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.
September 13 2016 11:59AM
Team USA is coming in with a plan for the World Cup of Hockey.
It may not be a very good plan but it is, indeed, a plan.
Coach John Tortorella doesn't care how his team wins as long as it happens.
If you are a fan of Team USA, that has to give you a special tingle down your spine. Sure, he may take patriotism to an uncomfortable level... but by the same token it adds a level of stakes that shouldn't be associated with an exhibition tournament.
The NHL has to absolutely love it.
As the tournament begins on Wednesday, I want to take a look at the five fun storylines to watch for from Team USA.