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Canucks’ Alexandre Grenier signs deal in Austria

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http://www.theprovince.com/business/fp/Canucks+Alexandre+Grenier+signs+deal+Austria/6710946/story.html

Alexandre Grenier, the Canucks’ third-round pick (90th overall) in last year’s NHL entry draft, has signed a one-year contract to play next season in Austria’s top professional league.

The Canucks, who made Grenier a contract offer to retain his rights for another year, are onside with the move and see it as a better option for the 20-year-old right winger.

Grenier will play for high-­profile EC Red Bull Salzburg, who are coached by former NHL coach and GM Pierre Page.

“He had an opportunity to go to Europe and play against men and to play for a really good hockey man in Pierre Page,” said Canucks assistant GM Laurence Gilman on Thursday. “We supported that wholeheartedly and we’ll continue to track him there.”

Gilman said playing for Salzburg is a better fit for Grenier than the East Coast Hockey, where he would begin his professional career if he stayed in North America.

Grenier, a big (6-foot-5, 200 pounds) player with good offensive skills who is a classic late-bloomer, had a solid first full season of major junior with Halifax Mooseheads. He collected 25 goals 64 points in 64 games in the regular season and four goals and 16 points in 17 playoff games.

But just as Grenier showed soft hands and an affinity for the power play, he also needs work on playing in traffic and cutting down on turnovers.

“He’s a late-bloomer, an intriguing prospect, that’s why we drafted him in the third round,” said Gilman. “If things go well this year, we would look at signing him next year.”

With Friday being the deadline for signing players drafted in 2010, the Canucks opted not to offer contracts to goaltender Jonathan Iilahti (175th overall) and defenceman Sawyer Hannay (205th overall), and will no longer own their rights.

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Would be good for his development. When is he eligible to play in the AHL?

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Based on his size, and his (albeit very limited) offensive skill, I could see him becoming a 4th line player one day, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

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Whatever. We have so much depth. He probably would have started in the ECHL. If he really turns out well in a year, he can play Chicago Wolves for a year or two before the Canucks get serious about it.

Hannay and lilahti must be junk/toast then? Canucks gave up on them? not worth it? I do not know too much about those two....

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Other leagues are stealing our prospects first Jensen now Grenier

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Lockout. Look for more and more players to sign overseas for a year as we approach it. Cheers.

TOML

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Other keagues are stealing our prosoects first Jensen now Grenier

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Don't care too much about Grenier, more disappointed with the Iilahti decision.

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Don't care too much about Grenier, more disappointed with the Iilahti decision.

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6'5" is something you can't teach, hopefully he'll pick up some offensive flair in his time in the European league watching the smart passers over there making pretty plays, get bigger, then come to the ECHL and maybe AHL where he can polish off his checking and physical game.

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I think the minimum age is 20 years.

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This kid is a solid player, with good up side, not to mention his size! Good move to put him in a good league with better players. He has a great work ethic to, I have no doubts we will see him soon.

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Don't care too much about Grenier, more disappointed with the Iilahti decision.

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Whatever. We have so much depth. He probably would have started in the ECHL. If he really turns out well in a year, he can play Chicago Wolves for a year or two before the Canucks get serious about it.

Hannay and lilahti must be junk/toast then? Canucks gave up on them? not worth it? I do not know too much about those two....

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With Cannata, Honzig and Lack our goaltending depth is very good. Cannata is going to be the next Schneider.

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Not re signed, he's now UFA

What happened with Iilhati?

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