But getting there.
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General Manager Dave Nonis made several signings this morning and each one of them may not make a huge difference in the outcome but they are all key cogs in the future of the Vancouver Canucks.
The morning began with the signing of highly touted goaltending prospect Cory Schneider to a multi-year deal. Now that this luctrative chip is in the fold the Canucks goaltending depth is the best that it has ever been. There are so many options available, all signs seem to point to eventually dealing Schneider to add the finishing touches to a championship team.
The plan will be to send Schneider to the Manitoba Moose where he can develop his skills and dominate at the AHL level. Eventually, there will be so much buzz around this kid that the Canucks will be able to dangle this kid to all the clubs around the league. Schnieder is trade bait, don't kid yourself otherwise.
The day continued when Nonis turned around and scribed Brad Isbister and Bryon Ritchie into his roster. Both Isbister and Ritchie are fringe NHLers but they both provide something that the Canucks seriously lacked last season. Toughness and grit, during the playoffs the Canucks were pounded all over the ice especially against the Ducks.
Ritchie is also a local kid who has the skill set to follow in the footsteps of other locals such as Cliff Ronning and Brendan Morrison. Speaking of Morrison, the addition of Ritchie (and Ryan Shannon) adds depth to the Canucks center position and could be a move to eventually allow the club to deal Morrison down the road.
Isbister floated between the Rangers and Hartford last season and seems to be one of those players that will never live up to his potential, see Taylor Pyatt. Hopefully, Isbister can follow in the footsteps of Pyatt and enjoy a breaktrough season in 2007-08.
Finally I am hearing rumors that the Canucks have added backup goaltender Curtis Sanford. Over the course of the past two seasons Sanford has absolutely stymied the Canucks and is possibly the reason that the Canucks did not make the playoffs in 2005-2006 after Sanford robbed the Canucks of 4 victories against a weak St. Louis team. All the Canucks needed that season was 3 or 4 points out of a possible 8 against the Blues.
Yes I ranted about the Canucks lack of work yesterday but I have to admit that there is now some progress being made. Like I sais in my blog yesterday, I was upset at the lack of "buzz" from the Canucks. Maybe flying under the radar is a better approach, we will have to see. Am I totally satified? No yet. The moves that Nonis made today are ones that will form the basis of future moves and hope for the future is always a good thing.
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