Recapping the Canucks’ 2013 entry draft

The Canucks traded up and selected Bo Horvat with the 9th pick.

It’s Draft Day, that marvellous time of the year when cynicism and pessimism are replaced by boundless hope and optimism. At the draft, each prospect is fêted as the next NHL star, with normally sober-minded analysts comparing a raw 18-year-old to Claude Giroux, Shea Weber, or Joe Thornton, when they’re equally likely to be the next Steve Bernier, Boris Valabik, or Lars Jonsson.

This was a busy draft for the Canucks, making the biggest trade of the day, sending Cory Schneider to the Devils for their first round pick at ninth overall. That added to the six picks they already had under their belt.

Pass it to Bulis was there through the entire draft, with Harrison in New Jersey to cover the draft in person and Daniel “in studio.” We ran a comprehensive liveblog, which now serves as a comprehensive recap. To get the full effect, you’ll want to read from the bottom up, unless you want to travel backwards in time and see the Canucks acquire young goaltender Cory Schneider for the 9th overall pick.


7:11 PM (DW) – That’s it for us here at Pass it to Bulis. The Canucks select three centres and four defencemen, with some intriguing potential, particularly among their early picks, but the draft is far more likely to be remembered for the surprising trade of Cory Schneider. We’ll leave you with the moment that will potentially live in infamy:

7:08 PM (DW) – Pronman had Liberati at 197th overall in his draft ranking, while Central Scouting had him as the 150th best North American skater. Essentially, he’s the kind of player that you take a chance on with a seventh round pick. It’s possible that he flourishes given more ice time in coming years and his raw ability is worth taking a chance on.

7:04 PM (DW) – Liberati is listed at 6’1″, 194 lbs and is described on as a “smooth skater with offensive instincts.” He had just 9 points in 42 games for the London Knights, but according to Corey Pronman, he was “a hard guy to get a read on because he barely played due to [a] deep team.”

6:56 PM (DW) – The Canucks’ final pick of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, at 205th overall, is American defenceman Miles Liberati.

6:44 PM (DW) – Here’s some info on Mike Williamson from the Spruce Grove Saints website:

Michael Williamson has made a commitment to join the Penn State Nittany Lions for the 2013-2014 season.  Williamson is in his second full year with the Saints and has become a skilled leader on the Saints defensive end.  In 54 games with the Saints Michael has scored 24 points and earned 87 penalty minutes.  Although stricken with injury this season, the Saints rookie of the year in 2011-2012 has made an impact in the games he has participated in. He earned a tryout for Team Canada West earlier this season but during the selection camp he aggravated a previous injury and could not continue to compete for a spot.

“Mike brings the full package, he is a big strong defenseman that is extremely mobile and possesses a heavy shot,”  Says Head Coach/General Manager Jason McKee.  “He has been a positive influence on our dressing room for the past two seasons and I am confident that he will carry these traits forward to the next level.

6:29 PM (DW) - Central Scouting had Williamson ranked 183rd among North American skaters heading into the draft. There’s not a lot of information out there about him, but judging from his size and mediocre point totals, we can assume he’s a stay-at-home type.

6:27 PM (DW) – Luongo has chimed in on Twitter:

6:24 PM (DW) – Williamson is also an older player at 19, which also fits Gillis’s strategies over the last few years.

6:22 PM (DW) – With the 175th pick, the Canucks select defenceman Mike Williamson out of the Alberta Junior Hockey League. He’s 6’3″ and headed to Penn State University, which fits Mike Gillis’s strategy of going with players enroute to the NCAA with late round picks.

6:12 PM (DW) – So far that makes three centres (two of whom also play left wing) and two defencemen in this draft. Gillis has picked a goaltender in four of his five drafts and has two picks remaining.

6:05 PM (DW) – Cederholm is expected to play for Rögle in the second tier in Sweden next year. He spent 13 games with the men’s team last season, spending most of his time in the under-20 team, scoring 13 points in 36 games with a plus-27 rating.

5:58 PM (DW) – The Hockey News had Cederholm ranked 95th overall, Corey Pronman had him ranked 90th. He’s described as a stay-at-home defenceman who plays a simple, solid game. Here’s Pronman’s scouting report:

Cederholm is not the type of prospect who puts up gaudy counting numbers as he does not possess notable offensive skill, but he is a big, mobile defenseman who processes the game at a desirable level. He keeps the play in front of him due to very good defensive positioning with his body and stick. His above-average skating allows him to get back well. He shows good ability to pivot and skate backwards in such a manner to stay with quick forwards. He knows how to take his assignments, and he will use his body to bump them off of pucks. He is well developed physically for a U18, measuring at 6’2″ and 204 pounds. His puck skills are limited, but he will make a fine first pass out of his zone. He relies on better puck movers to get it through the neutral zone. He will flash a moderate breakout pass, because his hockey sense allows him to see those lanes open, but in general he prefers a conservative style.

5:55 PM (DW) – With the 145th pick, the Canucks select Swedish defenceman Anton Cederholm, which will assuage anyone worried about whether the Canucks were going to pick a Swede.

5:53 PM (DW) - James Duthie just reported that Aquilini went to Luongo’s house in Florida today and told him about the trade before it became public. Very interesting. So much for being upset that the Canucks didn’t talk to him.

5:45 PM (DW) – Subban finished 6th in the OHL in scoring among defencemen, first among draft eligible prospects.

5:40 PM (DW) – The Hockey News had Subban ranked 67th overall. Corey Pronman had him all the way up at 54th. Here’s Pronman’s scouting report:

You may have heard this name before. Jordan Subban, like his brother P.K., is a right-handed Belleville Bulls defenseman who enters the draft with offensive gifts and defensive question marks. P.K. was selected 43rd overall in 2007, similar to this range for Jordan. Subban is a top-end skater who has the ability to jet up and down the ice as a dangerous puck rusher. He has plus offensive skill, as he can weave through traffic and make quality setups. He can be a little risky with his offensive attacks, however, as well as make poor positional errors on defense. He is a small defenseman at about 5’9″, and that brings a solid amount of risk to his projection. His value in his own end is questionable, although he will work hard in one-on-one battles. He can make plays as a stick checker, but as a prospect, he has a high amount of uncertainty based on his defensive projection.

5:37 PM (DW) – P.K. actually thinks that Jordan is the best Subban. Describes him as “more cerebral” and says he “works harder.”

5:36 PM (DW) – Jordan Subban on TSN right now with his brothers talking to James Duthie.

“I’m just going to work hard to give myself the best opportunity to play in the National Hockey League.”

5:35 PM (DW) – Subban’s size is definitely a concern, but his big brother P.K. had this to say about his competitiveness:

5:33 PM (DW) – Jordan Subban is an offensive defenceman who put up 51 points in 68 games for the Belleville Bulls. He’s got high-end skill and skates well, but the big question mark is his size. Jordan is listed at just 5’9″, which can be a problem for any hockey player, but especially for defencemen. The hope is that his skill and skating can make up for his lack of size. In the fourth round, that’s a fairly reasonable risk to take.

5:27 PM (DW) – With the 115th pick in the fourth round, the Canucks select Jordan Subban, brother to P.K. and Malcolm. Like P.K., Jordan is a defenceman.

5:25 PM (HM) – NEWARK — With the 85th pick in the Draft, the Canucks selected Cole Cassels from the Oshawa Generals. Here are three theories as to what made the 6’0, 178-pound centre their guy:

First, he’s a centre, and most notably, a centre that believes in strong, two-way hockey. “If you want to play more, you have to play defence,” Cassels said, explaining what he learned during his rookie year in Oshawa. If there’s a theme to the evolution in the Canucks’ drafting philosophy of late — and even the early takeaway from this draft through three rounds — it’s been targeting guys that believe things like this. Bo Horvat is similarly adept at both ends of the ice.

Second, Speaking of Horvat, Cassels is friends with him. He has about 940 Twitter followers. One of them is Horvat.

“We played U17s together and growing up when we were 14, 15, we played a couple tournaments together,” Cassels explained when asked. “It’s pretty cool that we ended up in the same place.” You’ll recall that Horvat was also pretty close with Hunter Shinkaruk. Perhaps the Canucks are drafting a stable of super friends this year?

Third, Cole is the son of former Canuck Andrew Cassels, who played with the club from 1999 to 2002. Asked if Cassels blood is blue and green, Cole said just blue, pointing out that when his dad played, the Canucks were rocking blue and burgundy sweaters. Some have said that the hiring of John Tortorella heralded a return to the Mike Keenan era.

But it isn’t the Mike Keenan era without a Cassels.

5:08 PM (DW) – Andrew Cassels scored 168 points in three seasons with the Canucks, including 50 points in 53 games in 2000-01. His son doesn’t have the offensive pedigree but reportedly has a strong two-way game and some untapped offensive potential. He was ranked 84th overall by The Hockey News, 117th by Corey Pronman.

5:01 PM (DW) – Here’s Cassels’ player profile from

On a roster laden with offensive talents such as that of the Oshawa Generals, it is refreshing to see a player such as Cole Cassels flourish, one who prides himself on being more of an agitator and is a strong penalty killer. The son of former NHL player Andrew Cassels, Cole does not employ the same point production that his father had during his OHL career with the Ottawa 67′s, but he has found himself to be useful in other ways. Cassels thrives on playing a physical game that allows him to be one of the more feared players on the ice when he is out there. He has really good skating ability and he is as tenacious as they come. His defensive game is quite sound and he has already demonstrated the leadership that his father had during his professional career. Cassels will find himself elevated to the top two lines in Oshawa next year with veterans such as Boone Jenner, Lucas Lessio and Scott Sabourin all leaving after this year. A player much like Sabourin himself, Cassels could surely find himself becoming more of an offensive producer as his ice time increases, especially if he is given the opportunity to play with Philadelphia Flyers first-rounder Scott Laughton, if the latter does not remain in the NHL next season. Cassels is a model teammate and he plays with such energy that it rubs off on all of his teammates.

4:59 PM (DW) – Cassels scored 43 points in 64 games for the Oshawa Generals last season.

4:52 PM (DW) – With the 85th pick, the Canucks selected Cole Cassels, the son of Andrew Cassels. Corey Pronman describes him as a “do it all guy” who “needs to develop more of a stand out tool to be an NHLer.”

4:48 PM (DW) – Cory Schneider being interviewed on TSN right now.

“It’s tough to leave a place like Vancouver.”

“I was hoping to spend the rest of my career in Vancouver.”

“I’m sure he’ll [Luongo] find a way to continue playing at a high level.”

4:18 PM (HM) – NEWARK — Mike Gillis didn’t come out and say that moving Cory Schneider instead of Roberto Luongo was an unfortunate Plan B. That’s not really his way. But when asked if the decision came after exhausting the possibilities on Roberto Luongo, he responded by explaining that the new CBA basically ruined the tradeability of Roberto Luongo’s contract.

That seems like a yes to me.

4:11 PM (HM) – Via Puck Daddy’s Greg Wyshynski, here’s Mike Gillis talking about the Cory Schneider trade:

4:02 PM (DW) – Still another 38 picks until the Canucks select again, at which point they’ll pick someone Canucks fans have never heard of and everyone will crash Google trying to find out who the heck he is.

3:41 PM (DW) – Canucks fans will be happy to know that Dave Bolland is heading east, as the Toronto Maple Leafs traded their third and fourth round picks this year and a fourth in 2014 to the Chicago Blackhawks for the defensive centre.

3:05 PM (HM) - NEWARK — Hunter Shinkaruk fell down the board a bit. Most mock drafts had him projected to be taken somewhere in the teens. Instead, the Alberta-born winger was passed over by 23 teams, including the home province Calgary Flames, before the Canucks snapped him up with their second first-round pick.

He didn’t seem to mind having to wait.

“I think I was a little bit nervous,” he said of his name going uncalled as the round dragged on. “[But] at the end of the day, I’m so excited to be a first-round draft pick in the NHL.”

“To go to a team that’s not on a downward slope is something that’s a huge honour,” he said, in what we can only hope was a zinger on Calgary. “I’m just so excited to have this jersey on right now.

So excited. You’d have thought the Canucks had drafted a Pointer Sister with many times the beaming Shinkaruk used that phrase, which came up at least 10 times in his first five minutes in front of the media throng.

Shinkaruk said he and the Canucks had only met once before they selected him, which makes some sense, since they likely didn’t think the small but skilled winger would be available at 24.

He’s actually more familiar with Bo Horvat.

“We have the same agency and we’ve kind of hung out together for the last two years,” Shinkaruk said. “He’s a great kid and I’m really excited to have the chance to play with him.”

He’s also familiar with Vancouver.

“I actually played spring hockey for a team out of Vancouver when I was young, so, pretty accustomed to the area.”

3:02 PM (DW) – You can read my take on the selection of Hunter Shinkaruk while you wait for the Canucks’ next pick, which doesn’t come until the third round.

2:45 PM (DW) – Duthie spoke to Luongo on the phone and described him as being in shock, saying that he thought his time in Vancouver was done. That’s a completely understandable reaction. Fortunately, he has several months to absorb the news.

2:28 PM (DW) – Canucks select Hunter Shinkaruk with the 24th overall pick, a player ranked 14th overall by Bob McKenzie.

2:19 PM (DW) - A little bit lost in the hubbub is the fact that the Canucks have a second pick in the first round. The 24th overall pick is coming up…

1:46 PM (DW) – There’s a lot of talk on Twitter and a little on TV about the fact that Mike Gillis didn’t talk to Roberto Luongo before trading Schneider. I’m honestly not sure why that’s an issue at all. Luongo was upset because he wasn’t a number one goaltender in Vancouver. Now he is. What’s the issue?

1:30 PM (DW) – It may be hard to process all of this right now, but we’ve done our best. Read our take on the Schneider/Horvat trade.

1:02 PM (DW) – With the 9th pick, the Canucks select Bo Horvat. That basically makes this a direct Schneider-for-Horvat trade. I’m not going to lie, I’m not a big fan of this pick. Horvat is hyped as a strong two-way centre, but he scored under a point-per-game during the regular season for the London Knights. More to come.

12:58 PM (DW) – Holy motherless goats. Cory Schneider has been traded to the New Jersey Devils for the 9th overall pick. Wow.

12:44 PM (DW) - Another trade before the Oilers pick Darnell Nurse, as the Wild trade Cal Clutterbuck to the Islanders for Nino Neiderreiter. There goes any possibility of the Canucks acquiring Neiderreiter in a Luongo/DiPietro deal.

12:40 PM (DW) - The Flames, who have been a source of comedy in past drafts, make a safe selection with Sean Monahan. Disappointing from a Canucks perspective.

12:27 PM (DW) – With the fourth overall pick, the Nashville Predators select Seth Jones. He definitely wasn’t expected to fall that far. I know some Predators fans were really hoping for an elite forward for once, but Jones provides a nice boost to the Predators’ defence with Ryan Suter gone. Heck, you could see him alongside Shea Weber as early as next season.

12:16 PM (DW) – I won’t be talking about every draft pick here, but I have to comment on Dale Tallon wasting no time making his pick. Didn’t thank New Jersey, didn’t congratulate Chicago, just got down to business and picked Aleksander Barkov. Both teams passing on Seth Jones, the consensus number one heading into the draft.

12:10 PM (DW) – To the surprise of no one, the Avalanche get the draft started by picking Nathan MacKinnon. Here we go.

12:07 PM (DW) – Gary Bettman gets mercilessly booed by the New Jersey fans attending the draft, responds with “I love your energy.” That kind of stuff almost makes me want to like the guy. Almost. The fans thankfully stopped booing and applauded for the tribute to Don Baizley, then went straight back to booing. Well done, New Jersey.

11:48 AM (DW) – The first trade of the day: The San Jose Sharks acquire Tyler Kennedy from the Pittsburgh Penguins for a late second round pick. Helps the Penguins clear some space for the expected Kris Letang contract.

11:41 AM (DW) - Twenty minutes before the draft officially starts, TV’s Cake Boss comes out with a giant Martin Brodeur cake. It has a massive, disconcerting smile and is way, way skinnier than the real Martin Brodeur.

11:37 AM (DW) - James Duthie estimates that the first round of the draft will take about three hours, which means the Canucks likely won’t be picking until 2:30 in the afternoon, unless they move up with a trade. Main reason it’s going to take so long: every team thanking New Jersey for hosting, congratulating Chicago on the Stanley Cup, and giving a shout-out to their fans hosting a draft party at Bobby’s Bargain Burger Barn.

11:25 AM (DW) - TSN is showing Bob McKenzie’s draft rankings right now. At 24th overall, McKenzie has Andre Burakowsky, who is generally ranked higher in other rankings. He’s a little difficult to project, as he didn’t get much ice time for Malmo in Sweden last season, but as a left winger with speed, skill, and grit, he certainly fits the Canucks’ needs.

11:06 AM (DW) – Not going to lie: spending my time waiting for the draft to start watching the Blue Jays play the Red Sox. After watching Mark Buehrle get smacked all over Fenway, any terrible moves from the Canucks at the draft will seem amazing in comparison.



  1. ikillchicken
    June 30, 2013

    Someone should really write a Dr. Seuss style book about Bettman getting booed.
    -Would you boo him at the draft? Because he gives the fans the shaft?-
    -Would you boo him at the cup? Because the lockout he did f*** up?-
    -Yes I would boo him anywhere! Because his smug and pompous air!

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  2. natevk
    June 30, 2013

    So, what are the odds of the Canucks actually doing anything today? I feel like it’s more likely Schneider and Luongo both retire with the Canucks in ten years than either of them moving today.

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  3. Doop
    June 30, 2013

    I wish Jones would’ve gone to any team BUT Nashville. Actually, I wish Nashville was just entirely different. They’re like plain Corn Flakes. Off-brand.

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  4. Doop
    June 30, 2013


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  5. akidd
    June 30, 2013

    well, it’s confirmed. gillis is a f****** idiot! how they fall from grace!

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  6. Justin
    June 30, 2013

    What the hell just happened? Is Sidney Crosby available at 9? – cause if not, GMMG you just got your ass fired.

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  7. akidd
    June 30, 2013

    what a joke! 9th pick for schneider!!! shitty deal. magic bean mike!

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  8. Justin
    June 30, 2013

    I don’t know wtf just happened. but if what everyone else is saying that Edmonton offered us way more…then wtf did MG just do….what if Luongo doesn’t want to show up to training camp…then we’re left with what? Lack?

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    • Justin
      June 30, 2013

      Different Justin (first one – the one that doesn’t use wtf every sentence). The Oilers are strong up front and just added a strong D – Why would you trade a top 3 goalie within your own division. I’d make the Flames/Oilers etc. give me a king’s ransom. The only silver lining is that you aren’t likely to see the Devils until the 4th round. With GMMG at the helm, I wouldn’t worry about that any time soon.

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    • Daniel Wagner
      June 30, 2013

      It should be noted, the rumours package from Edmonton was likely what Vancouver wanted from Edmonton, not what was actually being offered.

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  9. Doop
    June 30, 2013

    bo horvat?
    n o t h i n g m a k e s sense anymore

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    • Tom 1040
      June 30, 2013

      Doop officially enters middle-age.

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  10. Max
    June 30, 2013

    …Furious. This is an absolute JOKE.

    1st, 2nd, and top prospect, and we give him up for a single first… And then we don’t even pick up Nichushkin…

    I didn’t even want Schnieder traded… And now this???

    I want Gillis gone. What a pathetic joke of a General Manger…

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  11. akidd
    June 30, 2013

    gillis needs to get out of town. tortorella and now this. apparently lou is now ‘absolutely’ the goalie of the future. get into politics, gillis. you’ve got the backbone for it. the only explanation for it is that gillis hates vancouver and is ‘wrecking the place’ before he takes off.

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  12. All the pools
    June 30, 2013


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    • ikillchicken
      June 30, 2013

      Look, the deal is done. Like it or hate it, I’m more interested in what we go from here. Is Horvat a possibility for the 3C next year or is it way too soon? And if not are we back to Gaunce? That hardly fills me with confidence for the immediate future. And in any case, we still need to make a move to get under the cap. Whether that’s clearing out Ballard or trading Edler, something has to give.

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  13. PB
    June 30, 2013

    I don’t necessarily have a problem trading Schneider given the bind we’re in contract-wise and the need to get younger, get assets. It also makes more sense to go with Luongo and Lack/Ericsson than with Schneider and one of those two. This seems like an overpayment, however. Gillis seemed flustered during the post-selection interview. Horvat seems like a decent pick but a 2nd/3rd line center for a top-tier goalie? Very surprised we couldn’t pry either a 3rd as well or perhaps Boucher or Urbom or one of their other prospects.

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  14. the real bob
    June 30, 2013

    Come on MG, bring Lazar home!

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  15. Mt
    June 30, 2013

    I really don’t get it. The probability that the pick turns into a player as good as CS is quite low. Based on that, Vancouver clearly loses this trade.

    When you trade for prospects or picks you are trading for a probability. Given the probability of that pick giving significant returns, it is in no way close to having the value that Corey has. Lets not forget that the guy was the MVP of one of the league’s best teams. Move valuable than either Sedin or Edler (all all stars).

    Whether or not Horvat turns out to be a good pick is not relevant to the trade itself. What you trade for is the probabilty of the prospect/pick right now, in this moment. It may turn out or it may not but for Cory freekin Schneider, the odds just don’t add up. Especially considering CS is very good RIGHT NOW.

    I’m generally a Gillis defender. Less so now; there’s no way they couldn’t have done better (apparently they could have with Edmonton but that’s another story).

    I don’t see why they couldn’t have got an already very good young NHL level player. You know someone who is as good as, or close to as good as Cory Schneider.


    Well, I suppose we get to keep Funny Bob, so there’s that.

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  16. Dougster
    June 30, 2013

    Well the deal really should be looked at from a salary cap pov… If the only alternative was to buy out Lu (or trade him for nothing) then what the canucks did was get a top-ten pick plus a net 1.5 million less cap room instead of 5.5 more cap room and no pick. If you believe as I do that Luongo is still a number one goalie who can win the Cup, this looks like a very good trade to me.

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  17. tj
    June 30, 2013

    Re: Gillis’ vid: And so Bettman’s Revenge has proved its reign.

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    • Tom 1040
      June 30, 2013

      How many beers and how many wings, so far today, tj?


      Sounds like you’ve been doing all that and talking all at the same time to anyone who has the misfortune of having to listen to you…


      I thought you were going away…

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      • PB
        July 1, 2013

        Tom, I think I understand your frustration with Gillis and co. I also thought what you said about waiting until the team recovers in a way you appreciate is fair enough. What I think is strange is the apparent glee with which you seem to welcome any negative news about the Canucks — and whoever is running the team it still is the Canucks — and seem to relish the prospect of failure. It is a very strange stance for anyone who claims to be a fan to take. Critique is absolutely understandable and welcome. Hoping for failure is neither.

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        • Tom 1040
          July 1, 2013

          No, you are mistaken.

          With tj it is completely personal. Had enough of his rudeness a while back.

          Now, just taking a few return shots using the same language he used.

          And, Gillis is a complete idiot, which is now obvious to most, and I do take glee in that because Gillis deserves it.

          I have taken a lot of heat for saying it all along.

          By the way, this was a good move by Gillis/Aquilini and for the team, ironically.

          What they should do now is to continue to try to trade Luongo. Dan Russell was bang on.

          Listen to his show tonight and hear his view.

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  18. Mark
    June 30, 2013

    The Big news here should really be Cole Cassels, described at Harrison’s 5:25 comment as a 1,780 lb centre. That’s huge. Literally. That’s almost 10 times my weight and I’m a pretty big guy. No wonder he’s feared when he’s on the ice. Can you imagine running into him? Downright nasty, I’d bet. Good job, GMMG.

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  19. willy
    June 30, 2013

    This isn’t a professional sports franchise, it’s a gong show hosted by a self-absorbed emcee dressed in a faded tuxedo and wearing a brown pair of shoes.

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  20. Tom
    June 30, 2013

    And the fandom… rejoiced?

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  21. akidd
    July 1, 2013

    so that was the corner they were painted into. the acquilini’s didn’t like the 27 million idea, eh? hmm, too bad. i’m not sure if it’s because gillis looks like he’s on peyote with those crazy adrenylin/madness eyes or because it’s so distasteful when he attempts his pr-spin responses (like we’re all complete idots who haven’t been paying attenion)to tough questions. either way this whole thing was incredibly unsettling.

    and that’s before we even get into the bo vs. corey issues. let’s just say that the whole arena exploding with cheers and tsn immediately saying,”they don’t call it the lou lamorella award for noting,” may give us some insight.

    perhaps gillis should have reflected for a moment when lamorella said, “no wait, this is good. ya. don’t tell anyone. i want to announce this to the arena. ya that’s it. not a peep, mike. promise?”

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  22. PB
    July 1, 2013

    Well it’s the next morning and the sky hasn’t fallen yet. I think Gillis should’ve gotten more for Scheider (another pick and/or prospect) but I still don’t see this as the catastrophe as some are painting it as. It might be easier for me to understand the rage if it didn’t seem like there’s no way for Gillis and the management team to succeed in the eyes of some. Those who argue that the Canucks are getting old and need to rejuvenate the prospect pool aren’t satisfied by adding two top-ten picks (and Subban). Those who say the players are coddled now are unhappy that Schneider and Luongo weren’t consulted. Those who screamed about Luongo not getting warned now think that it’s ridiculous that the Aquilinis didn’t simultaneously fly to Florida and Boston to tell both goalies. All those fans who are willing to pay $27 million of their own money to buy out Luongo are mystified that the Aquilinis won’t. We ask for bold moves but then freak out if they’re made.

    I still prefer Schneider. I still wish we got more for him. But at the end of the day we have a very good goalie, two top lines, a very solid top four (maybe five) on D, and much more potential in the bottom six and a greatly strengthened prospect pool. Are there risks that all of this doesn’t work? Quite possibly. There’s few teams I’ve seen that haven’t completely bottomed out after an extended successful run — Detroit’s probably the only one that really comes to mind — and I’m glad we haven’t had to go through the crap years that the Pens, Blackhawks, etc. have to get to where they are now.

    I wish Schneider luck. It’s not a great situation for him either — anointed as the starter here, he’s not going to do more than split duties with Brodeur for another year. Yes, NJ has their “goaltender of the future” — but at age 30 (when Brodeur’s going to be done) — not at age 23. For a 26th overall pick he’s been developed slowly and given us awesome service. I think he’s going to continue to be strong in his game and mentally. But people are acting as though he’s the greatest goalie in the league. We have to give up something if we’re going to start to renew the team — this isn’t a video game or fantasy hockey.

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    • Amor de Cosmos
      July 1, 2013

      As far as what happens on the ice, I agree with all that. Off ice is another matter though. Everyone, including me, has nailed Gillis for the way this has been handled. But ownership — who are far more hands-on than most in the current NHL it seems — are equally to blame. MG is Acqulani’s boy, and, it’s becoming clear, has a high level of input. This is always potentially problematic for any club, in any league. Mainly because it’s unlikely to change when a particular GM leaves. After the smoke clears, issues around management decision-making at the Canucks won’t go away. Where they resurface remains to be seen.

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  23. PB
    July 1, 2013

    I’ve been really starting to wonder about the levels of meddling by the owners here — not unusual in this league I suppose, given the Wirtz’s and those idiots in Philly. I just have so little patience for any of the owners — subjecting us to these lockouts for what? Everyone can boo Bettman as much as they want but in the end it’s the owners greed that pushes us to this then they cry foul for every Bryzgalov, DiPietro, Luongo, Lecavalier, Richards contract etc. Ones that they signed.

    I think you are bang-on that if this is an issue with the Acquilinis then this extends far beyond Gillis and I really don’t know how this is going to play out. I think they will give the green light to buy out Ballard, if only to try and save some face.

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  24. PB
    July 1, 2013

    Also, I’ve been wondering about how hard it was going to be to try to trade into the top ten in this draft. Montreal’s GM said today that he tried very hard to get in (and the offer was reportedly Price plus a prospect plus their pick) and no one bit. I think it was hard to get into that round since there’s no way the first four would budge, Carolina, Dallas and possibly Buffalo don’t need goalies (depending on Miller/Ehnroth) and I think it would be disastrous for us to trade Schneider to either Calgary or Edmonton (people who say it doesn’t matter we should have gone for a pick and a prospect should have their heads examined — I would NEVER trade a starting goalie within our own division, that’s madness). That really only leaves NJ as a viable trading partner — Avs and Preds set in goal, arguably TB and FLA as well. You can question whether getting into the top ten to get Horvat was worth it (especially leaving the Russian on the board, though I think that’s a huge risk/reward, as much a possibility of getting Brendl as Ovechkin) but I think maybe the price was hard given how committed teams were to holding onto their picks.

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