February 21 2017 01:14PM
Photo Credit: Sergei Belski - USA TODAY Sports
The trade deadline may be less than a week away, but the Canucks still haven't made public how exactly they aim to approach it. That's where the league's insiders come in. They're supposed to fill in the gaps.
Today TSN 1040 AM brought in TSN's Bob McKenzie to do just that. They went headlong into the Canucks overarching approach to the deadline before parsing specifics to see who may or may not be moving and why.
When the Bobfather talks, you listen. Intently. And in this case, I've collected his thoughts and aim to recall them to the best of my ability and dive into what exactly they all mean.
February 21 2017 11:00AM
Photo Credit: Bob DeChiara - USA TODAY Sports
Whether the Canucks want to move on from Ryan Miller or not, his contract and age take the decision mostly out of their hands.
Miller is 36-years-old and in the final year of his contract. Even if the Canucks wanted to carry on with Miller in either a tandem starter's role or the starter's feast they've apportioned him this season, the contract extension they signed Jacob Markstrom to in advance of this season might keep them from investing enough coin to keep him in tow.
With the added caveat that it doesn't appear even remotely likely the Canucks have a playoff push in them, and this is a player that they should, probably, try to monetize for futures. That could be easier said than done. Miller has a limited no-trade clause, wherein he can submit a list of five teams with which the Canucks can try and facilitate a trade.
There's a fair amount of guesswork, but working within those bounds, I've found three such locations that make sense as a possible Miller destination for the home stretch.
February 20 2017 05:12PM
If you're every bit as fascinated with the composition of your favourite team's roster as you are their on-ice performance, then it's the most wonderful time of the year. We're just nine days out from the NHL trade deadline. It's about to get real.
Were I writing this a month ago, this is where I imagine I'd set the bar for an inactive deadline not entirely dissimilar from last year's. What a difference a couple of weeks can make. The Canucks have moved, if ever so slightly, from their unshakeable position of unwillingness to ask players to waive no-trade protection. They seem, at the very least, open to it as a possibility; the players themselves, too.
Regardless of how much the Canucks accomplish at this year's deadline, it's shaping up to be every bit as compelling as last season's. Is Vancouver a seller? Perhaps a buyer? Do they do nothing at all? Let's dive in and see where the Canucks stand going into this most crucial period.
February 20 2017 09:00AM
February 20 2017 12:01AM
If the Canucks could win tonight's game, they'd sit just two points removed from the final playoff berth in the Western Conference. Instead, the visiting Philadelphia Flyers left tonight's contest one win removed from a playoff spot in the East.
One can hardly blame the Canucks. We don't call the second half of a back-to-back a scheduled loss for nothing. I tend to think that adage is doubly true when the unrested team plays the same goalie twice, as the Canucks opted to tonight with 36-year-old Ryan Miller. That's tempting fate.
It looked like that decision would sink Vancouver right off the hop, too. Five minutes in Wayne Simmonds sent home a Shayne Gostisbehere point shot that squeaked through Miller and into the yawning cage. By the second period, the Flyers had a three-goal lead on fifteen shots with fifteen-plus minutes left in the second.
As they have all season, the Canucks refused to go gentle into that good night, though. They fought back. Markus Granlund started the attempted comeback with his fifteenth goal of the season. A Ben Hutton breakout pass keyed a Bo Horvat rush, and Jannik Hansen was there to pot the rebound and claw the Canucks to within one. This, with room to spare in the second frame.
That's as close as the Canucks came to accomplishing the improbable and hitting the bye week on the highest of high notes. Miller stopped 25 of 28 shots for the Canucks. Michal Neuvirth stopped 18 of 20 Canucks' shots. The Flyers take today's match 3-2.