June 18 2016 04:35PM
After two disappointing, injury-plagued seasons with the Montreal Canadiens, Tom Gilbert will be hitting the open market on July 1st looking to prove that he can still be an effective contributor on a team's back-end.
After a few great seasons in Edmonton, and brief but respectable stints in Minnesota and Florida, Gilbert's play fell off the rails in his most recent season in Montreal, where he posted the worst CF% of all Habs defenders, and managed only a single point at even-strength, despite being the beneficiary of some very favourable deployment by Michel Therrien.
While there will certainly be more attractive blueliners available in free agency, Gilbert's services are unlikely to command much in the way of money or term, so he could be a nice low-risk addition for a team looking to a mobile, veteran presence to their lineup.
We'll examine whether or not the Canucks are a fit after the jump.
June 08 2016 01:00PM
After a number of years as a fantastic bottom-pairing defenseman for the San Jose Sharks, Jason Demers definitively established himself as a top-four defender upon being traded to the Dallas Stars for fellow rearguard Brendan Dillon. Demers was a steady presence on a blueline that was in desperate need of one, while still contributing to the Stars' quick and aggressive forecheck.
Demers finds himself at the top of the second tier of defensemen in this year's free agent class, just behind the likes of brand-name top-four defenders like Alex Goligoski, Dan Hamhuis, Keith Yandle, and Brian Campbell. He's likely to net significant value to whichever team decides to pay for his services this off-season. Whether or not that team is the Vancouver Canucks is another story, however. We'll discuss that after the jump.
June 06 2016 01:00PM
While he may not have the name-recognition of some of the other top-tier wingers that will be available this off-season, Jiri Hudler is still one of the most offensively gifted players in the 2016 free agent class. While his most recent season failed to live up to the lofty expectations set by his 76-point 2014-15 campaign, Hudler will still have plenty of suitors on July 1st, and has earned himself a modest raise from the $4 million he's made over the past four seasons.
June 01 2016 08:00AM
Vitali Abramov of the Gatineau Olympiques in the QMJHL checks in as the 21st ranked prospect on our consensus ranking. Though the diminutive Russian winger was a relative unknown entering his draft-eligible season, his prolific rookie season has forced himself into the conversation as a first-round pick.
May 28 2016 12:58PM
Jim Benning has taken a lot of heat in this market over the past year or so, and with good reason. He's haemorrhaged assets at an alarming rate, been on the losing side of his trades more often than not, and signed a number of players to above-market-value contracts. For a moment, however, I'd like to cut through the negativity and talk about something Jim Benning has always done remarkably well: finding talent in the draft.
Players selected by the Canucks under Jim Benning have already played a combined 137 NHL games. That's an impressive feat, even if the argument could be made that those players may have been better suited spending some time in the AHL last season. It's doubly impressive when one considers that Jim Benning has only been at the helm for a total of two NHL drafts, and the scouting department's two biggest crown jewels- Brock Boeser and Thatcher Demko- have yet to play a single game in the NHL.