Utica Comets Scouting Report - October 7th, 2014

Josh W
October 07 2014 06:30PM

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Ex-Comet Mathieu Corbeil still in his Utica Mask - Courtesy of @AHLFlames

Here at Canucks Army, we have a few activities we consistently enjoy: writing analysis on the Canucks, looking at fancystats, and occasionally even watching a real hockey game.  Sometimes we even leave our mother’s basement to attend a real hockey game in person. 

This past weekend, the Utica Comets played two pre-season games both against the Adirondack Flames (AHL Affiliate of the Calgary Flames).  The game on Friday night was in a smaller community arena in Rome, NY rather than their home in Utica, so after work I jumped in my car and headed to upstate New York where I had press access to this game to watch the Comets as they try and figure out their roster.   

Read past the jump because I watched this game.

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Canucks Army Player Previews: Tom Sestito

Josh W
October 06 2014 05:00PM


March 1st, 2013 - a landmark date in Vancouver Canucks history. That was the fateful day on which the Canucks claimed Tom Sestito off of the waiver wire, ushering in the glorious era of #TopSixtito and moral victories for everyone!  

Well, not quite. The actual story goes like this:

With too many men on their roster, the Canucks were forced to put Aaron Volpatti on waivers in hopes of sending him to the Chicago Wolves. Unfortunately for the Canucks, the Washington Capitals claimed the B.C.-born grinder, and to make matters worse, only a few short hours after Volpatti was put on waivers, Canucks brass was informed that Ryan Kesler was injured and Vancouver did not need to waive anyone.  To make up for the lost man, Vancouver claimed whomever they could on waivers the next day in a reactionary move, and that lucky man was none other than Tom Sestito.

Many fans, except those who love face-punchers, were not too happy with this turn of events, especially considering how it all unfolded.  Further to their disliking, Sestito was re-signed that summer to a two-year, one-way, $1.5M contract by Mike Gillis.  Last season, after a total of 34 NHL games played over his previous six, Tom Sestito played his first full season in the NHL, leading the entire league in fighting majors and PIMs.

Read past the jump to see how Sestito fared in his first real NHL season. Spoilers: it wasn't good.

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Should the Canucks Try to Acquire Nick Leddy?

Josh W
October 03 2014 06:00PM

The NHL threw a slight curveball at teams this summer when they announced the new salary cap.  What had initially been figured to be a spike up to $71M ceiling actually levelled off at $69M, leaving a couple of teams in a cap crunch.

That, in turn, left the teams that had proportioned their financial resources more wisely with an opportunity to pounce, with the potential of making a smart acquisition of a useful player that the cash-strapped team wouldn't otherwise want to part with. 

One of those cash-strapped teams is the Chicago Blackhawks, finding themselves over $2M over the $69M threshold at the moment. As a result, a name that has been routinely popping up in the rumour mill has been their young third-pairing defenseman Nick Leddy.

Is this a player that the Canucks should be inquiring about? Well..

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Get To Know The 2014-15 Utica Comets Camp Roster

Josh W
September 30 2014 12:18PM

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Courtesy of @BrendanMBurke

Up in Vancouver, fans are holding their breaths to see which players are going to survive the final cuts at training camp and make the Canucks roster, with much of the focus being on young players like Bo Horvat, Nicklas Jensen, Hunter Shinkaruk and … Cal O’Reilly?  But down in Utica, AHL training camp has officially begun today as 37 players took to the ice.  The AHL does not have roster limits, such as in the NHL, but you can only dress 18 players a game.  As per UticaComets.com the training camp roster contains:

Forwards (21): Darren Archibald, Carter Bancks*, Matt Caria*, Brandon DeFazio, Dane Fox, Alex Friesen, Brendan Gaunce, Alex Greiner, Wacey Hamilton*, Dustin Jeffery, Eric Kattelus*, Patrick Kennedy, Ronalds Kennins, Kellan Lain, Stefan Legien*, Alex Mallet, Cam Reid*, Lane Scheidl*, Curtis Valk*, Mike Zalewski, Steve Zalewski*

Defense (12): Peter Andersson, Alex Biega, Jeremie Blain, Ben Blood*, Adam Comrie*, Travis Ehrhardt*, Spencer Humphries*, Kent Huskins, Kane LaFranchise, John Negrin, Bobby Sanguinetti, Henrik Tommernes,

Goalies (5): Joe Cannata, Tony Capobianco*, Jacob Markstrom, Joel Martin*, Joacim Eriksson

(Asterisks indicate the player has been invited on a Professional Try-Out (PTO))

Continue past the jump to meet these Utica Comets hopefuls.

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Playing in Europe may be the best option for Bo Horvat this season

Josh W
September 25 2014 10:23AM


Hockey is in the air with training camps, prospect camps and exhibition games all well underway by now. With coaches starting to make cuts as rosters begin to resemble those we're used to seeing when the games matter, fans naturally start looking to their favourite prospects and ask, “is this the year he finally joins the big club?” In the case of the Canucks, the main subject of chatter in this regard is Bo Horvat.

Horvat seems to be in a somewhat precarious situation. Because of his age and the agreement between the NHL and CHL he is limited to two options for this coming season: either play in the NHL (which he may simply not be ready to do, at least not in an effective manner) or go back to the OHL (a level which most believe he has already gleaned everything he can from).

Realistically, neither option may be the right fit for him at this point. But what if there were a 3rd option? What if Horvat could do what Nicklas Jensen did, and leave his OHL team to go play overseas in Europe?

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