Pending Free Agent Corban Knight is Probably a Canucks Fan

Thomas Drance
June 17 2013 11:07PM


Corban Knight via the NCHC blog.

Over the weekend the Nation Network's Jason Gregor interviewed unsigned Florida Panthers draft pick Corban Knight in a column for the Edmonton Journal. In that piece Corban Knight revealed that he, a Florida Panthers fifth round pick in the 2009 NHL draft, intended to hit free-agency. Since 2009 Florida has retained exclusive negotiating rights to Knight because he was a bonafide student through to his graduation this spring. The deadline to sign "bonafide students" after their graduation from an NCAA school is on August 15th of the league year, so that means Corban Knight will randomly become an unrestricted free-agent in the middle of August.

Knight was ranked as the fourth best prospect in the deep Florida Panthers system last summer by Corey Pronman of ESPN Insider and Hockey Prospectus. Knight's an aspiring face-off ace who has produced at a point per game rate in American college hockey ever since he became a sophmore. So yeah, Knight - who is listed as being born in the fruit stand capital of the world a.k.a. Oliver, British Columbia but is actually a resident of High River, Alberta - is likely to have some suitors this summer.

One of those suitors will probably be the Canucks, an NHL team that Corban Knight appears to cheer for. Read past the jump.

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Afternoon Headshots: June 17th

Thomas Drance
June 17 2013 05:05PM


Would you want to wear a t-shirt with the above design from @petbugs13?
Check back tomorrow for our T-Shirt Design Contest Finalsts!

Today at CanucksArmy we looked at the teams need in the middle of their third line, broke down whether or not the Utica Comets represent a long-term solution or a short-term stopgap for the Canucks AHL affiliate franchise and imagined that Canucks might look at a "Team of Rivals" type coaching staff next season.

To find out whether or not Alain Vigneaut smells like the vault, click past the jump.

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Team of Rivals: Canucks Coaching Search Edition

Thomas Drance
June 17 2013 02:39PM


Photoshop courtesy @MHenderson95 and @HarrisonMooney

We all know the story. The Canucks were eliminated from the postseason six weeks ago, and took sixteen days to fire Alain Vigneault (who has subsequently been hired by Glen Sather and the New York Rangers). In the four weeks since Vigneault's firing the Canucks have interviewed no fewer than seven potential bench bosses that we know about, including:

While the Canucks have appeared indecisive at times during this process, it really does make good sense for the organization to cast a wide net in their search. First of all, the head hunting excercise can be - and probably has been - used as a fact finding tool. Secondly, it's always possible that additional coaches come on the market (like Tortorella did, like Bylsma didn't, and like Dave Tippett might). Thirdly, the team has three vacant positions on their coaching staff. Maybe it makes sense to build your coaching staff along the lines of Lincoln's "Team of Rivals" (as outlined by Dorris Kearns Goodwin).

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The Utica Comets: a long-term fit or a short-term solution?

Thomas Drance
June 17 2013 12:47PM


Image via Canucks.nhl.com

Last week the Canucks finalized an agreement with Utica, New York to place an American Hockey League team in the Mohawk Valley. On Friday the deal and the team's logo and jersey was officially unveiled at a Press Conference in Utica.

Geographically speaking, Utica is far from an ideal spot for Vancouver's top farm team. But in agreeing to a deal with Utica the Canucks come out net winners on balance. First of all, the club avoided having their AHL affiliate franchise go dormant and dodged a player development nightmare in doing so. Secondly, the club will be in a better position next year - even in Utica - then they were this past season when they reportedly clashed with their Chicago Wolves affiliate over a variety of issues.

Still as more details about the deal emerge, we're interested in looking forward. What does the affiliation deal between Utica, New York and the Vancouver Canucks tell us about the teams future plans and the future of professional hockey in the Mohawk Valley? We'll get into it after the jump.

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Canucks Team Needs: Third Line Centre

Thomas Drance
June 17 2013 11:17AM


In looking for a depth centre this summer, Mike Gillis has to do better than Samme Pahlsson.

That the Canucks have struggled mightily to replace Manny Malhotra over the past couple of seasons is, or at least should be, obvious to anyone who has followed the Canucks closely the past few years. General Manager Mike Gillis even admitted as much in a Team1040 appearance earlier this month, describing the loss of Manny Malhotra as "devastating" and adding that "I know some people think you just go out and replace those kind of guys but you don’t."

Whether replacing your ideal third-line centreman Manny Malhotra is easy or not, it's something this Canucks club requires this summer. Malhotra's eye-injury left a lacuna in the middle of the club's third-line, a breach that the club has sought to address at consecutive trade deadlines with the acquisitions of Samme Pahlsson and Derek Roy respectively. Needless to say, neither Pahlsson nor Roy proved up to the task.

With Henrik Sedin turning thirty-three this offseason and Ryan Kesler beginning to earn a reputation as "injury prone" the club's lack of top-nine centre depth has taken on an increased degree of urgency this summer. It is, without doubt, the team's greatest area of need, which is why the third-line centre position will kick off our "Canucks Team Needs" series this week. Read past the jump.

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