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?
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.