Updates on the Canucks and Flames – March 17, 2018

by | Mar 17, 2018 | Rumors | 28 comments

A look at the most recent Canucks and Flames speculation in your NHL rumor mill.

Could re-signing the Sedin Twins adversely affect the Vancouver Canucks’ efforts to rebuild their roster? (Photo via NHL.com).


THE ATHLETIC: JD Burke recently speculated the coming offseason could be the busiest in Vancouver Canucks’ history. He noted the club already has around $23 million in projected cap space for next season and that’s before taking Derek Dorsett’s LTIR into account and a salary-cap ceiling that could reach $82 million. The Sedins could retire but if they’re re-signed the Canucks will have 23 roster spots accounted for. Sven Baertschi, Jake Virtanen, Markus Granlund, Derrick Pouliot and Troy Stecher are restricted free agents and Burke suggested their collective cap hit could be $11 million. The Sedins are unlikely to accept anything less than one-year deals worth $5 million each. Combined with the cost of re-signing their RFAs, that cap space disappears quickly.

Based on the Canucks’ reported disappointment in the Calgary Flames re-signing center Mikael Backlund, Burke thinks Vancouver could be busy in the secondary free-agent market for a shoot-first winger. Rumors persist the Canucks could pursue Vancouver native Evander Kane, but Burke feels his personal baggage outweighs his on-ice value. He speculated they could pursue someone such as Vegas’ James Neal or David Perron.

If the Canucks trade defenseman Chris Tanev without getting a right-handed blueliner in return, perhaps they’ll pursue Washington rearguard John Carlson via free agency. He also wonders if the Canucks might consider trading defenseman Ben Hutton, though his contract ($2.8 million through 2018-19) could be a difficult sell.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see what moves the Canucks make this summer. General manager Jim Benning seems reluctant to part with Tanev but that doesn’t mean he won’t listen to offers this summer. Chasing someone like Carlson would be an expensive pursuit. If Neal or Perron hit the open market, however, maybe Benning goes after one of them. 

If the Sedins are willing to accept one-year, bonus-laden contracts with a base of $5 million each, I can see the Canucks re-signing them to provide short-term second-line depth and experienced leadership to their younger players. Should the cap ceiling hits $82 million and it costs a combined $21 million to sign the Sedins and those key RFAs, the Canucks will still have around $7 million to pursue a quality forward or defenseman via free agency. 


FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols recently cited NHL insider Pierre LeBrun’s appearance earlier this week on Vancouver’s TSN 1040 discussing attempts by the Flames to improve their roster at the recent trade deadline. LeBrun feels the Flames rely too much on a small group of players to provide the offense. He knows they were looking around for a winger at the trade deadline, talking to the Ottawa Senators about Mike Hoffman and the Montreal Canadiens about Max Pacioretty. He thinks the Flames had particular interest in those two because they have term remaining on their respective contracts.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Based on LeBrun’s report, Nichols suggests the Flames could attempt to address their need for another scoring forward in the offseason. The problem, as LeBrun noted, is Calgary’s lack of tradable assets in terms of prospects and draft picks. As per Cap Friendly, they dealt away their first and second round picks in the 2018 draft, as well as their second and third round selections in 2019.

There was speculation before the recent trade deadline that the Flames could be willing to part with promising goaltender Jon Gillies. However, he alone won’t be enough to bring in a scoring forward of the caliber of Hoffman or Pacioretty. With over $62 million invested in 15 players next season and all their core players under contract, perhaps the Flames will look to this summer’s free-agent market to boost their scoring depth. 



  1. Canucks should sign Tavares, tell the twin guys they can come back one year for way less than 5 million each, if they say no then good bye. If they want to win a cup they would take less in final years. Canucks probably will get a top 3 pick this season. They have the cap space to make a big offer to John T

    • I hope they move on the Sedins. They are the greatest in Canuck history but boy are they slow now.
      I wish thry could also find a way to get Eriksson and Gagner off the books as well. Thats a combined $9m those 2 are stealing.
      Signing Tavares and Carlson would be 2 bold signings most can get behind and would plug 2 important holes on the team. Im sure JT would be ecstatic to finally get a pure goal machine in Boeser on his right side for the next 7 years and Horvat doesnt have to be rung in as the #1 center anymore.
      Guys like Baertschi, Hutton, Granlund can all be sent packing as they are all softer than 2 ply.

    • Tavares will stay with the Islanders
      Target a trade to get Lucic just the type of player Vancouver is lacking

      • Brad….
        Surely you’re being sarcastic…
        Lucic is doing just fine where he is.

        Not so sure Tavares signs with NYI

      • Lucic is the type of player the Canucks need? Old, slow, can’t score and getting vastly overpaid?

        They already have Eriksson, Gagner and Sutter playing that roll.

        2011 Lucic would be nice, but its 2018, no thanks.

    • Why would Tavares sign in Vancouver? He’s already playing on a hopeless wreck of a team with a moron as GM. Signing with the Canucks would just give him more of the same. Pretty sure he would want to sign with a contender before he forgets what making the playoffs feels like. Nobody signs with the team they think has the best lottery chance.

      • @ Ron Jull
        yaaaawwwnnnn duuuuulllll

  2. The Canucks signing Neal, Perron or Carlson flies in the face of the rebuild plan. Much better to let younger players fill the roster and find out if they can play at the NHL level. Vancouver already has overpaid veterans taking up roster spots (Sutter, Gagner, Eriksson) it makes no sense to add even more. No pain, no gain. Let the kids play and show what they have. Fans are willing to suffer if there is a light at the end of the tunnel but not if the plan goes back to the make the playoffs for a one and done spring. Vancouver fans deserve a winner, a Cup champion.

    • Do they?

      I find that every team in every league’s fans feel that they “deserve” a championship.

      I find the word choice interesting. Why do they “deserve” a championship?

      I’m just asking questions, I’ve never been to Vancouver so this is all just second hand but, just a few off the top of my head…I’ve heard multiple discussions between Jeff Marek and Elliote Friedmen recently about how Canucks’ fans on Twitter are the worst, a local Pittsburgh columnist refuses to go to Vancouver because he finds the people so obnoxious, and we all saw the riots after the Boston series.

      If I had to make a list off hand of the fan bases that “deserve” a championship the most, Canucks would be seem to be right near the bottom of that list.

      • Good point MG…i almost forgot about the Boston series. Its one thing to have A sore loser, and im exagerating here…a whole city of sore losers. I get it, it sucks to lose – but I lost a little respect there

      • You are lumping everyone into a small group of morons. Rioting (94 and 2011) reflects poorly on the entire city I agree.

        For the record, Im not a Canucks fan but do live in Vancouver.

      • Understood that riots don’t reflect a whole city and, again, most of what I said is second hand…my point isn’t to single out Vancouver.

        I just find the concept of fans “deserving” a championship interesting.

        The Pittsburgh Pirates are the ONLY current MLB team that has never (not even once in it’s 100+ year history) drawn more than 2.5 million fans. Every other team in the league has done so. Their fans root for attendance and ratings to drop and for the teams trades to fail, but they too talk about how they “deserve” a championship.

        Compared to who?

        If I had to pick a fanbase in the NHL that “deserves” a championship, the Sabres come to mind.

        Lucky for us spoiled Pens fans, however, that’s not how they award the Cup. You have to earn it, not deserve it.

      • Montreal leads the league in hockey riots so what’s your point?

      • Canucks are akin to the GEneral or whoever plays the Harlem Globetrotters :). The only championship they will ever see will be from the Millionares in Vancouver ;). I can pursue a girl I see on TV or the yoga chick I really like on Namaste Yoga :). Yet in reality they are not interested in me :). So why would anybody the Canucks want to pursue even Lucic want to go or play there?

        Kane got his first hat trick on Sharks w/ 4 goals. I think he would be a fool to leave Sharks w/ his marginal talent level. He will probably get more money or produce better point totals there. He is a vast upgrade over Ward who was washed up when they made the Cup :).

        Maybe the Winnipeg Jets deserve a cup way they treated that place shafting them by moving Coyotes. Canucks I don’t think deserve anything they had a better coach that won division only to fire him to bring in Tortz ;)? Hell I think that same coach lost in a SCF for them just like the RAngers. Maybe they can hire Deboer so he can lose a SCF in his 1st year as HC like he did for Sharks and Devils ;).

        Canucks have had some of the ugliest uniforms in history w/ those yellow things among others. What have they done to improve the NHL or the league to claim they deserve anything? I remember they had that Shamu Killer Whale stuff when MEssier couldn’t even win it for them. They helped Florida by shipping out Luongo a HOF goalie since they didn’t want to pay him. They found out Miller sucks, he had some alright seasons in Buffalo but wasn’t anything special or elite ;). If anything I think the franchise in Vancouver has hurt the NHL not helped it. Let them sign the Sedin twins, leave the rest of the NHL alone ;). I don’t see any reasons given why a player would want to play there. Least places like Florida/Texas people can point to the tax rate compared to California :). Why not flash a rumor they will try to sign Ilya from the KHL or trade for Gusev from Vegas ;).

      • I cheer for the Canucks and am hopeful that their current and future prospects make a big impact. They’re rebuilding, so I don’t think they should chase big-name free agents. Adding some solid stability to the blueline through free agency would make sense to me.

        The riots were an embarrassment, but the vast majority of Vancouver residents and Canucks fans did not riot and did not approve. I walked around downtown the morning after. The damage was awful but repairs and clean-up took place right away. I remember broken windows at the Chapters on Robson were boarded up and people had already covered the boards in anti-riot messages of support. The rioters were idiots looking to use the city’s excitement as cover to act out. In my opinion some terrible policing contributed to make things much worse.

        Every team has some obnoxious fans, and the ones with passionate fanbases tend to have the most.

      • They are almost a 50 year franchise that has been to the dance 3 times. Regardless of small pockets of idiots, Vancouver is a beautiful city and also displays honest hard working ppl that are BEGGING for a fair chance to finally win a cup.

        Every city has passionate fans and not many teams have won a cup without dirty play of some sort. Heck…if you go thru court files of the majority of the people that were actually charged with vandalism and rioting in 2011, you will discover that 80% of those idiots arent even from Vancouver

        Loyal fans here have enjoyed the highs and suffered the lows but we all come back. We also get to read so many biased opinions from eastern media who really know nothing of the place. Its kind of an “us against the world” feeling but fans here have no choice but to accept that.

        We finally have a good cupboard full of GOOD prospects and hopefully soon ready to flip the switch.

        Canucks certainly deserve a cup but fans realize it will be atleast 3 years before this team is truely competative again

  3. I really doubt the Sens trade Hoffman this offseason, considering the chemistry he has with Duchesne

    I could see them trading Erik Karlsson, only to have a roster that they feel could try to make the playoffs.

    With Melnyk now running hockey operations (basically) he is NOT going to want to miss the playoffs. He created a lot of bad press with his fans and he doesn’t want to jeapordize the chances of getting the new building in the near future

    • Ottawa won’t be making the playoffs any time soon whether Melnyk wants to or not. You can’t win hockey games with out C’s & Dman.

      • Striker seeing how a few teams in EAst/West rebounded tho seem hopeless… I think Senators could make playoffs within the next 3-5 years. Seattle could weaken some teams since Senators probably wont have many if any worth protecting ;). I think Vegas should have traded to let them keep Methot then taken Wideman in the expansion draft though.

        Senators were weak in net this year. So improving there will help matters. They could still get a decent return for King Karl though I think they botched it w/ Vegas not doing it at deadline… So even if they trade him they will get less back. Devils looked hopeless, Avalanche, Flyers, nobody expected Senators to make playoffs then the ECF. They can’t do worse than this year… In garbage time they have beat a few decent teams too. I just don’t see them winning the cup in the next decade even if they make the playoffs :). Then again any team from Canada people can say the same thing until it happens :). I do think they win a Cup before Oilers get another one or some other teams like Montreal :).

  4. Ottawa could put themselves in a position to be a real good team with a decent haul for Karrlson. They have some nice pieces in the back end already. That BR contract though…yikes.

    • FD in theory if they got good returns for King Karl, Gaborik, Duche in trades they could rebound much faster :). So long as they don’t do Ben Bishop for Cory Conacher type deals they can rebuild faster than 3-5+ years :).

  5. Instead of pursuing Kane…I think VAN should call up OTT and ask for Ryan. Hear me out. OTT wants to clear cap. VAN needs secondary scoring. $10 million invested in the Sedins will limit some of the younger guys getting 2nd line minutes. Sedins just won’t play 3rd line duties. Perhaps something like

    to OTT: Dorsett (1 more yr on LTIR) and a 2nd
    to VAN: Ryan ($3M retained)

    Ryan is 6 yrs younger & it gives them enough money to still resign their RFA’s along with another bit of cash to make a pitch for James Neal to add scoring depth. That would put Ryan at 3yrs @ $4.25M better value that $6m plus/6yr plus plus for a Kane or JVR or Patches, etc…

    Perhaps Ben Hutton gets traded to DET for a pick along with the rights to Green. Green could be someone to help on the backend in VAN. Really help move the puck out of the zone fast for their young guys upfront to generate more opportunity.

    pairings might look like

    Biega rotates in.

    • Well that would still be better than Vegas getting Reeves in that sham trade or giving 1st, 2nd, 3rd for Tatar :). I don’t know if Bobby Ryan has a NMC or anything like that. He probably wouldn’t agree to let them trade him to Vancouver if he did :). Maybe he wants to return to the west coast playing for Kings or Sharks if not the Ducks again :). He could probably play for Vegas if the right deal was made too :).

      Most likely Senators will have to try to trade Seattle to take Bobby Ryan if he agrees to go there ;). We all know Vancouver will sink 13M into signing Sedin Twins along w/ Jumbo JOe though :). Maybe they can sign Halak :). Its funny they want some so so player from Calgary that badly :). Shame Chad Canuck is basically dead, maybe the Houston Canucks will do better ;). It could be the HOuston Flames if Calgary don’t get their ship in order too :).

      • I think the Tatar trade was to signify they will not be resigning Neal to a $6 plus for 6 yr deal. So they got someone younger to grow with the team. Reaves was a good will with another GM type of move and clears a roster space at the end of the year. That is all that was. None of these two moves ruins chemistry. Keep in mind, Vegas has had some injuries and rather than calling someone up who are clearly not NHL ready….they grabbed players that fill in the gaffer this season ….Tatar fits their long term goals. IMO.

        As far as VAN…. I think Ryan would go bc I am sure he wants a change of scenery…I think he just wants to get paid wherever he is. I think investing in the remaining 3 yrs @ $4.25M along with maybe a 5 yr @ $5m for Neal would do good things for Vancouver……compared to resigning the Sedins who are 7 years older. They are still good players but Neal and Ryan bring a different element.
        They could over a 3 yr @ $5.5 to Green or even bump up to $6 per. Just depends what style of team they wish to build. Ryan slot 3rd line while Neal can slot 2nd line…. or put both on 3rd line. Gives flexibility.

        maybe lines like

        sort of thing

        I am open to Vancouver fans adding their thoughts on lineups with suggested moves.

      • They should have traded Neal when he was real hot if not planning to bring him back. Or flip him around the trade deadline. I think Perron will return… Problem is Vegas let the teams struggling in their division get in their head instead of doing the moves they needed for future. Tatar was a real bad trade, that or REeves worst in their history. Reeves gave them bad karma, also he don’t fit their style of play. Kings if they traded for Reeves I’d be upset but it would be logical. Kings play more of a heavy game, Reeves playing over a Clifford might be an upgrade this year. He just hasn’t been as good for the Kings, nor does the team seem as good w/ him in the lineup. Vegas trading Leipsic was another dumb move he was a key speedy player on the lower lines. Tatar might eventually fit in though I don’t see Reeves as anything but a negative. He can barely play 10 minutes a game which are not high quality while usually taking a few bad minors shifting the flow… Nobody wants to fight him like the Devils refused when they thumped them 8-3. He has no upside, Penguins doing much better since shipping him out too :).

        Vegas has not been same since Reeves, even their last 10 games they below .500… Though I think a bigger mistake was shipping out Leipsic… You basically traded Pearson, Toffoli, Dadanov for Tatar a marginal player who is smaller than would like… They already sunk money into Marchesault who is in that mold. Tatar just watching him play the stupid penalty he took against Devils its like WTF :). Vegas could have got Evander Kane for less assets for example who is in mid 20’s.

        CBJ made some nice moves getting Cole, VAnek, while other teams on bubble or cusp didn’t do anything or fired Francis ;). If I was a VAncouver fan I’d least feel happy about a few of the young players including the trade to get Leipsic… Who almost alone beat the Islanders in that recent game. I guess Vancouver is nicer than Ottawa since I heard they have like legal weed/prostitutes/gambling etc ;).

        I think Neal wants to be on a team competing for Cup. I could see him return to Nashville before going to Vancouver :). Those lines would be better than clinging to the Sedin twins though. I always liked Daniel who was more of a goal scorer that had on a keeper league early on. I never liked the other guy since he was too assist heavy w/ very few goals. He cost me money a few times in daily fantasy hockey on various sites too :).

        Neal would probably play on the PP too. His problem is injury concerns which is why teams might not give him a long term. I’m worried Vegas will end up like Florida Panthers… They had a nice run in first few years to make SCF clutching/grabbing. Yet Tampa as a franchise there has done much better besides the 1 Cup overall.

        See the problem w/ the Tatar trade is what did it do… Vegas was already going to make playoffs, likely win division, maybe even President trophy… Even at time of the Reeves trade, neither of those deals increased their chances of doing what they already would have. Shipping out Leipsic didn’t help, way they handled Pickard, then signed Lagace… Not even giving Berube a contract who still has a better save percentage than Lagace on a 1st place team ;). Too many players can walk this season without VEgas getting anything…

        Remember all those who laughed at me when said Sharks should try to get Spooner from Rangers ;)? I bet they are not laughing anymore about my keen insight ;). Sharks are a dark horse who could still win Division or get a nice run if goalie could get hot. Will be sad to see Neal, Perron or some others leave if they don’t stay w/ Vegas. They probably would still have been better off if took Lewis having a career year than McNabb… Kings would have had to put a left shot D-man on waivers to send somebody down. They are clinging to Forbort so probably could have nabbed like McNabb, MacDermid, something for nothing like they did Carpenter from Sharks ;).

    • Vancouver doesn’t need any more anchor contracts (Eriksson, Gagner) and should not be looking for free agent wingers anyway. No to Ryan. As I said above, a free agent defenceman signing would make sense. Canucks should move on from Del Zotto. Hopefully Juolevi is ready for the NHL next season, although it sounds like he needs more time.

      I’m neutral on the Sedins being re-signed, but I think that if they do sign again, it will be for less than $5 million each. They are team players, love the city, have been well-paid over their careers. I think if they re-sign it will be more like $4 million each but with NTC.

      • I honestly cannot see the Sedins signing for anything less that $5m plus bonuses in the contract.

  6. It would not surprise me if the Sedins retire at season’s end. It would not surprise me if they finish their careers back in Sweden. What would be a surprise is if they demand $5 million salaries to re-sign. If that actually happens, the Canucks need to say thanks and good-bye to the twins.