Tag: Max Lapierre


Video: Hamhuis hip check leaves Lapierre hurting


A Dan Hamhuis hip check Friday in Vancouver has left his former Canucks teammate, Blues forward Max Lapierre, day-to-day with an apparent lower-body injury.

Lapierre didn’t practice today and will be re-evaluated tomorrow before St. Louis hosts Phoenix.

“He took that hit late in the game, that low hit there,” said coach Ken Hitchcock, per the Post-Dispatch. “He’s been exercising full, but not able to skate on a full-time basis. So we’ll evaluate him tomorrow and see if he can play tomorrow.”

As for Hamhuis, the steady Canucks d-man said Friday that he’s feeling more comfortable using the hip check now; however, he hasn’t forgotten about the one he threw on Milan Lucic in Game 1 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final that left him injured for the rest of the series.

Lapierre gets in-person hearing Friday

Max Lapierre

Blues forward Max Lapierre will be in New York Friday for an in-person disciplinarian hearing with the NHL after his hit from behind on Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle last night in St. Louis.

The in-person hearing opens the door to a suspension lasting longer than five games. Boyle was hurt on the play, which will factor into the ruling. But Lapierre is not considered a repeat offender under the CBA, as his four-game suspension for a hit on San Jose forward Scott Nichol occurred back in 2010 (too long ago to make him a repeat offender).

Meanwhile, Boyle sent an encouraging message to the fans, via Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.com.

“I’m doing okay, thank you for your concern and support,” Boyle said. “Means a lot to me. I’ve never once taken this game or any of my fans for granted. Hope to be back soon.”

Related: ‘Things like that happen, especially when idiots are idiots’

In two years, Gillis has gone from top dog to embattled GM

Mike Gillis

It seems like a long time ago now. But in reality, it’s only been two years since Mike Gillis was named the NHL’s top general manager for helping the Vancouver Canucks capture the Presidents’ Trophy and come within a game of winning the franchise’s first Stanley Cup.

Back then, Gillis was frequently lauded for his progressive ideas. He often referenced Moneyball. He hired a sleep doctor. The Canucks even had something called a mind room.

Gillis also made some pretty adept hockey moves. He got Christian Ehrhoff out of of San Jose for next to nothing. He picked up Chris Higgins and Max Lapierre at the 2011 trade deadline. He signed the likes of Dan Hamhuis, Manny Malhotra, Raffi Torres and Mikael Samuelsson.

A former agent, Gillis also proved a convincing negotiator, locking up key Canucks like the Sedin twins and Ryan Kesler to below-market contracts while getting his core players to buy in to a team-first attitude.

“That’s what we need everybody to do,” said Kesler back in 2009. “If we’re going to win the Cup, we need guys to take pay cuts. The way the salary cap is now, you really can’t get what you’re worth now if you want to win. Everybody in this locker room knows that and for us to be a great team going forward, we’re going to have to take a pay cut.”

That was then. Today, it could be argued that no GM’s stock has fallen more than Gillis’s. Two straight first-round exits and suddenly nobody’s talking about sleep doctors anymore. Instead, it’s the ham-fisted way he handled the Roberto Luongo/Cory Schneider saga, that dumb Keith Ballard trade, and, really, we could go on and on here. So let’s — because on top of all the bad moves he’s made, plenty of people call Gillis a whiner, too. When they’re not calling him arrogant and unwilling to admit a mistake, ever.

“From my perspective … it’s been a terrible season for us,” Gillis said in May after the Canucks were swept by the Sharks. “We’re going to have to reinvent ourselves and do things differently in order to be successful. The macro look at this team is that changes have to be made.”

So out went head coach Alain Vigneault and in came John Tortorella (a hiring, by the way, that many felt had ownership’s fingerprints all over it.)

But despite Gillis’s call for a “reset,” the Canucks’ core remains awfully familiar — the Sedins, Kesler, Hamhuis, Kevin Bieksa, Alex Edler, Alex Burrows and Luongo.

Where Gillis can perhaps (or perhaps not) find redemption next season is in the club’s pool of prospects. Because we forgot to mention, he’s also been lambasted for his draft record and for trading Cody Hodgson to Buffalo for Zack Kassian.

If Kassian can realize his potential….if draft picks Brendan Gaunce, Bo Horvat, Nicklas Jensen, and/or Frank Corrado can make an impact…if free-agent pickups Kellan Lain and/or Joacim Eriksson pan out…well, if anyone knows sports fans have a short memory, it’s Gillis.

More Canucks day on PHT:

Young guys will be key for Canucks

Agent: KHL teams interested in Tanev

Agent: No talks between Lapierre and Canucks

Mark Recchi, Maxim Lapierre

A bottom-six center that loves to get under the opponent’s skin may be on the market this summer.

Agent Don Meehan confirmed today to News 1130 Sports in Vancouver that there have been no contract talks between his client, Max Lapierre, and the Canucks.

Lapierre is a pending unrestricted free agent. The 28-year-old is coming off a two-year deal with a cap hit of $1 million.

A veteran of 463 NHL regular-season games, Lapierre was traded to Vancouver from Anaheim in December of 2010. He was a solid contributor during the Canucks’ run to the Stanley Cup finals in 2011, even if some of his antics drew criticism.

This season, Lapierre had four goals and six assists in 48 games.

It’s not clear if the Canucks have any interest in re-signing the Montreal native. General manager Mike Gillis has said he wants his roster to get bigger and younger, and that may not leave a spot for Lapierre.

Brendan Gaunce — the 26th overall pick in last year’s draft — is one big, young center the Canucks would like to see in the NHL next season.

Canucks re-sign Higgins: Four years, $10 million

Chris Higgins

The Vancouver Canucks have had themselves a busy little Tuesday.

Shortly after acquiring Derek Roy from the Dallas Stars, the club announced it had re-signed winger Chris Higgins to a four-year deal.

Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston says the contact is worth $10 million all told.

Higgins, 29, was acquired from Florida at the 2011 NHL trade deadline and provided an immediate impact in the Vancouver lineup.

He scored eight points en route to the ’11 Cup final and scored three game-winning goals along the way, tying a franchise record for most GWGs in a single playoff season.

The Canucks rewarded Higgins with a two-year, $3.8 million deal that July, and he’s gone on to post impressive numbers.

In 2011-12, he scored 18G-25A-43PTS in 71 games, finishing fourth on the team in goals.

This year he has 9G-5A-14PTS in 35 games, tied for second on the team in goals.

How Higgins’ new deal affects Vancouver’s financial future remains to be seen. According to Capgeek, the Canucks have nearly $63 million committed to just 15 players next year, with the salary cap falling to $64.3 million.

The team has a number of unrestricted free agents — Roy, Manny Malhotra, Mason Raymond, Max Lapierre, Andrew Alberts, Cam Barker — and will need to make decisions on RFAs like Chris Tanev and Dale Weise.

Of course, the club could use one of its amnesty buyouts to relieve some of the financial strain.