June 20 2015 12:00PM
High scoring Oshawa Generals swingman Mitchell Vande Sompel is one of the biggest wild cards among this 2015 class of first time draft eligible players.
The undersized, skilled and extremely versatile skater has lined up as a forward and a defenseman for the Generals, and would often play up front and on the back-end in the same game. During the postseason, for example, the Generals penalty kill saw Vande Sompel lineup at forward. He fared extremely well there, but he'd shift back to defense for shifts at evens and on the power play.
For a variety of reasons, even beyond his positional curiosity, Vande Sompel is one of the most polarizing and toughest to peg players in this draft class.
June 19 2015 01:00PM
Photo Credit: Bruce Fedyck / USA TODAY Sports
33-year-old Vancouver Canucks defender Kevin Bieksa is entering the final year of the front loaded, five-year contract that he signed following the club's run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2011. The lifetime Canuck has full no-trade protection written into his deal which is inconvenient for the Canucks at the moment, but over the life of his contract (to this point at least) the hard-nosed veteran defender has provided the club with significant value above and beyond his $4.6 million cap hit.
Though Bieksa's overall effectiveness, and his defensive game in particular, has declined somewhat, that's the price of doing business when you're locking up unrestricted players to deals you can life with.
With the Canucks pressed up against the projected upper limit of the NHL salary cap, there's been some clamouring in the Vancouver market for the club to sell on Bieksa this summer. At the moment though, the team has yet to approach him about consenting to a potential deal, according to TSN's Darren Dreger.
June 18 2015 02:54PM
Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports
June 18 2015 12:21PM
Photo Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig/USA TODAY Sports
Journeyman forward Cory Conacher, who could most recently been seen playing for the Vancouver Canucks' AHL affiliate the Utica Comets in the Calder Cup final, has signed with SC Bern of the National League-A, a Swiss-based club that is coached by his former Tampa Bay Lightning bench boss and Bond villain Guy Boucher.
June 18 2015 11:17AM
Photo Credit: Marc DesRosiers/USA TODAY Sports
The Vancouver Canucks discussed their goaltending situation at pro-meetings last week, and it would seem that they've decided to keep Ryan Miller and deal one of their two less experienced netminders Jacob Markstrom or Eddie Lack.
"Markstrom is ready to be an NHL goalie now," Benning said in a radio appearance on TSN 1040 on Wednesday, via Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province. "I want to keep Ryan and we'll decide on either Lack or Markstrom."
You'll notice a key formulation from that quote is that "we'll decide" is in the present tense, as if a decision hasn't been made yet. It makes sense: why would you decide to trade one goaltender instead of the other if you haven't explored specifically what the market will look like? When you're looking to decide between which of two assets to liquidate, it's tough to do a cost-benefit analysis without knowing the precise market value of what you're holding.