Mike Gillis

Gillis won’t “succumb” to media pressure to trade Luongo

11 Comments

Canucks general manager Mike Gillis would like the Toronto Maple Leafs — and any other team, for that matter — to know that he won’t be pressured by the media into trading Roberto Luongo.

Per CanucksArmy.com, Gillis was on TEAM 1040 radio this morning in Vancouver to reject the idea that his expectations are too high when it comes to the price for Luongo.

“The notion that we were asking for too much was floated in the Toronto media by a team that was extremely interested in acquiring Roberto and were using every means possible to try and force us to do something that we didn’t think was right,” said Gillis.

“That’s nothing new in this business and it’s not the kind of pressure that I’m going to succumb to.”

Gillis has said repeatedly that he’s willing to wait for the right deal for Luongo to come along, and he reiterated that stance today.

“There’s a lot of stuff that’s going to happen in the first two weeks of this season, and if you start giving all-star players away you’ll be at the bottom of this league in a real hurry,” he said.

The Canucks open the season Saturday at home to Anaheim, then host Edmonton on Sunday.

It’s believed Cory Schneider will be Vancouver’s starting goalie against the Ducks, but Luongo could get the call versus the Oilers.

If you believe Gillis, the Canucks could have the same goaltending tandem all season.

“As it sits today, we need to get something in return that is going to help our team and we’re not in the business of just helping other teams, so I’m comfortable with both these guys starting the season here, I’ll be comfortable if we finish the season with them.

“If something happens and comes our way that allows us to improve, we’re going to do it. And it’s all subject to Roberto wanting to go to that city. So, it is a little bit more complicated than people like to think but we feel very comfortable with where we sit today with our goalies.”

The Canucks had reportedly offered the Leafs Luongo for Tyler Bozak, Nazem Kadri and a second-round draft pick.

Of course, that was what they offered when Brian Burke was still the GM in Toronto. It’s not clear if Burke was seriously considering the deal, but with Dave Nonis now in charge, it appears the Leafs are committed to giving Kadri a chance to prove himself.

Goalie nods: Backups battle as Kinkaid faces Enroth

Los Angeles Kings goalie Jhonas Enroth, of Sweden, deflects a shot off the stick of a Colorado Avalanche player in the first period of an NHL hockey game, Monday, Jan. 4, 2016, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
AP
Leave a comment

The New Jersey Devils and Los Angeles Kings prefer to lean on workhorse goalies Cory Schneider and Jonathan Quick respectively, but Sunday presents a change of pace.

In the Kings’ case, Jhonas Enroth is playing in part because of (what Los Angeles hopes is) a minor injury to Quick.

It’s true that the under-sized goalie sports a mediocre 4-4-1 record, but he’s given the Kings legitimate chances to win games considering his impressive (especially for a backup) save percentage of .925. Perhaps he can earn a few more reps if he plays well in what may be a tight game?

Speaking of earning more reps, Keith Kinkaid must continue to work to prove that he’s able to make the jump from AHL goalie to at least an NHL backup. The Kings aren’t likely to make it easy for him, either.

Elsewhere …

Avalanche at Sabres: Semyon Varlamov vs. Robin Lehner

Bruins at Red Wings: Possibly Tuukka Rask vs. Petr Mrazek

Blues at Lightning: Best guess – Brian Elliott vs. Ben Bishop

Flyers at Rangers: Steve Mason vs. (possibly) Henrik Lundqvist

Fight video: Someone other than Evander Kane beats up Alex Petrovic

1 Comment

Bummed out on this holiday? Look on the bright side: at least you’re not as sore as Florida Panthers defenseman Alex Petrovic likely is right now.

Not long after suffering three defeats at the hands/fists of Evander Kane, Petrovic likely lost another bout to Nashville Predators tough guy Anthony Bitetto.

(Note: some might consider this more of a draw, for what it’s worth. You can watch that latest fight in the video above.)

Hey, at least Bitetto didn’t taunt Petrovic after their fight …

It was a rough night for the Panthers overall, as they suffered a gruesome injury or two and fell to the Predators by a score of 5-0.

Outdoor game rumors: Jets host Oilers, Red Wings at Maple Leafs

The Toronto Maple Leafs and the Detroit Red Wings face off during the first period of the Winter Classic outdoor NHL hockey game at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich., Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
AP
3 Comments

Love is in the air on Valentine’s Day, and so are rumors about hockey fans bundling up for outdoor games next season.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman went over two possible outdoor matchups coming for 2016-17 during Saturday’s Headlines segment.

A smart move for a potential game in Winnipeg: Imagine the Jets hosting a game in Winnipeg in February? Ilya Bryzgalov almost turned off his TV in protest.

Instead, Sportsnet’s John Shannon reports that the Jets are likely to host the Edmonton Oilers in October. That would be a smart logistical move, as long as it isn’t too hot.

(Also, playing it then would hopefully increase the odds of the mainstream sporting public seeing Connor McDavid in an outdoor game.)

Toronto’s turn: Friedman reports that the Toronto Maple Leafs are likely to host the Detroit Red Wings in the 2017 Winter Classic (or at least an outdoor game), almost certainly on New Year’s Day 2017.

The two teams combined for a great Winter Classic at Ann Arbor in 2014, so that could be a fun time.

***

Keep in mind these are reports (and well-placed ones at that) rather than official announcements for the NHL. These things could always change.

Related: Could the Penguins host the Flyers outdoors next season, too?

Ducks likely to recall Khudobin after Gibson injury

Chicago Blackhawks' Richard Panik (14), of Slovakia, collides with Anaheim Ducks goalie John Gibson (36) during the second period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Chicago. Anaheim won 3-2 in overtime. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)
AP
Leave a comment

“Costly victories” may have been one of the themes of Saturday night, as some teams paired impressive wins with worrisome injuries.

The good news is that, in each case, it appears that the early word is optimistic about those players (Tyler Seguin got stitched up in the Stars’ win, for example).

The Anaheim Ducks are reportedly readying to recall Anton Khudobin on Sunday after John Gibson suffered an upper-body injury during a collision with Chicago Blackhawks forward Richard Panik.

Again, so far the hope/expectation is that this might not be a major issue:

The pessimistic take would be to wonder “Uh oh, is the Ducks goalie carousel starting again?”

Frederik Andersen has seen some runs as Anaheim’s No. 1 guy, so maybe this issue is a reminder that the Ducks may be better off keeping both Gibson and Andersen around … at least while they can.