June 30 2015 04:20PM
Photo Credit: Kelvin Kuo/USA TODAY Sports
On Tuesday evening the Vancouver Canucks dealt veteran defender Kevin Bieksa to the Anaheim Ducks for a 2016 second-round draft pick.
June 30 2015 02:00PM
Photo Credit: Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY Sports
Now that the Canucks have cashed in their goaltending surplus (however unsatisfactory it way, particularly in light of more recent goalies trade) and have allowed Joacim Eriksson to walk un-tendered to the KHL, they'll need to refill their AHL-level goaltending ranks. Jacob Markstrom will graduate to the NHL full time next season, leaving the organization with only Joe Cannata - a .913 goaltender in his AHL career so far - in the professional pipeline.
Not only do the Canucks need a veteran AHL-level goaltender, they ideally need a good one. The thing about employing a competent third-string goalie is that it's not unusual at all for them to legitimately get into some NHL games in any given season. The Canucks, for example, are just one Ryan Miller injury (or re-injury) away from having to ride Markstrom - a guy who hasn't proven that he can hack it at the NHL level - as a workhorse starter.
So, yeah, it would behoove the club to go out and find a competent veteran third-string goaltender, the sort of guy you can trust to give you a few games in the NHL if needed. Here a five options available in unrestricted free agency.
June 30 2015 01:02PM
With the 10th overall pick in the 2015 CHL Import Draft the Chicoutimi Sagueneens of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League selected Dmitry Zhukenov - the Vancouver Canucks 4th round pick from the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.
The Saqueneens Twitter account confidently suggested that Zhukenov would come to North America on Tuesday, which makes sense since it's rare for teams to use high import draft picks on players they have not yet spoken with and have expressed interest in making the jump across the pond.
June 30 2015 01:00PM
It's an indication of the strength of this particular UFA crop that Justin Williams comes in number 1 on our list. That's not to take anything away from the 33 year old, who has been a high-end winger for years. But his age and the fact that he's only scored in the 40-point range the last two seasons goes to show there isn't a lot of franchise changing players available to sign this summer.
Despite those concerns, Williams remains a very useful player, in part because his value doesn't merely come from his offense. As one of the few wingers who has proven he can push possession over the years, Williams is a guy who can play up and down the line-up and provide quality minutes to whoever inks him.
June 30 2015 12:00PM
Photo Credit: Sergei Belski/USA TODAY Sports
Wednesday marks the start of a new league year and the opening of the unrestricted free agent market, with all of the frenzied activity and the bloated deals that come with it.
The Canucks are expected to have a quiet July 1, and will most likely just look to upgrade their organizational depth. With that in mind, here are some cheap options that the Canucks could pursue to bolster their forward ranks.