Nation World HQ
July 15 2016 05:00AM
Leaf fans losing confidence in Lou, "Mandela incident" was beginning of the end for Jonathan Bernier, how do things look for Flames headed into camp, a look at Adam Larsson in Edmonton, the NHL isn't fun, finding elite talent late in the draft, how likely are goalies to "make it" and more in this week's Nation Roundup brought to you by Violent Gentlemen.
July 13 2016 03:09PM
The Canucks announced today that they had extended depth goaltender Richard Bachman for another season. Bachman was already signed for the 2016-17 campaign, so this extension doesn't kick in until the 2017-18 season. As of July 1st, teams are allowed to extend pending unrestricted free agents, which Bachman is, but extending contracts this far ahead of their expiration is usually reserved for star players, which Bachman is not.
So are the Canucks losing their marbles? Actually, extending Bachman at this point is a perfectly reasonable move, because it solves a problem that the Canucks would have run into with the expansion draft next June.
July 13 2016 01:42PM
The Canucks roster ain't perfect, but they're going to have to learn to make do with what they've got. Another way to look at is they've a multitude of options and flexibility therein. The hope is that they can catch lightning in a bottle with just the right combination and get the secondary scoring they desperately need as a result.
It's a topic we've been discussing at length of late on this platform. Satiar Shah started the trend by looking for the right mix in the Canucks middle-six. This morning Jackson took that a step further, by examining the Canucks options and whether they're up to the task. Now it's your turn.
So, if you were tasked with drawing the Canucks lineup on the white board, how would your second line look? Now, just to make this interesting, you can sign someone in free agency or execute a (realistic) trade to suit your needs. But remember, this is just your second-line. Let's save the other three for another day.
July 13 2016 11:00AM
The Canucks' lack of secondary offence was a hot topic last season, and with good reason. In spite of a vintage offensive performance from Daniel Sedin and Jannik Hansen's emergence as a 20-goal scorer, the club finished with the league's second-worst offence in 2015-16.
Secondary scoring's been elusive for a few seasons now, though. Fans are at a point where they have a difficult time remembering the club's last authentic second line. A reality they confront more often than not with the tongue in cheek description of the Canucks, as a team with "three third lines".
Acquiring Loui Eriksson is bound to alleviate concerns about goal-scoring, but he's also likely to play alongside Daniel and Henrik Sedin. Such a development leaves the future of the Canucks middle-six shrouded in mystery. Satiar Shah explored the possibility of moving Eriksson down the lineup in favour of Jannik Hansen, but that addresses just one of the many questions facing that section of the lineup.
A trade or signing may still be to come, but as of right now the question remains: can the Canucks expect to have a true second line next season?
July 13 2016 09:00AM
On Monday the Montreal Canadiens announced that they would be relocating their American Hockey League franchise from its current location in St. John’s, Newfoundland to Laval, Quebec, a suburb of Montreal. During the press conference in which the move was announced, Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin listed the proximity of the NHL and AHL franchises as a chief reason for the move.
The Canadiens are far from the first team to do this. It's another in a growing list of AHL-NHL partnerships that involves either sharing an arena or close proximity to each other. The benefits are clear: it would ease their ability to track the progress of their minor pro prospects as well as give feedback and instruction. Which begs the question: How long can the Canucks afford to keep their AHL franchise in Utica?