July 04 2016 10:00AM
Earlier today, we took a look at some of the forwards the Canucks invited to development camp. Although it's highly likely that none of the invites are able to earn themselves a contract, there are still some intriguing names on the board.
Now we turn our attention to the defensemen who are at camp. The Canucks actually have a decent stable of defensive prospects on the way, so this area may now be of less focus for the organization. Yes, aside from Olli Juolevi, they lack high-end defensive prospects, but those type of prospects are generally not found in your development camp invites list. (aside for Joe Hicketts)
July 04 2016 08:00AM
Canucks prospect development camp is upon us, and for the second year in a row takes place at Shawinigan Lake School on Vancouver Island.
The camp runs from July 4-7 with on-ice sessions, off-ice workouts, team building events, and other development classes and workshops to help set up the youngsters for the summer.
As is usually the case, the Canucks have invited a handful of players that are free agents to attend the camp with hopes of finding some diamonds. Ronalds Kenins, Troy Stecher and Evan McEneny attended development camps in the past and have since signed with the Canucks. Antoine Russell also attended a development camp in the past, then signed with the Dallas Stars and is an NHL regular now. Success varies from player to player, but there's always the odd diamond in the rough.
July 02 2016 02:04PM
Photo Credit: Eric Hartline of USA Today Sports
For the Vancouver Canucks, no need was greater than that of their offence which combined for a 29th worst 2.27 goals-per-game last season. Signing Loui Eriksson to a six-year, $36-million contract is a step in the right direction. Perhaps not enough to buttress their attack to among the league's best, but enough to make them competitive in the interim.
Eriksson, 30, can contribute anywhere from 20-30 goals in any given season. Of this much, there is no doubt. Beyond that, Eriksson's consistently driven the run of play with a two-way game that is the envy of many a forward. The Canucks are getting their money's worth. At least for the first few seasons.
Beyond that, it's anyone's guess. Though, to the Canucks credit, they're in a better position than most to make that gamble. Eriksson's played with the Sedin's. Hell, he's played for Willie Desjardins in Dallas and even been acquired by Jim Benning before in Boston. They know what they're getting themselves into, but for those of us that don't, I'll unpack what the Canucks have hitched their wagon to.
July 02 2016 08:00AM
Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports
Since his arrival in the summer of 2010, Dan Hamhuis has been a steady presence on a chaotic team. Taking less money to play for his hometown team, Hamhuis will rightfully remain a favourite of many in Vancouver. His game isn't flashy, but it is solid, neat, and a huge reason why the Canucks were able to compete for the Stanley Cup when they did. General opinion tends to see the injury that resulted from his hip check on Milan Lucic in game 1 of the 2011 Finals as a key reason for the Canucks' eventual series loss, but let's not get into that again. Here are the best aspects of Hamhuis' time with the Canucks - from his handsome, fatherly charm to his excellent work as a blueliner.
July 01 2016 05:14PM
By 2:30 PST just north of $420-million changed hands as the new league year started in earnest with free agency. The Vancouver Canucks, who exercised more than their fair share of prudence throughout the process, are responsible for a close to $37-million chunk of that pie.
The Canucks kicked off the proceedings by locking up prized free agent winger, Loui Eriksson, to a six-year contract valued at $36-million. With the impending threat of a labour dispute looming over every long-term deal, Eriksson's contract is supremely bonus-laden and virtually buyout proof as a result. As far as NHL talent goes, the Canucks were also able to secure the services of their trade deadline acquisition, Philip Larsen, signing him to a one-year deal valued at $1.025-million.
Just as the dust appeared to be settling on today's festivities, the Canucks submitted contracts for three depth players, all of which are likely bound for the Utica Comets. In case you couldn't keep up with it all, I've collected everything that went down on the first day of free agency on the other side of the jump.