Benning: Canucks won't deal pending UFAs Richardson, Matthias, Dorsett before trade deadline

Thomas Drance
March 01 2015 09:00AM

In recent days, droves of NHL clubs have demonstrated a willingness to pay premium prices for rental players, and it would seem that the 2015 NHL trade deadline is shaping up to be a seller's market. 

Though the prices are sky high, the Vancouver Canucks won't be dabbling in selling any veteran assets on expiring contracts, Canucks general manager Jim Benning confirmed to Iain MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun. So don't expect the Canucks to sell high on Shawn Matthias, or cash in their chips on Derek Dorsett or Brad Richardson.

Actually, don't expect the Canucks to do much of anything. This could be a very quiet deadline for Vancouver's NHL club.

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Canucks waive Brandon McMillan, have opportunity to address blue-line depth on the wire

Thomas Drance
February 28 2015 01:52PM

Brandon McMillan's tenure with the Vancouver Canucks was fleeting indeed.

The depth forward, a native of the Lower Mainland, was placed on waivers on Saturday. McMillan spent less than a month and appeared in only three games with the Canucks after being claimed on waivers from the Arizona Coyotes earlier in February. He didn't make much of an impression, not that much was expected

Read past the jump for more on McMillan and a couple of intriguing names on the weekend waiver wire. 

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Former Canucks defenseman Brent Sopel retires from professional hockey

Thomas Drance
February 27 2015 10:30AM

Former Vancouver Canucks defenseman Brent Sopel has called it a career.

Lots of Canucks fans probably don't think of Sopel as a Canucks defensemen first and foremost, and that's fair enough, he won a Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks after all. He was a Canucks draft pick though, and ranks in the top-20 defensemen in Canucks franchise history in every major statistical category (games played, plus/minus, goals scored, points, game winning goals and on and on). 

Sopel was quietly a big part of the beloved West Coast Express teams. He also played a small and indirect role in my development as a hockey fan and pundit. I'll share the anecdote with you after the jump.

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The Injury Bug: What's the latest on the health of Miller, Edler, Tanev, Richardson and Burrows?

Thomas Drance
February 26 2015 03:20PM

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The Vancouver walking wounded Canucks have seen their crop of roster players afflicted by bad injury luck of late. The injury bug can be a Brad Marchand-level pest.

After benefitting from a relatively charmed, injury-free existence early in the year, the Canucks have lost a handful of key top-of-the-roster contributors to a smattering of injuries in recent weeks. The list of players in the infirmary now includes a top-line winger, the Canucks' entire first pair, their starting goaltender, and their most important penalty-killing forward.

How far away are those players from returning to the lineup? Read past the jump!

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Jim Benning on goalies: 'It's important to have good goaltenders coming through your system'

Thomas Drance
February 26 2015 12:30PM


Vancouver is called goalieville for a reason.

Long a goaltender graveyard, the Vancouver Canucks enjoyed the luxury of leaning on elite goaltending for a decade during the Roberto Luongo era. During the short-lived Cory Schneider era too. It didn't end well, as we all well know, but the on-ice results were sparkling. 

From 2007 through 2014 the Canucks enjoyed the third highest 5-on-5 save percentage in the league, behind only the Boston Bruins and the Dave Tippett and Sean Burke Phoenix Coyotes. For our purposes, Boston is the relevant team to note, since that's where Canucks general manager Jim Benning cut his teeth as a front office executive. 

Perhaps we haven't paid enough attention in the first nine months or so of Benning's tenure to the emphasis Vancouver's rookie general manager seems to place on quality goaltending. Read past the jump for more.

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