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Vancouver Canucks Re-Sign Speedy Forward Mason Raymond Prior to Arbitration Hearing

July 9th, 2012 at 11:07 AM
By M. S.

The Vancouver Canucks have re-signed speedy forward Mason Raymond to a one year deal worth $2.275million dollars prior to arriving at the club-elected arbitration hearing that was scheduled for later this summer. Drafted 51stoverall in 2005, Raymond put up 20 points last season tallying 10 goals and 10 assists. That production level is a far cry from the 25 goals and 53 points he put up two seasons ago.

'Mason Raymond' photo (c) 2012, Loxy!! - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/Despite fans calling for Raymond’s head, Canucks General Manager Mike Gillis has stood by his player indicating that he believes Raymond can contribute and be an effective player with the Vancouver Canucks. However, considering Raymond’s drastic drop-off in production, this seems like a waste of cap space from the Canucks’ perspective. This team cannot afford to go into next season with Raymond in the top-six; he simply is not a fit with Ryan Kesler, or anyone else for that matter. 

The next part of this story is the trade front. Sources tell Canucks 101 that Mike Gillis hopes to be able to include Mason Raymond in any Roberto Luongo trade in an attempt to clear up some much needed cap space. If Raymond and Luongo are traded for an upgrade in the top-six, the Canucks would be in a much better position to make a run next season. 

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The Minnesota Wild Sign Zach Parise and Ryan Suter to Rival the Vancouver Canucks in the Surprisingly Competitive Northwest Division

July 8th, 2012 at 1:36 AM
By M. S.

'Zach Parise' photo (c) 2009, Amanda - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

With news that the Minnesota Wild have signed both Zach Parise and Ryan Suter just days ago, the Vancouver Canucks must be shaking in their boots. The Canucks have been the cream of the crop in the Northwest Division for a few seasons now with little opposition. However, this 2012 off-season has seen the Minnesota Wild, Edmonton Oilers and Colorado Avalanche all make big strides towards being better in the 2012-13 season. 

Despite signing Jason Garrison to a six year contract, the Vancouver Canucks are in trouble here. After struggling down the stretch and into the playoffs last season, the team is not the powerhouse it once was. With glaring holes on the back end and up front, General Manager Mike Gillis needs to make a move. Fans are getting impatient with his self-proclaimed “patient” style. While sources still indicate that the Canucks are very interested in Shane Doan, can make Gillis really be hedging his bets on a player who wants to stay with the Phoenix Coyotes above all else? From an outsider’s perspective, that does not seem smart.

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Jason Garrison Signs a Six Year Contract with the Vancouver Canucks to Open Free Agency

July 1st, 2012 at 5:16 PM
By M. S.

'Jason Garrison' photo (c) 2009, Keith & Alyssa - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The Vancouver Canucks have signed free agent defender Jason Garrison, formerly of the Florida Panthers; Garrison has been signed to a six year contract worth $27.6 million. Given market conditions, it looks as though Garrison took a ‘hometown discount’ to play in Vancouver. Having seen Dennis Wideman get $5.25million per year from the Flames and Ryan Suter field offers reportedly worth almost $100million, Garrison certainly could have gotten more from suitors elsewhere. 

Born in White Rock, Jason Garrison is definitely a late-bloomer by NHL standards. The 27 year old defender has only three NHL seasons under his belt. Because of this, there is a certain degree of risk involved with signing him to a long-term contract. Still, Canuck fans should be really happy with this signing as the Canucks lost out on Sami Salo and Justin Schultz today and yesterday respectively. 

Garrison’s powerplay prowess and solid all-around game should make him a perfect fit in Vancouver – think Dan Hamhuis with a lot more offensive flare. Playing beside Brian Campbell, Garrison was able to tally 16 goals this past season. Garrison’s booming shot is something the Canucks have desperately lacked since the departure of Christian Ehrhoff after the Stanley Cup Final two seasons ago. 

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Justin Schultz Spurns an Offer from the Vancouver Canucks to Sign with the Edmonton Oilers

June 30th, 2012 at 2:32 PM
By M. S.

'Vancouver Canucks' photo (c) 2011, Rishad Daroowala - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

Justin Schultz has made his big decision and, unfortunately, he will not be playing for the Vancouver Canucks. Schultz, formerly of the University of Wisconsin Badgers, has agreed in principle to a deal with the Edmonton Oilers to be signed tomorrow. In what turned out to be a most interesting day, the young defender reportedly spurned offers from the Vancouver Canucks, Ottawa Senators, New York Rangers, Minnesota Wild and Toronto Maple Leafs. Ultimately, the Oilers’ pitch was just too strong.

After using a loophole in the Collective Bargaining Agreement to enter unrestricted free agency, Schultz was courted by upwards of 26 NHL teams. The fact that the Canucks were a finalist for his services speaks volumes about Mike Gillis’ ability to court young, college free agents with loads of potential. At the end of the day, Schultz just felt that the opportunity for him in Edmonton is greater than the one present in Vancouver

Since being drafted 43rdoverall by the Anaheim Ducks in 2008, Schultz has garnered league wide attention. His standout college years made him most attractive to many NHL teams including the Toronto Maple Leafs who tried to acquire him via trade just a few seasons ago. With 44 points in 37 games to close out his college career, it is no surprise that so many NHL general managers were interested in his services.

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Defender Justin Schultz Set to Sign a Contract and the Vancouver Canucks Provide the Best Fit

June 29th, 2012 at 7:16 PM
By M. S.

'Badger Hockey - 1/2/09' photo (c) 2009, LeAnn E.  Crowe - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
 

With Justin Schultz prepared to make his big decision tomorrow, as reported by Canucks 101 and confirmed by TSN’s Bob McKenzie, the Vancouver Canucks are definitely getting excited. The prospect of adding a great young defenseman certainly has many teams, including the Canucks, salivating right now. At the end of the day, Schultz, formerly of the University of Wisconsin Badgers hockey program, could step onto any one of the 30 NHL rosters out there and contribute. With all the sales pitches complete, it is now up to Schultz to make his decision.

Sources indicate that the Ottawa Senators, Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks are the favorites to sign the young defender. Each rumored team definitely has a lot to offer despite some blasting Vancouver as an ‘undesirable locale’ for Schultz.  Those detractors say that Schultz is neither guaranteed playing time nor development success in Vancouver. This dogmatic, narrow point-of-view held by many is exactly why fans are not the ones who call the shots around the NHL

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