Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,
After going supervillain on that once-preciouse core, tearing out a chunk of the Canucks roster with the Kesler and Jason Garrison deals, Trader Jim Benning proclaimed he has no intentions to be “careful” as he turns toward finding the tools the Canucks are going to need to actually score some goals next year.
As it stands now, they have only two locks as top-six forwards, Daniel and Henrik Sedin.
“Some of the things we’ve done (in Philadelphia) is supply depth to our organization. Now, we want to sign guys who can make an impact,” Benning said. “We’ve cleared out money and we can be active. That’s what we wanted — so that in free agency, if we see something we want to do, we can now do it.”
“We are going to go after pieces that we think can make the team better.
Could one of those pieces be a starting goalie, say Ryan Miller?
“It could be,” Benning said. “He could be the guy.
“We want to make the playoffs next year. Our goal is to make the playoffs every year and develop young players in a winning environment.
“That’s what we’re trying to accomplish.”
from Rhiannon Coppin of CBC,
Gino Odjick surprised and delighted hundreds of fans by making an appearance at the rally held in his honour outside Vancouver General Hospital Sunday.
The Former Vancouver Canucks enforcer Gino Odjick has a rare terminal illness affecting his heart, and doctors say he may have as little as a few weeks to live.
"I really appreciate you guys coming. It means a lot to me," he told members of the crowd gathered near the front entrance to the hospital.
"It's pretty amazing," he said, as more fans, gathered across the street, cheered. "I'm a little bit overwhelmed, and really touched."
Below, watch as Odjick meets with the people at the rally...
Jim Benning, GM of the Vancouver Canucks, talks with the guys from Sportsnet and discussed their draft and plans for free agency among other topics.
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
As for the Kesler trade, the more we think about it, the more we like it for Vancouver. There are a lot of hard miles on Kesler, who may never again be the guy who dominated Nashville and San Jose, then limped through the rest of that Stanley Cup Final in 2011 like the consummate thoroughbred. Surgical procedures have robbed Kesler of the ability to be that guy anymore — at least for prolonged stretches — and perhaps his medical file is the primary reason for a return from the Ducks that came in a tad short of what many of us expected.
And we forget that a player of Kesler’s experience has a long track record, which in this player’s case would hurt the Canucks’ position almost as much as his short list of destinations did.
Here’s the deal: Kesler wasn’t well liked by many of his teammates, and Anaheim GM Bob Murray’s intelligence would have taught him that. We’re willing to say that on the record, even though NHL players do not go on the record with confirmation of something like that.
The guy is prickly, and by my contacts within the Canucks organization, that attitude went well beyond his dealings with media and stretched to team employees, few of whom will be sad to see this transaction finally get made.
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.
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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