IT FEELS REAL NOW, RIGHT? It certainly was a different start to September with the Prospects Camp not really creating much of a buzz (were you missing the Young Stars tournament? I know I was looking forward to that every year and think they need to bring it back). But with the full squad (save for the as yet unsigned Brock Boeser) hitting the ice at the Save On Foods Memorial Centre in Victoria, Canucks hockey is back and there are some genuine reasons for hope this season.
The most notable change comes on the back end, and while it’s fair to say this kind of an overhaul is two or three years overdue at the least, it is a welcome sight to see new faces on the back end. We’ve spent all summer debating whether or not they’ve overpaid for Tyler Myers, and whether the addition of a guy like Jordie Benn is going to help, but one thing is for certain: the Canucks have a D core that should be far tougher to play against this season, both physically, and with the addition of Quinn Hughes, offensively. Having the camp in Victoria has to be special for Benn, who not only grew up in Victoria, but began his pro career with the ECHL’s Victoria Salmon Kings. They’ve also invited free agent Will Warm to camp. Warm was acquired by the Victoria Royals from the Edmonton Oil Kings this summer and will play as an overager for the WHL squad. Hughes is also familiar with these surroundings, having played his WJC games in Victoria when the city co-hosted it along with Vancouver.
There’s questions that need to be answered in terms of who’s going to be rounding out the bottom six forwards, and what to do about Loui Eriksson and his albatross of a contract. The longer Boeser and the Canucks take to come to a deal, the more likely it is we see Eriksson start the season in Vancouver.
The first on ice session gets underway at 9am, and the first scrimmage will be tomorrow at 10:10. The camp will wrap on Monday with a split squad exhibition game between the Canucks and Calgary Flames.
Here’s the complete training camp roster via canucks.com
Let’s get you ready for today, starting with Travis Green talking expectations and the goal of making the playoffs this season... GMJB on Boeser, Eriksson and more... iMac on what Boeser’s deal could look like and a bit of carrying water on the notion that there’s not a salary cap issue at play... Drance on the juggling they may have to do to get Boeser’s contract to fit... the new jerseys are now available and apart from the stick in rink awkwardness (that green striping, man...) they look good (still think the whale needs to go though).
PITB looks at who could be the breakout player at camp this year, and chats with TG about the desire to run 4 lines that can score. You know, like nearly every other successful team in the NHL of late... Ben Kuzma on Jake Virtanen building on a season that had glimpses of a bright future last year... Tweet of the day yesterday:
JPat on why a bridge deal makes sense...
Leaving this here...
Lots of stories to come as camp begins in earnest, and our first game thread on Monday. We’re excited to bring our perspective to you for another season, and want to thank each and every one of you for the support over the years. Also, if you didn’t see it yesterday, the Silky & Filthy Podcast is back, one of a kickass lineup of podcasts we’re bringing to you this season. Make sure you give it a listen, as Kyle and Beggsy have come into camp spittin’ fire like they’re playoff ready!