Mike Gillis

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

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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.

Vigneault will be behind the Rangers’ bench in 2016-17

New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault runs a practice at NHL hockey training camp Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, in Greenburgh N.Y. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
Associated Press
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The New York Rangers may have been bounced in the opening round of the 2016 playoffs, but they aren’t looking to make a coaching change. In a phone interview with Montreal’s LaPresse newspaper, Alain Vigneault confirmed that he’ll be back behind the Rangers’ bench next season.

“I’ve had discussions with the club’s front office and they told me that they wanted me to come back next season,” Vigneault told LaPresse (quotes have been translated by PHT).

Vigneault and Rangers management will meet in Palm Springs next week to discuss what went wrong in 2015-16.

Even though the season didn’t go the way the Rangers had hoped, Vigneault insists he was never worried about losing his job.

“I don’t really worry about that stuff,” Vigneault said of the rumors surrounding his job security. “There’s 82 games in a season plus the playoffs and you can’t start thinking about your fate after each game. After a loss, you forget it and start thinking about the adjustments you need to make. In regards to our situation, we still managed to pick up 101 points this season. That’s a good season, but we still expected more from our team in the playoffs.”

Like every off-season, there will be changes, but Vigneault isn’t expecting any major ones.

“There’s definitely going to be changes. I don’t know if there’ll be big changes because today, it’s hard to make big changes. With the salary cap, it’s not realistic to think that way.”

When pressed about potential changes, Vigneault wasn’t willing to elaborate.

Vigneault also touched on the way Dan Boyle went after two reporters at the team’s year-end media availability. It’s safe to say he wasn’t thrilled about the way the whole thing went down.

“It’s a lesson for me and our whole team,” added Vigneault. “It’s disappointing because Dan had a really nice career. He won the Stanley Cup with Tampa Bay, but all people will remember him for is this incident. What happened with him really surprised us. It’s too bad. I hope people will remember him for the career he had.”

Here’s your Stanley Cup playoffs schedule for tonight

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The Stanley Cup playoffs continue with one game on Friday night. You can catch tonight’s action via the NBC Sports Group’s television and digital platforms.

Tampa Bay at NY Islanders (7:00 p.m. ET)

The TV broadcast of Game 4 will be on NBCSN. To stream the game using the NBC Sports Live Extra app, click here. The Lightning lead the series 2-1.

Here’s some relevant reading material you might enjoy:

No hearings scheduled for Boyle on Hickey hit, or Hickey on Drouin hit

Lightning take dramatic OT win vs. Islanders, go up 2-1 in series

WATCH LIVE: Canada-USA (IIHF World Hockey Championship)

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IIHF.com
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A huge tilt on day one of the World Hockey Championships, as Canada and the USA clash in Russia. You can watch the game online using the NBC Sports Live Extra app.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Canada came away with a gold medal in last year’s tournament while the United States took home the bronze. Of course, each team’s roster changes significantly every year.

The USA’s next game is tomorrow against Belarus. Canada will play Sunday against Hungary.

PHT Morning Skate: Canucks prospect Brock Boeser is taking a girl with Down syndrome to prom

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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

–Here’s a feel-good story. Canucks prospect Brock Boeser is taking a girl with Down syndrome to prom. (Sportsnet)

–NBC hockey analyst Pierre McGuire does a lot of traveling during the playoffs. (Sports Illustrated)

–It sounds like ESPN’s Mike Wilbon isn’t a fan of the Coyotes’ latest front office hire. (ESPN)

–Watch the highlights from last night’s game between the Stars and Blues. (Top)

–Former referee Kerry Fraser wants the old charging rule to make a return. (TSN)

–Hockey is becoming more common in the North Carolina Sports Hall-of-Fame. (Charlotte Observer)

–Leafs prospect Mitch Marner’s family home caught fire prior to Game 1 of the OHL final. (Sportsnet)