If there were still a handful of Canuck-watchers who actually thought Ryan Miller might be traded, Elliotte Friedman has news for you.
From 30 Thoughts
Obviously, the goalie debate is the big one in Vancouver. (That topic just never goes away, does it?) After their scouting meetings, Benning was willing to say two things: First, Ryan Miller is not the one being traded. Second, while he is looking to get a second-round draft pick for the one he traded earlier, "We are also looking to make hockey trades." So, if it is Eddie Lack, for example, it’s not guaranteed to be Lack for a pick. Possible, but not a lock.
It's always stood to reason to me that the guy Benning signed last summer to stabilize Vancouver goaltending was not going to be odd man out. In part because Benning has trusted Miller since scouting him into the Buffalo organization, in part because he was a big name signing only a year ago, and in part because two more years at $6 million per with a NTC and a stated desire to play only on the West Coast make Miller nearly immovable.
Seeing the fan base disintegrate around the Lack/Miller tandem last season was both curious and unfortunate. It's a dynamic that will only get worse in the short term if Lack is the goalie who is moved this summer. And if Jacob Markstrom fails to surpass Lack, it will never end.
Personally, I was glad the Canucks were so well served by a talented tandem last season. That they had Lack to step in for an injured Miller was a good thing. I would have a hard time breaking up that dynamic no matter how tantalizing Markstrom's talent makes him seem.
Friedman does think there is interest in Lack as a budget-friendly number starter;
A couple of GMs indicated Cam Talbot is probably the top choice among cap-friendly, potential No. 1 options. Another suggested Lack second and Robin Lehner third.
This final nugget from 30 Thoughts;
"Have you ever been to the rink in Manchester?" Canucks GM Jim Benning said Saturday. (No.) "They have a banner showing all of the players who played here on their first Stanley Cup team. Then, they have a banner with all of those who played on the second one. They are the gold standard of our business, drafting and developing. That’s what we want to get to." It was a good run for Vancouver’s AHL team. So, how many Comets are ready to contend for an NHL job next season? "I’d say, three-to-five of them," Benning replied. My guess is that includes goalie Jacob Markstrom, defencemen Adam Clendening and Frankie Corrado and forward Sven Baertschi.
Do you agree with Elliotte's list? And who is your potential fifth name? I would guess Jake Virtanen; but I could be convinced Benning is thinking of Cole Cassels.