July 07 2014 10:22AM
The first step of the "retooling" job that Jim Benning inherited with this roster involved trading away locker-room malcontent Ryan Kesler. The move was bound to clear up cap space necessary to not only keep their own RFAs like Chris Tanev and Zack Kassian around, but also dip into the free agent pool.
The fact that Kesler had essentially given the Canucks a list of one and a half teams he'd waive his no-trade clause for allowed Canucks fans and media to preemptively temper their expectations on the prospective return. Then the inevitable happened.
Ryan Kesler was traded to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for Nick Bonino, Luca Sbisa and the 24th overall pick in this year's draft. You figure that the Bonino component of the package would be the centerpiece in the eyes of the Canucks, given that he's currently viewed as the favourite to fill the spot the guy he was traded for successfully occupied for years prior.
Is Nick Bonino really a capable 2nd line center option, though?
July 05 2014 09:00PM
I've started a new job, and people have gradually begun to learn what I did with my old one, which is analyze and write about hockey. A few co-workers have asked why it is I'm not as keen on the Ryan Miller signing as others, and I think that the answer goes well beyond "don't overpay for goalies, because they're random".
The right answer here is that even if Miller were to provide a significant upgrade over Eddie Lack in net, is it really something the Canucks need?
July 05 2014 01:11PM
It was just yesterday that Dan Murphy joined me for a podcast in which we discussed the very real likelihood of a deal between restricted free agent Chris Tanev and the Canucks dragging out this summer.
It sure didn't take long for that conversation to become dated; with a potentially unfavourable arbitration process for the player looming, the two came to terms on a 1-year deal that could wind up being beneficial for both parties in the long run. But particularly the Canucks, as Jim Benning's largely inspiring first summer as the team's GM continues on.
July 04 2014 01:46PM
Friend of the blog, Sportsnet's Dan Murphy, was kind enough to hop by for a chat with me about the current state of affairs for the Vancouver Canucks. In the podcast below we touched on a variety of topics including:
- How much say Jim Benning had on this past draft class
- Why the Canucks felt the need to give Ryan Miller the contract that they did
- How many of the circulating stories about John Tortorella were actually true
- Where the team and Chris Tanev currently are in their negotiations
- How progressive the new braintrust will be in using analytics to help make decisions
July 04 2014 10:49AM
The Canucks made two very notable signings this past week, leaving them with roughly $7 million left in cap space to lock up their four restricted free agents. They got one of those done on Thursday evening when they agreed to a 2-year deal with Zack Kassian.
Kassian's time in Vancouver has been a rather bumpy one thus far - having been traded for a polarizing young player like Cody Hodgson, then being asked to live up to expectations ranging anywhere from Milan Lucic to Todd Bertuzzi - but despite all of that, he's trending in the right direction. He may never wind up reaching the lofty goals some people have built up for him, but that doesn't mean he can't continue to grow into a fine player over these next two seasons.