Canucks hire Dan Cloutier to be their goaltending consultant
Former NHL puckstopper thrilled to be back helping Vancouver's young goalies develop
Dan Cloutier figures he’s an easy guy to talk to and believes that trait will serve him well in his new job with the Vancouver Canucks.
“It’s always nice, especially for a young goalie, to learn from somebody that has been through it and somebody that you can talk to about both on-ice and off-ice stuff,” Cloutier said Tuesday after he was officially announced as goaltending consultant/player development for the Canucks.
“I’ve been through a lot in my hockey career. There’s not too many things I didn’t go through. I know how excited and how hungry these kids are. I am an easy guy to talk to and I hope they feel comfortable talking to me about any of their issues. I am definitely looking forward to helping them.”
Cloutier actually signed his deal with the Canucks earlier this summer, not long after he worked the team’s prospects camp at Rogers Arena in early July.
Canuck assistant general manager Laurence Gilman said Cloutier will work with goalies throughout the organization and do some of the work goaltending coach Rollie Melanson simply doesn’t have time for.
“There’s a number of goaltenders in our system and Rollie Melanson doesn’t have enough hours in the day to attend to the needs of all of our goaltending assets,” Gilman said.
“The analogy that we would use is baseball teams having a roving coach for catchers that move up and down the organization. Dan will serve that role and spend some time with our (minor league) goaltenders like Eddie Lack and Joe Cannata in addition to checking in with goaltenders that we have playing in either junior or college.”
Cloutier, who will also do some scouting of goaltenders for the Canucks, said he can’t wait to get started and sounded genuinely excited about rejoining a Canuck organization he played five seasons for. He said he got the itch to remain in the game shortly after retiring nearly three years ago and served as goalie coach of the OHL’s Barrie Colts before taking a year off to spend more time with his two young children.
“Now my little girl has started school and it just made sense to get a little busier,” he said. “When this came about it was an easy decision just because of the history I had with people in the organization. I am looking forward to it and I am pretty excited about it.”
Cloutier, now 36, posted a record of 139-142-33, with 15 shutouts and a 2.77 goals-against average in his 10 NHL seasons. In his five seasons with the Canucks, Cloutier went 109-68-23, with 14 shutouts and a 2.42 goals-against average.
KILLING TIME: Canucks winger David Booth is spending the early days of the lockout doing one his favourite things: killing wild animals.
Booth sent out a tweet Tuesday that said: “Just killing time ... and Wapiti in Montana.”
The tweet included a photo of Booth, his crossbow and a large dead wapiti, or elk. No word if any bait was used.
Booth was criticized this past spring after a video of him killing a black bear in Alberta was posted on YouTube. Booth had used bait hidden inside an oil drum to lure the bear to the area.
SURPRISE VISITS: Some of the Canucks will be crashing minor-hockey league practices in Metro Vancouver during the lockout.
The NHL Players’ Association has asked some of its members to drop in on practices during the lockout and defenceman Kevin Bieksa and winger Mason Raymond will do just that this week.
Bieksa would only say that he’ll be surprising a group of young players on Thursday.
“We’re going to be dropping in random to kid’s practices,” he said after some of the Canucks skated Tuesday at UBC.
“I don’t want to ruin too much of the surprise, but Mason is doing one and I think (Michael) Grabner did one in Long Island (Monday) and I am doing one Thursday.
“We’ll see how the first one goes but it’s something we are probably going to end up doing at least once a week, just get out there and help out some of the kids that normally we wouldn’t have the time to do. So it should be fun.”
THEY’VE GOT A ZOO: With a new arena in the works, Seattle has been mentioned lately as a possible home for an NHL team.
That’s fine with Canuck captain Henrik Sedin, but not for the reasons you might think. When asked Tuesday if he liked the idea of having a close geographical rival, Sedin confessed he has never visited Seattle.
“I have never been there, actually,” he said. “I landed at the airport once, that’s it. But I hear they have a nice zoo down there.”
Henrik, who acknowledges airplanes are not his favourite mode of transportation, said he’d be happy to hop on a bus for games in Seattle.
“It would be nice for me because maybe I don’t have to fly down there,” he said. “I don’t know their history with hockey, but I know they have the junior team down there and that seems to do well. It would be fun to have a team closer than we have, that’s one thing for sure.”
ICE CHIPS: The Canucks had a second goalie on the ice Tuesday at UBC. Thunderbirds netminder Kraymer Barnstable joined Cory Schneider as the players engaged in a lengthy and spirited three-on-three game. “We had the extra goalie out there so we wanted to break him in a little bit,” Bieksa said. “He held his own well and we were glad to have him out. ... Bieksa insisted he is not yet thinking about the possibility of losing the entire season to the lockout. “I am just kind of going through day-to-day motions right now. I’ve kind of got a routine down the last couple of weeks so I am sticking to that and staying pretty busy around the house. I’m a father raising my kids right now, which is nice.”
© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun