Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,
The Canucks signed one of the top free agents this weekend and he is about to turn 31.
They recently traded a young, promising, goal-scoring prospect along with a really good draft pick for a youngish veteran defenceman.
They’ve recoiled at the idea of selling high on 30-year-old Jannik Hansen, who is coming off a career year he likely won’t repeat.
Then there is 35-year-old goaltender Ryan Miller — earning an average of $6 million per season — who, at best, will be in a job share this season. They’re keeping him too.
The Canucks are going for it. The playoffs, that is.
Any confusion which lingered after the front office addressed the media following the season with mixed messages has been cleared up this off-season. It’s one the Canucks have spent making the types of moves most attribute to contenders.
from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province,
Loui Eriksson is signed for at least a year longer than any team should be comfortable with, maybe two.
He will turn 31 in a couple of weeks and is coming to a team which is supposed to be getting younger and faster.
Eriksson will do nothing to help the Canucks achieve either of these goals.
He will, however, make the Canucks better. Instantly....
He’s not a perfect fit for the twins. He shoots left and it’s the right shot forwards who have had the most success with the Sedins.
But he’s worked with them before, really well, in international play. He’ll work the boards. He’ll jam into corners. He’ll get to the front of the net....
It’s why he could be a better bet to be playing well and healthy in four years than Milan Lucic, even though he’s three years older.
Eriksson would have been the Canucks second choice if Lucic had any interest at all in this team. He didn’t.
from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,
To sum up, the Oilers, who are in desperate need of top-tier defencemen and have one of the best young left wingers in hockey, are preparing a massive contract offer for Milan Lucic.
Only in Edmonton.
Just imagine the outrage locally if this was a Jim Benning joint.
If the Oilers end up signing Lucic, and a few in Edmonton think it’s a virtual fait accompli, and it ends up a six-year commitment and squeezes out one of their good young forwards, Vancouver may feel just fine about being among the bridesmaids, yet again.
The Canucks have earned a reputation for finishing second this decade. Remember them chasing Shane Doan, Justin Schutz, Drake Caggiula and the Stanley Cup?
Missing out on a 28-year-old, hard-playing power forward who is asking to be signed well into his 30s would not be the worst thing to happen to the Canucks this off-season.
NEW YORK (June 28, 2016) – The Vancouver Canucks organization has been fined $50,000 for violating NHL By-Law 15, the National Hockey League announced today.
“Canucks General Manager Jim Benning violated the provisions of NHL By-Law 15 relating to inappropriate public comments by speaking generally to his Club’s potential interest in players under contract to other NHL Clubs,” said NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly.
“I spoke with Jim and accept his representation that he intended no harm with his comments and that he will handle similar questions from the media differently in the future,” the Deputy Commissioner added.
The League will have no further comment on the matter.
added 1:10pm, Jim Benning statement below...
Vancouver Canucks center Henrik Sedin is this year’s recipient of the King Clancy Memorial Trophy, awarded “to the player who best exemplifies leadership on and off the ice and who has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution to his community.”
from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,
The man who currently employs Glen Gulutzan has little to gain by raving about his prized assistant.
But that’s how highly Vancouver Canucks coach Willie Desjardins thinks about the man who could be announced as the next Calgary Flames coach as early as Friday.
“I have a lot of respect for him and confidence in him,” said Desjardins when asked about the 44-year-old Gulutzan, who has been one of his right-hand men the last two years.
“He’s smart, he’s structured, he works hard and he more than does his job. He’s been real good for us. I like a lot of things about him.”
Desjardins might not like the idea of facing a Gulutzan-coached team on the other side of the Rockies, but as a friend he’d certainly understand.
“I knew what he was like when I worked for him and I just think he’s a guy you can trust,” said Desjardins, who was an assistant in Dallas while Gulutzan coached the Stars.
“He’s really thorough and he’s won at a number of levels and that’s always a good sign.”
from Travis Yost of TSN,
To recap: the Panthers acquired 2014 first-round pick Jared McCann and two 2016 draft picks (a second and fourth-rounder) in exchange for Erik Gudbranson and a 2016 fifth-round pick....
Let’s not forget that Florida added a 19-year-old centre and upgraded their fifth-round pick to a second-round pick and fourth-round pick. The incremental value in that pick swap in and of itself is big. Add in a productive young player who has already exhibited himself as a competent bottom-six talent and is locked in on a team-friendly $894,000 deal through 2017-18, and you have a great transaction.
Truthfully, it’s difficult to see what Vancouver sees in this deal. If the prize is Gudbranson, well, the prize is something like a third-pairing defender. And the premium they paid – a legitimate prospect and multiple picks – is, in a word, inexplicable.
Call it like it is: Florida took advantage of a team who egregiously misvalued a defenceman to once again win a trade in striking fashion.
Chris Johnston tweets,
Hearing the #canucks and #FlaPanthers are closing in on a trade. Believe prospect Jared McCann is part of it. Working on full details.
No salary retained on Erik Gudbranson in the trade to Vancouver.
added 9:17pm, TSN confirms....
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
- The NHL semifinals have yet to be resolved but, after a decade in which the forces of speed and skill battled the game's dark side, hockey fans should be encouraged by what they've seen thus far.
Three of the teams still alive in the Stanley Cup tournament are built largely around hockey's more enlightened pursuits. Even St. Louis has those elements in its game. Pittsburgh, Tampa and San Jose, meanwhile, all play an uptempo, attacking style and that's significant because the NHL is a copycat league which enthusiastically mimics any team that has success.
In 2011 and 2012, that was the bigger, heavier Boston Bruins and Los Angeles Kings. This year speed and skill is the prevailing trend.
- On a related note, in 2011 the Canucks beat a Sharks' team in the Western final which featured Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture, Justin Braun and Marc-Edouard Vlasic. Five seasons later, the Sharks are back in the final four with the same core group and Brent Burns while the Canucks haven't won a playoff series since.
Well, the emergence of Burns as a Norris Trophy-calibre defenceman at age 30 was the key development for the Fish, but their success has also been the result of small improvements throughout their lineup. Few outside San Jose had heard of Joonas Donskoi, Melker Karlsson or Chris Tierney before these playoffs, but they've made a huge impact in the bottom six. North Van's Marty Jones was brought in to replace Antti Niemi in goal and he's been an upgrade. New West's Brenden Dillon was acquired for Jason Demers and he's added snarl to the back end.
continued with more topics too...
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
Kalli Quinn says she was surprised when she first heard the request but, the more she thought about it, the more she thought, yes, this is perfect.
She knew how her father, Pat Quinn, felt about Trevor Linden, and she knew how Trevor Linden felt about her father. She remembered back in June of ’88 when Quinn, who was just starting his second year as the Canucks’ general manager, stepped up to the podium at the Forum in Montreal and announced the Canucks were pleased to select Linden — “a proud Westerner” — with their first-round draft pick. And she remembered how that day changed so many things for the Canucks, her dad and Linden.
So when Linden, now the Canucks’ president, called recently and asked Quinn’s daughter for something to take to the NHL draft lottery in Toronto, she rummaged around her memory drawer and came up with the perfect memento. On Saturday, when a large part of the Canucks’ future is being determined by the whims of the ping-pong balls, Linden will be carrying the 1970-71 playing card of Pat Quinn in a Canucks uniform.
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.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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