June 10 2015 10:00AM
We may be three games deep into the Stanley Cup Final - with the Calder Cup also in full gear - but the wound that is this last season as a Vancouver Canucks fan is still relatively fresh. There's plenty of meat left on these bones and with just less than a month before reinforcements are brought in via the draft and free agency, it's time we got cookin'.
The process starts with a series of player-by-player reviews for the season that was. Today's will be centered on the Canucks most powerful of forwards: Shawn Matthias.
Let's break it all down on the other side of the jump.
June 10 2015 09:00AM
Photo Credit: Brad Penner/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!
Over the course of Martin St. Louis' Hall of Fame worthy career the 5-foot-8 winger has won a Hart Trophy, a Stanley Cup, an Olympic Gold Medal and two Art Ross trophies (including one as a 37-year-old). His resume is beyond reproach.
Built like a bumper car, St. Louis has accomplished everything a hockey player can accomplish. And as much as hockey's trend watchers are fawning over undersized players now, St. Louis has been doing Tyler Johnson-like things for more than a decade. So how can a future Hall of Fame immortal find himself ranked eighth on our countdown of the top unrestricted free agents?
It's simple really: age catches up to everyone, even the best among us, and St. Louis will turn 40 this month. Thanks to a variety of advances in the field of human performance, players are remaining effective for longer, and no one doubts St. Louis' work ethic or ability to be an outlier, but St. Louis' advancing age combined with his least productive offensive season in 13 years is sure to dampen the enthusiasm with which he's pursued on the free agent market this summer.
June 09 2015 12:34PM
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?
In the first part of this series, I walked through the trades made by Benning in his first year as the Canucks' General Manager. Today in part two, I'll look at the signings Benning has made to bring in and retain NHL talent.
June 08 2015 02:00PM
We may be two games deep into the Stanley Cup Final - with the Calder Cup also in full swing - but the wounds of last season as a Vancouver Canucks fan are still relatively fresh. There's plenty of meat left on these bones and with just less than a month before reinforcements are brought in via the draft and free agency, it's time we got cookin'.
The process starts with a series of player-by-player reviews for the season that was. Today's will be centered on the Canucks' third-line pivot, Brad Richardson.
Let's break down the season that was, on the other side of the jump.
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?