Odds and Ends: Development Camp, Carcone & Stewart

Last week, I bundled together a few of the smaller stories into one post and dubbed it ‘Odds and Ends’. I liked it so much, I am doing it again this week.

What you will find here, is just a few smaller news pieces that are not worthy of a full post, but are definitely worth mentioning. So without further ado, let’s look at the week that was.

Mackenze Stewart returns to defence

Some news out of Canucks development camp, was that 2014 7th round pick Mackenze Stewart will be returning to play defence. He struggled at times to make a noticeable impact last season, after being moved up to forward, so it makes sense that he would go back to his natural position.

Since he usually plays the left side, there is an opportunity there to carve out a role as a ‘tough stay-at-home’ defenceman for the Comets next season.

The Carcone Chronicles

Late last week, JD Burke was informed that Michael Carcone, who was at Canucks development camp was expected to be signed to an entry level contract with the Canucks.

Well, it still hasn’t happened.

Carcone was listed as attending Florida Panthers development camp, which opened this week, until Sunday night. He was then removed from the most recent roster on the Panthers website, and has not been there.

Now we wait.

I spoke about Carcone before Canucks camp started, and he is an intriguing player that seems to be worth a gamble of an ELC.

Development Camp

Vanessa Jang did a great job here, collecting quotes and information from people at Canucks development camp.

Troy Stecher, Olli Juolevi and William Lockwood were players who got some praise for how they looked this past week. Alexis D’Aoust, who was a player who I am personally high on, also received some good reviews. I won’t be surprised to see him invited to Young Stars in Penticton in September. 

Lastly, Jasek received some praise – everyone here at Canucksarmy has always been a fan of his game. He has been making a mockery of the Czech junior league and has held his own in the Extraliga. He didn’t get drafted in the CHL import draft and still is under contract with HC Trinec, so I would expect him to return to Czech Republic next season.

David Shields and Derek Hulak signs with Utica

The Utica Comets continue to fill out their roster with two signings this week – adding defenceman David Shields and forward Derek Hulak.


We will be back when we have some more of the smaller stories worth compiling.

  • Steamer

    Thanks for the updates! Defence #’s beginning to overwhelm! Canucks org D = Stewart, McEneny, Cederholm, Subban, Stecher, Shields, Billins, Biega,
    Sbisa, Pedan, Tryamkin, Hutton, Gudbranson, Tanev, Edler + draftees: Brisebois, Olson, Neill, Juolevi. Sure I’ve missed some too!
    Wouldn’t surprise if Benning makes a significant deal in the next week or two – as with last summer’s acquisition of Sutter – this is the time to make adjustments to the roster.
    Besides players mentioned by Ryan Biech, I thought Oliver Galipeau also
    had a very good showing, and Moynihan demonstrated his ability to finish
    ( soft hands ) on several occasions. Stecher looked good, although Carcone hooped him at least once with ease. Hope to see both D’aoust & Carcone signed & Maksimovich also warrants further thought.
    Big question: what is the Canucks thinking on Jordan Subban? Lack of mention is chronic & surprising given his showing in AHL rookie campaign. Acquisition of Stecher raises the question as they are similar types; hate to see Subban moved without having an opportunity to demonstrate his abilities in pre-season or reg NHL season.

    • Riley Miner

      Subban wasn’t in the prospects camp, so that partially explains it. I certainly think that the organization isn’t as high on Jordan as some of us are, but I don’t think that necessarily means that he’s on the way out. It’s hard to judge how the RHD signings are related to their belief on Subban simply because our RHD prospect cupboard is so bare; I’d imagine the Stecher signing is simply because we desperately needed right handed defensemen.

      I’m interested to see what happens next year in Utica, Subban may be in trouble for a roster spot competing with Biega, Stecher, Nilsson and Neill who are all right shot defensemen, he may be bumped down to the ECHL, which might spell the end of his tenure with the Canucks org. The thing with Subban is, he puts up a lot of points on the power play but he’s just inept in his defensive zone, he still manages to give up about as many or more chances that he makes in the offensive zone which is the issue. I’d actually be interested if someone could make a corsi chart for the Comets next year to see if this observation is simply an illusion, but I’ve heard from a range of people that this is the case, I don’t doubt it’s true.

      As for Jasek, I wonder if he’ll get a shake with the Comets this year to see if he can crack the roster. He’s obviously a very talented player and is also solid in his defensive zone, I wonder if he could get the Cassels treatment where he stays low in the lineup and takes a game off every once in awhile to build up strength under the watch of the Comets/Canucks staff, if that would be better than risking Lukas jumping from U20 team to men’s league team over and over and over. The hope is that he makes the permanent jump, but he is also on one of the premier Czech league teams.

      • Riley Miner

        Subban sent to ECHL??? What are you smoking?? He was the top scoring d-man and was 5th on the team in scoring. He wasn’t at prospects camp probably because they know what they have in him and there were many others that they were seeing in their organization for the first time. You’re insane if you think he is going to be sent to Alaska.

      • Steamer

        Subban is not, repeat NOT going to ECHL – he showed this year that he can contribute at AHL level – yes, the defensive part of the game is where he – like the majority of young defencemen – he must improve, but he possesses high hockey IQ & an array of skills – skating, stickhandling, shot – that few defencemen do. He is also incredibly strong. Could certainly contribute to a power-play & #6 role – the projected spot for Larsen this year.
        Jasek cannot play in AHL this year as he is too young – still only 18! Turns 19 in August. Next year is a possibility. Very high on this guy – along with Zhukenov. Elite skater, puck-possession player, eager to improve. With physical maturity & strength training he holds much promise.

          • Steamer

            Thanks! I had neglected that fact, focussing on his age instead. Still would be surprised if he goes to Utica as I believe he has a contact in Czech Rep. to honour – also think he needs to mature physically before making the leap to AHL.

  • Stewart is a tough kid. I look forward to him joining Utica next season. Our defensive depth is so much better now. Two years from now, Comets blueline should be mostly Canucks draft picks.

    Much is said about the succession plan once the twins leave, or lack thereof. Our goaltending is set. Our defense is set, with good depth. That’s a pretty good re-tool in two years. Good teams are built starting at the back. Up front we need to add, but that will come. Next draft is rich in centers.

  • Odds and ends:

    Brian Burke said at the draft,”I will wrestle to the ground any GM who helps the Edmonton Oilers.”
    I think he’s had enough of Oilers tanking, and winning the draft lottery. Their shameless management has no problem with this, as fans support their team no matter what, and the city pays for their new arena.

    I hope GMs take note and charge Oilers top $$$. New Jersey did it right, they scooped Taylor Hall for a song. Tyson Barrie should cost them three firsts. Pulijarvi, Nurse, and their 2017 first rounder.

    • Riley Miner

      Probably in part because they’re a division rival, but that too. Lol. I really hope they don’t get Tyson Barrie for anything less than a roster player and a few futures, to add him to that roster would be absolutely criminal without some take. But Colorado will be Colorado.

  • Dirty30

    Benning admitted that he was surprised by the brutality on the D out West — his comment was something along the line of “In Bawstan we worried about who our number eight or nine would be, while out here it’s who is going to be number twelve or thirteen on the depth chart.”

    You can pick up a filler on the wing fairly easy during the season but having depth on D isn’t the same process or cost.

    That’s not to say the depth listed is going to make a cup run for you, but I don’t think anyone wants a repeat of the situation on D like last year — though there were some standouts in a good way.

    Re: Subban — if some of the forwards don’t work out, it’d be interesting to see what he can do on the wing where his size is less an issue but his speed and smarts could work strongly in his favour.

    • Steamer

      Agree about the need for D-depth & am encouraged – for the most part – by the D prospect-pool. Have also wondered about Subban as a centre, but if he continues to develop as a D, it is far more advantageous to have a D-man who can move the puck out of the zone ( as he can ). Believe Subban will end up being an NHL regular; he just has too much skill & drive not to, but whether it is in Van is the question.

      • Steamer

        Observations are based on experience. Canucks finished 3rd from last. Instead of simply being insulting, why not rebut the observations with facts supporting another perspective? If you disagree, say why – make your case & you may persuade people; insults fail to advance conversation.

        • SaneCanucker

          Posting this crap is far from constructive . Polling 200 Leafs fans won’t provide unbiased results. Benning “gifts players away” in his trades? That’s a pretty clueless comment. I don’t have the desire to rebut the observations, it’s a trash article. I’m calling you out for posting it and agreeing with the consensus. Canucks fans should be insulted by this piece.

          • Steamer

            Well I will counter that swapping Bonino for Sutter PLUS Clendening & a 2nd is generous to the point of ‘gifting’. Swapping a 1st round pick -Shinkaruk – for a 3rd round pick – Granlund – also seems rather generous, if not highly questionable since Granlund only managed 3 points over 16 games for Van ( Shinkaruk had 3 in 7 games for Calgary ).
            McCann for Gudbranson? Maybe…but not adding a very high 2nd round pick. Garrison for a 2nd round pick that went for Vey = now zero. Obviously Bonino had more than was thought & Garrison has certainly been huge for Tampa. There are other moves. It is hardly surprising that fans in Toronto & Vancouver judge their GM’s so harshly, given their respective records. I sincerely hope I’m wrong & Benning fashions together a winner – believe me, I’ve been waiting longer than most! I posted the link to THN article to stimulate discussion – think Canucks fans should be insulted not so much by the article as by the club’s performance last year & hold Benning accountable as clearly Bartkowski was no help & Benning failed to provide adequate depth both on D & at Center.

          • TheRealPB

            I think you’re judging most of these trades far too harshly. The only one that I have general misgivings about is the Shinkaruk for Granlund deal and that has nothing to do with draft position; it’s that he went for a guy with a generally lower skill level at a different position. Shinkaruk got to play with top line players in his brief tryout in Calgary while Granlund was playing 3rd and 4th line roles (and he too had 3 points in his first 7 games in Calgary). Granlund also has outscored Shinkaruk at the AHL level. I still don’t think this is anywhere near as lopsided as it’s being made out to be but I don’t think it’s great.

            Bonino was widely thought of as a disappointment in Pittsburgh due to injury and poor performance until, surprise, he became clutch and outstanding when flanked by Phil Kessel and Carl Hagelin. Clendening got traded and waived by Pittsburgh then Anaheim, now he’s onto his sixth team in one and a half years (Chicago, Vancouver, Pittsburgh, Anaheim, Edmonton, NY Rangers). The 2nd we gave up was for a 3rd, about fifteen spots difference (I probably wouldn’t have chosen Lockwood with Abramov, Bitten, Pu and Dineen on the board). Garrison was ok his first year in TB but had 11 points in 72 games while being the highest paid (!!!) member of the D corps despite being the 5th or 6th on it.

            I cannot for the life of me understand the hue and cry here about “asset management” when the assets themselves are kind of underwhelming. We bemoan the loss of backup goaltenders, marginal defenseman, prospects with unrealized potential, and aging vets more than any other fanbase. How would keeping any of Cracknell, Corrado, Lack, Kassian, Bonino, or Garrison have changed the script of last year given their respective performances for other teams? Would they have made the Sedins any younger? Would their low point totals have increased our paltry scoring? Assets are only assets if they’re worth anything. These are really not. If Vrbata was such a hot commodity why has no one snapped him up yet as a UFA?

          • SaneCanucker

            Great post…you pretty accurately summed up whats wrong with Steamers and many others opinions. Canucks fans generally over value our assets. How many times did we used to hear Raymond + Ballard + a 2nd round pick for some all star forward or Dman? News flash fellow Canuck fans, if we don’t want a player or a player can’t crack our roster (Corrado, Cracknell etc) then no other teams want them.

    • LTFan

      I looked at the article and the number of respondents. It is a very, very poor source of Journalism. This sort of article will put the Hockey News out of business.

    • TheRealPB

      I won’t even get into the laughable “methodology” behind this survey and what it purports to say about “the fan base”.

      Even if you do agree with all the other stuff about trades and signings, the respondents rank the Canucks 29th in drafting and development, one area in which it’s generally agreed they’ve done well. They also are 9th in the league in salary and a significant part of that (and last year being so close to the cap) had to do with holdover contracts from the previous regime.

      • Steamer

        Agree that the methodology & sample-size are issues. As per Benning, I am perplexed, Either strongly agree with his moves, or strongly disagree.
        Think he is a good scout, although some choices boggle the mind. Real concern is asset-management & the subtler nuances of being a GM, such as not tampering with other teams’ players & giving up far too much in trades & salaries. Time will tell.

  • krutov

    great survey. looks like they surveyed 200 idiot leaf fans, or maybe the same idiot leaf fan 200 times.

    they rated the oilers 29th on draft/ development and the leafs 6th. is that (a) because the leafs have developed so many players internally (ha!), or (b) based on getting matthews, meaning the people who answered the survey can’t even remember back a year.

  • krutov

    Is Mackenzie Stewart honestly going to make the AHL comets, or more likely he’s going to be in the ECHL again?

    I like the story, seems like a big strong kid who has overcome alot, but just seems like he’s not worthy of the ELC Benning gave him. He struggled in the ECHL last year, and even as a overager in the WHL. I hope the kid proves me wrong, but this just looks like a story of bad asset management by Benning and Co.

    • Steamer

      Here’s that bad asset management terminology again. Given that the Columbus just gave Rychel, and Tampa gave away D’Angelo (both first round picks) away for nothing is significantly more egregious than taking a flyer on a 7th round pick. A 7th round pick Its no wonder that Benning takes such a beating in the press when the local fans are losing their minds on how 5th and 7th round picks are being managed….

      • SaneCanucker

        We are not comparing this single incident of signing an unproven, underperforming kid to an ELC when he hasn’t shown anything on the Ice, to those gaffs by Columbus and Tampa Bay.

        There is a clear trend of poor asset management by Benning and Co, and each bad decision adds up to a tantamount of losses. Frank Corrado, Adam Cracknell, Radim Vrbata, Dan Hamhuis, throwing in a 5th for Kassian, giving up a 2nd for Gudbranson, Getting only a 3rd for Lack.

        If the only Gaff was signing Stewart to an ELC, instead of a more deserving free-agent prospect that has proven it on the ice, I’d be quite happy. However its the sum of the poor decisions that really makes the fans go crazy.

        • detox

          “There is a clear trend of poor asset management by Benning and Co”

          I think there are some moves that can be challenged.

          Losing Cracknell on waivers isn’t what I would categorize as a bad decision. or blame JB for not moving Vrbata- I don’t think there was much demand for him, invisible in the playoffs and having a rough regular season.

          And with what dmen have been going for, I have no complaints about the Gudbranson trade.

          Hamhuis had his NTC and controlled the situation. Kassian had his issues, reputation. There wasn’t the same demand for Lack as some other goalies- after Lack was moved, we didn’t hear any teams shocked he went for less than some Canuck fans thought he was valued…

          But if you want to look at it as though these were all screw ups. okay. but don’t ignore the drafting and some of the moves that have worked out pretty good like Baertschi.

  • Steamer

    I really betting on my country-fellow Jašek. I’m watching him here in CR and I’m really looking forward to see him in Canada. At least at Utica. I do think he can earn spot on Canucks roster within 5 years.

  • SaneCanucker

    I am a massage therapist and that Carcone has balls the size of cantelopes. His glryhole was all wet for my finger and his juices flowed into my awaiting mouth.

  • pheenster

    TheRealPB is once again the voice of reason. All the haters and the chicken littles predicting the end of times, the fanboys foresee a cup dynasty team in 16-17. Turns out the truth is somewhere in the middle of that valley wide gap. ALSO turns out one can write interesting, insightful comments from that middle perspective.