Canucks Report: No L.O.V.E.
By Derek Jory
It’s not you, it’s me.
Well, alright, it’s you too.
But truthfully, there’s someone else.
The L.O.V.E. line of Maxim Lapierre, Victor Oreskovich and Aaron Volpatti (plus alternate Andrew Ebbett) is no more as the Vancouver Canucks placed Oreskovich on waivers Tuesday to make way for newly acquired forward Dale Weise.
Weise was claimed off waivers from the New York Rangers Tuesday and although coach Alain Vigneault admitted he’s not familiar with what the 23-year-old Winnipeg, Manitoba, native brings to the table, Vancouver’s scouts are.
“Our pro scouts all felt that he was an upgrade in the sense that he was a little bit busier on the ice, a little bit more physical and overall we put in a claim and we were able to get him,” said Vigneault.
Weise, who will wear No.32 this season, did not practice with the Canucks at UBC Tuesday, Vigneault said he’ll be with the team Wednesday, however, giving him one practice with his new mates before he makes his Canucks debut in Vancouver’s home opener against the Pittsburgh Penguins Thursday.
Vancouver’s fourth line will now feature Lapierre, Volpatti and Weise, with Ebbett as the 13th forward; let’s see Mr. T Jeff Paterson come up with a nickname for that.
The word on the 6-foot-2, 210-pound right winger, who was drafted 111th overall by the Rangers in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft and has 10 NHL games to his credit, is he brings a lot of energy and physicality, and his hockey sense is great.
Mike Gillis has had Weise on his radar for some time; he went as far as putting in a few calls to Rangers GM Glen Sather to inquire about the forward’s availability over the years.
Vigneault, who still hadn’t watched Weise play between questions about what he brings to the table, is confident the Canucks made the right move in bringing him in and moving Oreskovich out.
“I don’t know the young man at all, going with pro scouts opinion and they’re pretty happy with the pickup. We’ll give him a little bit of time to get used to his new environment, he’s going to come in, get an opportunity to play and we’ll see what happens.”
As for Oreskovich, should he clear waivers, he’ll report to the AHL’s Chicago Wolves and give the Canucks some depth with NHL experience. If he’s claimed by another NHL team, “we’ll be happy that he has an opportunity to stay in the NHL,” said Vigneault.
“NOTEWORTHY” NOTES WORTH NOTING…
-The Canucks will have two changes to their helmets this season. On the front, each player’s number will be dead centre; on the back left there’s now a blue and green 37 RYP decal for fallen Vancouver forward Rick Rypien.
Alex Burrows, on the number on the front: “It looks funny. I don’t really love it, but I guess I’m more of an old school kind of guy and that’s maybe why.”
Kevin Bieksa, on the number on the back: “He’s going to be on our mind a lot during the season, so they did that for Luc as well and it’s a good way to remember him.”
-Maxim Lapierre is loved in Vancouver and that has made him love Vancouver in return. He’s as excited as anyone to get the season going, especially since he gets to be here from the start this year. “It’s always fun, we know we’ve got great fans here and this is a big part of the reason we have so much success, we feel the energy they’re bringing every game and we felt it in the playoff last year and it know it’s going to be like that first game of the year on Thursday. It’s a good feeling to play in front of these fans.”
-When coach Vigneault took to the podium post-practice for his daily chat with the media, it was in front of four new vertical flat screen TVs. Goodbye cloth backdrop, hello future.
-Alex Burrows and Ryan Kesler are different players with varied skill sets, but the Canucks are hoping they can be one and the same on the power play. With Kesler still out indefinitely recovering from off-season surgery, Burrows will fill his role on Vancouver’s top power play unit alongside Daniel and Henrik Sedin, Mikael Samuelsson and Alex Edler. “[I’m going to] be a net front guy really, that’s what we had last year that was really successful. We had guys shooting the pucks and we had a net front guy and right now, I’m that guy. I’ve got screen the goalie and create some havoc in front of him and hopefully score some goals.”
-The Canucks will be celebrating the 'Heart of a Canuck' throughout the 2011-12 season, which includes a night dedicated to Rick Rypien. Vancouver’s second home game, October 18 vs. the New York Rangers, will honour the life of Rypien, whose family will be in attendance. The Canucks organization is dedicated to building awareness and supporting children and young adults who suffer from the same challenges that Rypien did and Vigneault it proud of everything being done. “In Ryp’s case, he wanted to help people, he knew he had a situation, that he had something that he had to get under control and he was real close at one point at one point to talk about it openly so that people who needed help would feel comfortable to about getting help….that help that he wanted to give, we’ll be able to help along here and hopefully we’ll be able to do our share as far as helping people in that situation," said Vigneault.
ORDER OF CANADA
Congratulations to Luigi Aquilini, father of Francesco, Roberto and Paolo Aquilini, from everyone at Canucks Sports & Entertainment, on his induction into the Order of British Columbia Tuesday.
Luigi, inducted as a builder, entrepreneur and philanthropist, founded Aquilini Investment Group, a real estate and agriculture company, 50 years ago.
He joins Gordon Campbell, Jim Robson, the honourable David Emerson and others in receiving the highest honour that can be bestowed upon individuals in BC.
Tuesday’s ceremony was attended by Canucks GM Mike Gillis and Victor de Bonis, chief operating officer.
Big thanks to Jeff Vinnick for the photo.