Canucks Team Needs: Secondary Scoring

Jeff Angus
June 18 2013 10:53AM

We kicked off "Team Needs" week at Canucks Army on Monday with a look at third-line centre options this offseason. That series continues today with a look at top-six forward options.

I looked at some second line options last week (including David Clarkson and Valtteri Filppula), and that analysis will be expanded upon a bit in today’s post. Let’s assume that Ryan Kesler remains at center and the Canucks find themselves in the market for a top six right winger at a bargain basement price (a very realistic scenario). Who is available in-house? How about on the trade market?

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Pending Free Agent Corban Knight is Probably a Canucks Fan

Thomas Drance
June 17 2013 11:07PM

Corban Knight via the NCHC blog.

Over the weekend the Nation Network's Jason Gregor interviewed unsigned Florida Panthers draft pick Corban Knight in a column for the Edmonton Journal. In that piece Corban Knight revealed that he, a Florida Panthers fifth round pick in the 2009 NHL draft, intended to hit free-agency. Since 2009 Florida has retained exclusive negotiating rights to Knight because he was a bonafide student through to his graduation this spring. The deadline to sign "bonafide students" after their graduation from an NCAA school is on August 15th of the league year, so that means Corban Knight will randomly become an unrestricted free-agent in the middle of August.

Knight was ranked as the fourth best prospect in the deep Florida Panthers system last summer by Corey Pronman of ESPN Insider and Hockey Prospectus. Knight's an aspiring face-off ace who has produced at a point per game rate in American college hockey ever since he became a sophmore. So yeah, Knight - who is listed as being born in the fruit stand capital of the world a.k.a. Oliver, British Columbia but is actually a resident of High River, Alberta - is likely to have some suitors this summer.

One of those suitors will probably be the Canucks, an NHL team that Corban Knight appears to cheer for. Read past the jump.

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Afternoon Headshots: June 17th

Thomas Drance
June 17 2013 05:05PM

Would you want to wear a t-shirt with the above design from @petbugs13?
Check back tomorrow for our T-Shirt Design Contest Finalsts!

Today at CanucksArmy we looked at the teams need in the middle of their third line, broke down whether or not the Utica Comets represent a long-term solution or a short-term stopgap for the Canucks AHL affiliate franchise and imagined that Canucks might look at a "Team of Rivals" type coaching staff next season.

To find out whether or not Alain Vigneaut smells like the vault, click past the jump.

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Team of Rivals: Canucks Coaching Search Edition

Thomas Drance
June 17 2013 02:39PM

Photoshop courtesy @MHenderson95 and @HarrisonMooney

We all know the story. The Canucks were eliminated from the postseason six weeks ago, and took sixteen days to fire Alain Vigneault (who has subsequently been hired by Glen Sather and the New York Rangers). In the four weeks since Vigneault's firing the Canucks have interviewed no fewer than seven potential bench bosses that we know about, including:

While the Canucks have appeared indecisive at times during this process, it really does make good sense for the organization to cast a wide net in their search. First of all, the head hunting excercise can be - and probably has been - used as a fact finding tool. Secondly, it's always possible that additional coaches come on the market (like Tortorella did, like Bylsma didn't, and like Dave Tippett might). Thirdly, the team has three vacant positions on their coaching staff. Maybe it makes sense to build your coaching staff along the lines of Lincoln's "Team of Rivals" (as outlined by Dorris Kearns Goodwin).

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The Utica Comets: a long-term fit or a short-term solution?

Thomas Drance
June 17 2013 12:47PM

Image via

Last week the Canucks finalized an agreement with Utica, New York to place an American Hockey League team in the Mohawk Valley. On Friday the deal and the team's logo and jersey was officially unveiled at a Press Conference in Utica.

Geographically speaking, Utica is far from an ideal spot for Vancouver's top farm team. But in agreeing to a deal with Utica the Canucks come out net winners on balance. First of all, the club avoided having their AHL affiliate franchise go dormant and dodged a player development nightmare in doing so. Secondly, the club will be in a better position next year - even in Utica - then they were this past season when they reportedly clashed with their Chicago Wolves affiliate over a variety of issues.

Still as more details about the deal emerge, we're interested in looking forward. What does the affiliation deal between Utica, New York and the Vancouver Canucks tell us about the teams future plans and the future of professional hockey in the Mohawk Valley? We'll get into it after the jump.

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