July 5th Preview: Inventory and UFA Targets

Thomas Drance
July 04 2013 03:32PM


Image via wikimedia commons.

I wish we could've churned out more free-agent preview content this week ahead of Friday's hockey news meltdown. Alas I only got back from New York (where I covered a marathon draft this past weekend) on Tuesday afternoon, I was then promptly as sick as a dog, and have spent the past two days moving, unpacking, assembling Ikea furniture and such.

But enough of my sob story, I have some time on this crazy day of hockey news (Grabovski buyout, Seguin trade, what?) to sit down and recap at length where the Canucks stand going into the opening of the free-agent market on Friday, what they need, and what players they might target. 

Read past the jump.

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Keith Ballard bought out - Cap implications

Patrick Johnston
July 04 2013 10:40AM


Keith Ballard was a fun guy, but he made too much money. (photo: wikimedia commons)

Keith Ballard is gone. The defenceman, brought in during the load-up summer of 2010, never found a regular spot in the Canucks lineup under Alain Vigneault.

At $4.2 million per season, that was far from good. In a world where the cap was going down to 64.3 million dollars, Ballard's contract really wasn't good.

In many ways, it's a shame. Ballard is a good guy, a good 'in-the-room' guy and a player who is plenty useful but who never found a way to consistently present that usefulness.

For more on Ballard, his contract and the buyout's implications for the Canucks' cap situation, click past the jump.

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Nation Gear - It's a Riot!

Kent Wilson
July 03 2013 02:02PM

 

 

 

We just wanted to remind everyone there is a few Canucks Army riot shirts left. We're only printing off a limited number of these puppies so make sure to get 'em while they're still available.

Click the link to buy and within a few weeks you will have a classy, elegant garment suitable for evening galas, soirees, box socials, weddings, Bar Mitvahs or even future riots should some pop up down the road.

Remember, we're also donating a portion of the proceeds to the always worthwhile Five Hole For Food.

Great cause. Great shirt. Get it before it's too late.

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Should the Canucks Sign Jonathan Blum?

Jeff Angus
July 03 2013 09:33AM

Jonathan Blum - WikiCommons Media

The former Vancouver Giant star defenseman has been cut loose by the Nashville Predators. The team decided not to qualify him – and they are looking to trade his rights before he becomes a free agent on Friday.

Does Blum make sense for the Canucks? The 1st round draft pick from 2007 (23rd overall) has had an up and down start to his NHL career in Nashville, and he has fallen out of favour with the management. There simply isn’t any room for him on the Predators back end, especially with the drafting of Seth Jones and the development of Victor Bartley, Ryan Ellis, and Mattias Ekholm. The recent acquisition of TJ Brennan from Florida didn’t do much to help Blum’s chances of making the team, either.

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Diamond in the Rough Free Agents - the Fringe Defensemen

Jeff Angus
July 02 2013 04:00PM

Bobby Sanguinetti - WikiCommons

The Canucks need defensemen – or at least a defenseman – this summer. You could say the same thing about all 29 other NHL clubs, too. You can never have enough good defensemen, and we continue to see teams the most depth and the least injuries emerge as Stanley Cup winners year after year.

Assuming Keith Ballard is bought out (or somehow removed from the roster), Vancouver currently has Dan Hamhuis, Kevin Bieksa, Jason Garrison, and Alex Edler under contract. Hopefully John Tortorella quickly realizes that Bieksa and Edler shouldn’t play together (but that is a thought for another day). Chris Tanev is an RFA, and I’d expect him to be signed in short order.

Frank Corrado had an impressive debut last season, but the team won’t be promising him anything this summer. If he comes in to camp and outperforms the competition, a top six spot will be his. We have profiled the internal and external options to fill the depth defenseman void already, so I instead of rehashing any more of that post, let’s look at four AHL defensemen who could make the jump to the NHL (much like Aaron Rome did when Vancouver signed him a few years ago).

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