Diamond in the Rough Free Agents - the Fringe Defensemen

Jeff Angus
July 02 2013 04:00PM

Bobby Sanguinetti - WikiCommons

The Canucks need defensemen – or at least a defenseman – this summer. You could say the same thing about all 29 other NHL clubs, too. You can never have enough good defensemen, and we continue to see teams the most depth and the least injuries emerge as Stanley Cup winners year after year.

Assuming Keith Ballard is bought out (or somehow removed from the roster), Vancouver currently has Dan Hamhuis, Kevin Bieksa, Jason Garrison, and Alex Edler under contract. Hopefully John Tortorella quickly realizes that Bieksa and Edler shouldn’t play together (but that is a thought for another day). Chris Tanev is an RFA, and I’d expect him to be signed in short order.

Frank Corrado had an impressive debut last season, but the team won’t be promising him anything this summer. If he comes in to camp and outperforms the competition, a top six spot will be his. We have profiled the internal and external options to fill the depth defenseman void already, so I instead of rehashing any more of that post, let’s look at four AHL defensemen who could make the jump to the NHL (much like Aaron Rome did when Vancouver signed him a few years ago).

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Looking at the Canucks' Back-Up Goalie Situation

Blake Murphy
July 02 2013 12:55PM


Eddie Lack is the early favourite for the back-up role.

The Vancouver Canucks traded goaltender Cory Schneider to the New Jersey Devils at the NHL Draft on Sunday. This was a major move for the franchise, solving what had been a dynamic three-year dilemma between the pipes as Schneider battled with Roberto Luongo for the starting position.

With Schneider gone and Luongo hopefully on board with remaining with the team (not that he has many sane ways around it), the Canucks now face the much smaller issue of finding a back-up goaltender for Luongo.

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How long until Bo Horvat makes the show?

Cam Charron
July 02 2013 11:27AM

Photo source: www.londonknights.com

Warning: this post is a "The Trade" discussion-free zone.

This post is about Bo Horvat, the player the Vancouver Canucks selected at 9th overall at Sunday's draft. I think the basics we already know about Horvat. He is a size-y two-way centreman for a very good hockey club. His scoring wasn't as good as some prospects', but his defensive and finishing games are well above average.

In short, he's the sort of exciting prospect the Canucks need that could rejuvenate the cabinet. One really good prospect makes them all look good, and Horvat is the highest-drafted Canuck since Henrik Sedin went 3rd overall in 1999. He will compete for a spot on Team Canada in December as an 18-year-old, a year behind most players on the team, and has been a key player on two OHL championship teams.

But that doesn't matter. How soon can he play in the NHL?

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Cap Crunch Watch: Keith Ballard on Waivers

Thomas Drance
July 01 2013 01:56PM

With the Canucks deciding not to trade Alex Edler on Sunday before the Swedish blue-liners no-trade clause kicked in, it's pretty clear that the inglorious Keith Ballard era in Vancouver is at an end. The Canucks placed the talented, frustrating, over-priced seventh defenceman on waivers today; and not the unconditional variety of waivers, which a player must clear before a team can excercise a "compliance buyout" on that players contract...

It would be a Miracle on Ice level upset if Keith Ballard were claimed by an NHL team on waivers for the full price of his deal. After all anyone who visits capgeek.com/canucks and sees that the club has seven players to sign, and a hair more than four million in cap-space, can figure out that one way or another the math doesn't make sense in Vancouver unless the Canucks can get rid of Ballard's deal. Or is there a way to make the math make sense?

Read past the jump for more.

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Delivering the Sauce: Draft Day Reactions

Jeff Angus
July 01 2013 11:20AM

The CanucksArmy crew did a fantastic job of covering what was a crazy Sunday in the NHL. I found out about the Cory Schneider trade while driving back to the city from a little Seattle vacation – reading the instant reaction on Twitter was well worth the expensive data roaming charge.

There have been many opinions on the Luongo/Schneider controversy/situation over the past while. If nothing else, the trade of Schneider to New Jersey signals the end of one of the most unique/bizarre non-trades in recent memory. Schneidongo is dead and gone. Lost in the craziness yesterday – the Devils are getting a fantastic goalie and a true professional. Schneider waited patiently for almost 10 years to get a chance to start in Vancouver, and just when he was promised the role, he found himself splitting time with the best goalie in franchise history before getting shipped out of town in a surprise move...

Schneider very likely pictured winning a Cup with the Canucks (insert joke about organizational ineptitude here). He was groomed as the present – and future – of the team. But here we are, back with Luongo. Hockey is a game of mistakes, and that doesn’t include just the on ice product. Mike Gillis will get criticized for sitting on his hands by not doing something last summer, as the new CBA essentially killed whatever plans he had of trading Luongo and keeping Schneider - but could or should he have seen that coming?

Read on for more thoughts on the trade, as well as other news and notes from the weekend.

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