fans on here. They can only dream that they get Bozak (who’s done really well considering he’s not a first line centre).

    Zero chance on any of the first rounders. Gardiner is one of the, if not the best offensive defenseman in the entire league right now (just watch any Marlies game). It’s completely laughable.

    So vancouver can enjoy Mike Komisarek and Lombardi for Lu. Thanks.

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    • Daniel Wagner
      November 1, 2012

      Yep, we’re the ones who are delusional and Burke, the guy with James Reimer as his number one goalie, is bargaining from a position of strength. Makes perfect sense.

      You are drastically overrating the value of Bozak and slightly overrating the value of Gardiner. And there’s not a chance in hell that Komisarek and Lombardi would get the Leafs Luongo. But yes, Canucks fans are the delusional ones…

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    • Nee
      November 1, 2012

      “can only dream that they get Bozak”

      Ahahahahaha. I’d ask this guy if he’s taken a look at Bozak’s awful stats lately, but why bother…

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  6. Patrick Clayton
    November 1, 2012

    If Burke made Gardiner a non starter in any Rick Nash talks in the spring, what makes you think he would include him in a deal for Luongo? Gardiner isn’t going anywhere, in any deal that isn’t for a number one center.

    Bozak isn’t garbage. He’s a very capable center, wins face offs, and doesn’t suck defensively. Colborne is a very capable prospect that is still maybe a year away from being a regular. There’s likely a deal to be done, but I can guarantee it will not involve Jake Gardiner.

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    • Daniel Wagner
      November 1, 2012

      You’re probably right, but I would argue that Luongo fills a need for the Leafs, whereas Nash did not. The Leafs need a star goaltender more than they need a star winger. That’s the only argument I could see for Gardiner being in the discussion in this case when he wasn’t for Nash.

      Bozak is…okay. I mean, he’s clearly an NHL player. That’s about the best thing I can say about him. Despite getting very favorable zone starts and facing an average quality of competition, Bozak had one of the worst Corsi ratings on the Leafs last season. That would indicate that saying he “doesn’t suck defensively” is just another way of saying “He’s terrible defensively, but ‘suck’ is going just a teensie bit too far.”

      Suffice it to say, I would rather that the Canucks not acquire him.

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  7. nathan
    November 1, 2012

    judging by the opinions of joe and peter, i’d say that my initial remark regarding the delusions of Leaf fans (under the tutelage of Damien Cox and Nonis’ cousin) is spot on. right guys, Luongo is worth a salary swap, nothing more…maaaaaaybe Bozak if Burkie’s feeling real generous!

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  8. akidd
    November 1, 2012

    oh, oh, those loveable leafers found this blog. run for your lives. it may seem cute at first how innocently delusional they are but they are a persistant lot. best to just stand as still as you can and hope they go away because otherwise they will ‘komisarek’ you to oblivion.

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