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Lunchtime Links: Losing to the Worst Team in the League

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Canucks lose playoff ground in settling for a a point against Columbus.

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Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

On a night both San Jose and Anaheim won, the Canucks could ill afford to drop a point to a the worst defensive team in the league, a team playing their third string goalie. Now, the Canucks are three points behind the surging Ducks for third in the Pacific, and Anaheim has two games in hand. Short of a significant winning streak, it's going to be very difficult for the Canucks to keep pace.

Links from Last Night

Jeff Paterson (Who announced today he has been hired by Canucks Army and The Province, yay Jeff!)

Carol Schram

Yannick Weber was waived today to make room for Dan Hamhuis' return. Lots of grumbling over this move. People are wondering way Adam Cracknell wasn't waived instead, why Jim Benning couldn't get something via trade for a defenseman who scored 11 goals last year, or why Matt Bartkowski wasn't waived instead. It seems clear to me. Weber had a career year last year, but his shot and defensive zone play fell way off this year. I don't believe waiving Cracknell would have created enough salary cap space to activate Hamhuis, and it would have meant two defensemen sitting around eating press box popcorn.

Alex Edler missed practice today, but the team insists it was a maintenance day. Canucks Twitter will be fun tomorrow if Weber is claimed and Edler can't play tomorrow.

Around the League

Todd Bertuzzi's retirement currently consists of coaching his son's midget team in Detroit.

According to USA Today's Kevin Allen, this year's trade deadline could be slow. With so many teams still in contention, top teams hurting for cap space, few top six forwards and top four defensemen available, and teams wary of surrendering top draft picks, Allen thinks the odds are against an active deadline. It seems to me the flip side is sellers ought to be able to get excellent returns.

On Sportsnet 590 radio in Toronto this morning, Elliotte Friedman suggested Carey Price might miss the rest of the season with a sprained MCL. He also talked about Connor McDavid and his big return from injury, wondering if he could help propel the Oilers to make a playoff push this year.

Yesterday, Bob McKenzie on TSN 1040 discussed Kris Russell as a deadline acquisition, the Oilers desire to move Justin Schultz, and the Coyotes indecision over whether to extend or move Mikkel Boedker. Arizona may not be able to match what Boedker could command on the open market on July 1, but they can't afford to let him walk away for nothing.

Ottawa's Jared Cowen, a recent healthy scratch, addressed the possibility he'd be traded from the Senators. Cowen makes $3.1 million through next season, after which he's an RFA. Ottawa has a large number of RFAs who need to be re-signed at the end of this season.

One wonders how safe Michel Therrien actually is this year, as the Canadiens continue their free fall.

Larry Brooks says the Rangers are heavily scouting Winnipeg Jets, hoping Andrew Ladd becomes available.Ed Tait of the Winnipeg Free Press says as contract talks with Dustin Byfuglien have picked up recently, talks with Andrew Ladd have cooled.

On NBCSN, Bob McKenzie discussed Jonathan Drouin, saying he is a diminishing asset as he sits at home. Whether that continues, or trade interest picks up as the deadline comes closer is what Steve Yzerman has to weigh in deciding when to trade Drouin.

John Scott capped off the best week of his life by welcoming twin girls this morning.

Daniel Sloss was on Conan this week, sharing his observations about animal sexuality.