Canucks Make it Official: Locate AHL Franchise in Utica

Thomas Drance
June 14 2013 12:22PM

 
Screencap of Laurence Gilman unveiling the new Utica Comets logo today.

After months of speculation, back room dealings, and legitimate concerns that the Canucks were going to have to shutter their newly acquired AHL franchise for the year, the Utica Comet were officially unveiled on Friday at a Press Conference in Utica, New York.

While the specifics of the deal between Robert Esche's group, the Canucks, and the city of Utica remain a mystery at this point, the dominant mood at the Press Conference was optimism. Laurence Gilman, Lorne Henning and Tom Sestito - a threesome henceforth to be known as "the brain trust" - were in attendance representing the Canucks, and Laurence Gilman spoke at the presser.  Read on past the jump.

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Nation Network 2013 Mock Draft: Day 3

Jonathan Willis
June 14 2013 10:10AM

The Nation Network’s 2013 Mock Draft continues, with the close of the first round.

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Agreement between the Canucks, Utica approved but still shrouded in mystery

Thomas Drance
June 14 2013 07:58AM


Here stands a relic, and the new AHL home of the Vancouver Canucks.

We didn't comment on the AHL Board of Governors long anticipated approval of a deal to move the Canucks owned and operated AHL affiliate, formerly the Peoria Rivermen, to the Mohawk Valley yesterday. We avoided writing it about it then because, frankly, details about the deal were scant. They still are.

We've covered this story for months, doing our best to recap the public record and provide insight despite the information vacuum. It's a vacuum we're still dealing with, though we may get more answers today.

For now the deal remains shrouded in mystery. No one in the Vancouver Canucks front office has commented on the agreement as of yet, with Scott Arniel being the highest profile Vancouver Canucks employee to go on the record yesterday. There have been reports about a "one year deal" between the city and the Canucks, though AHL sources have indicated to me that it's a bit more complicated than that. Also, and perhaps most importantly, there's no firm indication as to whether or not the new Utica based AHL club will recieve any type of operating subsidy from the city or the region.

Read past the jump for more.

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Tom Sestito and the Enforcer Market

Thomas Drance
June 13 2013 01:51PM

Nearly a month ago, Tom Sestito broke the news about his having signed a new two-year contract with the Vancouver Canucks on Twitter. The restless denizens of Canuckistan were mostly unmoved by the news, while we reacted with a brief, subdued shrug.

In describing why the team decided to sign Tom Sestito - a player who was only months removed from being waiver fodder -to a one-way deal worth 1.5 million, Canucks Assistant General Manager Laurence Gilman told the Vancouver Sun that “Players like Tom Sestito are a commodity, they really are." 

You can debate the utility of pure enforcers in the modern game, and I tend to think a club is better off employing a twelfth or thirteenth forward who can kill penalties, bring speed and possesses hockey ability. But Laurence Gilman's assessment of Sestito's value has proven to be astute. Read past the jump.

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Plugging the Holes: Looking at Line Two

Jeff Angus
June 13 2013 10:20AM


David Clarkson - Wikicommons Media

Assuming the Canucks go with the status quo for next season (relatively speaking, there will be some inevitable change to the roster), what holes do they need to fill?

Today, we will take a look at some options for the second line wing spot next to David Booth* and Ryan Kesler**.

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