Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,
Judging by all the cap room the Canucks are generating, it’s becoming increasingly clear that a goaltender is going to be included on the shopping list of general manager Jim Benning.
The difficulty here is that by moving Jason Garrison for nothing in the deal with Tampa, Benning will need one, and a good one. What the strength of this team was, that anyone could always count upon when it was playing right, was the back end. They were solid back there, with a great top five that was threatening to become a solid top six with Frank Corrado getting better. But with Garrison’s departure for nothing but cap space, there probably is going to be a need now to get more depth in goal, given the way the back end looks at the moment. Yes, Alex Edler, Kevin Bieksa, Chris Tanev and Dan Hamhuis comprise a very solid top four, but after that the depth drops off quicker than the Marianas Trench.
added 3:26pm, Tampa Bay press release is below...
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
The Canucks had been targeting the Ducks’ other first-rounder, 10th overall in Friday’s draft, a pick that originally belonged to the Ottawa Senators but went to Anaheim last year in the Bobby Ryan deal. The Ducks held firm there, believing that they can get a quality prospect at that early juncture in Friday’s draft.
From the Canucks’ perspective, it is a good starting point for new general manager Jim Benning. Sbisa has the potential to be a top-four defenceman in the league, but is mostly known for his defensive work. He was limited to only 30 regular-season games this season because of injury, which paved the way for Lindholm to emerge. The year before, he played almost 20 minutes a game for the Ducks.
Bonino was Anaheim’s third-leading scorer last season, behind Getzlaf and Corey Perry and was second on the team in power-play goals with seven. He generally played on the first power-play unit, but in the playoffs, was used mostly as the team’s fourth-line centre at even strength, coach Bruce Boudreau flipping him and Mathieu Perreault frequently up and down the depth chart, depending upon the match-ups he was looking for.
With an extra pick in Friday’s draft, the Canucks could theoretically use it as a means of moving up from the No. 6 spot in the draft order, which they currently hold.
Kesler is the best player available in Philadelphia, a point driven home every time you hear someone suggest Jason Spezza is a backup plan.
The idea of Spezza leading a Western Conference team through the playoffs is laughable, which is probably why both Chicago and Anaheim have continued to pursue Kesler.
-Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province where you can read more on the Canucks trying to trade Ryan Kesler.
from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,
Not exactly thrilled with offers the Canucks have seen so far, general manager Jim Benning sent a rather strong message that his team is willing to wait out the draft, and beyond, before trading Kesler.
In fact, Benning suggested it may be more beneficial to sit on him and hold out until this season’s trade deadline.
“When you’re dealing with a player of his stature, at the trade deadline is when you can really do well because (there are) those teams that feel they’re one player away that makes a difference to win,” Benning said.
“You could possibly get more (then) than you can in the middle of summer when they’re not playing hockey.”
So if Kesler wants out so badly, he may have to expand that precious list of teams to which he’s willing to go. With a no-trade clause in his contract, he has some say.
from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,
If you believe the reports the Vancouver Canucks have contacted the agents for Dave Bolland and goalies Jonas Hiller and Ryan Miller, you have to wonder what the green brain trust of the Vancouver Canucks is thinking these days.
Not sure whether it escaped their notice, but only the Buffalo Sabres scored fewer goals than their team last year — and if the goal is to produce uptempo, entertaining hockey, perhaps looking at goaltenders and an overpriced checking centre with a concussion history might not be the highest priority.
Perhaps marshalling the forces toward producing some offence by way of getting some top-six talent and leaving the coach to rehab the lame performance of the back end last year might be a more efficient way to go....
What Benning, Desjardins and perhaps even Trevor Linden don’t seem to be fully grasping here, if this is in fact the direction they intend to take this team, is how genuinely boring the games were last year.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
The Anaheim Ducks and Chicago Blackhawks have seemingly broken away from the pack when it comes to being the front-runners for Ryan Kesler, multiple sources have told ESPN.com.
Kesler's preference to land in either of those two cities in part stems from his desire to win a Stanley Cup and his holding of a no-trade clause, giving him the power to dictate to some degree his destination.
And he’s certainly a great fit for either club, both teams wanting to upgrade their No. 2 center position.
The one thing Kesler can’t dictate, however, is forcing the Vancouver Canucks to trade him.
continue and more topics too...
from Noah Love of the National Post,
What should happen: Benning’s in a tough spot here because the Canucks are somewhere between a playoff team — probably not a contender, though — and a full rebuild. On one hand, they’re amassing a decent collection of prospects, although few of them are NHL ready (Bo Horvat will get a good look in training camp). The aging offensive core of the Sedin twins and Alex Burrows remains. So, too, does a very solid defence. But the team’s goaltenders are outrageously young and inexperienced following the departures of Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider. There’s a lot going on here. My guess is the Aquilinis will push Benning to assemble a contender. That probably means getting a goalie, which isn’t a bad thing because it’s a buyer’s market. Also, the return for Kesler should include a young, NHL-ready or established forward.
What shouldn’t happen: Best not to let the Kesler thing drag out. He’s met with management and teammates and still wants to leave, so that is going to have to be resolved quickly. Having said that, you can’t sell one of the league’s best second line centres for 50 cents on the dollar. Also, not to beat a dead horse, but the Canucks probably shouldn’t go into next season with an Eddie Lack/Jacob Markstrom tandem. There are just too many other options available at a reasonable cost.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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