Report: No extension talks between Canucks, pending UFA Vrbata

Thomas Drance
November 20 2015 02:30PM

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Photo Credit: Tom Szczerbowski/USA TODAY Sports

The hockey gods are choosing an inconvenient time to smite Vancouver Canucks forward Radim Vrbata.

Vrbata, 34, is about an consistent a first-line winger as you'll find in the NHL. That is until this season, where brutal percentages have ravaged his production. 

Considering Vrbata's age and that this is a contract year,  the fact of his being snake bit over the past six weeks may cost Vrbata a good deal of money on his next contract. And realistically this next contract may have been his last really good chance of getting capital P-A-I-D PAID.

As for whether or not that next contract may be with the Canucks, well, it's interesting to note that the two sides have yet to broach the subject, according to a report from ESPN's Pierre LeBrun.

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Canucks close out brutal road trip with another loss in Winnipeg

Thomas Drance
November 18 2015 10:17PM

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Photo Credit: Bruce Fedyck/USA TODAY Sports

Now that an unsuccessful road trip has come to an appropriate end with a 4-1 loss in Winnipeg, the Vancouver Canucks will return home a humbled group.

It was a brutal seven-game trip for the club, who squandered a promising start to the campaign by dropping six of seven contests, picking up just four of 14 possible points. The club lost narrowly on this road trip and they lost creatively. Vancouver blew big leads, lost close games, surrendered more points in the 3-on-3, shot themselves in the foot on special teams and received shoddy goaltending. 

And yet, for all of the bad, it's hard to escape the feeling that the Canucks deserved better - both in Wednesday night's game and on this road trip. This probably isn't a good team, but this isn't a lottery team. This team is better and played better than the ugly 1-4-2 record they racked up against likely non-playoff teams in the Eastern Conference. 

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Canucks' Sbisa penalized for rule 48 violation; could supplemental discipline be forthcoming?

Thomas Drance
November 18 2015 06:27PM

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Photo Credit: Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports

Vancouver Canucks defenseman Luca Sbisa returned to the lineup after an eight-game absence on Wednesday night.

Vancouver's physical third-pairing defender was obviously eager to make his impact felt in his return, but he may have been a bit too eager. 

Early in the contest, Sbisa hit Jets rookie Nikolaj Ehlers with what the referees ruled was an illegal check to the head. Could Sbisa's rule 48 violation warrant a call from the NHL's Department of Player Safety?

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Report: Islanders looking to deal Travis Hamonic to Western Canadian club

Thomas Drance
November 18 2015 03:58PM

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Photo Credit: Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports

Travis Hamonic is a very good hockey player, and by all accounts an excellent guy.

For family reasons, the New York Islanders are trying to trade Hamonic, a very good defenseman, to a Western Canadian club, according to an original report from Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman with TSN's Darren Dreger filling in some crucial blanks. Before we proceed, let's say that we hope for a favourable resolution for Hamonic and his family and wish them all the best, whatever the issue may be. 

While we won't speculate on the situation itself, we will delve into what sort of player Hamonic is, and whether the Vancouver Canucks might be a team that makes sense as a trading partner for the Islanders. 

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Luca Sbisa will return to lineup Wednesday vs. Jets

Thomas Drance
November 18 2015 03:00PM

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Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports

The Vancouver Canucks will get their most physical defenseman back in the lineup on Wednesday night.

Luca Sbisa, 25, is due to return to the lineup to play his first game in the month of November, the club announced. Though the stay-at-home defender's performance is often ridiculed in the Vancouver market, some of it is fair and more of it isn't, the club has performed poorly in his absence.

Sbisa's return to the lineup will send his countryman Yannick Weber to the press box, and will scramble up Vancouver's power-play combinations, which may be a good thing at this point.

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