Canucks' coaches will be satisfied to see teams go all for just 30 minutes
Wednesday, Thursday evening scrimmages to consist of half-hour games at Rogers Arena
Normally a coach would moan if his team turned in a 30-minute effort but that’s exactly what Alain Vigneault plans for the Vancouver Canucks at their open scrimmages Wednesday and Thursday nights at Rogers Arena.
Vigneault revealed his intentions to have his split squad, filled out with members of the American Hockey League’s Chicago Wolves, play three 10-minute stop time periods. Thirty minutes Wednesday, then 30 minutes Thursday.
The doors will open at 6 p.m. each night, with warm-ups at 6:30 p.m. The mini-games are slated to start at 7 p.m. People planning to attend are asked to register at canucks.com/scrimmages.
Shootouts will follow each scrimmage and penalties will be one-minute long, rather than the usual two.
“We’re going to ask the referees to call the penalties they see,” said Vigneault, who doesn’t plan to orchestrate the entire night, just most of it.
During the morning skates, the Canucks will practise their power play Wednesday and then the penalty killing Thursday. The skates, also open to the public, are scheduled for 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. each day.
NO BUYOUTS FOR THEM: The Canucks don’t plan to take advantage of the NHL’s new accelerated buyout plan that was announced Tuesday. (The salary cap for the abbreviated season is a prorated $70.2 million.) The accelerated plan was put in place so veterans like Scott Gomez and Wade Redden will no longer have to sit out the entire season.
“We do not anticipate utilizing compliance buyouts at this time,” said Canuck assistant GM Laurence Gilman, the team’s salary cap guru.
BACKUP PLAN?: Still a Canuck goalie Tuesday afternoon, Roberto Luongo said he has never mentioned anything about starting three of the first 10 games, assuming he stays in Vancouver that long. A French-language report had circulated those numbers.
Luongo was in fine form Tuesday during a post-practice shootout as he stopped all five shooters he faced. Cory Schneider, the new No. 1, was beaten four times. As former NBA star Allen Iverson might say: ‘We’re talking about practice. Not a game. Practice.”
MANNY BEING MANNY: Fourth-line centre Manny Malhotra has been impressing the coach with his work. Malhotra, of course, suffered a near career-ending eye injury March 16, 2011, that prevented him from training the entire summer of 2011. Malhotra was able to work out properly during the summer of 2012, followed by another four months during the lockout. Malhotra, 32, is in the final year of his contract.
SCOUT’S HONOUR: Central Scouting released its second set of rankings Tuesday with Portland Winterhawk defenceman Seth Jones rated the No. 1 North American skater and centre Aleksander Barkov of Finnish club Tappara the top-rated European. Canuck winger Jannik Hansen played with Barkov during his 20-game lockout stint.
Two Vancouver Giants made the Central list, defenceman Mason Geertsen coming in at No. 55 and right-winger Jackson Houck of North Vancouver at 112. Former Giant and North Vancouver native Matt Bellerive, who was traded to the Red Deer Rebels early in the WHL season, was 129. Nathan McKinnon and Jonathan Drouin, both of the Halifax Mooseheads, were ranked second and third behind Jones.
QUOTABLE: “We’ll have to see where Andrew Ebbett and Jordan Schroeder fit in the overall picture. Both of them have looked really good the first three days. I’m really pleased with what I’m seeing from those guys.” — Canuck coach Alain Vigneault.
© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun