July 25 2014 11:05AM
With the team's management group having already accomplished the majority of their work in terms of securing contracts for the 2014-15 season, we can now start to take a(n admittedly premature) look ahead at the contracts that will be coming up for renewal next summer.
Normal standard operating procedures in the NHL dictate that teams re-sign their prospects that have just completed their entry-level contract (ELC); after all, you'd hate to be that team gave up too early on late bloomer that goes on to blow up for another team after having invested years of development in him yourself.
With that being said, the Vancouver Canucks under Jim Benning have shown that they're not afraid to cut the cord after walking away from someone like Jordan Schroeder this summer, which must've put the pressure on the following 12 guys - who are all still technically considered "prospects" and are coming off of their ELCs - if they were paying attention.
Nation World HQ
July 25 2014 08:05AM
Trading a young star, stats for days, behind the Kesler trade talks, Draisaitl versus Bennett and more, all in this weeks roundup
July 23 2014 02:01PM
The Vancouver Canucks official Youtube account released a video that has been making the rounds online today. It essentially aims to give us a little behind-the-scenes look at the team's war room on the day of the draft, in which the braintrust is discussing the Ryan Kesler and Jason Garrison trades that they're about to make.
While it lasts for only just over a minute and I'm sure it was both expertly and conveniently edited, I personally eat this sort of stuff up. We don't often get access to these sorts of nuggets which makes those rare instances when we do pretty cool.
There's one big takeaway that gets hammered home if you were at all unclear about it by now: the team's decision makers sure seem to be awfully fond of one Nick Bonino.
July 23 2014 11:45AM
There have been plenty of occasions over the years where Kevin Bieksa's name popped up in trade rumours, and it seemed like a realistic possibility that he could be on his way out of town. One of those times came back in 2010, with the team fresh off of bringing in the likes of Dan Hamhuis and Keith Ballard and Bieksa set to hit the last year of his contract with the Canucks.
Then a crazy thing happened: Bieksa was paired with the newcomer Hamhuis during his first season with the team, and the two made sweet music together. In essence they became the de-facto first pairing, logging heavy minutes against the opposition's best and making it all look very easy.
It was nothing new for Hamhuis, who has as we now know made a career of propping up his partners with the unique ability to make those around him look just that much better. In this case though, it resurrected Bieksa's career.
But after the team dipped its toes into the free agent market and signed Jason Garrison in the summer of '12, Alain Vigneault figured a better allocation of resources was to split the dominant pairing up. Apparently he wasn't alone, because John Tortorella felt the same way last season.
It'll be interesting to see how Willie Desjardins approaches the matter, but there's ample reason to believe that it would behoove both himself, the team, and the two players in question themselves to put the them back together this coming season.
July 18 2014 01:27PM
Wow, it really is the silly season, isn't it?
While the default here on the coast is bleak pessimism and recrimination no matter what time of year, our friends up in Northern Alberta have no shortage of optimism when it comes to anything related to oil it seems. That includes the local hockey team, which, coincidentally enough, is named for the stuff. So it makes sense that they would be resistant to reality, no matter how much evidence there is to support it.
So why have I chosen now to pick on the Oilers? Well, it all started with that little poll the right... ---->