September 14 2016 09:00AM
The Canucks finally signed some players to professional tryouts. In case you missed yesterday's news, they agreed to terms with Tuomo Ruutu, James Sheppard and Kevin Carr on tryout contracts.
Frankly, I can't imagine they're around for any other reason than the Canucks need bodies to meet the eight veteran minimum -- and that's okay! Still, I wouldn't mind them taking a flyer on somebody who could actually make the club and play in a semi-meaningful role. And I'm of the mind that a few such players are still available for a tryout contract.
Maybe you think there are a few players that fit the bill too. That's why I want to hear your take on professional tryouts. Do you see any of the Canucks three making the team? Are there any other players you'd like them to target? Make your voice heard!
September 13 2016 08:13PM
Photo Credit: Tim Lester - Peoria Rivermen Website
Mere hours after multiple reports confirmed that the Canucks had signed Tuomo Ruutu and James Sheppard to professional tryouts, the club announced that they'd come to terms with minor league goaltender Kevin Carr on a tryout deal too.
September 13 2016 01:01PM
It was announced today that the Canucks have signed James Sheppard to a PTO, which J.D. Burke had covered earlier.
At the same time, it was announced that Finnish forward Tuomo Ruutu was signed to a PTO.
There have been suggestions that the Canucks should use PTO's to create competition and possible find players that have been overlooked. Ruutu is a interesting choice to invite to training camp solely because he has struggled to create offence for a few years. Which is something the Canucks need.
But there are things that Ruutu does that makes him worth the zero asset or financial cost of a PTO.
September 13 2016 01:00PM
The Canucks season may be off in the distance still, but the inclusion of Sweden at the World Cup of Hockey ensures that many a Canuck will play competitive hockey soon all the same.
Remember that old trope when the Detroit Red Wings were in town? Something about the two clubs bevvy of Swedish talent acting as an intrasquad game of sorts? Well, some things never change. The Canucks are every bit as loaded with Sverige talent now as they were in the hay day of that quasi-rivalry.
Which is why I'm bringing you a list of the five most fun things to keep an eye as you watch Team Sweden contend for the World Cup of Hockey!
September 13 2016 12:36PM
According to our own Jeff Paterson, the Vancouver Canucks have taken their first step into the professional tryout market, will be signing James Sheppard, formerly of the New York Rangers, to one such contract.
This plan was confirmed by Iain MacIntyre this morning on twitter:
Expect Canucks to make it official with PTO to James Sheppard. He likely won't be only one.— Iain MacIntyre (@imacVanSun) September 13, 2016
And then confirmed by Ben Kuzma:
Benning confirms PTOs for C/LW James Sheppard, 28, and RW Tuomo Ruutu, 33. #Canucks— Ben Kuzma (@benkuzma) September 13, 2016
Sheppard, 28, last played meaningful hockey for the Rangers en route to their Eastern Conference finals appearance in the 2014-15 season, after being acquired from the San Jose Sharks for a fourth-round selection in the 2016 Entry Draft. Though the Columbus Blue Jackets signed Sheppard to a PTO in advance of last season, he wasn't able to stick and settled for a one-year deal with the Kloten Flyers of the Suisse men's league, the NLA.
In 37 games of NLA action last season, Sheppard scored 25 points. In the playoffs, Sheppard chipped in with one goal in four games.