Debunking Canuck Summer Rumours

I’ve been asked often this summer what I think of some of the rumours that continue to surface regarding potential Canuck roster moves and signings.

Let me tell you why most are not going to happen.

Rumour 1 – Cooke to Pittsburgh for Michel Ouellet 

As much as I dislike Cooke, he has a really high trade value on the market.  His salary is right, he adds some grit, is relatively young but still has considerable experience.  That said, Nonis should be be able to get someone of decent caliber and Ouellet is that.  This kid got 16 goals and 16 assists in only 50 game last year. 

But remember a trade fills a need or upgrades a team on both sides.  Pittsburgh already picked up Jarkko Ruutu on the open market without giving up any talent.  Why would they now trade for Cooke, when they already filled the void they had, that of an agitator to take the spotlight away from Sid the Kid.

This trade will not happen, not because Nonis won’t pull the trigger, but because Pittsburgh doesn’t have the need.

Rumour 2 – Naslund to Philadelphia for Simon Gagne

This rumour is a continuation from last years rumours of Forsberg and Naslund wanting to play together.  There is no truth to that, or you would have seen it happen last summer when both were free to sign with any club.  Remember Naslund did enter free agency before signing back with the Canucks.

The other driver for this rumour is from a cap perspective, the thought being that Clarke can’t afford to pay Simon the $5m per season he’s worth.  But think about it, he’d be letting go of a 26 year old guy getting $5m per season for a 33 year old guy earning $6m per season.  Where is the gain for Philly in that?

The rumour has no merit and will not happen. 

Rumour 3 – Steve Shields signing to backup in net

This rumour was started by Steve himself, claiming in an interview he’d love to backup Roberto again.  I don’t know why his agent didn’t just call Nonis himself, but perhaps he doesn’t have an agent after only playing 4 games in the last 2 years.

The last season of significance for Shields was in Florida when he played 16 games, going 3-6-1.  I’m not expecting miracles from any backup, but a .500 record would be nice.

Nonis will find the right guy to fill in for Roberto when he needs a night off and it won’t be Steve Shields.

Rumour 4 – J.P. Dumont/Radek Dvorak/Jason Allison signing with Vancouver

Of the three players, Dvorak has the highest probability of being in a Canuck uniform at the beginning of next season.

Dumont is going to want a bit more money than the team can afford to pay, and probably for a longer period as well.  Becoming a free agent was an unexpected turn of events for him, and he’ll want to settle his young family in somewhere quickly and for as long as possible.

Allison is simply too slow.  For a team that will continue to play an uptempo style (a focus on defense doesn’t mean we won’t be playing uptempo), Allison will not be able to keep up to the pace.  Really, if Toronto didn’t feel he could keep up, is it reasonable to think Nonis will?  Add to that fact that Allison is said to be a cancer in the locker room leads me to believe Nonis will take no part in this rumour.

Dvorak will probably come cheap (1.2m – 1.8m), and despite his preference to play on the East coast, Vancouver may give him the best opportunity to play on the first or second line.  This is one rumour that has received very little press, but just may come to be.

Dave Nonis is not finished with his roster as he still needs to solidify a few roster spots and get a few players signed.  That list includes Linden & Kesler, but you can forget about most of the rumours you’ve heard so far this summer.

The Chief Canuck

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