Author: Jason Brough

Columbus Blue Jackets v Vancouver Canucks

Vey admits his ‘preparation last summer wasn’t what it needed to be’


While 10 goals and 14 assists aren’t exactly terrible numbers for a rookie, Linden Vey knows that his first season with the Vancouver Canucks did not match expectations.

Though he started relatively well, registering 12 points in his first 22 games, his production fell off dramatically. In the end, he was a healthy scratch for five of Vancouver’s six playoff games, and it was fair to question whether he could play center in the NHL.

“Sitting out (in the playoffs), I already had a lot of time to look at where things went wrong,” Vey told “I was really honest. My preparation last summer wasn’t what it needed to be.”

Vey, who just turned 24, was acquired last summer in a trade with the Kings. He was essentially gifted a spot on Vancouver’s roster, despite having skated in only 18 NHL games up to that point.

Vey should once again be given a chance to play regularly in 2015-16. While centers Henrik Sedin, Nick Bonino, and Bo Horvat remain in Vancouver, the options beyond those three are limited, as the Canucks don’t have Brad Richardson or Shawn Matthias anymore.

“I’ve already worked the hardest I ever have in a summer,” Vey said. “In every league I’ve played in, I made a big jump in my second season. … Last season, I wasn’t the same player that got me to the NHL.”

Sabres sign Larsson to one-year deal

Pittsburgh Penguins v Buffalo Sabres

The Buffalo Sabres have reached a one-year deal with forward Johan Larsson.

It’s reportedly a one-way contract worth $800,000.

Now it’s up to Larsson to prove he belongs in the NHL.

Larsson, 22, split last season between Buffalo and AHL Rochester. He had six goals and 10 assists in 39 games for the Sabres and 15 goals and 25 assists in 44 games for the Americans.

A second-round draft pick in 2010, Larsson said last summer that he doesn’t have anything left to prove at the AHL level.

Because of that belief, it was a frustrating 2014-15 under head coach Ted Nolan, who’s since been replaced by Dan Bylsma.

“I felt my time was going to come,” Larsson said in January. “Then I was right back to the fourth line.”

Wings sign Pulkkinen to one-year deal

San Jose Sharks v Detroit Red Wings

The Detroit Red Wings have reached a one-year deal with winger Teemu Pulkkinen, the club announced today.

Financial terms of the contract were not released.

Pulkkinen, 23, split last season between the NHL, where he had five goals in 31 games for the Wings, and the AHL, where he had 34 goals (the most in the AHL) in 46 games for Grand Rapids and was named to the league’s first all-star team.

With Pulkkinen and Gustav Nyquist signed, forward Tomas Jurco remains as the Wings’ lone restricted free agent.

Detroit drafted Pulkkinen 111th overall in 2010. The hope now is that he can take what he’s done in the AHL and start doing it regularly in the NHL.

Oilers bring back Gerry Fleming to coach AHL team


Gerry Fleming will remain head coach of the Edmonton Oilers’ AHL affiliate, now in Bakersfield.

“Gerry’s attention to detail and ability to develop our young players made him a natural fit to return as head coach,” said Oilers assistant GM Bill Scott in a statement.

Fleming took over from Todd Nelson last season in Oklahoma City, posting a 26-21-3-1 record before helping the Barons to the second round of the playoffs.

Jean-François Houle and Tony Borgford will be Fleming’s assistants.

Fleming, 48, has been coaching in the minors for some time now. He started as an assistant in 1998-99 with the Fredericton Canadiens, under current Habs head coach Michel Therrien.

NHL to ‘focus exclusively’ on expansion bids for Las Vegas and Quebec City

2015 NHL All-Star Weeknd - Commissioners Press Conference

The NHL confirmed today that only two applications for an expansion team were submitted — one for Las Vegas, the other for Quebec City.

“As previously announced, NHL expansion applications were made available to all potentially interested applicants on July 6,” the league wrote in a statement. “Since that date, we have received requests from, and responded by sending applications to, 16 separate groups/individuals.

“The deadline for filing an application and proceeding in the NHL expansion process was last night. We can confirm that we have received two applications: one from Bill Foley for a franchise in Las Vegas, Nevada, and one from Quebecor for a franchise in Quebec City, Quebec.

“Our purpose, in initiating the expansion process in the manner we did, was not only to explore the possibility of admitting new members to the NHL but also, at the outset, to set realistic guideposts to distinguish between bona fide expressions of interest (i.e., those which have at least substantial ownership capabilities and an arena or the realistic possibility of an arena) from those indications of potential interest which were, at best, merely hopes or aspirations. Apparently, only Mr. Foley and Quebecor have the confidence in their ability to secure an arena and suitable ownership capability to move forward with this process.

“We now intend to focus exclusively on the two expansion applications that have been submitted in accordance with the previously announced process. The process we have outlined for qualified applicants includes at least two more stages of documentation submission. We will provide no further updates until there is something substantive to announce.”

While many expected a group, or groups, from Seattle to submit an application, no bids were forthcoming, as the absence of a suitable arena in the Pacific Northwest city remains a major stumbling block.

Related: So, what happened to that Toronto expansion bid?