June 20 2016 01:00PM
Shawn Matthias is making his second trip to market after failing to secure a long-term contract after a career season with the Vancouver Canucks during the 2014-15 campaign. Are the two sides set for a reunion?
The Canucks need goal scorers in the worst way. Part of that need is directly related to letting Matthias walk in free agency last off-season, as the power winger signed a one-year contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs. While Matthias struggled to generate even-strength offence at anywhere near the level he did in the previous season, the Leafs, a rebuilding franchise, were able to recoup a fourth-round pick for the pending unrestricted free agent, courtesy the Colorado Avalanche.
From that point, Matthias flourished. The power wingers game translated much better in Roy's rush based offence. In his 20 games as a member of the Avalanche, Matthias matched the six goals he scored in 51 as a member of the Maple Leafs. The Avalanche got their money's worth. Now it's a question of whether they can continue the investment into next season. For the Avalanche, an internal budget team, it's looking less and less likely.
June 20 2016 11:00AM
Trevor Lewis has had a fairly successful run with Los Angeles Kings since entering the league as a full-time player in 2010-11. He's won two Stanley Cups and been a constant on the team’s fourth line. Although the former first-round pick (2006) has never become the scorer the Kings hoped he would be, he has been a useful player on reasonable contracts. With Los Angeles facing a cap crunch this summer – especially if they manage to re-sign Milan Lucic – Lewis is set to hit the open market for the first time as an unrestricted free agent. Would the Canucks be interested in acquiring his services?
June 20 2016 10:41AM
Earlier today it was reported by News 1130 that the Canucks have qualified pending restricted free agents Andrey Pedan, Alexandre Grenier, and Mike Zalewski.
The #Canucks just qualified the contract of forward Alexandre Grenier along with Pedan and Zalewski.— NEWS 1130 Sports (@NEWS1130Sports) June 20, 2016
If they had not provided an qualifying offer to these players before June 27th, they would've become unrestricted free agents. The players have until July 15th to accept the offer, during which time they can negotiate different contract. If they decline the qualifying offer, the Canucks still retain their rights.
June 20 2016 08:58AM
The number three ranked prospect of the Nation Network rankings is Finnish forward Jesse Puljujarvi.
Puljujarvi stormed onto the international scene at the World Juniors, where he scored 23 points in 15 games, including a hat trick in the gold medal game. He also put up one of the best 17-year-old seasons ever in the top Finnish league, scoring 28 points in 50 games and leading Karpat in possession, controlling 57.5% of shot attempts.
Puljujarvi is a great skater, with a quick, accurate shot and great playmaking vision. His defensive game is developed well beyond his years, and he uses his 6'4 frame to good effect in positioning and battling for pucks. He will likely step straight onto an NHL roster next season, and could be a difference-maker even as a rookie.
June 19 2016 03:47PM
The Vancouver Canucks finished last season as the league's third-worst team and were dealt no such reward for their troubles, as the lottery process bumped them down to fifth overall. Basically, the Canucks are among the league's first 'victims' of disincentivising tanking.
Luckily, the lottery only applies to the first round. Beyond that, it's based entirely on the standings. That meant that the Canucks were in line to pick 33rd overall before they dealt their second-round selection in the Erik Gudbranson trade. In anticipation of that pick, I highlighted three players that the Canucks would be lucky to have available in that spot.
Next up, I'll highlight three players that the Canucks should hope are available at 64th overall. Given the sordid history of this franchise at the draft, it's understandable that the glamour of a third-round selection isn't exactly bringing people out of their seats. With Jim Benning at the helm though the Canucks appear to be reversing that trend. They'll get another opportunity to continue towards that goal and I've three such players in mind that will help the cause.