June 30 2016 11:00AM
The Vancouver Canucks enter free agency with close to $11-million in salary cap space to burn and Jim Benning is ready to break the bank for the right top six winger. As eager as Benning may be, though, there are no guarantees in free agency and playoff push or not there's always the distinct possibility that they strike out on their primary targets, a list which includes Milan Lucic, Loui Eriksson, Andrew Ladd, Troy Brouwer and Mikkel Boedker.
While it may seem counterintuitive to suggest as much, but missing out on these players could work out in the Canucks favour because of the alternative avenues of roster development it would force them to unearth from the bargain bin. As frenzied as free agency promises to be when the festivities kick off Friday, a suddenly slow growing salary cap, Las Vegas expansion team and a limited number of teams with significant cap space could conspire against a number of free agents looking to cash in on new contracts.
June 30 2016 10:47AM
Photo Credit: Sergei Belski / USA TODAY Sports
The dragon slayer will remain in Vancouver, at least for now.
On Thursday at 9 a.m. PST, the NHL posted waivers and Alex Burrows' name was reportedly not present on unconditional waiver wire. Players without no-movement clauses - and Burrows' deal only has a no-trade clause - have to pass through unconditional waivers before buyout proceedings can begin and this was the last opportunity to waive a player for buyout purposes before the close of the first buyout window.
All of this is a too-complicated way of communicating that we can infer from Burrows' absence on the waiver wire that he will very likely remain with the club.
June 30 2016 09:00AM
The Edmonton Oilers blockbuster trade of Taylor Hall for Adam Larsson signals how certain they are of their ability to land Milan Lucic in free agency. At the very least it bolsters the validity on a multitude of reports that already suggested as much.
You don't just trade one of the league's best two-way wingers, on a team friendly contract, without a contingency plan. And colour me unconvinced that Benoit Pouliot is that plan. The writings on the wall. Within a few days we'll be able to make it out in dollars and years.
That's a tough pill to swallow for the Vancouver Canucks, who've stomached more than their fair share of bad news of late. Lucic was Plan A. It didn't take a well-placed contact to figure out that much. It's back to the drawing board on Pat Quinn Way, and we're not even a day into free agency.
June 30 2016 07:40AM
Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports
The Vancouver Canucks have told long-tenured defenseman Dan Hamhuis to expect to hit free agency and teams are showing interest in him. The veteran blue liner told Elliotte Friedman in the latest 30 Thoughts column that he'd like to go to a contending team and has spoken to three clubs, while a smattering of others have indicated their interest.
“I believe I have many good years of hockey left," Hamhuis told Friedman. "I played in the Olympics two years ago. Last year, there were two major injuries and in the last 10 weeks I played my best hockey in a long time. I’ve got lots of ‘top-4 D’ hockey left in me, and my goal in summer training is to be the best defenceman on my new team. I will find a team that values what I do.”
June 29 2016 01:00PM
The draft has come and passed and wouldn't you know it, the Vancouver Canucks took home six new prospects. At the top of the order, Olli Juolevi, taken fifth overall.
There's the answer to a question that's been on the minds of Canucks fans since April 29th. Of course, it just as easily could have gone any number of different ways. The thing about that pick was that it was definitely open to scout's interpretation. That is, you could justify any number of players with the fifth overall selection.
So, I'm asking you, knowing full well how the first four selections shook out -- Auston Matthews, Patrik Laine, Pierre-Luc Dubois and Jesse Puljujarvi -- how you would've handled the fifth overall selection. Get creative. You can trade down, or even trade the pick. Or you can use it on any other player you prefer.