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Press Round-Up: APR.17.08

by Staff Writer / Vancouver Canucks

Canucks able to join gold rush at draft

Ben Kuzma believes that if the Canucks don’t trade their 10th overall pick from the upcoming NHL to address Vancouver’s issues on offence, that the team might be able to land a talented forward. At least if they make a smart pick, that is.

“Six centres are ranked in the top 10 of various scouting services. A lack of franchise depth at the position means the Canucks could land feisty sniper Kyle Beach of the Everett Silvertips on June 21 at Ottawa. That would make sense.

“But hang on.

“The Canucks faced that same prospect in 2005 with the 10th overall selection. Instead of landing centres Anze Kopitar, Martin Hanzal or Andrew Cogliano, they opted for defenceman Luc Bourdon.

“Kopitar has 138 points in two NHL seasons with Los Angeles, while Hanzal and Cogliano are coming off 35 and 45-point seasons respectively for Phoenix and Edmonton.

“Bourdon may yet blossom into a dependable blueliner, but is still a project with two goals in 36 games over two seasons. And despite the fact he was an encouraging plus-7 this season in 12:52 of average ice time, it pales in comparison to missing out on a top centre.”

Dave Nonis addressed the draft and his scouting crew during his press conference on Wednesday and was firm in his stance that despite some missed picks here and there, they’ve been solid at the draft.

"The draft is always a topic," acknowledged Nonis. "As often as we discuss it, we want to believe that it's better everywhere else -- even if the statistics never bare that out. But we keep talking about it. Our amateur scouts have done a better job than people give them credit for.

"We talk about players that don't make it, or haven't made it yet," said Nonis. "But we don't talk about the ones that did. I believe only Boston and Montreal have more players who have played NHL games than we have had over the last four seasons."
(No) Push for Richards pushed out Nonis
The fact that Dave Nonis and Francesco Aquilini may not have been on the same page during this past trade deadline is what Darren Dreger believes led to Nonis’ being relieved as general manager of the Vancouver Canucks.

“According to sources, Vancouver's owner was willing to make trades that Nonis believed didn't make sense for the long term stability of the organization.

“The fight to land Brad Richards from the Tampa Bay Lightning on Feb. 26 represents the turning point in the relationship.

“The Canucks offered a package that included prospects Luc Bourdon and Cory Schneider along with a first, second and third-round draft pick for Richards. It's a proposal that Lightning general manager Jay Feaster won't confirm, but admits the team was strongly considering.

“However, as talks heated up with Dallas, the Lightning needed more to address immediate needs.

Dreger said the Lightning may have asked for forward Ryan Kesler and defenceman Alex Edler, which led to Nonis backing off the deal.
He's got a following: Nonis insists he's built a contender in Vancouver

Elliott Pap writes that despite Vancouver’s struggles down the stretch, that Dave Nonis believes the team he built is on the verge of becoming a winner.

“Nonis made the claim numerous times Wednesday in his farewell press conference at GM Place. The 41-year-old Burnaby native was fired Monday after four seasons at the helm.

“He felt well positioned to solve the scoring woes this summer through free agency and trades. Now he will not get that opportunity. He was not outwardly bitter, however, and remained statesmanlike throughout his 35-minute session with reporters.

Nonis said that the Aquilinis, as owners, had every right to relieve him of his position.

"They spent a lot of money to buy this asset," said Nonis. "They want a winner. They made it clear they would live up to the obligations of my contract but that the results weren't appropriate and they were making a change.

"Ownership has the right to make a change and I respect that."

Pap also discussed Nonis’ comments that Canucks assistant general manager Steve Tambellini should be the team’s new general manager.

“If the Aquilini brothers are looking for some advice on hiring their new general manager, the ousted Dave Nonis has a suggestion.

"Steve Tambellini should be the GM," Nonis said Wednesday. "That's the role he should have."

“Tambellini, 49, has held numerous jobs with the organization and has been either the No. 2 or No. 3 man in the Canucks' hockey operations department for the past 10 years.”

Past Round-Ups
APR.17.08 - APR.16.08 - APR.15.08 - APR.02.08 - APR.01.08 - MAR.28.08 - MAR.27.08 - MAR.26.08 - MAR.25.08More
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