June 23 2016 03:00PM
The date was April 30, 2016 – a Saturday. Like many Canuck fans, I was huddled around the television watching as Bill Daly unveiled, in reverse, the order of the 2016 NHL draft. When it had become obvious the Canucks had dropped from the top three to their most likely pre-lottery position of fifth, I immediately moved to console myself with the knowledge that, historically, fifth overall has actually been a pretty decent position from which to select. If the Canucks had moved up to fifth from a lower position, instead of two spots down, I’m certain I would have been elated rather than disappointed.
June 23 2016 01:00PM
Lee Stempniak is as well-traveled an NHLer as you're going to find on the open market, having played for nine different teams in the span of his ten-year career. In spite of all that movement, he's quietly been a very effective producer of offence for the majority of his career.
After toiling away for a number of years as a bottom-six piece in Calgary, Pittsburgh, New York, and Winnipeg, Stempniak had something of a renaissance season in 2015-16. After joining the New Jersey Devils on a PTO, he would go on to lead the team in scoring for much of the season before being traded at the deadline for a third consecutive time.
After a brief period of relative obscurity, Stempniak's name will be back on the radar come July 1st. His production last season has earned him a sizeable raise from the cap hit of $850,000 he boasted in 2015-16, but he'll still be a relatively cheap option who should have plenty of suitors once free agency begins.
June 23 2016 12:18PM
Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports
BUFFALO – Jim Benning may not make a huge splash in the National Hockey League draft this weekend, but the Vancouver Canucks general manager certainly created some waves on Thursday. Benning left no doubt about his interest in pending unrestricted free agent Milan Lucic when the bruising forward becomes available on July 1st.
Speaking to reporters at the team’s hotel headquarters in suburban Buffalo, Benning didn’t mince words when he was asked if Lucic was going to be one of his free agent targets a week from now.
“Yeah, he’d be a guy we’d have interest in,” Benning confirmed. “He’s from Vancouver. He’s been a good player in the league for a long time. He’s a unique player – a power forward, so we would definitely have interest in him.”
June 23 2016 11:00AM
The 2016 NHL Entry Draft is just a few days away and the Nation Network Draft Profiles are finally complete. We know that things can get a little crazy on draft day and you won't want to be running all around the internet looking for our super great taeks on the best prospects available at this year's draft.
So I've compiled them all in one spot. Here we have a top 60 list with a little bio info, some stats and some pGPS projection numbers, a beautiful new magazine, as well as a brief summary of each prospect in our top 60 and links to the full profiles. Eat your hearts out draft lovers, the big day is nearly upon us.
June 22 2016 06:30PM
So here I am, minding my own business, writing some draft junk, and what ho! A Canuck won something at the NHL Awards? After that season?! Well I'll be.
Vancouver Canucks captain Henrik Sedin is the 2016 recipient of the NHL's King Clancy Trophy, awarded to the NHL player "who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and who has made a significant humanitarian contribution to his community."