Mar 182013

For this special, non-postgame Clay’s Canucks Commentary, I check in from St. Peter’s Square in Rome.

Perhaps the Canucks need some Divine Intervention as they battle the Minnesota Wild for the division lead and fight to stay in the top 8 in the Western Conference.

In this CCC, I quickly touch on the opportunity that exists for both Cory Schneider and Roberto Luongo to seize the job of “number one goaltender”.  They’ve been playing it down publicly (while joking around about it with James Duthis on TSN) and they’ve both been good in spurts, but not great.  The team is going to need one of them to make the team his own as they head down the stretch.


Dec 172009

According to Elliott Pap (Vancouver Sun), there’s good news on the Canucks injury front.

First, on Alex Edler:

“Eddie has gone from week-to-week to day-to-day but obviously not tomorrow,” Vigneault said after preparing his skaters for Friday’s date with the soaring Washington Capitals.

Edler hurt his left shoulder Dec. 8 in Nashville when checked into the sideboards by Shea Weber. The hard-shooting Swede has been skating for five days so his conditioning is not an issue. He’s just concerned about the shoulder’s ability to withstand body contact.

Second, on Michael Grabner:

Meanwhile, rookie Michael Grabner is also close to returning, although he’ll likely start in Manitoba with the Moose. Grabner broke his right ankle Nov. 1 in a bizarre pre-game soccer warmup in the hallways of GM Place. At the time, he was on a call-up to replace the injured Daniel Sedin.

Grabner thinks he is close to 100 per cent. He practised fully with the team on Thursday.

Practices will soon become a lot lonelier for Pavol Demitra.

Also, Jason Botchford (Vancouver Province) is reporting that Aaron Rome may replace Mathieu Schneider in the lineup tomorrow night. (Hat tip to Nucks Misconduct.)

Sep 282009
Cody Hodgson and Michael Grabner celebrate a goal

Photo credit:

Since Mike Gillis took over as Canucks GM, there has been a lot of talk about pouring more resources into scouting and player development. After two off-seasons now, it’s easy to see the positive impacts this has had in the system.

I don’t think it’s a secret that Cody Hodgson and Michael Grabner disappointed this preseason, but looking at the bigger picture, we’ve now found out that the organization is deep enough that the team doesn’t have to rush them into the big leagues. They can afford to keep guys like Jordan Schroeder (NCAA), Anton Rodin (Sweden) and Kevin Connauton (WHL) where they can develop better. And while it’s disappointing to see that Hodgson and Grabner aren’t ready for regular NHL duty, it’s easier to digest because others like Sergei Shirokov, Mason Raymond and Kyle Wellwood seem ready to take on bigger roles.

The pro scouting has improved as well. It wasn’t long ago that the Canucks were signing players like Tommi Santala and Brad Isbister to round up the roster. This summer, Gillis signed college players Eric Walsky and Evan Oberg and under-the-radar players like Tanner Glass, Matt Pope, Aaron Rome and Michael Funk – all of these guys made good impressions on the Canucks brass, and Glass and Rome specifically may have moved right up to the top of the team’s depth chart.

IMHO, the Canucks just finished what was probably their most competitive training camp in their history. And I don’t think it’s a coincidence that it happened at a time when there are players on the bottom part of the system that are able to push the ones on top.

Jul 012009

The Canucks made their first signing this free agent season by inking defenseman Aaron Rome to a one-year, one-way deal worth $525,000. Rome has spent the last couple of years in the Columbus Blue Jackets organization, but only played in 25 NHL games.

No doubt this is a depth move a la last year’s Rob Davison signing, though at only 25 years old, perhaps there’s potential for Rome to stick longer with the Canucks.

Here’s his Hockey Futures profile:

Rome is a self-described stay at home defenseman who can add a little offense. He is a strong skater with great positioning and solid puck-handling and passing skills. With his exceptional vision and awareness he can anticipate the play. His offensive game and shot from the point has improved as he has seen increased powerplay time. He can be physical when necessary and plays with a bit of an edge.

%d bloggers like this: