The Vancouver Canucks’ goaltending situation has been the source of drama for quite some time, while Ryan Miller’s uncertainty seems like it mainly sprouted up as free agency approaches. Either way, the two sides may very well find an answer together once July 1 rolls around.
If nothing else, the two seem to be talking about a possible deal.
Multiple sources report that Miller is in Vancouver talking to Canucks brass as the free agent period approaches.
There was already some scuttlebutt about the Canucks flirting with Miller, 33, so this presents fire where there was smoke.
Adding Miller would provide a slight logjam, albeit a manageable one, in Vancouver. The Canucks currently employ the young tandem of Eddie Lack and Jacob Markstrom, with both providing promise but also a lack (sorry) of experience.
Lack makes $1.15 million for the next two seasons while Markstrom will be a RFA after he finishes out a deal that carries a $1.2 million cap hit in 2014-15. Neither deal is difficult to trade, while putting them on waivers could mean losing a goalie for nothing.
Consider this: Miller has 559 games of regular season experience alone while Lack and Markstrom combine for 88 games of regular season experience.
In a lot of ways, the idea makes plenty of sense: Miller could provide the stability the Canucks crave and vice versa. Of course, there’s the possibility that this situation could meltdown into another soap opera … which wouldn’t be so bad for those of us who get to write about it.
Not that such scenarios factor into our excitement about such matters, of course.
Last night in Los Angeles, Kings forward Milan Lucic received a match penalty after skating the entire width of the ice to give San Jose’s Logan Couture a two-hand shove to the face.
Lucic didn’t hurt Couture, who had caught Lucic with an open-ice hit that Lucic didn’t like. Couture’s smiling, mocking face was good evidence that the Sharks’ forward was going to be OK.
This morning, Lucic was still in disbelief that he was penalized so harshly.
“I didn’t cross any line,” Lucic said, per Rich Hammond of the O.C. Register. “Believe me, if my intentions were to hurt him, I would have hurt him.”
While Lucic knew he deserved a penalty, he said after the game that he didn’t “know why it was called a match penalty.” His coach, Darryl Sutter, agreed, calling it “a borderline even roughing penalty.”
And though former NHL referee Kerry Fraser believes a match penalty was indeed warranted, Lucic said this morning that he hasn’t heard from the NHL about any possible supplemental discipline.
Nor for that matter has Dustin Brown, after his high hit on Couture in the first period.
In conclusion, it’s good to have hockey back.
Related: Sutter says Kings weren’t ‘interested’ in checking the Sharks
A statement from Raffi Torres:
“I accept the 41-game suspension handed down to me by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. I worked extremely hard over the last two years following reconstructive knee surgery to resume my NHL career, and this is the last thing I wanted to happen. I am disappointed I have put myself in a position to be suspended again. I sincerely apologize to Jakob for the hit that led to this suspension, and I’m extremely thankful that he wasn’t seriously injured as a result of the play. I also want to apologize to my Sharks teammates and the organization.”
A statement from San Jose GM Doug Wilson:
“The Sharks organization fully supports the NHL’s supplementary discipline decision regarding Raffi. While we do not believe there was any malicious intent, this type of hit is unacceptable and has no place in our game. There is a difference between playing hard and crossing the line and there is no doubt, in this instance, Raffi crossed that line. We’re very thankful that Jakob was not seriously injured as a result of this play.”
Silfverberg says he expects to play Saturday when the Ducks open their regular season Saturday in San Jose.