Well, the Olympics are over. That was a fun couple of weeks. I’d be lying if I said I paid any serious amount of attention, but it sounds like the Canadians did fairly well for themselves too which is neat. Oh, Canada, and so on.
In terms of hockey news, Jimmy Vesey picked a team. He signed with, of all teams, the New York Rangers. Interesting pick on Vesey’s part. Not sure what he sees in that particular team, but power to him, I suppose. I mean, their forward depth is great, and I love much of what they’ve done this off-season. That blue line though.
The Canucks? Well, they had another quiet week. Oh well. Somehow you still have questions. You know the drill.
@JDylanBurke Do you know around when the Comets will open camp?
— Sabres1981 (@SabreFanSince81) August 21, 2016
I honestly haven’t a clue. I don’t follow the Utica Comets that closely though. That’s a question I’d direct towards Ryan Biech on Twitter. To my credit, I tried looking it up on Google. No dice. Sorry.
— Stephen Quinn (@GoFour3) August 21, 2016
There was a lot, and I mean a lot, of chatter surrounding the Canucks supposed interest in Kris Russell at the onset of free agency. I don’t know to what extent Russell is coveted throughout the Canucks front office, but one thing that became clear to me as I pried for information was that Trevor Linden, the club’s president, is a huge fan.
I’ve heard conflicting reports about just how hard they were chasing Russell, though. On the one hand, the Canucks were trying to shed salary. They absolutely tried to trade Luca Sbisa, and I’ve heard that they floated Derek Dorsett’s name, too. If they could find a taker for either of those albatross contracts, then I would not have been surprised in the slightest if they turned around and spent that capital on Russell.
Now, on the other hand, the Canucks haven’t been connected to Russel in any meaningful way since July 1st. What little we have heard suggests, if anything, that the Canucks have either withdrawn from the process or never had any interest period. I lean much more towards the former than the latter.
If it makes you feel any better, I don’t think Alexander Edler is going anywhere.
— pheenster (@pheenster01) August 21, 2016
Yeah, sure, why not. With Justin Bieber, no less.
@CanucksArmy Do you think Canucks have even considered Brandon Pirri? Will they consider him or is it just not a fit?
— Bure’s ‘Stache (@MyPavelsBured) August 22, 2016
I have my doubts that the Canucks have any interest in Brandon Pirri. Remember, Jim Benning is Peter Chiarelli’s understudy. And much like Chiarelli, when Benning identifies a player he likes, he gets that player. That’s one defining characteristic they share in spades. Consider for a second that Pirri went to the Ducks at the deadline for a sixth-round pick. If the Canucks had any interest in Pirri, they’d have traded for him at the deadline.
@CanucksArmy How in the Sam Hill did Luca Sbisa make Team Europe. It’s small, but not that small.
— Andy Cole (@AndyCole84) August 22, 2016
Well, I mean, you could certainly do worse than Sbisa on the third pair of a team made up entirely of the most obscure hockey nations in Europe. Like, I don’t know, they don’t have a wealth of options. Is Ole-Kristian Tollefson going to fill that void? Actually…
@CanucksArmy Why wasn’t Simon Stransky drafted?
— L Barker (@LW_Barker) August 22, 2016
I really don’t know how to answer this. Like, it just doesn’t make sense. This is a player that entered the year as a potential first-round pick. Like, in the middle of the first round. Not on the fringe.
What I’d guess is at the crux of his draft snub is talent evaluators inability to distinguish between “bad” and disappointing seasons. I’d file Stransky’s year as a disappointment, sure. He’s still a player I had graded near the beginning of the third round, though.
I don’t know; the NHL is a weird place. That’s all I can think of. A strange, strange place.
— Jeff Putnam (@Putsky88) August 22, 2016
Well, it really does depend on which top-six winger they add through free agency. There’s more than one available, in my humble estimation. Even after they let Radim Vrbata walk. Let’s say they do add Jiri Hudler, though. In that case, I think you can safely add 15 goals to the middle of the Canucks lineup. Not sure of the trickle down effect and how that impacts the remainder of the roster, but I can comfortably say that the Canucks would get about 15 goals out of Hudler. Which is pretty awesome, in my humble estimation.