June 15 2016 01:00PM
It's safe to say at this point that Glen Gulutzan is going to be the Calgary Flames next head coach. That's the impression I'm getting from this Ben Kuzma tweet, anyways.
Have been told to "bet on it" that Flames will name #Canucks assistant Glen Gulutzan as new head coach.— Ben Kuzma (@benkuzma) June 14, 2016
It's been a good, weird run, Glen. First, Gulutzan was running the Canucks power play under John Tortorella. Since that disastrous season, he's been running the Canucks penalty kill under Willie Desjardins. And what an excellent job he's done. At least with the penalty kill.
All things must pass, though. And it appears as though the Gulutzan era in Vancouver is at its end. What should the Canucks do to fill that vacancy? That's the What Would You Do Wednesday question of this week.
June 15 2016 11:00AM
Now that I've profiled North American and European forwards that check out as solid bets in the later rounds of the draft, we'll turn out attention to the blue line.
We have two London Knights and two Kamloops Blazers, which is just a coincidence as I selected the players based on their pGPS ratings without looking at their teams.
One of the players is someone who has been slowly building up steam as a late round option after a good playoff run and Memorial Cup, while the other three are mostly unheard of.
June 15 2016 08:00AM
Mikhail Sergachyov built a strong case as the draft's best defenceman in his first year with the OHL's Windsor Spitfires. The Russian defender, who was selected sixth overall in the CHL Import Draft last summer, checks in as the seventh-ranked prospect in our consensus rankings.
The Spitfires played Sergachyov, an OHL rookie, primarily on their top pairing and used him in both phases of special teams. Sergachyov shined in those minutes, amassing the highest points, primary points and goals among first-time draft eligible defenceman in the OHL -- well ahead of Olli Juolevi and Jakob Chychrun. Those accolades pushed Sergachyov up draft boards and built a strong case for his Max Kaminsky Trophy award, given to the CHL's top defenceman.
There's a lot to like about Sergachyov and very few boxes unchecked on the long list of qualities one hopes for in a top pairing defender. Sergachyov can skate, hit, pass and is an ace in transition. He's also a right-side defender, in spite of his left-handedness. Let's take a look at this late-risers long-term NHL prospects, on the other side of the jump.
June 14 2016 01:00PM
For a time, it looked as though Frans Nielsen would never know another home than Long Island. He's been their shutdown centre for as long as I can remember and there were never any signs that would change.
That's due in no small part to the team friendly contracts the New York Islanders signed Nielsen to in succession -- securing his last eight years for $13.1-million. At 32-years-old, Nielsen is likely looking to make up for lost time (and money) on his new deal and won't be so accommodating. For the Islanders -- an internal budget team, deep down the middle as they are -- it's unlikely they can afford the luxury.
The Islanders reluctance, financially driven or otherwise, likely leaves Nielsen's name in a crowded lot of top-six centres up for auction on July 1st. The Vancouver Canucks haven't any such need, but Nielsen is also a capable right winger -- playing alongside John Tavares for much of the season, playoffs included. Does it make sense, then, for the Canucks to add the Danish utility forward?
June 14 2016 11:44AM
It was announced today that the Vancouver Canucks have promoted Dan Cloutier to goaltending coach with the big club, while Rollie Melanson moves to goaltending coach, player development.
The announcement isn't surprising as it had long been rumoured that Melanson was looking for a role on the east coast, and Cloutier was the logical successor to the role with the Canucks.