With the COVID-19 exposure seemingly behind them when a false positive test to a player led to the shutdown of the last day of training camp, the Canucks are almost ready to open the 2021 NHL season with 2 games in Edmonton starting tomorrow. What they still need is their finalized roster and taxi squad, and that will be coming today.
The season starts with 4 games in 6 days in Alberta: back to back in Edmonton tomorrow and Thursday followed by games Saturday and Monday in Calgary. They return to Vancouver for their home opener against the Montreal Canadiens next Wednesday.
What remains to be seen now is what the Canucks 23 man roster and taxi squad will look like. There’s a couple big questions that we’ll get answers to, most notably after an impressive camp, did Nils Hoglander do enough to make the opening night lineup? Also, is there going to be room for Travis Hamonic, who has finished quarantine and joined the team?
The moves yesterday, which saw the Canucks waive Loui Eriksson, Sven Baertschi, Justin Bailey, Tyler Graovac, Guillaume Brisebois and Ashton Sautner is going to fix, temporarily at least, some of their salary cap issues. Placing Micheal Ferland on LTIR is also going to help, and allow them to sign Hamonic, as well as call up Hoglander if he doesn’t make the opening night roster with no issues. Thomas Drance had a good Twitter thread yesterday that includes his thoughts on who has made it, that you should check out.
Signing Hamonic could mean that Olli Juolevi doesn’t make the roster for opening night, but it could also see Jordie Benn shipped down to the taxi squad instead. Speaking of Hamonic, he’s wearing number 27 as we saw in yesterday’s skate:
While we also await what this season’s Utica Comets roster looks like with the sharing deal they are doing with the St Louis Blues, there will be a new captain for the Comets this year as Carter Bancks announced his retirement.
An important message from our forever Captain, Carter Bancks. pic.twitter.com/kfODsQgA3r— Utica Comets (@UticaComets) January 11, 2021
AROUND THE NHL
The New York Rangers could be without Mika Zabinejad, who has been recovering from COVID-19. They’re set to open their season against the New York Islanders Thursday, and that will be must see tv as it will mark the NHL debut of First overall pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, Alexis Lafrenierre... Yesterday was one of the craziest waiver wire days in league history, and it saw some pretty big names put up for grabs. Corey Perry, fresh off signing a 1 year, league minimum deal in Montreal topped the list, as he is likely to start the season on the Taxi squad for the Habs... The NHL revealed more information about the pair of outdoor games in Lake Tahoe yesterday and I have to say it does look pretty cook, though it would be far better if they actually played on a frozen lake. Still. I think this might be worth watching... Evander Kane of the San Jose Sharks is declaring bankruptcy...
#SJSharks forward Evander Kane has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in California after amassing $26.8 million of debt, according to a report from @KaplanSportsBiz of @TheAthletic: https://t.co/ZF7TzEAYOp pic.twitter.com/dEM4MWEfvg— TSN Hockey (@TSNHockey) January 12, 2021
NBC announced its broadcast teams yesterday, and it was a good news, bad news kinda situation. The good news? Mike Milbury is out, and will be left to what we assume is die somewhere in a field and eventually become a petroleum product. The bad news? They’ve brought in former Leafs head coach Mike Babcock. Babcock as you may remember was turfed for his abusive behaviour towards players. Milbury was suspended by NBC after calling women a distraction to players during the 2020 playoffs. While NBC should be commended for giving Milbury the Roenick treatment, the addition of Babcock is puzzling at the very least... and finally, the Chicago Blackhawks are giving Jeremy Colliton a contract extension...
Hearing Jeremy Colliton will receive an extension in CHI. This is the final season of his original contract. It is believed to be for two additional years.— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) January 12, 2021