June 27 2013 03:09PM
Image courtesy wikimedia commons.
Surely the most shocking piece of hockey news on Thursday involved Vincent Lecavalier, and the decision of the small market Tampa Bay Lightning to use a compliance buyout to get out from under his contract. The Lecavalier buyout will run the Lightning close to thirty-three million dollars over fourteen seasons according to capgeek.com, an NHL record that surely won't be topped (a Luongo buyout would run the Aquilini Group $27 million).
Over the past three seasons Lecavalier has recorded one-hundred and thirty-five points in one-hundred and sixty-eight games, so he's scored at a .8 points per game rate since his age thirty season. That's pretty impressive even though some of Lecavalier's production appears to be percentage driven of late and he's only an even possession player at this point in his career. Also he'll turn thirty-four by the first playoff round next season. Still, Lecavalier is an enormously productive top-six centreman who measures in at 6,4. Oh, he's also now poised to hit the open market in free-agency this summer.
Needless to say Lecavalier will have plenty of suitors, including the Canucks to hear Pierre LeBrun tell it on the Team 1050 on Thursday. "The Canucks front office has already talked to John Tortorella about this," Lebrun passed along on Thursday, "and they see this as a possible fit if they can get out of cap hell, which they're in now."
Read on past the jump.
June 27 2013 01:59PM
Laurence Gilman and Vancouver's Scouts Meet to Discuss Draft Strategy.
Screencap via Canucks TV
Hey did, you know the NHL has an Entry Draft this weekend? Yup, not joking. On the Sunday morning of a Monday-long weekend, no less. Count teh ratingz, suckas.
Anyway, the draft is always a lot of fun, though generally not as much fun for the Vancouver Canucks, who usually pick pretty low. This year, the Canucks pick 24th overall in each round except for the second, as that pick is owed to the Dallas Stars. It makes this year’s instalment slightly more exciting than last year’s (five picks), 2010’s (five, with none in the first three rounds) and 2008’s (five), though not as enticing as 2011’s (eight picks) or 2009’s (seven).
I highlight those years, of course, because those are the five drafts that have taken place under the rule of General Manager Mike Gillis. Drance did a nice job breaking down Gillis’ draft history by league earlier this week, and I’m here to follow up on Lord of the Drance’s 2012 piece on Gillis’ preferences by player size.
But first, some background on why people tend to discuss the size of players in the NHL, specifically at draft time.
June 27 2013 09:08AM
The Canucks have seemingly made a habit of avoiding picking players from the WHL at the NHL Draft in recent years, especially with high draft picks (Taylor Ellington notwithstanding). Year after year this fact is lamented by fans who watch hometown kids develop into NHL studs like Milan Lucic and Brendan Gallagher.
The Canucks will be re-emphasizing the WHL at the draft this year – just as they should. The WHL is a fantastic developmental league, the second biggest source of NHL draft picks, and it's about time that the team used its geographical advantage.
June 27 2013 07:35AM
Keith Ballard is Vancouver's prime buyout candidate.
Screencap via Canucks TV
The NHL's "first buyout window" opened late last night, at 8PM PST. It will extend through regular NHL business hours (or until 5 PM EST, 2 PM PST) on July 4th, the eve of free-agency. For this season and next the buyout window will be especially interesting because, per the terms of the 2013 NHL/NHLPA collective bargaining agreement (CBA), teams will be able to use a maximum of two "compliance buyouts," or buyouts which will carry zero salary cap ramifications. We broke down the mechanism in detail earlier this month if you want a quick primer.
June 26 2013 07:01PM
Don Taylor wastes no time trying to goad John Tortorella in a controversial answer about Larry Brooks.
Today at Canucks Army we broke down essentially every method the Canucks might use to get out from under Roberto Luongo's contract, and took a longer look at Mike Gillis's draft strategy as it pertains to player age.
Read past the jump for more Canucks links and other goodies!