Canucks finally trade Kevin Bieksa, to Anaheim, for 2016 2nd-round pick

Thomas Drance
June 30 2015 04:20PM

USATSI_8196013_168381338_lowres
Photo Credit: Kelvin Kuo/USA TODAY Sports

On Tuesday evening the Vancouver Canucks dealt veteran defender Kevin Bieksa to the Anaheim Ducks for a 2016 second-round draft pick.

Read Article | 50 Comments

Canucks Free Agent "Frenzy" Preview: 5 possible 3rd-string goaltenders to pursue

Thomas Drance
June 30 2015 02:00PM

USATSI_8182408_168381338_lowres
Photo Credit: Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY Sports

Now that the Canucks have cashed in their goaltending surplus (however unsatisfactory it way, particularly in light of more recent goalies trade) and have allowed Joacim Eriksson to walk un-tendered to the KHL, they'll need to refill their AHL-level goaltending ranks. Jacob Markstrom will graduate to the NHL full time next season, leaving the organization with only Joe Cannata - a .913 goaltender in his AHL career so far - in the professional pipeline.

Not only do the Canucks need a veteran AHL-level goaltender, they ideally need a good one. The thing about employing a competent third-string goalie is that it's not unusual at all for them to legitimately get into some NHL games in any given season. The Canucks, for example, are just one Ryan Miller injury (or re-injury) away from having to ride Markstrom - a guy who hasn't proven that he can hack it at the NHL level - as a workhorse starter. 

So, yeah, it would behoove the club to go out and find a competent veteran third-string goaltender, the sort of guy you can trust to give you a few games in the NHL if needed. Here a five options available in unrestricted free agency.

Read Article | 4 Comments

Canucks Free Agent "Frenzy" Preview: 3 ways to affordably shore up the forward ranks

Thomas Drance
June 30 2015 12:00PM

USATSI_8517800_168381338_lowres
Photo Credit: Sergei Belski/USA TODAY Sports

Wednesday marks the start of a new league year and the opening of the unrestricted free agent market, with all of the frenzied activity and the bloated deals that come with it.

The Canucks are expected to have a quiet July 1, and will most likely just look to upgrade their organizational depth. With that in mind, here are some cheap options that the Canucks could pursue to bolster their forward ranks.

Read Article | 10 Comments

Canucks re-sign Alex Biega, according to Alex Biega

Thomas Drance
June 30 2015 11:27AM

We expected the Vancouver Canucks to make some moves in free agency that would shore up their NHL and AHL-level defensive depth, and they've got at least some of their shopping done before the rush.

On Tuesday, Utica Comets defenseman Alex Biega - who played in seven games for the Canucks during the 2014-15 campaign and cashed in a dramatic game-winning goal - broke the news that he's re-signed with the organization. That news has since been confirmed by the team.

Read Article | 4 Comments

Canucks Free Agent "Frenzy" Preview: Defensive Depth

Thomas Drance
June 30 2015 09:45AM

USATSI_8499052_168381338_lowres
Photo Credit: Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports

Wednesday marks the start of a new league year and the opening of the unrestricted free agent market, with all of the frenzied activity and the bloated deals that come with it.

With 19 players already signed to one-way deals, four restricted players left to sign, and less than $4 million in available cap space, the Canucks are not expected to be major players; having failed to carve out some additional flexibility under the upper limit at the NHL draft. Canucks general manager Jim Benning more or less confirmed as much in a conversation with Brad Ziemer of the Vancouver Sunthis week.

"We don’t have a lot of cap room,” Benning said. “We’re going to try to be maybe in the trade market. We’re looking at some free agents. I don’t want to say we’re totally out of the free agent market, but we’re not going to be in the high end of it.

With that in mind, here are a smattering of affordable pieces that the Canucks might target to shore up their NHL and AHL level blue-line depth.

Read Article | 9 Comments