June 08 2015 12:38PM
Photo Credit: Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports
Barring something major, the Vancouver Canucks are going to be pressed up against the uncertain upper limit of the NHL's salary cap this summer. That doesn't mean we're in for a quiet off-season though.
In consecutive summers Canucks general manager Jim Benning has been at the centre of some massive transactions. From the Tyler Seguin deal (which Benning advocated for in Boston's pro-meetings that June), to the Jason Garrison and Ryan Kesler trades, the frank Canucks executive has shown ingenuity in creating salary cap space on the trade market and a willingness to ask highly paid players to waive their no-trade clauses.
Based on the club's balance sheet and their posture we might reasonably expect the club to be in for a quiet offseason. Based on Benning's usual modus operandi though, we also shouldn't be shocked if they're in the middle of the action once again on the draft floor. And if the club can clear the requisite space, should they pursue Boston Bruins centre Carl Soderberg?
June 08 2015 08:00AM
Photo Credit: Matt Kartozian/USA TODAY Sports
This is a series counting down the top-10 pending UFAs. It will be posted across the Nation Network over the next month! Enjoy!
Antti Niemi is the most famous free-agent goalie available this summer and that should result in a big payday. NHL teams in need of a starter can look for a trade—and there are quality options available, reportedly in Ottawa and Vancouver—but adding free agent is merely a cap hit and that will have major appeal for many teams.
June 07 2015 07:17PM
After a disappointing first game, the Utica Comets put together a much better game 2 as they tried to tie their Calder Cup final series against the Manchester Monarchs at one game apiece. While it was a far better effort than Saturday's, Utica simply could not contain the Monarchs for the full 60 minutes or on special teams, and couldn't beat Jean-Francois Berube more than once.
In a similar fashion as last game, the Comets were able to hang on until overtime, but Manchester eventually broke through with an OT winner, giving themselves a 2-0 lead in the series. Join us after the jump for some thoughts on tonight's Comets game.
June 07 2015 01:52PM
I'm not particularly good with dates or anniversaries, so it comes as no surprise that I completely missed the one year anniversary of Jim Benning's tenure with the Canucks. And what's a better way to celebrate one year together than to pick it apart in excruciating detail?
Let's start with the trades Benning made in his first twelve months at the helm of the Canucks.
June 06 2015 08:02PM
We knew going in to tonight that the Manchester Monarchs were the toughest test that the Utica Comets could possibly face this post season. Los Angeles' farm team had breezed through their bracket, dispatching their first two opponents in five games each before sweeping Hartford in the 3rd round. Much like their parent club, they are a dominant possession team that gives up next to nothing in terms of shots or chances.
Unlike the Kings though, Manchester possesses the most dominant offensive trio in the AHL, with Jordan Weal, Brian O'Neill, and Michael Mersch having lit up the playoffs so far. Jacob Markstrom did his best to hold the Comets in the game tonight, but the Monarchs attack was just too much in the end, as they were able to dispose of Utica 3-2 in overtime of game 1.
Join us after the jump to see what went down.