The Nation Notebook: Vanek to Vancouver, CBJ signs Wennberg, and Danis Zaripov

The Nation Network Notebook is a regular feature that rounds up interesting news, stories, and rumours from around the NHL that don’t quite deserve their own article.

The Vancouver Canucks sign Thomas Vanek. Columbus locks up their top center. Russian winger Danis Zaripov is eligible to play in the NHL despite his suspension overseas. More PTOs are being signed.

Vanek and Vancouver

The Canucks signed Thomas Vanek, who should provide scoring help and fetch a mid-round draft pick at the trade deadline. Although, Vanek was on a 64-point pace in Detroit and only yielded a third-round pick from Florida last year.

Teams seem to know who Vanek is at this point. He had the lowest time-on-ice of his career last season and teams weren’t willing to give up a lot for him despite his scoring. Vanek’s still a good scorer, he just can’t play serious minutes at even strength anymore. 11 forwards in Detroit played more per game 5-on-5 than he did.

The Canucks already have a similar, better player like Vanek in Sam Gagner. Vancouver signed Gagner to a three-year deal this summer, whereas Vanek only got one year. They will help one of the worst scoring teams last season, but won’t threaten their draft position too much as both are limited even strength players who play a lot on the power play.

The Canucks’ focus is on acquiring talent through the draft. Vanek should provide some scoring without jeopardizing their lottery position, and then net them a decent draft pick later on in the year.

Columbus signs Wennberg

Columbus signed Alexander Wennberg to a six-year contract worth $4.9-million per year. The 22-year-old center scored 59 points and played the most of his career last season, filling the void Ryan Johansen left when he was traded to Nashville for Seth Jones.

Wennberg’s contract is a reasonable bet for a young center. $4.9-million wouldn’t be ridiculous even if he only remains a 50-point player. The deal looks even better if he can improve upon the 13 goals he scored and become a guy who surpasses 60 points regularly.

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Zaripov Watch

Danis Zaripov is currently suspended by the Kontinental Hockey League and International Ice Hockey Federation, but able to sign in North America, according to NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly.

The 36-year-old winger has been a good scorer for Metallurg Magnitogorsk the past few years, with 45 points in 56 games last season.

Zaripov will get a shot to prove his scoring can translate to the NHL despite his age, with two offers already on the table according to TSN’s Darren Dreger. Artemi Panarin and Alex Radulov proved they could score in both leagues, and the Vegas Golden Knights made a two-year $9-million dollar bet Vadim Shipachyov can do the same. There’s no harm in seeing if Zaripov can be another KHL-to-NHL success story, and he probably won’t cost as much as Shipachyov or Radulov did.

PTO Season

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More PTOs are being signed as NHL training camp draw near.

Ryan Malone is going to Minnesota Wild camp after not playing since 2014-15. Will a player like Cody Franson manage to secure a contract or have attend camp somewhere on a PTO? Would Jarome Iginla do the same?

Players like Alex Chiasson and Daniel Winnik are still capable of providing something to an NHL team, yet both remain unsigned.

  • WillyWonka

    I sincerely hope the Flames arent looking seriously at Glass. Yes, the team could benefit from some toughness, but not at the expense of offense. the team HAS to add people who are better that replacement level.
    Personally, i think Hathaway is the best fit for the role – he can play a regular 4th line shift (move up to 3rd on occasion if needed)and can bang and crash and stick up for team mates.
    certainly he isn’t as good a fighter as Glass, but is a much better hockey player, and good enough with the rough stuff when needed

  • Chris the Curmudgeon

    Vancouver is also trying to shield the prospects they do have from too much heavy lifting at a young age. Guys like Petterson, Dahlen, Boeser, Goldobin, Lind, Gadjovich, Gaudette and Lockwood (and Virtanen, I guess, though it’s unclear how much the team still views him as a prospect of value) will all get real chances to make the team and show that they belong at the top of an NHL roster over the next couple of years, but all need some amount of maturation first and Utica is a logical place for that to happen.

    • Killer Marmot

      There is the danger that the Canucks are too conservative with bringing up their young players. That’s bad for the team, players, and fans alike. The Canucks should try hard to introduce at least two prospects, and perhaps more, into their core lineup this season. Boeser and Juolevi are the obvious candidates, but if other prospects look ready then don’t hold them back. They didn’t train this hard just to wow the crowds in Utica.

      And if it’s a mistake, it’s easily reversed.

      • Christian Pagnani

        I agree with Killer Marmot.

        Vanek is a player who basically plays fourth line minutes at even strength and then a bunch on the power play. I’d be fairly concerned if Vancouver doesn’t have a single prospect who could take those minutes at this point.

        • Killer Marmot

          Gotta earn your spot. This is the NHL.

          Yes and no. Only prospects that look like NHL players should be brought up. But they rarely enter the NHL as well-developed premium players, which means you can often find a free agent who is at least as good. Set the standard too high for prospects and you hold them back.

    • The Doctor

      Canucks are going nowhere significant as long as they have the Sedins. They cannot do a meaningful rebuild with the Sedins still there. They take up too much ice time and way too much salary.

  • Intercourse the Penguins

    It is high time a Canadian team won the cup. Edmonton has the best chance this year before they go into cap hell next year.Flames could catch lightning in a bottle(GFG) and they will exciting to watch and can develop from within for some years to come.Jets, Sens, Leafs and Habs are competitive so who knows. Nucks should go full on rebuild and trade the Sedins. Good luck to all of us.We deserve a cup homecoming. Lakid we know you hate Calgary. you overflow like a clogged toilet.Seeing your posts is like standing downwind of an outhouse.