Found September 17, 2013 on Rob The Hockey Guy:
Photo Courtesy: The Province This column was written by RobTheHockeyGuy’s newest blogger Ian Lusher! Ian has written about the Canucks on his own blog for a few years and knows his stuff. You can follow him on Twitter at @IanLusher. The Vancouver Canucks no longer have the luxury of a 1A and 1B situation in goal thanks to the draft day trade of Cory Schneider which means that the back-up goalie job is wide open.  Head coach John Tortorella has gone on record as stating that he would like to play Roberto Luongo in the 60-65 game range this season necessitating the need for the Canucks to find a back-up goalie that is competent and reliable.  The Canucks goalie depth is decent, but unproven at the NHL level.  Here’s a look at the contenders: Eddie Lack I would be shocked if Eddie Lack isn’t the Canucks choice to back-up Luongo this season.  His 6′ 5″ frame is intimidating and he has shown flashes of brilliance in the AHL with stints in Manitoba and Chicago.  He posted some impressive numbers in 2010-11 in Manitoba (2.26 GAA, .926 SV% in 53 games) and in 2011-12 in Chicago (2.25 GAA, .925 SV% in 46 games) before seeing his numbers drop last year in an injury (hip flexor) shortened season in Chicago.  Rollie Melanson is sure to like Lack’s deep net positioning and strong leg play.  Combine that with Lack’s cap-friendly $725K one-way deal, his friendly, laid-back demeanor, and you have the clear-cut favourite to start the season as Luongo’s back-up.  The only concern on the part of the Canucks would be if Lack has lost some mobility due to the hip surgery from last year. Joacim Eriksson Newly signed Joacim Eriksson could very well push Eddie Lack in the hunt for the vacant back-up job.  Eriksson is an unknown quantity in North America, but his numbers the last two seasons with Skelleftea of the Swedish Elite league were downright sick.  Eriksson posted GAA and SV% of 1.82 and .932 in 2011-12 and 1.67 and .931 in 2012-13.  Even better was his performance in the playoffs last year in Skelleftea’s championship run (1.06 GAA, .952 SV%)!  By all accounts, Eriksson was impressive in the Young Prospects camp and his $925K entry-level contract is another cap-friendly number.  Eriksson would have to outplay Lack by a large margin in the main camp to win the back-up spot as the Canucks would likely want to see Eriksson handle the bulk of games in Utica and get some AHL experience under his belt before testing him at the NHL level. Free-Agent Possibilities? If Lack and Eriksson prove that they’re not ready to be NHL goaltenders this preseason, the Canucks may be forced to look elsewhere for Roberto Luongo’s back-up. There are a few experienced goalies left on the market. Jose Theodore Theodore’s name has been linked to Vancouver for almost two years with the constant chatter of Luongo being traded to Florida, now he could be the answer to work with Lu as the second half of the Canucks goalie tandem.  If the Canucks decide that neither Lack nor Eriksson is ready for primetime, Theodore is most attractive goalie left on the market.  Theodore would be reunited with Rollie Melanson from his Montreal Canadiens days.  Theodore posted his best season in Montreal, but it has been reported that the Theodore-Melanson relationship was tenuous.  Do the Canucks really want another ex-Panther in the line-up? The Best of the Rest Tim Thomas is on a pro tryout with the Florida Panthers, but is free to sign with anyone in the league, wouldn’t that be interesting? Almost as interesting would be signing Ilya Bryzgalov, who is still available. Mathieu Garon and Johan Hedberg are long in the tooth and posted poor numbers last season, but they are certainly experienced. If the Canucks get really desperate, they can see if Rick DiPietro can get his career back on track.

Is Eddie Lack ready to back-up Roberto Luongo?

Photo Courtesy: The Province This column was written by RobTheHockeyGuy’s newest blogger Ian Lusher! Ian has written about the Canucks on his own blog for a few years and knows his stuff. You can follow him on Twitter at @IanLusher. The Vancouver Canucks no longer have the luxury of a 1A and 1B situation in goal thanks to the draft day trade of Cory Schneider which means that the...

Sunday Canucks training camp notes from The Province

Preseason starts tonight 2013 Canucks first round pick Bo Horvat made an impression on Sunday. “We want to play him with a little more speed and give a long evaluation in a lot of different situations and I thought that line played well,” said Tortorella. Canucks Scrimmage Notes...

The Canucks third line centre competition

Photo Courtesy:   The Canucks play their first preseason game tomorrow and the most compelling competition for a roster spot this year is without a doubt for the third line centre spot. The competition is wide open, with some veterans, youngsters and raw rookies in contention. Lets look at the competitors: Brendan Gaunce Canucks management was probably quietly...

Too Much Ice Time For Kesler

from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province, After the first period of Vancouver’s pre-season opener Monday, there were a few of us in the media thinking an apology to former coach Alain Vigneault needed to be dispatched. All this time spent giving him the gears for overplaying Ryan Kesler and then watching Kes break down at the end of the season was apparently a big...

John Tortorella Lays Down Cellphone Rules For Vancouver’s Media

John Tortorella might have been introduced as the Vancouver Canucks head coach in June, but everyone knew the union wouldn’t feel complete until he had has first spat with the local media. Well everybody, that day has finally come. Around 12 seconds into the video you can faintly hear a phone going off as Torts discusses the upcoming preseason games. Upon hearing the sound he...

Shinkaruk, Gaunce make an impression as Canucks drop 3-2 decision to San Jose

The start of the National Hockey League pre-season felt a little like the playoffs for the Vancouver Canucks. They lost again to the San Jose Sharks. With new coach John Tortorella watching from high above in the press box area a Canuck lineup littered with youngsters dropped a 3-2 decision in their exhibition opener Monday night to the Sharks at Rogers Arena. But the evening was...

A Torts-ture test: coach plans to ride top Canucks

There are things hockey players never say. “This Stanley Cup ring hurts my finger.” “It’s nice up here in the press box with the reporters.” “I hate all this free stuff.” “Do these hockey pants make my butt look big?” And of course: “Darn I wish the coach played me less.” No one in the National Hockey League has ever complained about too much ice time...

Tortorella Talks Ice Time

from David Ebner of the Globe and Mail, He is big on rest and recovery but sees physical convalescence occurring with days off – he promised the Canucks the most of any team in the league. Tortorella’s skeptical that limiting in-game minutes keeps bodies fresh. “I’m not a big believer in, ‘Holy crap, he played 26 minutes, does he have anything left for Wednesday...

Thoughts Of Hockey

from Elliotte Friedman of CBC, - I will be curious to see how hard Vancouver Canucks head coach John Tortorella pushes his best players in pre-season. Everybody knows the shot-blocking, grinding style he wants the Canucks to play. But will he wait to demand it at its hardest? Full-season, Olympics and, perhaps most importantly, a team with much harder travel than the Rangers...

Tim Thomas Rises: Will Join Panthers Training Camp

He said he wanted to be back and he's one step closer. It's being reported that Tim Thomas has signed a Professional Tryout (PTO) Contract with the Florida Panthers, furthering the misery that is Roberto Luongo. Tim Thomas will be with the #FlaPanthers on a try expected to be at Tuesday's workout in Coral Springs. "He's a competitor." ...
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