Category Archives: Van. Canucks
Now that the NHL holiday trade freeze has lifted, chatter around the league should begin to pick up. Most insiders within the league view January as the time where general managers and owners alike begin to view their teams as sellers or buyers for the trade deadline. However, that may prove to be a bit more difficult this year. Read the rest of this entry
The Vancouver Canucks’ protected list is, on the surface, seemingly easy to protect. However, GM Jim Benning could go off the board and protect one or two role players over a more skilled guy.
Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin, and Loui Eriksson all have no-movement clauses. Eriksson was disappointing in his first season in Vancouver, however there is zero chance he is asked to waive.
Brandon Sutter, a key cog in Vancouver’s center core, also requires protection. That is not an issue either.
The rest of Vancouver’s forward slots can be filled up by younger players.
Bo Horvat is a guarantee. For the last two spots, Markus Granlund and Sven Baertschi are good guesses.
On defense, Chris Tanev is the only sure-fire pick to be protected.
The Canucks, though, do not have many other quality defensemen that could be selected by Vegas. Therefore, protecting Alex Edler and Erik Gudbranson is not an issue.
In net, Jacob Markstrom will be protected as Ryan Miller is an unrestricted free agent.
In total, Vancouver’s protection list is likely this:
Forwards: Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin, Loui Eriksson, Brandon Sutter, Bo Horvat, Markus Granlund, Sven Baertschi
Defense: Chris Tanev, Alex Edler, Erik Gudbranson
Goalie: Jacob Markstrom
For players that could be taken by Vegas, fringe-NHL guys such as Reid Boucher, Brendan Gaunce, Andrew Pedan, and Michael Chaput are options.
There is also a chance that Chris Tanev is traded this offseason. But, it remains likely that the trade happens (if it happens at all) after the expansion draft.
Next team: Washington Capitals
The NHL draft lottery has come and gone for yet another year. This time around, however, it was quite controversial and unexpected amongst many fans and league management alike.
Colorado, Vancouver, and Arizona, who were the three worst teams in the league, all do not have top-three picks this year. Instead, New Jersey moved up from 5 to 1, Philadelphia moved up from 13 to 2, and Dallas moved up from 8 to 3.
The NHL lottery system is designed to prevent tanking, and that is exactly what it did last night. Colorado, Arizona, and Vancouver were all trying to ice competitive teams at the start of the season, but it did not work out. It just so happened that these three teams became casualties of a system that was put in place after the Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel draft.
As for who won the lottery, it will have a significant impact on certain players being on the market come draft day. The top prospects in the draft — Patrick, Hischier, and Mittlestadt — happen to all be centers.
To be fair, New Jersey does not so much fit into this category as well as Philadelphia and Dallas do. The Devils need a bonafide center desperately as they lack star power down the middle. Whichever road they go of the three aforementioned prospects, they will be in good shape. Adding one of them to Taylor Hall (and potentially Ilya Kovalchuk) puts them in a solid place moving forward with their rebuild.
As for Philadelphia and Dallas, things are not as simple. Both teams already had a logjam of centers heading into this offseason and the outcome of the draft lottery does not make it any easier. Albeit, Hextall and Nill likely aren’t complaining.
For the Flyers, down the middle they previously had Giroux, Filppula, Couturier, with a combination of other players including Bellemare, Vecchione, Cousins, and Weal playing on the fourth line. Along with the group of previously mentioned fourth liners, Boyd Gordon and Scott Laughton can also play in that role. Travis Konecny is a natural center as well but saw a large majority of his time on the wing last season and will likely continue to see so moving forward.
In the end, the Flyers have some choices to make over the summer if they want to bring one of Patrick, Hischier, or Middlestadt on to the team next season.
The player that could be in limbo throughout this whole situation is Sean Couturier. The 24-year-old center was already in trade speculation following the Filppula acquisition at the trade deadline, but now things are even more complicated. Couturier posted 14 goals and 34 points in 66 games last season and is more regarded as a defensive center.
A handful of teams would love to get their hands on Couturier. It would be a tough sell for the Flyers and Hextall, but they made be forced into a move due to the outcome of the draft lottery. Regardless, the price on Couturier would not be cheap.
In fairness, however, the Flyers could keep one of Hischier/Patrick/Mittlestadt or Couturier on the fourth line and work things out from there. Or, they could return their second overall pick to Juniors/the USHL. The latter is a lot more unlikely but not out of the question.
The Dallas Stars are in a similar situation. The original plan heading into next season, according to Stars reporter Mike Heika, was to have Seguin, Spezza, and Faksa play at center. Devin Shore or Mark McNeill could fill in at fourth line center.
This plan leaves out Cody Eakin, who Heika speculated could be traded before the expansion draft. Much like Couturier, Eakin is a defensive oriented middle-six center that a lot of teams would have serious interest in.
Moving forward after the expansion draft, a lot of questions need to be answered for the Stars. They did not want to drop Radek Faksa down the depth chart for Cody Eakin, but will they think the same way for a bonafide center prospect? Only time will tell, but it is certainly up in the air.
This situation with Dallas may unfold differently than people expect. Due to their already quality center core, they could look to trade down in the draft. A team like Colorado, Las Vegas or Vancouver would definitely be interested in one of Patrick, Hischier, or Mittlestadt.
The Stars could go the root of taking a defenseman too. Cale Makar and Miro Heiskanen are both slated to go in or near the top-five of the draft.
Also set to go high are Gabriel Vilardi and Michael Rasmussen, both of whom play center.
There will rightfully be a lot of speculation in the upcoming months on behalf of the teams selecting within the top-three in June. The stunning outcome of the draft lottery has changed the outlook of the league and will show its true effects very soon.
Stay tuned for more draft coverage coming soon.
The 2017 NHL trade deadline has come and gone. Quite frankly, it was pretty boring this year. No big or surprising names were moved. However, there was certainly enough action to determine winners or losers of the past few days.
Re-visiting major trades from recent years and how they turned out today. This is Part I of a series.
The Spezza deal
Dallas receives: Jason Spezza, Ludwig Karlsson
Ottawa receives: Nick Paul, Alex Guptill, Alex Chiasson, 2015 2nd
This was a relatively unimpressive haul for the Senators. Alex Chiasson was just recently traded to Calgary for Patrick Sieloff, a depth defenseman. Alex Guptill is no longer with the organization and is in Buffalo’s farm system. The 2015 second turned out to be Gabriel Gagne, who is putting up average numbers (28 points in 34 games) in the QMJHL. Nick Paul, a fourth round pick in 2013, has seen playing time in Ottawa but only has five points in 24 games. There’s room for improvement with Paul, however.
As for Dallas, they got a consistent 60 point scorer and a veteran presence. Spezza helped lead Dallas to the best record in the Western Conference this past season. Ludwig Karlsson, an undrafted free agent, is no longer with the Stars organization.
It essentially turned out as:
Jason Spezza for Patrick Sieloff, Nick Paul, and Gabriel Gagne
Verdict: Stars win the trade
The Kesler deal
Anaheim receives: Ryan Kesler, 2015 3rd
Vancouver receives: Luca Sbisa, Nick Bonino, 2014 1st, 2014 3rd
As for this trade, the Ducks have found consistency in it, where the Canucks have found all but that. Ryan Kesler has slotted in nicely behind Ryan Getzlaf, and even earned himself a new six year deal in the summer of 2015. The contract has the potential to be bad in the future, but it locked up a good asset in the present for the Ducks. As for the 2015 third, the Ducks selected Devan Sideroff, who had 59 points in 63 WHL games last season and played in one AHL game for San Diego with no points.
The Canucks, like Anaheim, locked up a player from the deal to a new contact. Luca Sbisa got a three year deal with Vancouver at the end of the 2014-2015 season, but has been relatively unimpressive since. Nick Bonino was flipped for Brandon Sutter in a deal that also sent a second round pick to Pittsburgh. Sutter missed most of the 2015-2016 campaign with injury while Bonino helped propel the Penguins to a Stanley Cup. Lastly, the two picks for Vancouver turned out to be Jared McCann and Derek Dorsett. McCann was recently traded in a deal that sent Erik Gudbranson to Vancouver. Dorsett was signed to a four year deal at the same time Sbisa signed his deal, and he now carried a gruesome 2.65m cap hit for three more years.
It essentially turned out as:
Ryan Kesler and Devan Siederoff for Luca Sbisa, Erik Gudbranson, Derek Dorsett, and Brandon Sutter
Verdict: Ducks win the trade
In all likelihood, Milan Lucic will be an unrestricted free agent come July 1st. The 28 year old winger has spent time in both Boston and Los Angeles, accumulating 647 career games, 397 career points, and 851 career penalty minutes. Read the rest of this entry
The stalemate for NHL trades is seemingly coming to an end. Dustin Byfuglien’s new deal with the Winnipeg Jets signals the start of what appears to be an active and exciting trading period.
Many teams were holding back from making a move while waiting to see what Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff would do with impending unrestricted free agents Dustin Byfuglien and Andrew Ladd. The former was solved on Monday, with Byfuglien inking a new five year, 7.6 million per deal. This in all likelihood means that Andrew Ladd will be traded and gives the teams around the league a clearer outlook on what is going to happen on the trade front.
The second ripple came just a day after of the Byfuglien signing, with Dion Phaneuf being dealt to Ottawa in a monstrous nine-player deal. Salary, prospects, and picks were exchanged, leaving most fans shocked.
A few hours later, it was reported by Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports that Justin Schultz of the Edmonton Oilers was going to be a heathy scratch tonight possibly due to a trade. Schultz has been awful, for lack of a better term, this year but has the potential to thrive in the right situation. Buffalo and San Jose could be two teams in on him (among others).
With Byfuglien off the market, Roman Polak’s and Dan Hamhuis’ value have increased. A weak defensive pool both trade wise and free agent wise could leave the Leafs and Canucks in a good position if they choose to move said players. The Kings have been long rumored to be going after a tough defenseman and were linked to Byfuglien, so Polak would make sense. Colorado and Washington would also be fits.
Kevin Shattenkirk and Keith Yandle have both been asked about but it is doubtful either move.
The defensive market has definitely opened up and the forward group shouldn’t be too far behind. I would expect an active trade deadline, which is now less than three weeks away.
The trade deadline is rapidly approaching and is now about one month away. Teams are beginning to see whether or not they want to sell their players at the deadline meaning the speculation will continue to increase.
The Buffalo Sabres are still shopping Tyler Ennis but to no avail yet. He has been disappointing this year and with a crowded top-six of young players in Buffalo, he may not have a spot. Due to his high salary, some will have to be retained. Jamie McGinn is also being looked at around the league, but Buffalo likes him. Could he pull a Matt Moulson and sign back with Buffalo in the summer after being traded? We’ll see.
The Canucks have been looking around the league for potential suitors for Radim Vrbata and Dan Hamhuis. The latter has had injury problems this year, however Vrbata would be a nice pickup for a team in the playoff hunt. Someone like Florida, Nashville, or one of the New York teams could have interest in the forward.
The Coyotes are very reluctant to move Mikkel Boedker although nothing is impossible. The Danish left winger is due for a big pay increase from his current 3.75 million.
You wonder what the deal is with Yevgeni Medvedev and the Flyers is. He is a good defenseman and would be great for a playoff run for any team but the Flyers are still in the thick of the playoff race themselves. The Flyers also have an influx of young defensemen coming up through the system which could make Medvedev expendable.
Keith Yandle continues to be shopped but nothing as of yet. It might be in best interest for the Rangers, given their closing window, to get this playoff run out of him.
Columbus is expected to be very aggressive at the trade deadline. Although they have no big unrestricted free agents, certain names could be moved out such as Kerby Rychel. The David Clarkson contract has been thrown out there but to no takers.
The Islanders seem to be at a gridlock with Travis Hamonic and Kyle Okposo. Hamonic’s trade won’t come until the offseason and the Islanders don’t want to give up Okposo for futures so they may end up keeping him and risk losing him to free agency.
The Jets have equally looked around for Andrew Ladd and Dustin Byfuglien. Nothing is out of the question for the deadline for either player. Ladd is the more feasible option for the team, however.
Don’t be surprised if the Anaheim Ducks make another move prior to February 29th. Likely a defense for offense move.
More to come as the trade deadline draws nearer.
Last year, I wrote an article on how well things were looking in Vancouver under Jim Benning and Willie Desjardins. They acquired a good haul for Ryan Kesler, who likely wasn’t returning once he was a free agent. They picked up Linden Vey for nothing, along with shedding salary with trading Jason Garrison to Tampa Bay. Radim Vrbata was signed to a cheap deal and turned into an all-star. They made the playoffs but got knocked out in the first round, but now it’s turning into a big mess again. Read the rest of this entry
Last season, the Vancouver Canucks did not play like the Vancouver Canucks. They finished sixth-to-last in the league, their worst finish in a long time. Last year was the first and only season John Tortorella would coach the Canucks, and it would also be the last season Mike Gillis would be the general manager.
Read the rest of this entry
The Canucks motto for 2014-2015 was “Change is Coming”. They certainly got that right.
After a horrid 2013-2014 year, which saw the firing of both coach John Tortorella and GM Mike Gillis, many penciled the Canucks out of the playoffs for the upcoming season. But under the wing of new general manager Jim Benning, the Canucks have been steered back in the right direction after a successful offseason. There are still a few questions to be answered, but Vancouver is not looking as bad as they’re being wrote off to be.