CANUCKS & SPORTSNET ANNOUNCE 2016.17 BROADCAST SCHEDULE

Vancouver, B.C. – The Vancouver Canucks, in partnership with Sportsnet and Rogers, announced their 2016.17 regular season broadcast schedule today with the complete 82-game schedule set to air on Sportsnet.

Coverage kicks off with a national broadcast of the season opener versus the Calgary Flames on Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday, October 15th at 7:00 pm PST.

Canucks games will air nationally 24 times. Highlights from the national broadcast schedule include 17 Hockey Night in Canada matchups, one appearance on Scotiabank Wednesday Night Hockey and six Rogers Hometown Hockey Sunday matchups.

Sportsnet Pacific will broadcast 46 regional games with seven games airing on the Sportsnet ONE companion channel, Sportsnet Vancouver Hockey.

All regional broadcasts will feature play-by-play commentator John Shorthouse, former NHL goaltender and analyst John Garrett and rinkside reporter Dan Murphy. During Canucks home games, Murphy will host the broadcast panel live from Rogers Arena, while reporter Irfaan Gaffar will be at ice level delivering exclusive player interviews.

Visit canucks.com/scheduledownload to add the complete schedule to your desktop or mobile.

Every game will also be broadcast live on TSN 1040, the Canucks official radio broadcast partner.

Click here to see the complete game and broadcast schedule.

Source: CANUCKS & SPORTSNET ANNOUNCE 2016.17 BROADCAST SCHEDULE – Vancouver Canucks – News

Canucks Sign Defenceman Olli Juolevi to Three-Year Entry Level Contract

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Olli Juolevi

VancouverCanucksCANUCKS BANTER   By Andrew Chernoff   August 6, 2016

Vancouver, BC – Vancouver Canucks General Manager Jim Benning announced Friday by press release, that the club signed defenceman Olli Juolevi to a three-year entry level contract.

olli

“Olli is a talented all-around defenceman with high hockey sense who will be a big part of our organization’s future,” said Jim Benning.

“He’s had an outstanding year, winning the Memorial Cup and World Junior gold. We look forward to seeing him continue his development and compete at the NHL level during training camp in September.”

Juolevi a well-rounded blueliner:

A competitive spark-plug, Olli Juolevi is a complete, all-around defenceman who can hem the opposition in their own end or make things difficult for the opposition at home; either way, he puts the pressure on and lays it on thick. A strong and balanced skater, he can rush the puck through the neutral zone with ease or backcheck with haste. Uses his size to his advantage, but knows his physical limits and plays within them. Instead of playing overly physical, he makes his presence felt by exhibiting his high-end playmaking ability and puck possession play. All-in-all, a well-rounded blueliner who thrives under pressure and can be trusted in all situations. (Curtis Joe, EP 2016)

Source: http://www.eliteprospects.com/

Juolevi, 18, finished third among Ontario Hockey League rookie defencemen in scoring in 2015.16, registering 42 points (9-33-42) in 57 games for the London Knights.

Skating in his first full season in North America, the 6-2, 182-pound defenceman also earned OHL Second All-Rookie Team and OHL Third All-Star Team honours.

During the 2016 playoffs, Juolevi registered 14 points in 18 games to help the Knights capture the OHL Championship. Named to the tournament All-Star Team, he then added seven points in four games to help the Knights capture their second Memorial Cup.

Prior to joining London, Juolevi appeared in 44 games in 2014.15 with Jokerit’s junior squad in Finland, registering 32 points (6-26-32). He was also named the league’s Best Defenceman, Rookie of the Year and selected to the First All-Star Team.

On the international stage, the Helsinki, Finland, native helped his country capture gold at the 2016 World Junior Championship where he led all defencemen with nine assists (0-9-9) and was named to the tournament All-Star Team.

Jason Botchford: Why Olli Juolevi still hasn’t signed with the Canucks

Vancouver Canucks draft choice Olli Juolevi is the only remaining 2016 top-10 pick waiting on a contract. Bruce Bennett / Getty Images

Jason Botchford   July 26, 2016   http://theprovince.com

At some point, the Canucks will sign their prized first-round draft pick, Olli Juolevi. It just might not be anytime soon.

Juolevi is the last signable player taken in the top 10 of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft without an entry-level contract. There are, of course, two players in that top 10 who have committed to college and won’t be signing contracts this year.

So, what gives with Juolevi? Those with connections to the talks say it’s not hard to figure out. Just look at the numbers. There are a couple of million of them in play here.

In signing entry-level deals, player agents can negotiate two types of bonuses, Schedule A and Schedule B. The maximum is US$850,000 per year for Schedule-A bonuses and every player in the top 10 signed for the max. That’s a lock for Juolevi.

The Schedule B maximum is $2 million in bonuses per year and only one player, Auston Matthews, got that. But every player in the top four had significant Schedule-B bonuses worked into their contracts.

Drafted at No. 4, Jesse Puljujarvi’s contract includes $1.65 million per year in potential Schedule-B bonuses. Interestingly, Matthew Tkachuk, who was taken by Calgary at No. 6, got none in his. That’s a significant drop-off in potential money. Guess who was sandwiched in the middle of those two on draft day?

Asked specifically if the Canucks were taking a hard line on Schedule B bonuses, Juolevi’s agent, Markus Lehto, would say only: “There have been discussions, but I don’t negotiate through the media.”

Asked about Juolevi’s contract status on TSN 1040 on Tuesday, Canucks president Trevor Linden suggested a timeline of a few weeks for a deal. Linden did appear to brush off concern about Juolevi’s contract status as no big deal, and he’s probably right.

But it’s worth mentioning that Toronto general manager Lou Lamoriello was criticized harshly by some when the Matthews talks lagged a bit. It was suggested then that Lamoriello risked alienating Matthews, while delivering a negative message to the rest of the league on how the Leafs treat their stars. Of course, Matthews was soon signed and all that talk was made to look pretty foolish.

Maybe more interesting was Linden’s suggestion that the most likely landing spot for Juolevi this fall is playing back in the OHL. Vancouver, and Lehto, believe the prospect isn’t eligible for the AHL this season. But he could play in Europe and, for whatever the reasons, the Canucks haven’t yet openly said it’s an option, even though it’s something that is being considered strongly by the Juolevi camp. Lehto said teams in both the Swedish and Finnish elite leagues have contacted him inquiring about the possibility of Juolevi playing there.

“All of the European teams see themselves as having a great development program,” Lehto said. “There is interest when they see a Finnish guy get drafted where he did and one who played really well at the U20 tournament, maybe the best defenceman in the tournament.

“Wouldn’t you think that kind of guy is very attractive? But what I’ve said all along, (Juolevi’s) priority is to make the Vancouver Canucks.”

That remains remotely possible. But if he doesn’t, wouldn’t there be more for Juolevi to gain playing in Europe against men in a high-quality league, rather than going to the OHL, where he’s accomplished about all he can accomplish, to play against a lot of teenagers? It’s at least something that should be considered while the Canucks are killing time before they sign Juolevi.

2016 NHL DRAFT TOP 10  — Annual average value of their contract

1. Auston Matthews, US$3.775 million.
2. Patrick Laine, $3.575m.
3. Pierre-Luc Dubois, $3.425m.
4. Jesse Puljujarvi, $3.425m.
5. Olli Juolevi, unsigned.
6. Matthew Tkachuk, $1.775m.
7. Clayton Keller — committed to college.
8. Alexander Nylander $1.775m.
9. Mikhail Sergachev $1.775m.
10. Tyson Jost — committed to college.

Schedule-B bonuses the team and the player can negotiate (maximum total is US$2 million per year)
1. Finishing in the top five for Hart, Norris, Selke and Richard.
2. Finishing in the top three for Calder and Lady Byng.
3. Making the first- or second-team all-star group.
4. Winning the Conn Smythe.
5. Finishing in the top 10 among defencemen in goals, assists or points.
6. Finishing in the top 10 in points-per-game (must play 42 games).
7. Finishing in the top 10 in average time-on-ice (must play 42 games).

Source: Jason Botchford: Why Olli Juolevi still hasn’t signed with the Canucks | The Province

Vancouver Canucks 2016 Off-Season Signings

VancouverCanucksCANUCKS BANTER     By Andrew Chernoff    July 26, 2016

Off-Season Signings

  • JUL 19/16 – RFA Alexandre Grenier signed a 1-year, 2-way contract extension.
  • JUL 19/16 – RFA Andrey Pedan signed a 1-year, 2-way contract extension.
  • JUL 15/16 – FA Michael Carcone signed a 3-year entry level contract.
  • JUL 13/16 – RFA Michael Zalewski signed a 1-year, 2-way contract extension.
  • JUL 13/16 – UFA Richard Bachman signed a 1-year, 2-way contract extension.
  • JUL 7/16 – Goaltender Jacob Markstrom signed a 3-year contract extension.
  • JUL 1/16 – UFA Jayson Megna signed a 1-year, 1-way contract. (AAV $600,000)
  • JUL 1/16 – UFA Philip Larsen signed a 1-year, 1-way contract. (AAV $1,025,000)
  • JUL 1/16 – UFA Michael Chaput signed a 1-year, 2-way contract.
  • JUL 1/16 – UFA Borna Rendulic signed a 1-year, 2-way contract.
  • JUL 1/16 – RFA Chad Billins signed a 1-year, 2-way contract.
  • JUL 1/16 – UFA Loui Eriksson signed a 6-year contract. (AAV $6,000,000).
  • JUN 27/16 – RFA Emerson Etem signed a 1-year, 1-way contract. (AAV $775,000)
  • JUN 16/16 – RFA Sven Baertschi signed a 2-year contract extension. (AAV $1,850,000)
  • MAY 26/16 – FA Tom Nilsson signed a 1-year, 2-way contract.
  • MAY 16/16 – FA Yan-Pavel Laplante signed a 3-year entry level contract.
  • APR 29/16 – FA Michael Garteig signed a 1-year, entry-level contract.
  • APR 20/16 – Goaltender Thatcher Demko signed a 3-year entry level contract.
  • APR 13/16 – FA Troy Stecher signed a 2-year entry level contract.

Source: http://canucks.nhl.com

Canucks Sign Andrey Pedan & Alexandre Grenier To Two-Way Contract Extensions

VancouverCanucksCANUCKS BANTER     By Andrew Chernoff    July 19, 2016

Vancouver Canucks General Manager Jim Benning announced today that the Canucks have signed defenceman Andrey Pedan and forward Alexandre Grenier each to a one-year, two-way contract extension.

Pedan, 23, appeared in 13 games for the Canucks in his debut NHL season in 2015.16. He recorded at least two hits in each game played and led the team with 3.1 hits per game. The 6-5, 217-pound defenceman also skated in 45 games for the AHL Utica Comets last season, registering career-highs in several categories including games played, goals (7), assists (14) and points (21). Appearing in 129 AHL regular season games over parts of four seasons, Pedan has collected 50 points (15-35-50) along with 258 penalty minutes.

Pedan will receive in 2016-17:

  • $700,000 at the NHL level and $100,000 at the AHL level, according to generalfanager.com

A native of Moscow, Russia, Pedan was acquired from the New York Islanders in exchange for Alexandre Mallet and a 2016 third-round selection on November 25, 2014. He was originally selected by the New York Islanders, 63rd overall, at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

Grenier, 24, appeared in six games for Vancouver in his first NHL season in 2015.16. He also appeared in 69 games with the AHL Utica Comets, leading the team in both points (48) and assists (32) and finishing tied for the third in goals (16). The 6-4, 211-pound forward then added a team-high two goals and three points in four Calder Cup Playoff games. In 208 career AHL regular season games over parts of four seasons, Grenier has registered 130 points (50-80-130) along with 172 penalty minutes.

Grenier will receive in 2016-17:

  • $600,000 at the NHL level and $125,000 at the AHL level, with a signing bonus of $25,000, according to generalfanager.com

A native of Laval, Quebec, Grenier was originally selected by Vancouver in the third round, 90th overall, at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

Both need to clear waivers to be sent down to the AHL Utica Comets as neither are wavier exempt.

Canucks Sign Forward Michael Carcone To A Three-Year Entry Level Contract

VancouverCanucksCANUCKS BANTER     By Andrew Chernoff    July 15, 2016

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Vancouver Canucks General Manager Jim Benning announced July 15 that the club signed forward Michael Carcone to a three-year entry level contract, according to a press release.

Carone will receive:

  • a pay out in 2016-17 of $625,000 at the NHL level and $50,000 at the AHL level, with a $25,000 signing bonus
  • in 2017-18, he will receive $675,000 at the NHL level and $55,000 at the AHL level, with a $25,000 signing bonus
  • and in his final year in 2018-19, $725,000 at the NHL level and $60,000 at the AHL level, with a $25,000 signing bonus, according to generalfanager.com

Carcone, 20, appeared in 66 games for the Drummondville Voltigeurs of the QMJHL in 2015.16, where he ranked tied for the team lead in points (89) and finished first in goals (47) and second in assists (42).

His goal total on the year ranked tied for second among all QMJHL skaters while his 16 power play goals ranked third in the league and he was eighth in the QMJHL in total points.

The 5-10, 170-pound forward has appeared in 116 regular season games over two seasons for Drummondville, registering 130 points (59-71-130) and 112 penalty minutes.

Prior to joining the Voltigeurs, the Ajax, Ontario native spent the 2013.14 season with the OJHL Stouffville Spirit, where he led the club in scoring during the regular season notching 37 points (12-25-37) in 49 games.

Back on July 10, Daniel Wagner of the Vancouver Courier wrote that the Canucks may have signed Carone after Carcone stood out at the recent Canucks development camp. Wagner wrote:

One of the most intriguing names invited to the Canucks prospect development camp was Michael Carcone, who was one of the most dangerous goalscorers in the QMJHL last season. Carcone evidently made an impression at camp, as he has reportedly signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Canucks.

This is according to J.D. Burke of Canucks Army, who apparently has sources now, which makes sense when you consider how many former Canucks Army writers now work in the NHL.

Carcone made an impact in the public scrimmage at the end of camp, showcasing his silky hands and finish around the net, scoring one goal. You can see him in the highlights from the scrimmage the Canucks posted on YouTube:

Carcone makes his first appearance at 1:22, skating through the neutral zone, then burning Lukas Jasek on the outside before evading Troy Stecher’s pokecheck and tucking the puck around goaltender invitee Rylan Parenteau. It’s a lovely goal and it wasn’t his only standout moment

He shows up again at 1:53, skating in alone on Parenteau, neatly deking past the pokecheck and forcing a nice save. He then takes a pass from fellow invitee Kyle Maksimovich, deftly chips the puck over Brock Boeser’s stick in the high slot, and forces another great save from Parenteau, who snags it with his glove.

How Much Longer Should the Canucks Keep Their AHL Franchise in Utica? | CanucksArmy

Utica Aud side entrance (600x450) (1)

Jeremy Davis      July 13 2016   Canucks Army

On Monday the Montreal Canadiens announced that they would be relocating their American Hockey League franchise from its current location in St. John’s, Newfoundland to Laval, Quebec, a suburb of Montreal. During the press conference in which the move was announced, Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin listed the proximity of the NHL and AHL franchises as a chief reason for the move.

The Canadiens are far from the first team to do this. It’s another in a growing list of AHL-NHL partnerships that involves either sharing an arena or close proximity to each other. The benefits are clear: it would ease their ability to track the progress of their minor pro prospects as well as give feedback and instruction. Which begs the question: How long can the Canucks afford to keep their AHL franchise in Utica?

Jim Benning and the Canucks management team has been steadfast in their intention to leave their minor league affiliate in Utica, a town of a little over 60,000 people in upstate New York. This likely starts with loyalty: the Canucks have three seasons remaining on the six-year pact they made with Utica in the summer of 2013.

Beyond that, anyone who follows the Utica Comets knows that Vancouver has plenty more to like about the state of its farm team, starting with its fanbase. The city of Utica has completely embraced the Comets and has flocked to game after game providing what has been called a college-like atmosphere in the Utica Memorial Auditorium. They’re riding a sellout streak that dates back to the latter half of the 2014-15 season. Canucks management has also praised the facilities in Utica, suggesting that the workout and training areas that the prospects get to use are nearly NHL quality. Trevor Linden said this of their affiliation with Utica last summer:

“Our situation in Utica is special. It’s a great spot,” Linden said. “The one thing that we love is that we have six, seven teams within a two hour drive. The practice time and ability to rest between games is significant. The support they get in Utica, the guys love playing there. The dressing room the weight facility is NHL caliber. At this point we’re really happy there.”

That being said, Utica is still over 3,600 kilometres away from the city of Vancouver, and that is a path travelled quite frequently.

Every NHL team has its fair share of injuries, but the Canucks gruelling travel schedule has made them particularly susceptible to them – last season they were among the most affected teams in the league in terms of minutes lost (though their man games lost were closer to the middle of the pack).

It’s one of the main reasons that more and more teams are setting up affiliates in their own backyards. In the last two seasons, the AHL has seen a massive restructuring, as they added five teams in California – the first AHL teams on the west coast – belonging to the three California NHL organizations, as well as Calgary and Edmonton. San Jose formed the closest relationship with its affiliate: the NHL San Jose Sharks and the AHL’s San Jose Barracuda share the same arena.

This is not unusual: prior to the 2015-16 season, the Winnipeg Jets moved their affiliate, then located in Newfoundland, into their home arena, resurrecting the Manitoba Moose. The Toronto Maple Leafs’ AHL affiliate, the Marlies, also share a city with their parent club, though they play out of their own arena. Within the last month or so, the Arizona Coyotes moved their AHL club to Tucson, Arizona, causing the staff here at Canucks Army to reevaluate the situation.

The distance between Vancouver and Utica is not only something that NHL teams are moving on from, it’s the longest distance between an NHL city and its affiliate in the league – and it isn’t close. The 3,686 kilometres between the cities is more that one and a half times the next longest distance.

Vancouver and Utica are also the only pair that are three time zones apart (marked by a red bar), while only three others are even a single time zone apart (marked by yellow bars), with the other 26 pairs being in the same time zone.

Distance From NHL City to Affiliate

Source: Google Maps (Direct distance, not travel distance)

We’ve all heard about the effect an eastern road swing has on players, and many of us are personally familiar with the difficulties of working through different time zones. In their current situation, if the Canucks were on a homestand, or playing a series of games strictly in their division, any prospects that they call up from Utica would be forced to endure that feeling that Canucks players get when they have to go on a road trip through the Eastern time zone.

Canucks management has stated before that the Comets’ location in New York makes them convenient for call-ups while the team is out east, but the flaws in logic there are readily apparent. While the long eastern swings do seem to attract a disproportionate share of injuries, the Canucks are playing less than a dozen games a year within 500 kilometres of Utica.

Conversely, they play 41 games in Vancouver by default, another six to eight in California, and a dozen more in the next time zone over. The convenience of having call ups available in Vancouver vastly outweighs having them near the eastern metropolises.

The Canucks made 56 roster moves last year involving players going between the AHL and the NHL. We can see the distribution in the following graph, which charts the number of roster moves made within one day of a game, sorted by the time zone in which the game was played.

Roster Moves Within 1 Day of a Game

Source: Pro Sports Transactions

Lost in all of the chatter about the distance between NHL and AHL franchises is the fact that the Canucks signed an affiliation agreement with the Alaska Aces of the ECHL last month, after using the Kalamazoo Wings as their partner for the last several seasons. Alaska is a dreadful place for a franchise to be based out of at the best of times, given the travel to reach opponents, but having prospects going from Alaska to New York when transferring between the ECHL and AHL and then New York to British Columbia when transferring from the AHL to the NHL is just insanity; and it’s not like anyone ever gets called up from the ECHL to the NHL.

However, most call-ups from the AHL to the NHL result in another call up from the ECHL to the AHL to replace a missing player. Imagine if the Canucks had an AHL franchise somewhere in the lower mainland. A call up from the AHL to the NHL could be a drive across town, while the replacement player flies the 2,300 kilometres from Anchorage, Alaska (which is still admittedly inconvenient) to replace the call-up. Instead of that relatively painless process, the Canucks have to receive a Comet from 3,600 kilometres away, and then the Alaskan player has to travel a ridiculous 5,153 kilometres to Utica. That is, unless the Comets decide to just sign players to tryout contracts to avoid that hassle, which they will undoubtedly prefer to do, which also means that any prospects that find themselves relegated to the ECHL this year will have to work that much harder to get out of there.

POTENTIAL LANDING SPOTS

The Canucks have several different options if they wanted to relocate their subsidiary closer to home. Down the highway lies the Abbotsford Entertainment Center in the hometown of Jake Virtanen. The Center has been empty since the Abbotsford Heat vacated the arena following the 2013-14 season. Before moving their new purchased AHL franchise, the Peoria Rivermen, to Utica, the Canucks attempted to negotiate a deal with the city of Abbotsford that would involve the Canucks moving their franchise into the Abbotsford Entertainment Centre, and the Abbotsford Heat relocating to Utica instead.

That deal fell through, somehow. It would have been a major win for all parties – the Heat were running large deficits year after year, unable to fill the 7,000 seat arena with a bunch of Vancouver fans that had little interest in watching prospects of the Calgary Flames. Certainly a team full of Canucks prospects would have drawn bigger crowds, especially with Travis Green as the coach — the man could turn a dozen sacks of meat and potatoes into a competitive hockey club. Also among the reasons that the Abbotsford Heat struggled so mightily was the travel – of course, that was before the inclusion of five California teams. The return of the Manitoba Moose and a new team in Tucson, Arizona means there will be seven AHL teams within 2,200 kilometres of Abbotsford next season. Back when Heat were in town, Des Moines, Iowa was the closest city at 2,382 kilometres away.

Another option is the more recently vacated Pacific Coliseum. The home of the WHL’s Vancouver Giants for the past 15 seasons (who will play out of the Langley Events Center next season) and the former home of the Vancouver Canucks is certainly large enough to house an AHL team, though it could use a bit of a facelift. Finally, the farm team could share residence of Rogers Arena with the parent, as San Jose and Winnipeg are doing. Scheduling an extra 38 home games would certainly be tricky, but that’s what computer algorithms are for. The Canucks considered this option in 2013 as well, but due to AHL by-laws, they were not allowed to set up an AHL franchise that close to the Abbotsford. There are no such roadblocks at this point.

Update: Since I saw this in the comments, I thought I’d make a couple of additional suggestions that I forgot to get into the published article. While the AHL has established a western conference that includes five teams in California and one in Arizona, the north-south distant from Vancouver is still a bit of a pain. While I think having a team in the Lower Mainland is the ideal situation from the perspective of parent club interaction, there are other compromises that could be available. For instance, finding another market in California would allow travel between AHL and NHL that is shorter than the current set up and stays in the same time zone, as well as reducing day to day travel for the AHL club.

The California teams are currently playing a reduced schedule of 68 games instead of 76, with the standings sorted by points percentage rather than overall points. As more teams are added in the west (Tucson next season, and a hypothetical Vancouver affiliate would make seven teams in the Pacific/Mountain time zones), the need for this dismisses. As it is, the Western teams play an increased amount of games against each other. Between these two scheduling tweaks, the travel/game-to-rest ratio roughly equalizes to that of the Eastern conference.

Similarly, you could set up an AHL franchise in Portland, Oregon or Tacoma/Seattle, Washington, both of which could likely sustain NHL clubs let alone AHL clubs. The choice between B.C., Washington, Oregon and California gives the Canucks a lot of flexibility in terms of which type of distance they feel is more important, NHL to AHL travel, or AHL day to day travel. But in this case, all options are within the Pacific time zone and reduce the effect of time zone changes and cross continental travel for call ups.

I think it’s important to remember that while you do indeed want your AHL players to feel rested, it’s also extremely unfair for prospects like Brendan Gaunce and Alex Grenier to have to deal with jet lag while they’re on their first NHL call ups – stints that if they perform poorly in could affect the rest of their careers.

Any of these options would eliminate travel required for call-ups when the Canucks are playing at home, and lessen it in a lot of cases when they are playing on the road. All this is saying nothing of the benefit that minor pro prospects like Jordan Subban, Ashton Sautner and Curtis Valk could gain from being a stone’s throw away from the Canucks training staff when they return to AHL action this fall, not to mention new Comets like Thatcher Demko, Troy Stecher, and Carl Neill.

This Canucks management regime has been insistent that simply being around NHL players is beneficial to the development of young prospects, so being exposed to NHL players by sharing facilities would undoubtedly foster some extra development.

The Canucks’ loyalty to Utica is admirable. Surely they feel they owe the city that has grown to love their farm team to at least complete their current contract. However, there are benefits that are up for grabs as soon as the Canucks are able to move their farm team closer to home, if the Canucks could get out of the contract they made with Utica. Even if they were resigned to riding the current deal out, it makes no sense to extend it beyond its current expiration, especially as plenty of other teams in the NHL continue to take advantage of closer affiliates. I’ve been a huge fan of Utica to this point, but the distance between the cities is just too vast, and the benefits associated with a having an affiliate located within the greater Vancouver area are simply too good to turn down.

Source: How Much Longer Should the Canucks Keep Their AHL Franchise in Utica? | CanucksArmy

Canucks Have Signed Goaltender Richard Bachman To A One-Year, Two-Way Contract Extension

VancouverCanucksCANUCKS BANTER     By Andrew Chernoff    July 13, 2016

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Vancouver, B.C. – Vancouver Canucks General Manager Jim Benning announced today that the Canucks have signed goaltender Richard Bachman to a one-year, two-way contract extension.

Bachman is set to make $575,000 for 2016-17 on his present one-way contract with the Canucks, and his extension for 2017-18 is a two-way contract which he will receive a pay out $650,000 at the NHL level and $450,000 at the AHL level, according to generalfanager.com

Bachman, 28, spent the 2015.16 season with the AHL Utica Comets, posting a record of 17-12-5 along with a 2.75 goals against average and .900 save percentage. He also made his debut with the Canucks last season, registering a win on October 30, 2015 at Arizona. The 5-10, 183-pound goaltender has played in 43 career NHL games, amassing a record of 18-14-2, a 2.93 goals against average and a save percentage of .904.

On the international stage, the Salt Lake City, Utah native represented the United States at the 2012 IIHF World Hockey Championship, earning a win in his only start. Prior to his professional career, Bachman played two seasons at Colorado College. He was named WCHA Player and Rookie of the Year, NCAA Rookie of the Year and NCAA West First Team All-American with a record of 25-9-1, four shutouts, and program-record GAA (1.85) and save percentage (.931).

Bachman was signed by Vancouver as a free agent on July 1, 2015. He was originally selected by Dallas in the fourth round, 120th overall, at the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.

FireShot Screen Capture #320 - 'Eliteprospects_com - Richard Bachman' - www_eliteprospects_com_player_php_player=11987

Canucks Sign Free Agent Forward Mike Zalewski To One Year, Two Way Contract

VancouverCanucksCANUCKS BANTER     By Andrew Chernoff    July 12, 2016

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The Vancouver Canucks signed forward Mike Zalewski to a one year, two way contract on July 11.

Zalewski will receive a pay out $632,000 at the NHL level and $100,000 at the AHL level, according to generalfanager.com

With the Canucks affiliate Utica Comets in 2015-16, Zalewski played in 58 games, scoring 16 goals, registering 17 assists for 33 points with 46 penalty minutes and a plus/minus of +14.

He attended the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where he played two seasons (2012–14) of NCAA Division I hockey with the RPI Engineers, registering 21 goals, 26 assists, 47 points, and 75 penalty minutes in 71 games.

On March 14, 2014, the Vancouver Canucks of the NHL signed Zalewski as a free agent to an entry-level contract. On April 12, 2014, Zalewski made his NHL debut skating 11:47 with the Vancouver Canucks in a 5-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers.

On July 8, 2015, with Zalewski unable to retain an NHL contract with the Canucks, he opted to remain within the organization by signing a one-year AHL contract with the Utica Comets, an affiliate.

On January 20, 2016, Zalewski signed a two-way, one year NHL contract with the Vancouver Canucks and subsequently was recalled the same day.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Zalewski

According to Eliteprospects.com, Zalewski is:

A reliable two-way forward that has a strong understanding of the game. Has the size to play a gritty, shutdown role and the skating to chase down the puck and win battles. Versatility is his strong suit and he tries to be a difference maker in whatever role he plays. Defensively, he plays a well-rounded game and will be the first to initiate contact. Creates separation well, but needs to follow up on loose pucks and be quicker to action. Has the tools to be a key player in multiple roles. [EP]

Former Nisei Greenwood BC Hockey Goalie Remembers Internment Camp Hockey 

By Mel Tsuji   JANUARY 25, 2013  http://jccabulletin-geppo.ca

John Onizuka admitted he was very surprised to be honoured at the 50th anniversary celebration last year of the Canadian Japanese Hockey League.

At 85, the retired pharmacist was a long way from his hockey-playing days in Greenwood, BC. He was 14 years of age at the time when he and his family were among the 1,200 Japanese Canadians uprooted from their homes in Vancouver and interned at the then ghost-town of Greenwood.

Yes, you read right. John, or Yuki as he was known then, learned to play hockey in that isolated community.   \

“There was already an indoor rink there, but with natural ice,” he said. “The mayor of Greenwood fixed it up for us young kids because he was so happy about getting 1,200 JCs to his town.”

John recounted those days after he was contacted to be part of the Toronto-based league’s 50th anniversary, because the special night was also to be a “Celebration of Hockey” in the JC community.

He wasn’t able to reach any of his Greenwood team-mates at the time¸ but they soon found about the event and though they’re now well into their eighties several of his hockey-playing buddies showed up for an unexpected mini-reunion.

“I hadn’t seen them since those days, so it was nice to get together,” he said.

The anniversary gathering brought together many of Toronto’s hockey oldtimers, who started playing the game in the 1946-47 period in Toronto, after being released from internment camps and arriving with their families in Ontario.

Over 200 former players and their families came to mark the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Canadian Japanese Hockey League, a four-team league that is still going strong today in Toronto.

But as things turned out, the CJHL, as it’s known today, wasn’t the first for JC players. Newly-arrived Nisei teenagers found the colder, winter temperatures in Toronto better suited than BC for outdoor shinny games. And those informal get-togethers led to the formation of their NHL, the Nisei Hockey League that played on the outdoor rinks of Alexandra and Riverdale Parks in the mid-1940s.

The players who started JC hockey in Toronto were the same skaters from Greenwood, including John Onizuka, who went on to play a year in the newly-formed Nisei League then had to give it up to concentrate on his pharmacy studies at the University of Toronto.

John credits his hockey career to the mayor of Greenwood, W.E. McArthur Sr. who, he said, enthusiastically rebuilt the town’s hotels, stores, businesses and especially the hockey rink.

“He was happy because the town had died in the 1930s, when the copper boom went bust,” he said. “So the JCs brought money, business and new prosperity to the town. It also brought jobs to JCs, who worked in the sawmills, which happened to be owned by the mayor.”

Just before the JCs were bussed to Greenwood, the town only had about 200 residents, down drastically from about 10,000 to 20,000 at the turn of the 20th century.

After the Mayor refurbished the local rink, John joined many other JC teens to take up the game of hockey. “It was surprising how fast the fellows picked up skating,” he said. “I wasn’t a very good skater and because of this I tried goal.”

He said he can’t remember how he got goalie equipment, but thinks because he played goal in lacrosse, he must have used the same equipment for hockey.

He said after the Nisei players learned how to play the game and wanted to get more involved, they decided to make up two teams and join the local “hakujin” (white Greenwood players) league. “There was enough equipment to go around and they really enjoyed playing with us,” he says.

Eventually, John remembers the Nisei playing local teams from nearby towns. There are very few accounts of JCs playing hockey during the internment years, but John’s memories coincide with the scenes in the CBC movie, The War Between Us, that showed a Nisei team from an internment camp playing a local Caucasian team.

John said he played about three years in the Greenwood league, then left with his family in 1945 to move to Ontario.

Source: Former Goalie Remembers Internment Camp Hockey – The Bulletin

NOTE:

On February 4, 2015, John Onizuka peacefully passed away at the age of 87 surrounded by his loving family at Mackenzie Health Hospital in Toronto, Ontario.