Mason Raymond

Canucks file for “cutdown” arbitration with Mason Raymond


According to multiple reports, the Vancouver Canucks have filed “cutdown” arbitration for winger Mason Raymond.

As the term “cutdown” may suggest, the Canucks want to pay Raymond less than he made last season ($2.6 million).

How much less? Well, the CBA says a team can’t request a salary reduction of greater than 15 percent, so the Canucks can’t argue for anything less than $2.21 million.

Of course, Raymond gets to make his case as well, after which the arbitrator delivers a verdict.

TSN”s Darren Dreger notes that the Canucks cannot walk away from the verdict. However, they do have the option of trading the speedy forward before or after arbitration.

Raymond had a disappointing 10 goals and 10 assists in 2011-12. Granted, he only made 55 appearances after missing the first part of the season with a serious back injury that was suffered in the Stanley Cup finals.

The 26-year-old’s best season was 2009-10 when he scored 25 times and added 28 assists.

“Mason is an important part of our team,” Canucks assistant GM Laurence Gilman told the Vancouver Sun, “and we plan for Mason to be a component of this team going forward.”

Ducks name Kesler alternate captain

Ryan Kesler
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For the second time in his career, Ryan Kesler is wearing an “A.”

On Thursday, the Anaheim Ducks announced that Kesler would serve as one of the club’s alternate captains this season, taking over for Francois Beauchemin, who signed in Colorado this summer.

With the move, Kesler joins Anaheim’s existing leadership group of captain Ryan Getzlaf, and alternate Corey Perry.

“It’s an honor,” Kesler said, per the Ducks. “It’s special. I’m going to wear it with pride and lead by example.”

As mentioned earlier, Kesler has some experience as an alternate — he wore an “A” in Vancouver from 2008-13, but had it removed prior to the start of the ’13-14 campaign.

It’s not surprising Anaheim went in this direction. GM Bob Murray made a huge investment in Kesler this summer by inking the 31-year-old to a six-year, $41.25M extension.

Diaz could leave Rangers for Europe

Raphael Diaz, Mike Sislo
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Could Raphael Diaz be on his way back to Switzerland?

We’ll know in a month.

Diaz, who lost out on the Rangers’ final blueline spot in training camp, has reported to the club’s AHL affiliate in Hartford but doesn’t seem pleased with his current situation, per the Post:

The 29-year-old Diaz, who cleared waivers last Saturday after the Blueshirts opted to keep rookie Dylan McIlrath as the club’s seventh on the blue line, is interested in the European option if he is not in the NHL.

The Blueshirts have told Diaz they will revisit the situation at the end of October, but have not promised to release him or assign him to a European team at that point.

If Diaz, a Swiss native who represented Switzerland in the 2014 Olympics, does play in Europe during the season, he would have to go through waivers in order to return to the NHL.

Diaz’s agent, Ritch Winter, told the Post that Diaz signed a one-year, $700,000 deal with the Rangers “to play with the Rangers.”

And it’s understandable if Diaz — a journeyman offensive defenseman — isn’t happy with this situation.

While some believe McIlrath earned his roster spot on merit, some think it’s because of his contract status. McIlrath, who’s only 23 and a former first-round pick, would’ve needed to clear waivers to go back to Hartford, and it’s believed he would’ve been claimed by another club.