December 27 2016 02:27PM
The Canucks were dealt another blow to their already depleted roster today. According to a Jay Janower report, Jannik Hansen will be out four-to-six weeks to rehabilitate a knee injury suffered in a December 22nd contest against the Winnipeg Jets.
Hansen officially gone 4-6 weeks with serious knee injury...only good news is no surgery.— JAY JANOWER (@DOUBLEJGLOBALBC) December 27, 2016
The good news, as Janower was keen to point out, was that the Danish right winger will avoid surgery. Hansen suffered the injury on a late hit by Jets forward Matthieu Perrault in the second period of that December 22nd contest. Hansen didn't return to that game and hasn't played since.
December 23 2016 10:33PM
There were parts of tonight's game that left the impression the Canucks never left Vancouver after last night's loss.
Take the second period, for example. The Canucks bookended that frame with two near-ten-minute stretches without a shot attempt at even strength. Even their one goal came by accident. Unless, of course, you think Nikita Tryamkin practiced that Snooker shot goal off the Flames defender and over a confused Brian Elliott's head. Colour me skeptical.
That lead, tenuous as it was, didn't last long into the Canucks' listless second frame. It took the Flames less than three minutes to draw even and pulled away 3-1 by the second intermission. Matthew Tkachuk put the icing on the cake with an empty net goal to secure the 4-1 victory for the Flames.
Jacob Markstrom stopped 33 of the Flames' 36 shots for the Canucks. Brian Elliott stopped 13 of the Canucks' 14 shots.
December 23 2016 03:00PM
Photo Credit: Sergei Belski - USA TODAY Sports
The Canucks never had serious interest in taking Matthew Tkachuk with the fifth overall selection in last year's draft. It was a two-horse race between Pierre-Luc Dubois and Olli Juolevi. When all was said and done, fate forced their hand, and they plucked the Finnish blue liner with their first pick.
For some, that was an egregious misstep. Tkachuk's counting stats were in line with what we'd expect from a first overall selection and he'd played a starring role on the CHL's top line with the London Knights. What's not to like?
I counted myself among those less convinced, though. Whereas the final consolidated 2016 Draft rankings had Tkachuk as the fourth best player available, I had him tenth on my board. Tkachuk, taken sixth overall by the Calgary Flames, has six goals and is playing on the Flames first line. These are early returns in a small sample, but I think we're at a point where I have to take the proverbial 'L' on this one.
December 22 2016 05:26PM
The Vancouver Canucks are one step closer to seeing Anton Rodin's first NHL game, as they recalled the Swedish winger from the Utica Comets. Rodin, who'd been nursing a reaggravated knee injury, was playing with the Comets on a conditioning stint.
Rodin played in three games for the Comets and contributed one assist. In five pre-season games, Rodin potted four points (one goal and three assists) playing primarily on the Canucks top six. In 37 SHL games with Brynas last season, Rodin produced 37 points in 31 games, before a skate cut to his tendon cut his season short. He still won the MVP award for that season, injury and all.
December 22 2016 03:20PM
Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin - USA TODAY Sports
The Canucks didn't finish paying for Erik Gudbranson when they spent Jared McCann and a pair of picks to land the rugged blue liner from the Florida Panthers. Cap space is an asset, and the Canucks are a week away from the door opening to lay the ground work for how much they'll invest in their prized defenceman.
Gudbranson, playing on a one-year deal valued at $3.5-million, is a restricted free agent at season's end. The Canucks, though, can't begin contract negotiations until the turn of the calendar year.
If the Panthers failed attempts to lock up Gudbranson are any indication, he's not coming cheap either. Gudbranson reportedly turned down a four-year offer valued at $4-million per season before being dealt. Everything we've heard since indicates he's looking to secure something north of the $5-million mark annually on a long-term deal.
That's a tall ask for a player who's never crested 15 points. Then again, Gudbranson's game is predicated on strong play away from the puck. He's a defensive defenceman first and foremost, so we should view him primarily through that lens. With that, let's dive into Gudbranson's career, what we should expect and whether that's worth anywhere near what he's asking.