Benning: next pressure point for McCann, Virtanen will be the World Junior tournament

Thomas Drance
November 02 2015 09:54PM

Photo Credit: Hockey Canada

The Vancouver Canucks have opted to allow Jake Virtanen and Jared McCann to play NHL hockey beyond the nine-game mark, after which point their respective entry-level contracts will be tolled. 

Despite the pomp and circumstance of this weekend's video-meeting prank, Canucks general manager Jim Benning has made it clear that McCann and Virtanen will have to continue to prove themselves lest they find themselves playing hockey at a level below the NHL in the not-too-distant future.

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VIDEO: McCann and Virtanen find out they're staying in the NHL following scathing video meeting

Thomas Drance
November 02 2015 07:07PM

Photo Credit: Bob Frid/USA TODAY Sports

In what's become something of a tradition for the Willie Desjardins era Vancouver Canucks, the club notified teenaged forwards Jared McCann and Jake Virtanen on Sunday that they were remaining in the NHL past the nine-game barrier. The twist: the club elected to do so during a video meeting in which they first brutally tore McCann and Virtanen's performances to shreds. 

Well now we can watch the video!

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It's going to be hard to remove Yannick Weber from the Canucks lineup

Thomas Drance
November 01 2015 02:51PM

Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports

Since returning to the Vancouver Canucks' lineup four games ago, and staying out of the press box all week partly as a result of Dan Hamhuis' lower-body injury, depth defender Yannick Weber has been crushing it. 

The 27-year-old blueliner has been dynamic at 5-on-5 and particularly effective on a pairing with Ben Hutton. He's opened things up on the power play and, lo and behold, the first unit is suddenly humming with Weber manning the right point. 

Throughout his NHL career, Weber has managed more auspicious on-ice results than the meagre opportunities generally afforded him. And once again he's taking full advantage of a defensive injury, and establishing himself as a useful blueliner. Once Hamhuis is back to full health, you have to think it'll be extremely hard to remove Weber from the lineup.

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Report: Canucks among several NHL teams scouting pending KHL free agent Nikita Zaitsev

Thomas Drance
October 31 2015 07:32PM

Image Courtesy: WIkimedia Commons

The Vancouver Canucks will be scouting pending KHL free agent Nikita Zaitsev, a physical 24-year-old right-handed shooting defenseman, at a tournament this upcoming week. 

They're not going to be the only NHL team with interest though. Not by a long shot.

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Canucks' McCann has left no doubt, but Desjardins is right to be concerned about his defense

Thomas Drance
October 31 2015 02:11PM

Photo Credit: Sergei Belski/USA TODAY Sports

At this point it's hard to imagine the Vancouver Canucks deciding to send their leading goal scorer back to junior. In the unlikely event that the club does decide to sent 2014 first-round draft pick Jared McCann back East to winter in the Soo though, it will be because of his still iffy defensive play.

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