Before The Market Opens: Lowered Expectations and Other Notes

Thomas Drance
July 05 2013 08:53AM

A Mad TV Classic

Headed into the opening of free-agency, the Canucks have limited space to maneuver under the salary cap's upper limit. There's still a possibility of the team trading one of their surplus defenceman for help at forward (and indeed Jason Botchford reported yesterday that the team is still hosting an Alex Edler listening party), but I might suggest that the club's current unbalanced structual position under the salary cap is a one season inconvenience, and is an insufficiently large issue to warrant trading a 28 year old, talented defenceman for any less than a loonie on the dollar...

The names being bandied about for the Canucks to chase today are, well, not particularly Doan-er inducing. Matt Hendricks, Boyd Gordon, Jonathon Blum and maybe Matt Cullen on the high-end. So Canucks fans would be wise to read the writing on the wall and head into the opening of the free-agent market with decidedly Lowered Expectations, read on past the jump.

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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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