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Canucks have quite a mess to get a handle of this summer

May 18, 2013, 12:11 PM EDT

Mike Gillis AP

Vancouver’s offseason is almost certainly going to be a fascinating one to watch. The team has cap worries next season and they could deal Roberto Luongo and buy out either Keith Ballard or David Booth for added space.

As Iain MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun shares, one thing they’ll have to contend with are players with no-trade clauses. They have six players currently with one and three more due to get them on July 1 when their extensions begin. GM Mike Gillis says that won’t be easy to do.

“In order to get players to play for less than market value, you have to give them something they can rely upon,” Gillis explained. “I think if a player was unhappy here, he’d waive his no-trade. If we were unhappy with him, it would be obvious and he would waive his no-trade. But that’s not a path we’re looking to right now. I think we need to supplement our core group of players that are here as best we can, and then look at possibilities down the road.”

Drama in Vancouver won’t be lacking with so many things needed to happen and that’s not even going into what could happen with coach Alain Vigneault. Canucks fans might want to buckle up because the summer could get rough.

  1. bcsteele - May 18, 2013 at 12:19 PM

    And just think, if he would have just taken less for Roberto last summer that wouldn’t be an issue. Now he faces the possibility of a buy out and no return because of that contract. Guess his hold out plan didn’t work. I wouldn’t want his job right now.

  2. joey4id - May 18, 2013 at 1:32 PM

    They certainly created their own mess. I think the wise thing to do would be to trade Luongo, and Luongo should allow his potential new team to restructure his contract and agree on monetary compensation for allowing to re-open the contract before the deal is finalized.

    • bcsteele - May 18, 2013 at 2:16 PM

      First, I don’t believe you can restructure any contracts. Pretty sure Redden would have done that ASAP to get back in the NHL with what happened to him. Not spend years in the minors. He needs to PRAY that someone is WILLING to trade for that contract, or that Gillis gets the go ahead to buy him out so he can go get a new contract. Could be wrong, but pretty sure that’s how it is.

      Second, your name looks close to someone who should no longer be on here…If this is the joey we all can’t stand, get out. Or Joe, boot him out. If not…I’m sorry for the assumption…

      …I still have flashbacks and nightmares of dealing with that troll…

      • phillyphanatic77 - May 18, 2013 at 3:56 PM

        You are correct. NHL contracts are 100% guaranteed, otherwise there would be no purpose to including the two amnesty buyouts in the new CBA. I’ve seen Flyers fans say “why don’t they just restructure so and so’s contract (mostly Bryz and Briere)”, and I’m sure many teams wish they could, but fully guaranteed contracts are something the NHLPA will never give up.

      • nothanksimdriving123 - May 18, 2013 at 4:06 PM

        My knowledge of contract law is limited but I believe that if both parties to a contract wish to rewrite it and agree on the changes, it can be changed. Lawyers? Anyone not out golfing? It’s got to be raining somewhere.

      • joey4id - May 18, 2013 at 4:22 PM

        Well! I accept your apology. I’m no troll. So, a player can’t go to his team and say, “Lets tear up my contract, and negotiate a new deal.”. If that’s the case, then that idea is useless.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - May 18, 2013 at 4:34 PM

        Contract law is superseded by the CBA which says that teams and players can not restructure. It was put in there so players with valid contracts couldn’t hold out to get a new deal. A NHL contract is a contract until it either expires or a buy out is made.

  3. atwatercrushesokoye - May 18, 2013 at 1:58 PM

    How does Gillis still have a job? None of his moves have ever really paid off for the Canucks, he made a massive mistake guaranteeing Canucks fans that he would get a big return for Luongo when everyone could see he had absolutely no leverage on his side. He traded Cody Hodgson for Kassian, and now allowing Vigneault to twist in the wind.

    The Canucks could either fire Gillis now, or they can let Gillis do more of the same and then fire Gillis next year after another season of the same.

    • ikillchicken - May 18, 2013 at 5:23 PM

      “None of his moves have ever really paid off for the Canucks”

      Signing Hamhuis? A disaster. Sure, he’s been our best, most consistent defenseman for several years running, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say he’s “paid off”.

      And Garrison? Another disaster. Who needs another reasonably priced, versatile, top pairing defenseman who can score at a 14 goal pace while playing big defensive minutes? Like THATs gonna help us win!

      And picking up Erhoff for virtually nothing? Awful trade! Patrick White was really gonna go places!

      Malhorta? Terrible player. Thank goodness that eye injury took him out of the lineup or we’d have been in real trouble!

      Tanev? Who needs him. Undrafted free agents who show as much poise as even the most seasoned veterans and can play solid minutes and even step right into the playoffs are a dime a dozen!

      Signing the Sedins, Kesler, Bieksa, Burrows, Edler at well below market value? Please. I’d much rather our team had imploded years ago because of the cap.

      Seriously…if you must dump on Gillis, go ahead and dump on some of the at least questionable moves he’s made. Ballard, Lu’s contract/trade, Booth. You’d be right about at least one of those and at least I can see the argument about the others. Heck, at this point I even give up on arguing about the Hodgson trade if only because it’s a lost cause with all the Hodgson fanboys around. But claiming he’s made NO moves that worked out? What a joke! Gillis has made more good moves than bad easily.

      • 19to77 - May 18, 2013 at 5:49 PM

        Results are all that matters at end of day, my friend. This team full of skilled players signed below market value hasn’t gone the distance. For all its “bargain contracts,” it performs more and more pitifully every season.

        It’s laden with players on the wrong side of 30, and most of them are packing trade protection.

        It has five defensemen making over $4.2m, including Keith Ballard, who spends as much time in the press box as the bench.

        It has almost no cap flexibility without using its buyouts and over nine million dollars invested in a goaltending duo that produces as many punchlines as victories.

        They haven’t had a good third-line centre since pre-injury Malhotra and their centre depth in general is too thin to sustain any lasting injury – yet Gillis chose to deal the only young centre they had. Centre depth is worth its weight in gold, yet he squandered theirs.

        Oh, and letting Ehrhoff go for virtually nothing swiftly negates the value of acquiring him for the same, wouldn’t you say?

        If we’re supposed to believe he’s done more good than bad, why is the team in such an utter mess right now? All you have to do is look at the position the team is actually in right now to know Gillis has done quite the opposite.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - May 18, 2013 at 6:03 PM

        I would respond in depth but 19to77 did such a good job refuting everything you’ve said I don’t see a need. Instead I’ll just add with all of the “great” moves you talk about the Canucks are a team at the cap, they have a bunch of no trade clauses to deal with and they’re ranked 28th in the NHL in organizational depth so I guess his big acquisition of Chris Tanev (a lot of love for a bottom pairing defenseman who plays 16 minutes a game) is undone by the poor drafting.

      • bcisleman - May 19, 2013 at 1:37 AM

        MG inherited a contender. Not much of a challenge to convince quality players to come to a team that is already a contender. Not even a great challenge to get them to take less to play for one. Of ourse, the price for that is all those immovable contracts as even MG admitted.

        Whih brings us to Luongo. MG is the one who gave him that absurd deal to start with. And MG is now the one who’s painted himself into a corner and created a terrible distraction for this team.

        MG is also the one who traded away a prospect who has proved to be one of the best special teams players and secondary scorers in the NHL for Ballard, a player who will likely be bought out. And no matter what you think of Hodgson, he was selected on MG’s watch & was the top prospect in the organization. MG’s handling of him was dreadful by any standard.

        Bottom line: the Nuks are bound to ontinue to fail as long as MG is GM. He needs to go.

      • ikillchicken - May 19, 2013 at 7:41 PM

        You guys are just avoiding my point. As I said, if you want to blast Gillis for Ballard I completely agree. It was really bad trade. And I also agree, he’s failed to replace Malhotra thus far. That’s something he’s going to need to do this offseason. And we can agree to disagree about Lu and Hodgson. But you can’t seriously pretend that he hasn’t also made a ton of good moves. Hamhuis, Garrison, Malhotra, Erhoff, Tanev, Higgins. All great acquisitions. Without Gillis and the moves he’s made we’d never have made it to the finals.

  4. gramkind - May 18, 2013 at 2:46 PM

    just looking forward to this getting done. figure out the coaching staff and maybe the gm. figure out how to get tougher while adding skill all the while getting under the cap. cakewalk

  5. nothanksimdriving123 - May 18, 2013 at 4:03 PM

    Why would anyone want to tinker at all with a team that has been this successful? How quickly people forget that this team won the Stanley Cup in 1915. Well, OK, not this team exactly. Winning goal scorer Barney Stanley has since retired, but still.
    Of course, those hurting for entertainment can scoot on over to a Vancouver courthouse where, I believe, cases from the most recent Cup riot are still being adjudicated.

  6. hockeydon10 - May 18, 2013 at 6:09 PM

    Part of their problem may be the coach. He’s been able to get them to play awesome regular season hockey, but then can’t get them to elevate during the post season for the past couple.

    As for Luongo?

    Trade him to Montreal, he’ll be playing in front of his hometown crowd. He doesn’t put up horrible numbers; similar to Price’s. Montreal can certainly afford it. Bring Price into Vancouver, and he’ll be playing in front of his hometown crowd. Shop Schneider to a team with a stockpile of younger talent, like the Islanders, and have him split time with an aging Nabokov. Or the Isles just let Nabokov walk.

  7. ray2013 - May 18, 2013 at 10:14 PM

    The Canucks have had a good run. But entering a division with Anaheim, Calgary, Edmonton, LA, Phoenix, San Jose is a much tougher schedule than Oilers, Flames, Avalanche and Wild.

    They need to be bigger and stronger to deal with the new teams they’re going to be playing next season. They’re going to need better center depth. They’re going to need to get rid of one of their goalies.

    And they’re going to have to deal with so many NTCs. They’re not going to be able to re-tool to meet a tougher schedule next season, especially with so many players north of 30. Re-building time in Vancouver!

  8. blomfeld - May 19, 2013 at 12:01 AM

    blomfeld – Apr 1, 2013 at 1:16 PM


    The bottom line is that Luongo is no different than a bunch of bananas sitting “unsold” on the grocery store shelf. Bananas are a “perishable” product with a limited shelf life. And therefore there comes a point when dropping the price for “unsold” bananas is no longer an option … it’s a given. So I submit to you friends that the time for dropping the asking price for these Canuckle bananas is now! And if they don’t do that, then I fear that Luongo could end up being “given away” much like the grocery store who is compelled to donate “unsold” produce to charity and food banks.

    Executive Summary: Luongo will end up back in Florida with either the Bolts or the Panthers, though probably the former … at least “half” of his remaining 40 million dollar contract will be absorbed by the Canucks on their books as a loss under “depreciation” … some “cosmetic” face-saving assets may come back to Vancouver in return … once back in Florida however, Luongo will probably “excel” to Vezina-like levels …

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