Morning Hits: Vokoun, Fraser, Gionta, Canadiens injuries, Canucks offseason questions and Blue Jackets free agents

  • Pittsburgh Penguins: Coach Dan Bylsma on starting Tomas Vokoun: “We brought Tomas Vokoun in to play big games for us…He’s done that for us & he’s been very good vs. the #Isles.”
  • James Mirtle: Maple Leafs Mark Fraser was taken to the hospital to check for any broken bones after taking a shot off his face.
  • Renaud Lavoie: Canadiens Brian Gionta will have surgery on Friday for a torn left bicep. He hopes to be ready for training camp.
  • Renaud Lavoie: Brandon Prust and Ryan White are out tonight. Carey Price is day-to-day.
  • Brad Ziemer of the Vancouver Sun: Ziemer’s thoughts on the Canucks coaching staff.

    The jobs of head coach Alain Vigneault and his staff are most certainly on the line and general manager Mike Gillis is going to face some uncomfortable questions from ownership over the team’s second straight playoff collapse.

  • Pierre LeBrun of ESPN: The Canucks have the highest payroll going into next season, but trading Roberto Luongo or an amnesty buyout of Keith Ballard($4.2 million for two years) will help them get down below the new cap of $64.3 million. Five questions for the Canucks this offseason are:

    • Do the Canucks have a bona fide No. 1 goalie in Schneider moving forward?
    • Should this team still be built around the Sedins?
    • Will Ryan Kesler ever be injury-free?
    • Does this team have the right supporting cast to still contend?
    • Is it time to retool, rebuild or be patient for one more run with this core?

  • Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch: Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen on contract talks with their free agents, including goalie Sergei Bobrovsky.

    “We’re working on them. It’s a work in progress on all fronts. Everything has been started, everything is in progress. We’re waiting to hear back from a few agents. Obviously, Bobrovsky is a high priority for us. I told him in the (exit) meetings that everybody talks about his great play, and sure it was remarkable. But I’m even more impressed with his work ethic, how he prepares for the game and every practice, how he takes care of recovery after every game, the routine he goes through every day. That’s what I’m most impressed about Bobrovsky. He sets the bar high for the rest of the guys. I don’t think anybody’s going to argue with me if we says he’s the MVP of our team this year. If he sets the bar that high with the way he works everyday, it’s going to be hard for anybody else in that room to say, well, I’m not going to do this or that today. That’s what I think it’s all about, your best players being your hardest working players. And that’s what we have in Bob.”

    On Bobrovsky’s contract talks …

    “It’s going to take its course, and it’s going to take its time. Some (deals) are quicker than others. We’ll have to stay more patient with some than others. I don’t anticipate any problems. It’s going to be a negotiation. His agent, his representatives are professionals. They have their thought process and we have ours. I’m sure we’re going to reach a result here in the near future.”

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  1. #1 by hotwings at May 9th, 2013

    Gillis obvious mistake #1: Signing Luongo.
    Gillis obvious mistake #2: Trading bonafide #2 centre, Hodgson for Ahler/4thline Nhler, Kassian.
    Gillis obvious mistake #3: Not pulling trigger on trade for Luongo and dicking around with his trade value.

  2. #2 by Patrick at May 9th, 2013

    Gillis has made 100′s of mistakes. Every trade or signing he’s made has been crap. The entire core of that team was there before he arrived and then he started making bad trades and handing out ridiculous contracts. Remember when he gave Sundin 10M for one year? Kassian? Luongo? Grabner +1st for Ballard?

    Florida’s old overpaid crap is not how to get a team to go far.

  3. #3 by hotwings at May 9th, 2013

    ya forgot about the sundin blunder… gillis has a horrible situation on his hands. i dont think he has the balls to ship out schneider, which is the most logical thing to do. i mean, really, where do you go from here? trade the sedins? trade edler?

    ownership has got to seriously consider getting rid of gillis at this point… you really need a sound hockey mind to sort out their problems… its not like they have a stocked cupboard of prospects either..

  4. #4 by Patrick at May 9th, 2013

    His ego will be a problem too. Similar to how Feaster handled Calgary the last few years. Unwilling to rebuild with as you mentioned, no prospects.

  5. #5 by AireApparent at May 23rd, 2013

    Pittsburgh’s Ray Shero would be a fool not to go after Bobrovsky, IMO. Fleury too inconsistent, Vokoun getting older. Got to think PIT would be more appealing to Bob than CBJ. What do you guys think?

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