April 30 2016 08:03PM
The NHL's Draft Lottery has come and gone and the Vancouver Canucks landed exactly where they were most likely to, at fifth overall. Put in those terms, it's nowhere near as devastating as many Canucks fans, myself included, are taking the news of today's events.
Besides, it's not like there won't be many great players available at fifth overall. Best of all is that there's a tonne of discretion involved once you get into that range. Ask any two scouts to fill out the fourth to tenth overall picks and you're likely to get two very different answers.
I'm no scout, but I've followed many of the highly sought after prospects in this year's draft and have a list of my own in the works. Nowhere near ready to publish it in full, but I can provide hair insight into what I'm working with by detailing three such prospects that the Canucks are likely to take in their newly resided fifth overall spot in the upcoming draft.
April 30 2016 06:28PM
The news we've all been waiting for, and in many cases endured a gruelling hour of all-filler television for, has come and gone, and wouldn't you know it, the Vancouver Canucks took a significant hit with their draft stock at the NHL Entry Draft. Though the Canucks finished third-last in the league this season, the lottery draw was not in their favour, as the Columbus Blue Jackets and Winnipeg Jets leapfrogged their way into the top-three of the draft - at the expense of Vancouver and the Calgary Flames.
Looked at in a vacuum, today's events are nothing short of a kick to the collective gut of the Canucks and their fans. Canucks general manager Jim Benning has gone on record saying that a franchise player can be secured in the top three of this draft - which, in and of itself, implies a drop-off at the fourth overall selection.
April 29 2016 11:00AM
Just three short days ago we began preparing you for the NHL Draft Lottery with a countdown of the five luckiest moments at the draft in Canucks history. Today we're taking you back down memory lane, counting down five such unlucky events in the Canucks sordid history at the draft.
Today's countdown is likely more accessible to Canucks fans, and especially those that have stuck through it all in these most trying seasons that followed their last Stanley Cup run. Though I don't buy into the conspiracies that drive the tinfoil industry in this province, I see the reasons for doom, gloom and a nasty victim complex around town.
In fact, I've five examples on the other side of the jump that were almost good enough to push me over that ledge. Perhaps they'll have a similar effect on you, but there's only one way to find out.
April 28 2016 11:34PM
The Utica Comets were bounced from the AHL playoffs last night, losing 6-3 to the Albany Devils and dropping the series 3-1. Now that the Canucks farm team is through with their season, the question of head coach Travis Green's future comes to the foray.
.@DarrenDreger: "Travis Green, this is a guy I know has NHL interest."— TSN Radio Vancouver (@TSN1040) April 19, 2016
Assuming everything remains constant, it appears as though Canucks head coach Willie Desjardins will get a chance to right the ship as the club's head coach next season. He survived a third-last finish and exit meetings, so I can't imagine anything changing between now and then. Not to mention the vote of confidence he's received on multiple occasions from Trevor Linden. That helps.
It makes me wonder, though... Does Desjardins deserve another chance at the expense of Vancouver's ability to hire Green? I put the question to the Canucks Army staff, just to be sure. It's certainly an interesting hypothetical.
April 28 2016 09:53PM
(Image courtesy: www.UticaComets.com)
The Utica Comets season has come to a conclusion, as they bowed out of the AHL playoffs tonight, following a 6-3 loss to the Albany Devils. The first round of the AHL playoffs are settled in best of five series, and the Devils were able to dispatch the Comets in four.
Though the final score tells the story of a shellacking, it should be noted that the Comets displayed great resilience, clawing back within two of the Devils before an empty-net marker put the final nail in their season's coffin.
Alexandre Grenier (one goal, one assist) and T.J. Hensick (two goals) led the comeback effort for the Comets. Though Joe Cannata was given the starters nod, it was Richard Bachman who finished the game, appearing in relief of the embattled Comets netminder.