July 01 2014 11:35AM
It took just over an hour into the free agent frenzy for the Canucks to finally dip their toes into the water, and join the others in spending money on deals that'll for the most part range between 'looking regrettable immediately' and 'inevitably becoming financial burdens down the road'.
With some intriguing names - such as Mike Cammalleri, Ales Hemsky, Jussi Jokinen, Benoit Pouliot, Christian Ehrhoff, and Tom Gilbert - that could've legitimately helped out a roster that needs ample fixing all flying off of the board, the Canucks instead chose to focus their efforts on handing out a handsome amount of money to a goalie.
Ryan Miller is a Canuck. It could've been worse, I guess, but..
July 01 2014 10:46AM
If your loved ones had intentions on using Canada Day to spend some quality time with you this year, they've likely got another thing coming. The window for signing unrestricted free agents opens up at 9 AM PST tomorrow morning, and if you're a regular reader of this blog then I think it's fair to assume that the Hockey Holiday takes precedence over the Statutory Holiday for you. Please like our sport.
Last year's frenzy - whose onset was pushed back until July 5th because of the lockout - saw 81 new deals (including some of the RFA variety) formally announced; they ranged from inconsequential AHL-fodder to legitimately impactful NHLers, and everything in between. There were 65 in '12, and 74 in '11, respectively.
While it's generally a captivating day for a hockey fan, the Canucks in specific haven't exactly lit the world on fire themselves with their initial burst of signees. The list of players they've lured over on the first day the past 3 years includes Jason Garrison, Brad Richardson, Marco Sturm, Yannick Weber, Mark Mancari, and Alex Biega. It was particularly bleak last summer when the financial situation of the team handcuffed then-General Manager Mike Gillis' hands. While all sorts of money was flying around, the new shiny toy for the Canucks was a player that wound up showing that he asking him to play in a top-9 role was probably asking too much of him.
It could potentially be a completely different story tomorrow for a variety of reasons. Whether that's actually a good thing is something that we'll just have to wait and see.
July 01 2014 10:24AM
Lost in all the talk surrounding the Canucks courting of soon-to-be unrestricted free agent goaltender, Ryan Miller, were the reports that the team was setting itself up to take a run at Jarome Iginla, should he hit free agency. There's fraternizing with the enemy, and then there is this.
Canucks fans will remember Iginla for his decade-plus of service as captain of the rival Calgary Flames; some with reverence, others disdain. By large, though, Iginla's name is associated with the type of "meat and potatoes" style of hockey that Jim Benning and Trevor Linden have made clear they're fond of. Is there a match to be made here?
Find out on the other side of the jump.
June 30 2014 03:38PM
You can now officially add two new names to the list of unrestricted free agents set to hit the market tomorrow morning, as the Vancouver Canucks have announced today that they will not be extending qualifying offers over to two youngish, formerly highly regarded but now vastly underwhelming centers.
It's a little surprising given that you figured someone like Schroeder would be worth giving another non-committal, low-risk chance since it seems like guys that were once former 1st round picks get endless opportunities at this level to try and regain what they once appeared to have.
The Canucks obviously didn't think so, and quite frankly, it's hard to get too worked up about it. With Schroeder and Dalpe now gone, that leaves the Canucks with 4 RFAs left.
June 30 2014 12:57AM
UFA goalie Ryan Miller is in VAN being wooed by Canucks' brass.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) June 30, 2014